Häagen-Dazs on successful client-agency relationships

Ahead of his presentation at Marketing Week Live 2013 next month, Joseph Liu, senior brand manager at Häagen-Dazs shares his thoughts on the key to a successful client-agency relationship.

Marketing Week Live

• The pitch process can be an effective and efficient way to forge new relationships but it is also a significant investment of time energy and money so it is really important to treat it with respect and courtesy.

• There is no formalised way to stay in touch with the agency market to make sure you are working with the best. I make a note of stand out campaigns, keep up with industry publications and pay attention to awards such as the IPA’s Effectiveness Award, an award that focuses on effectiveness and results.

• The brief is a critical stage of the relationship. Provide clarity. Force yourself to be concise and specific at this stage. Some of the best work I have seen is when I have been able to summarise the brief in 15 words or less.

• As a client, I believe the onus is on us to make sure we are aligned with internal stakeholders to agree exactly what we want before involving the agency. My job as the client lead is to shield the agency as much as possible from all of our internal debates.

• As a client, don’t presume you know the best solution executionally. I have regularly been pleasantly surprised by ideas from agencies that have never occurred to me. You can be clear on what you want without saying how it needs to be done.

• It may seem obvious but be sure to acknowledge good work, not just at the end but also along the way. Saying a simple thank you can be incredibly motivating and motivation creates fantastic work.

Find out more about Marketing Week Live 2013 here.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here