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    The evolution of CS

    I'm a firm believer that we are the masters of our own destiny, we create the world we live in.

    By Marc Lax | February 12, 2015

    I'm a firm believer that we are the masters of our own destiny, we create the world we live in. This applies to agency-client relationships as well, you can either be a supplier or a strategic/business partner.

    We used to be creative consultants. The client would come to an agency to solve their business problems creatively and the agency would be respected for their ability to do this, in fact agencies wouldn't take direction from clients in the areas of advertising they would instruct clients and clients would follow this instruction. Maybe we were wrong too many times or too forceful in our instruction but somewhere along the line the dynamic shifted, clients now instruct 
    I'm a firm believer that we are the masters of our own destiny, we create the world we live in. This applies to agency-client relationships as well, you can either be a supplier or a strategic/business partner.

    We used to be creative consultants. The client would come to an agency to solve their business problems creatively and the agency would be respected for their ability to do this, in fact agencies wouldn't take direction from clients in the areas of advertising they would instruct clients and clients would follow this instruction. Maybe we were wrong too many times or too forceful in our instruction but somewhere along the line the dynamic shifted, clients now instruct agencies to the point of frustration and the agency just draws the pretty pictures that the client has in mind. You might say, "We don't work like that!" or "Our clients respect our expertise," but if you had to take a long hard look at your clients and their relationship with your agency, I think you'd find yourself more on the supplier list as opposed to the business partner list, to varying degrees of course. 

    I think we got lazy. I think we were spoilt for choice and instead of quality, at some point we got greedy and went for quantity. More clients! More money! Growth through acquisition and not growing with our clients' businesses. The truth is, we're so busy chasing after the new business ball that we neglect the balls already in our basket. We don't get to know and understand our clients' businesses as well as we should, we don't build the relationship with client that lets us rise above and out of the pool of suppliers, all snapping at each other's heels to get a piece of the pie. 

    We need to intimately and proactively know our clients' business, the market they play in, their customers and the touchpoints they use. Only then can we start developing strategies and communication that truly help our clients build their business and once you start adding and not taking away from the bottom line that's when you're a business partner and not just a supplier. When times are tough, suppliers get cut but business partners are always given a seat at the table. 

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