Building Great Brand-Agency Relationships

Chad Kearns, Vice President of Marketing Services

Brand-agency relationships thrive when both parties are ready to push each other towards a mutually agreed-upon outcome.

When built well, these relationships can flourish into truly meaningful work that both the brand and the agency are proud of.

Easy in principle. Hard to do in practice.

If you’ve been on the agency or brand side for any notable amount of time, you probably have a story about relationships eroding and unraveling quickly. Objectives get murky or completely lost. The agency can’t follow through or meet the expectations they sold their capabilities on. The client can’t follow through or meet the expectations they agreed to when the work began. Outside factors like current events, competitors, and technology dictate changes that neither party could foresee.

At Portent, when we dissect our strongest client engagements, we find a handful of shared principles that seem to be ever-present. When we look back at relationships that went sour (yes, it happens here too from time to time), we find that those same cornerstones are waning or absent.

Successful brand-agency engagements happen when:

  • Both parties share a mutually agreed-upon desired outcome
  • The client can hold the agency accountable to the work sold
  • The agency can hold the client accountable to the work dependencies

I’ll detail how to approach all three of these principles, so whether you are on the agency or brand side, you’ll be armed with how to set yourself up for success in your next engagement.

Other posts in this series:

How to Set and Maintain Meaningful Marketing Goals
How to Hold Your Agency Accountable
How to Hold Your Client Accountable

Chad Kearns, Vice President of Marketing Services

Chad Kearns

Vice President of Agency Services
Vice President of Agency Services

As the vice president of agency services, Chad is responsible for leading Portent’s marketing, sales, and services teams. With Portent since 2012, he is dedicated to ensuring clients receive top-notch service and results, and is continually looking for ways to improve and expand Portent's expertise.

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