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Making advertiser – agency relationship work: Suresh Bandi : Goafest 2013

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Making advertiser – agency relationship work: Suresh Bandi : Goafest 2013

Throwing light on the advertiser’s point of view of how agencies can deliver better and improve performance, Suresh Bandi, Deputy MD, Panasonic India, while speaking at the Advertising Conclave at Goafest, shared that advertising agencies have to understand that clients want solutions that are good, fast and cheap. Agencies have to deliver on all three criterions as only one or two are not good enough.

What advertisers need most is value i.e. results from their agency partners. The returns on investment the alliance can provide in taking a brand to an aspiring position is of significance.

Method in madness  
Bandi spoke about practical nuances of making an advertiser – agency relationship work. He said that it is imperative for agencies to learn the client’s way of doing business. Only then can we get more bang for the buck. Bandi said that often he comes across creative people who work throughout the night and sadly they are not available during office hours. This creates a gap as timelines are not aligned. Not only that...often creatives are given for approval at last minute, leaving no time to improve the idea.

He then went on to share another practical challenge; account managers that come for pitches are never seen again once the business is acquired. Bandi said they often have to deal with some trainees, which is not always the best idea. If the same people who started the relationship, build it further, it leads to a strong and sustaining rapport.

Best practices
An agency can grow only if the clients are satisfied, and clients are committed when an agency delivers value. Additionally, agencies have to focus on their internal customers as value is achieved by satisfied, loyal and productive employees, stated Bandi, talking about the role each stakeholder plays in building a long-lasting, effective relationship.

Creative agencies need to understand the pulse of the customers and what they want. It is imperative to go and talk to the customers and conduct research and not showcase ‘doctored’ research. 

Accumulating reports and minutes of meetings is another best practice that should be followed, according to Bandi. Often the creative options provided are different from what has been discussed and this leads to unnecessary back and forth.

Lastly, agencies need to take ownership of the marketer’s budget. Many a times outrageous ideas evaporate an entire season’s budgets in a week. Creative partners need to be equally responsible and efficient, concluded Bandi.

Goafest 2013 coverage on exchange4media is presented by Patrika group.

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