Having completed several secondments client-side, Sharon Oliver, a senior account director in our Animal Health team, has gathered some useful insights into the day-to-day life of a brand manager.
Here she passes on her best advice on how to create a stronger bond between client and agency teams.
- Take time to ‘on-board’. New personal relationships take commitment and it’s no different in the workplace. In the early days of a new agency role, it’s a good idea to ask questions about business practices, working styles and communication preferences. Establishing good habits at the beginning will support a strong relationship in the long run.
- Try an office swap. Spending time in each other’s offices will help both parties understand respective roles and demands, while having a physical presence will help you feel part of an extended team.
- Look for opportunities across the business together. Often, good intelligence or support lies in other divisions in the business – R&D, retail, and legal, to name a few. Working together to get to know these wider teams can be invaluable. For example, spending a couple of days shadowing another team could be all it takes to unlock some great, previously unknown opportunities.
- Get personal. We all want to work with people we like, which is why chemistry is often cited as the number one factor when choosing, and sticking with, an agency partner. Take time to get to know everyone on the team – both agency and brand side – and even initiate some social time together when you don’t have to ‘talk shop’.
- Ask for feedback. Regular, 360-degree check-ins are vital on both sides. Not only does it allow you to address concerns before they become issues, but open communication helps keep relationships strong. And we all know that happy teams deliver successful campaigns!