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.


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