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Make it 'Pop' or Make it 'Stop'.

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How do clients want creatives to play nice in a good relationship?

What a great time to be a client. New technologies are emerging while existing ones are being improved almost daily. The creative community, specifically the digital community, is strong and varied, which means lots of choice for clients. Clients can also effectively track creative activities to understand their ROIs, so they certainly have reason to be exploring creative possibilities.

A while back I went to the UTSpotlight with Google event ‘Growing Australia's Digital Economy’. They had researched what different markets in Australia were worth and I was delighted and excited to see that the creative industries, in all their different forms, are worth around AU$50 billion per year, about a quarter of what the mining/resource industry is worth per annum. So what a great time to be a part of the creative industries, with so many opportunities to deliver solutions to clients across so many different touch points!

So all this got me thinking (at the risk of sounding like Sex in the City narrative) "In an ever changing world of super fast and evolving markets, What do clients really want from creative communities and companies? "

Here's my list of 7 things I think clients need more of, on a regular basis.

1. Listen to client ideas. Clients need to know you are open to their ideas that their ideas often help refine your own, and that all starts with listening. It's easy to get swept away with your own creative ideas, but client insights are invaluable and vital within the creative process. If only that time my brother had listened to his teenage daughter, then he would have known she wasn't into Gwen "Safari" but rather Stefani!

2. Understanding goes both ways, the need to understand methodologies and processes of the creative mind are now part of the value proposition. Clients need to understand how we think, do and behave, and how that can be easily applies to their own environments and desired behaviours. Enlightenment is such an invigorating feeling.

3. Strategy in creative ideas is important. Clients, in my experience, appreciate strategy that considers the bigger and long-term picture, that wasn’t necessarily in the brief. Most clients embrace the fact that there can be more to it, and that you've considered it as part of their evolving business eco system. It's always good to have some local knowledge too, to guide you.

4. Be Disruptive. Not like how I would occasionally behave at school, but challenging the norm in an innovative way, to create opportunities for clients by doing it differently. Dyson is a great example of this at play, who'd have thought changing the way vacuums sucked would have change the world (of vacuums). Being that thought leader can give your clients the edge and build the trust that is vital to success.

5. Go visit and Live in Their World. It's difficult to build long distant relationships, it can be hard work. Many a time I've sat in a client's office, working with their own staff, and forged some great connections and insights. Their environment is such a valuable place to sit and listen.

6. Enjoy it and Have Fun. You've gotta enjoy what you do and spread that joy to your clients, share the fun times as well as the “getting the job done” times. Happiness is contagious and can be spread to motivate others.

7. Keep it Relevant. The digital landscape has become such a visual one - mostly down to the emergence of smart phones smaller screen real estate, alongside finger friendly interfaces for all devices. Responsive design is a great example of how clients can get device agnostic, contextualised content working for all their touch points. Keeping ahead of the curve or at least on the crest of it, clients will appreciate the knowledge and expertise that these creative advancements can bring to their worlds.

This article covers only a few of the ways we work with our clients to get them where they want to go. Join the conversation on Twitter or leave a comment below.






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