Read about my U.S. research here.
U.K. not U.S.
In London, I found the spotlight shines on the work itself. The account service role still ensures the client is happy and deadlines are met, but more significance is placed on what is created rather than who it is produced for (i.e. the client).
Of the agencies I visited in the U.K., each showed passion and expertise for their clients and finished projects. Simply, ad people love what they do.
This idea supports my theory that the U.K. client relationship occurs naturally. At Mother, there is no account service department. This sounded crazy at first.
James simply said, "Some clients like it and some don't." Then it clicked. I'm looking at a much bigger idea than an account executive-brand manage relationship. The agency and the client personalities must mesh.
The natural British reserve reflects that a relationship isn't forced. After touring various U.K. agencies and reading articles from U.K. publications (like this one in the Evening Standard), this key difference rang true.
"The relationship, the work and the output have to be bigger than the individuals at any point in time." - Cilla Snowball, AMV chairman, 2010
U.K and U.S.
Amy at AMV described an account executive as a happy person who is comfortable speaking with people and making relationships. Those qualities reflect to the U.S. almost identically.
Topping the list of tips for building client relationships according to the U.K. is the same word that topped my U.S. list: trust. Without the client's trust an agency can't move forward and create great things. Through a bit of convincing, (that George from We Are Social explained in more detail) a client can be guided through the entire process.
Other insights that remained true in the U.K from my tip list included:
- be genuine and straightforward (in the words of James, "be honest, but be mindful of how you say it." )
- prove yourself (We Are Social and Mother are both grounded in research. They give a client a suggestion and then back it with research to build trust.)
The advertising industry in the U.S. and U.K. had many overlaps. Once I dug deeper and talked one-on-one to experts I found the same qualities that were executed somewhat differently.
we live in a global world
Kate was exceptionally helpful in explaining this as she spent a large portion of her career traveling. She explained that first you must realize are the differences in the way people work, interact, and behave.
My research, and this course as a whole, showed the importance of being globally minded. Listen to the client, listen to others in the community. To build a relationship anywhere in the world involves listening and learning each culture by book or by experience. Every professional should have an open mind to what lies outside of the office building.