Without doubt one of the themes coming across really clearly is how clients are collaborating & partnering with their agencies.
From the global Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of AB InBev, Marcel Marcondes calling his agency partners around the world “superhero’s” and giving them all branded sneakers to wear at Cannes, to Visual Image Director for (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) LMVH, Faye McLeod talking about their approach to collaboration being about “bringing joy, trust & a big open heart” to everything they do, and the CMO of North Face, Michiel Cauwelier saying about agency partnerships that, “taking risks starts with sharing the risks”.
"Taking risks starts with sharing the risks"
Michiel from North Face highlighted 5 key tenets that he and the agency believes make for a rewarding and fruitful agency / client relationship:
1. STICK TO YOUR GUNS AND CONVICTIONS: agencies are hired for their fresh perspective and naivety about the brand, and clients need to work hard daily to not extinguish what makes them great.
2. BE BRAVE: there are always lots of options in creative development and relationships, so the simpler the better to make better work together.
3. LISTEN TO EACH OTHER: talk about your relationship right upfront. What do you like? What don’t you like? How do you want to work? Get the big things out the way so that you don’t discover the answers as you are trying to get out the work.
4. ONE TEAM: whether it is the client, in-house agency or the agency of record, it should make no difference to getting out the best work. Collaboration is key, and shared ambition needs to rule them all.
5. HAVE EACH OTHERS' BACKS: when the rubber hits the road, when doubt sets in, when questions are asked - both parties need to have each others' back because this builds trust and breaks down fear.