Risky Business: Trusting Your Collaborators

We all have a horror story from that one time a creative agency burned us by not fully delivering what was promised. The other side of that is when a client took advantage of us by going around original asks. Asks going well beyond the original scope of work in order to get more than what they paid you to do (often times not intentional). We all suffer from the disease of broken humanity, therefore we are going to have letdowns, breakdowns, and heartbreak. But, what if things didn’t have to be this way?

What would it look like for the agency to enter each project looking to enhance the client’s brand in the creation and delivery of the story or the message the client feels is best to tell at that time? Therefore, not attempting to “pull a fast one” or whatever other fear-based, subconscious ideation that may creep into the mind of any given client when their marketing budget is on the table, perhaps even all-in, banking on the hand that is being dealt by their particular agency.

What if the client chose their agency not solely based on getting “the most bang for the buck,” but because they saw the genuine nature of the agency; the evidence of being a brand-enhancer. The work that showcases visual and creative innovation, making brands stand out amongst their competition. The agency that they can truly trust.

Let’s think about this dynamic in the context of marriage. In a marriage, it’s important to have the other half’s best interest at heart while simultaneously trusting fully and communicating frequently. If the agency’s goal is to care for its client, enhance their brand, and meet their immediate and future needs all while staying true to who they are as an agency, its intrinsically creative self, then ultimately the client’s life and brand are going to be more fulfilling, exciting, and successful. If the client’s goal is to approach each project with an open-mind and listen to the agency’s concepts and ideas, understanding that the agency truly wants to enhance the brand and generate clicks, conversions, and revenue, all while communicating to the agency when they believe something is unfitting for the brand, helping them understand why that idea doesn’t seem to work as well as this one (rather than the mere “We don’t like this,” “That part is just not working,” “I hate the music,” etc, actual dialogues discussing the what’s, the why’s, and the how’s, help the agency learn, grow, and adapt their creativity to better serve their collaborator. Ultimately, the work becomes truly collaborative and something the agency is proud of and the client uses to enhance the brand, tell their story and turn the heads of potential new clients.

Granted, nobody in this world is perfect. We will make mistakes. We will fail. We will also learn from our mistakes and grow from our failures. We will choose partnerships where the end goal is purer co-creation. This will enable clients to share the creative reigns, trust their collaborators, and ultimately receive more innovative and revenue-driving content. It will also allow agencies to flex their creative muscles backed by the healthy freedom that comes from a trusting client partnership. There is a mutual benefit: the client’s brand is enhanced, the agency produces amazing work and a unique partnership is formed. There’s no scheming, no scope-creeps, no going behind backs, no taking creative advantage of, because together we are co-creating innovative, sizzle-reel content that shakes the grounds of interactive harder than ever before.