Code Worldwide

Clients - dumb things your agencies are saying #1

Matt McNeany

Matt McNeany

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

I spend most of my time meeting with agencies to look at how technology can improve their clients' marketing.  It's a real privilege because I get to spend time with some really smart people - innovative, creative, demanding - and it makes me better at what I do.  

These agencies understand that their success is driven by their clients' success so are willing to think the unthinkable if it means more effective marketing for their clients. But occasionally I meet with agencies who let down their clients (and their industry) by refusing to even look at how technology could help.  Normally I shrug this off - maybe I don't understand the business, anyone can have a bad day etc.  

But in reality, these agencies are cheating their clients by refusing to look at new ways of working, either because a) it will affect their short-term revenue b) because it means expending a bit of effort, or c) because they can't be bothered. So name and shame time (well, name-ish):

  • London ad agency representing booze retailer - "I don't know what our clients do to make retail marketing work better.  We do brand.  It's not our thing."
  • Shopper marketing agency trying to win more work from Morrissons - "My mum's from Hull.  They don't use smartphones in Hull.  We don't want any bells & whistles."
  • NY Healthcare specialist representing global pharma with a stated mission to reduce marketing implementation costs - "Yes, I can see why our client would like this.  It would save them a lot.  But we do a lot of that work now, so why would we talk to them about it."
To the above, you are "agents" for your clients, meaning you are representing their interests.  Of course you will get found out soon and drop to an appropriate level, but do us all a favour and get out of the way!