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Clients and agencies: getting the most out of the relationship

Prof Tim Hughes & Dr. Mario Vafeas, Bristol Business School, UWE
Tuesday September 13th 2016 Clifton Club, Bristol

Clients and agencies: getting the most out of the relationship
While there are undoubtedly shining examples of client-agency relationships, recent research by Bristol Business School at the University of the West of England, suggests that many are fraught with problems that adversely affect the quality of the creative output and the efficiency of the creative process. The inevitable result is dissatisfaction and, ultimately, relationship termination.

Professor Tim Hughes and Dr. Mario Vafeas have been exploring the current state of the typical client-agency relationship using a combination of one-to-one interviews, focus groups, and survey questionnaires. The findings suggest that there are too many instances where clients and agencies fail to capture all the value that they could. This presentation suggests steps that can be taken for agencies and clients to work more effectively together.

You can download by clicking on the presentation here:


Tim and Mario are offering free in-house workshops

Tim and Mario first presented their finding in Bath in 2015 and Agencies and Clients found it to be extremely valuable.  In the 2016 talk they updated their findings and offered free in house workshops for those interested on improving their own Client/Agency relationships.

While it might be tempting to argue ‘twas ever thus’, the research by Bristol Business School suggests that the state of the typical client-relationship is worse now than it has ever been. While it is difficult to say with certainty why this might be, two key themes emerged as possible explanations. Agencies argue that the quality of junior marketers (the senior marketers of the future) is not as high as it once was, while clients suggest that agencies lack an understanding of the business environment in which clients operate.

About the speaker
Professor Tim Hughes began his career in brand management at Heinz and Nestle, has held senior marketing roles in the financial services sector. His current research interests include the co-creation of value between agencies and clients. Tim regularly collaborates with organisations including IBM, Sainsbury’s and NHS and speaks on issues such as Customer Management and Service Innovation.

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