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10 Things Clients Look for in an Ad Agency

The advertising industry is a challenging playing field. Most of the time, your ad agency is competing with other agencies to get more clients. There are instances where you’ll win, and there are instances you’ll lose. But, what if we say to you that you can win consistently? Would you believe us? In our strong opinion, you should. There are ten things that most clients look for in an advertising agency. If your agency misses one, two, or more of those things, that’s probably the reason why it can’t onboard clients successfully sometimes. In this blog, we’ll be discussing each of them so that you’ll be aware of what’s lacking in your ad agency.

10 Things Clients Look for in an Ad Agency

Positive Track Record

Before a consumer buys a product or avails a service, he or she checks for reviews about it. If reviews are great, he or she will likely spend his or her money on it. A similar scenario happens when a client is considering an ad agency’s proposal. He or she will check an agency’s track record if it’s any good as its representatives claim it to be. The past projects of an ad agency can say a lot about its reputation and service quality. Some clients might even contact an agency’s previous clients to hear about their experience with it.

If your ad agency performed well in past endeavors, then this matter shouldn’t be much of a problem. Yes, your agency might’ve had some failures before. But when you pitch to a client, you don’t focus on past failures. You focus on its achievements and significant milestones and use them as a selling point.

In-Depth Knowledge of the Industry

According to a survey report from the Agency Management Institute, “Industry Knowledge” is the number one response of CMOs, marketing directors, and business owners when asked what they want from marketing and ad agencies. For us, that finding isn’t a surprise. If your agency is pitching to us, of course, we would want to know if its people (your people) are knowledgeable about our industry.

Clients wanting ad agencies with in-depth industry knowledge is a smart practice. They’re putting their business at risk if they partner with a less knowledgeable agency. Plus, an agency can’t promote a business without any expertise in the industry.

Can Adapt to Their Perspective

Clients want ad agencies that can empathize with them. They want those that can understand what their businesses need to gain popularity or attract their consumers’ attention. In other words, they want ad agencies that can adapt to their perspective, which is vital.

A relationship between an ad agency and a client isn’t just the typical company-customer relationship. They’re more like business partners. And when it comes to business partnerships, both parties should understand the various aspects of their business. With those in mind, it would be better to start seeing your clients as business partners.

Has Remarkable Consumer Insight Analytics

The primary function of an advertisement is to promote products and services to their intended consumers. If it can’t do that, then it has failed to serve its purpose. Who will the client blame if that’s the case? The ad agency, most likely. That’s because an ad agency is responsible for creating an advertisement that can reach its target audience. And that’s a big part of what a client is paying for. A client has a right to be disappointed if his or her ad fails to reach the target audience.

That’s why clients want ad agencies with remarkable consumer insight analytics. They strongly prefer agencies that can interpret data regarding consumer needs, wants, behaviors, and buying patterns. An agency with excellent consumer insight means it can produce compelling ads, those that can reach the audience effectively.

Creative and Innovative

Although being creative and innovative are soft skills, many clients look for such traits in an ad agency. They’re part of the clients’ preference checklist. If your agency doesn’t have creativity or innovative tactics, clients might overlook it.

Nowadays, advertisements must have distinctive qualities to stand out across media platforms. And if possible, ad agencies should adopt unique approaches to make ads more interesting and impactful. But those wouldn’t be possible if a creative and innovative mindset isn’t present. That’s why many clients want agencies with people who are creative and innovative thinkers.

Excellent Communicators and Collaborators

Communication and collaboration between the ad agency and client are critical to the success of an ad campaign. That said, being excellent communicators and collaborators are soft skills that clients also look for. They want agencies that are open to working with them closely. And in our opinion, that should be the case every time. The clients should be more involved in the ad agency’s operations. After all, they know their business better than the ad agency. So, they can certainly provide essential inputs in structuring their ad campaign.

Today, we have abundant communication devices that enable agencies to keep in touch with clients. So, if you think your ad agency lacks in this department, you can improve on it quickly.


In the advertising industry, there are no guarantees. Some circumstances may arise that could impede the progress of an ad campaign. Because of that, clients target ad agencies that are flexible—capable of making impromptu adjustments and adapting to sudden changes. Yes, flexibility is another soft skill, but it’s very important.

At times, your agency’s planning and management standards might not work for a project. In that case, you need to implement temporary changes to meet current goals. That’s one example of being flexible.

Has Profound Media Strategies

The media today is full of advertisements. There’s not one media platform that doesn’t feature ads. Good examples are TV program schedules. In between shows, there are a few minutes allocated for commercial breaks. Due to the many ads featured across media platforms, clients have difficulties promoting their business. For that reason, they look for ad agencies with profound media strategies.

Media strategies is a broad topic. Yes, it also concerns advertising and marketing strategies. Ad agencies must have superior media strategies if they want to expand their clientele. Why? That’s because advertising always involves the media. You can’t advertise a product or service without media platforms.

Think of the media as a sea, and an advertisement a fish. Without the sea, a fish can’t swim and survive. Hence, without the media, an advertisement won’t be going anywhere.

Can Minimize Costs

Clients are thrifty people. They like to get the most out of an agency’s service at the lowest possible price quotation. So, one of the traits ad agencies must have is minimizing costs. However, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. We all know that people, in general, want quality things at a low price.

To adopt this type of practice in your agency, presenting cost-effective solutions to a client would be the best approach. However, you have to ensure not to affect your agency’s revenue.

Can Present Quantifiable Results

Clients want detailed results presented in numerical or statistical forms. That’s what you call quantifiable results. These are data that showcase progress and outcomes through metrics. Quantifiable results enable clients to be aware of the real status of their projects. They give them a glimpse of how the ad agency is handling everything. Agencies can submit quantifiable results to clients via a memo or during meetings.

The very reason why clients demand quantifiable results is for transparency. They need agencies to be honest with them, especially when it comes to project concerns.

If some of these attributes aren’t present in your agency, better start integrating them soon. These ten things that clients want should be a part of your advertising agency business plan. In time, your agency will win more clients, and its clientele will increase gradually.

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