Skip to content

Ask an Agency...volume 16

Another week and another brilliant agency leader sharing their pearls of wisdom with us. 

Andy McCaul - Managing Director at The Bigger Boat & Scriba PR

Founded in 2010, the Bigger Boat is an integrated agency based in Yorkshire. With services including social media marketing, content marketing, website design and branding, the team recently acquired Scriba PR to expand their offering. Managing Director Andy McCaul has over 15 year building and growing successful agencies.

Andy McCaul
Q: What's the number one thing that can help strengthen a relationship with a client - generally and from experience?

Building and maintaining strong relationships with clients is the cornerstone of success in any agency. Among the many strategies and practices, one particularly impactful for me – immersing yourself in the client's product and service development process. Drawing from extensive experience, it’s become evident that actively participating in key meetings and events related to a client's offerings is crucial to significantly strengthening the bond between an agency and its clients.

At the heart of this approach lies the belief that an intricate understanding of a client's product or service is the foundation for providing valuable and strategic advice. By actively participating in product and service development meetings, agencies gain insights that go beyond surface-level understanding. This depth of knowledge allows for more nuanced and tailored recommendations, fostering a client relationship based on trust and expertise.

In practical terms, this involvement can take various forms, such as hosting customer journey workshops. This sometimes-day-long session provides a comprehensive understanding of the client's business by mapping out the customer experience, at every touchpoint, from start to finish. A hands-on approach ensures agencies not only grasp the client's offerings but also comprehend the challenges and opportunities embedded in the customer journey.

Additionally, attending product roadmap meetings is crucial for staying up-to-date on the latest insights and innovations within the client's industry. This proactive engagement showcases a commitment to staying informed, as well as positions the agency as a partner genuinely invested in their client's success. Being privy to the future direction of the client's products allows for more accurate and forward-thinking strategic advice.

Taking the immersion to the next level, working from the client's offices proves to be an invaluable experience. Being physically present in the client's environment provides unique insights into their day-to-day operations, culture, and challenges. It facilitates spontaneous interactions and conversations, leading to a deeper understanding of the client's business landscape.

Participating in customer-led events and the client's own events further solidifies the relationship. Witnessing firsthand how clients interact with their customers offers a holistic view of their business dynamics. This exposure allows agencies to align their strategies with the client's goals and values, fostering a collaborative and mutually beneficial partnership.

This immersive approach helps move an agency from being considered a company that simply delivers a service, to a proactive and engaged partner that provides valuable strategic advice. Agencies can only do that if and when they fully understand the client’s business and offerings, and what its customers are looking for. The ultimate goal is to be thought of as a valuable extension of their own team. 

By investing time and effort into being a part of the client's world, agencies can build trust, offer strategic advice, and ultimately contribute to long-term success.