Case Histories: Client Agency Relationships
“Advertising Agency overhauls the way it manages their largest and most important account”
A Midwestern branch office of a global advertising agency existed for one very large major account. The General Manager of this office wanted to insure the agency was doing all it could to provide unique and edgy solutions to the everyday business; and he wanted the account managers to be more inventive with the client. This account relationship’s survival and nourishment was paramount. He believed the office needed a restart/overhaul and an injection of industry best practices. The GM wanted his people to understand more about the strategy of what they were doing and why. He mandated improvements on every level of engagement and across the organization.
Topsail was asked to help this organization achieve this elevated service directive. At the outset Topsail Group clearly identified the responsibilities of each member of the staff serving this account; the Topsail Personality Profile was also used to assess the styles for each member of the team. Every part of how the account was managed was examined and virtually disemboweled and all the staff was interviewed to assess their individual talents. At the workshops Topsail concentrated on conflict management first of all. The GM was worried this large, dominating account had so much influence over the agency that his staff was unable or even afraid to disagree. There was also evidence of internal conflict between the creative team and account management. Negotiating was also an area of concentration since the stronger client clout was costing the agency real money; obviously differences of opinions had to be argued equally from both perspectives. The agency was often “backed up into the wall” on negotiations; the GM was wondering if the “wall” was even disappearing. Finally, Topsail Group stressed techniques in compromising, strategic influencing and key tips on making dynamic presentations.
The GM was more than satisfied with his overhaul. Especially important was a renewed responsibility from the account managers who now took full responsibility for the client relationship. Also the creative and account managers who attended the sessions had renewed respect for one another and their respective roles in this important client relationship. The account grew considerably after this training since the client had renewed confidence in their team. More and more assignments stayed onsite in the Midwestern office where before some tough problem assignments were often transferred to larger offices like NYC and Boston.