According to Forest Research, acquiring a new customer is up to seven times more costly than retaining a current one. This is why the option of retaining a client should always come ahead of seeking new ones. However, sometimes an agency or media organisation may communicate effectively and create valuable tailor-made strategies and content for a client, yet some avoidable “banana peels” can slip in to negatively affect the level of cordiality in their relationship.
So, it’s definitely worth identifying those seemingly minor issues that can affecta client’s countenance, before they build up to create serious disequilibrium in client – media / agency relations.
Here, are a few of those “minor” hiccups that can dramatically undermine the relationship between a client and her agency.
Poor Positioning or Transmission of Ads
No savvy client will like his advertisement and that of a competing brand to be placed side-by-side or even on two consecutive pages. Similarly, their commercials and that of a competing brand should not follow each other on radio or television. Regrettably this is still a common practice in our country. Besides, we still have frequent cases in which press advertisement or radio/television commercials are bunched together. Sometimes, the ad is smudged or over inked. Sometimes, it is so faint that it’s hardly readable. With the TV medium, you sometimes have pictures without sound and sometimes sound without pictures. These trends can irritate even the most patient client and set him against the media organization and media buying/placement agency for their negligence and lack of professionalism.
For effective exposure to the target customer, editorial matter should always separate one advertisement from the other and radio/TV commercials should never be in clusters. Remember that people buy newspapers, radio and TV for the news, or entertainment not for the ads. So, it pays for advertisements to be placed close to or within editorial matters.
Frequent Increases in Advertisement Rates
Frequent increases in advertisement rates is a media-related hiccup that irritates an advertiser so much that the backlash can go beyond the media organization to the buyer who fails to give adequate notice to his clients. The clients might feel they are not “on top” in their media planning functions.
In other countries, advertisement rates are increased only when there is an improvement in the coverage or reach of a medium. And that improvement is certified by the ABC or joint sponsored research. Here, however, increases are based on the galloping rate of inflation and it is therefore not uncommon to have two or three increases in a year. No client enjoys this.
Lack of Team Spirit in Agencies
In most agencies there is always a sense of rivalry between the client service and creative teams. But when such rivalry becomes unhealthy to the extent that clients are seen as belonging to the executives in the client service then team spirit is really in short supply. Usually it is always a matter of time before thing filter to the client as the creative team will always demand that the client executive should go and tell his client that “what he is asking for is not possible.” High turnover of accounts will persist when the entire team fails to agree that any problem of the client service department is the agency’s problem and should be solved in the true spirit of partnership.
Poor Creativity in Agencies
The client is always irritated by a creative team that is not as creative as expected. Indeed there are general complaints that our level of creativity in advertising is still low because we have never made remarkable impact in international creative award like CANNES, CLIO or AD AGE. More often than not, clients will return copies with claims that ad headlines and media releases are not newsworthy or they cannot not surprise or jolt the reader. Many, too, they claim are are not witty or humorous. It has been noted that over ninety percent of our headlines are declarative while, abroad, you have an endless variety among which are the quotation, question, pun, incongruity, command, curiosity alliteration and humour. Wherever these complaints persist, you will find the client shopping for a new agency.
Spineless and Uninformed Client Service Executives
Agencies are hired as consultant who should be specialists in their fields. They are expected to provide expert advice. But when client service executives are without guts, they unknowingly irritate the client. They say “yes sir” to every demand made on the agency by the client without making any effort to educate him on what is possible and what is not possible. Incidentally they are the faces of agency and they keep projecting the agency in bad light. Such executives are usually called “glorified messengers” and they frustrate those in the creative and media departments.
These executives promise to refer virtually every point raised at agency meetings to the “”appropriate” department in the agency. They are never fully in the picture regarding how things are done. They frustrate the creative and media departments through constantly bombarding the former with frivolous questions. They show no understanding of the problems of the support services. They have no foresight. They don’t know how to manage a crisis. The client service executive should be a general practitioner and should be knowledgeable about all aspects of advertising or PR but alas this is not always so. With such an executive, the client would soon be calling up another pitch to replace the agency.