CLIENT SIDE: “Agencies Should Get Under the Skin of Who a Client Really Is”

Thu 13 Jan 2022 11:00 am UK Time

• Clients know exactly what they want when it comes to agencies.
• But the bigger questions is: do YOU know what they want?
• We’ll be chatting to Jenni Montgomery, business development director at Barton Willmore, about what she values in an agency-client relationship, and why honesty is always the best policy.

Jenni is business development director at Barton Willmore and is quite loyal when it comes to working with the same agencies again and again.

When it comes to working with agencies, clients know what they want.

But do YOU know what they want?

“Agencies can be too quick to offer you solutions that they THINK you want, rather than actually explore it properly with you,” says Jenni Montgomery, business development director at Barton Willmore.

Jenni is quite loyal to agencies she’s previously worked with. What is it about those agencies that keeps her going back again and again?

“A lot of it is the partnership we’ve formed,” she explains. “I think an agency that’s willing to get under the skin of who you are and what you’re trying to do is really important.”

“You invest a lot as somebody who’s appointing them, so I don’t like to do that very often. I’d rather get someone embedded who understands exactly who we are and can be almost independent of me and my team to deliver, because they truly understand what we’re trying to achieve.”

And for Jenni, when it comes to these relationships, honesty is always the best policy.

“The big thing is that you’re both willing to openly discuss what’s working and what’s not and tackle it on a regular basis,” she says. 

“You’ve got to be able to have those open and frank conversations – and of course, they’re not easy. It’s so important that you can have that conversation. If somebody says, ‘You know what, that wasn’t very good and we need to fix it’, they need to be okay about having that conversation and willing to think about how we do things differently.”

While loyalty and honesty are key selling points for Jenni, sometimes things need a spring clean every once in a while, too.

“Whether it’s personnel changes or a change in approach, sometimes we do move people are that are working with us in a consultancy team, because you end up getting a bit stayed and a bit stale.”

“Especially in those longer-term relationships, I appreciate the new blood as well.”

Come along and hear more from Jenni about what she looks for in an agency – and make sure to come armed with questions to gain insight on what it’s like on the other side of the fence.