Building Client-Centric Agencies For The Future

Nitin Rabadia
Commercial Director, Kepler EMEA

Published May 18, 2022

Client management has never been more complex:

As the number of tasks increases and the projects being undertaken start to diversify, we need to start thinking about building client organisations for the future. Because of the complicated nature of managing clients in global organisations and coordinating delivery, there needs to be a way for more teams on the client-side to come together in a uniform manner. Let's take the example of a seasonal campaign launch, supported by multiple media channels and multiple media agencies. Not only do the digital channel managers need to be focused on their unique plans, but they also need to be working alongside above the line planners to align delivery, with the creative teams on understanding the artistic vision and message for the campaign, the technical teams to make sure all the ad set up is completed, all while keeping the client stakeholders fully up to speed with progress on ever reducing timelines. This is a level of collaboration that unfortunately not all organisational structures are currently built for, which certainly makes building a forward-thinking client organisation a challenge!

We are currently living through a unique period of time

The hybrid work model is a relatively new phenomenon for lots of businesses, and the way relationships are managed in this environment is changing because of this. There needs to be a negotiation in how we approach this, as a clash between employer and employee needs to come to the fore: a recent study by McKinsey showed that whilst more than three-quarters of C-suite executives expected employees to be back in the office three or more days a week, more than half the employees surveyed want at least three days of remote work, if not more. I can understand the frustration on both sides - in this new and ever-increasing hybrid work environment, internal comms are less efficient – we’re no longer all sitting in the same room, reading the same emails at the same time. Because of this, we are coming to rely more on collaboration – using new comms tools and platforms to streamline workflows seamlessly, whether you’re in-office or at home. Ironically, in these new hybrid times, there is also an increasing reliance on individual responsibility – it is up to all of us in every team to upload comms and information accurately and in a timely fashion, regardless of where you are working from.

There needs to be less ambiguity in businesses about the changing nature of work

And what this will mean for employees - according to a recent study, 47% of workers feel that a lack of clear vision about work in the post-pandemic world is a cause for concern - it is up to business leaders to create not only a clear and consistent new way of working but one that works for all members of the company equally.

Looking to the future, agencies need to adopt forward-thinking and innovative approaches to proactive client management

With a lot of communication and project being digital, we have the chance to automate and augment communication by using artificial intelligence, so that we could navigate through all of the key points, decisions, action items and understand and measure client health, and make plans with all of the information already readily available and organised through intelligent automation. Applying conversation intelligence technologies will allow teams to fully focus on their clients and the deliverables of a project, which accelerates revenue retention and growth. We’re only just beginning this new era of digital-first client management and we’re excited for the opportunities it will create.