This episode of the podcast features Robert Glass, Head of Marketing for Exel Composites. Specialising in material science, the company is an industry leader in composites and technology, applying their knowledge to pertinent global issues such as rapid urbanisation and corporate sustainability.
Robert was instrumental in building a recognisable brand for Exel and this was achieved largely due to a well-developed and productive relationship with the creative agency that delivered on the brand strategy.
In this episode, Robert discusses how to find and develop relationships with prospective agencies in line with client aims and goals. He also discusses why this is important, and the frameworks one can use in order to achieve a successful relationship.
Smaller agencies will provide their best resources
“When dealing with larger agencies, a lot of the interaction is ultimately is based on your annual spend.”
Robert’s main point here is not meant to undermine large, established agencies – clearly, they are beholden to their success and therefore must capitalise on their size by embarking on large projects.
Instead, Robert notes that smaller, younger agencies need to convey their hunger for creativity and demonstrate to prospective clients that they have something to prove. Securing a large client such as Exel Composites would see a small agency dedicating a large amount of their best resources in order to carry out a proposed vision – a huge benefit in Robert’s eyes.
Selecting an agency to work with is a personal process
“B2B companies are really B2C companies as it is a person making the final decision, not a business.”
In Robert’s opinion, because of the amount of time spent working with a selected agency, it is important to develop a working relationship that feels natural for the proposed idea. This means that any selected agency must align with the values and philosophies of the prospective client.
These qualities will become apparent during the recruitment process, especially with a well-designed screening exercise that can mimic a portion of the proposed campaign. The original ideas from the agency, in response to the recruitment exercise, will help determine if it is well-suited to the task at hand. And having a good team at one’s disposal during this process will aid both the agency and the client in reaching a balanced and well-informed decision.
Due to the number of creative agencies available, the agency evaluation process can be daunting and time-consuming but Robert’s insight provides a valuable peek into the mind of an award-winning marketing director – a useful insight for both clients and agencies.