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5 types of clients you might have met this year

It’s the end of the year and before many of us run off for our next holiday, we on the Marketing and A+M team decided to reflect back with our friends in the industry on what some of fun/hilarious/outrageous moments of the year has been for them personally.

The numerous conversations we had led us to identify the different quirky profiles of marketers out there. And while we know you love your clients/agencies, we have compiled a list of the types of clients you might meet in your years in this field.

Here’s a list.

The BFF

The success of an agency relies heavily on the chemistry between client and marketer. We know a great relationship is built over years of honesty and success. But sometimes, that line can get a little blurred.

“After getting jilted by her fiancé, I became a punching bag for a client,  since we were good friends. But at one point, she threatened to move her business elsewhere if I too, ‘walked out on her!’ And so the punches continued for half a year… today I’m still her BFF and she’s still single,” said one agency lead.

Boundaries people, boundaries.

The dreamer

Marketers thrive in the grey. They are dreamers by nature and often find inspiration or creativity where others fail to look. During an interview done with Unilever Singapore’s marketer, Gale Choong, she said, “Us marketers, we love the grey areas and often attack the grey. We thrive in the grey.”

But of course, that one foot on the ground is also necessary. Agency folks are busy, so when you ask them for a plan, make sure its viable.  One agency lead told us, he once was told by a marketer that “the plan that he creates, “doesn’t have to be real or relevant, as long as it has the deliverables.”

Maybe we all need a reality check?

The overzealous (!!!)

We are all time starved in this industry (and lets admit it, we live for the rush and the adrenaline). But agencies are often juggling numerous tasks at one single point of time.

One agency lead told us of an outrageous pitch process he came across this year. He said:

“I was ‘requested’ to come up with a client’s entire next year marketing plan to be presented the very next day to their management team. We had to work on not just design and layout but also the content based on a very loose email “brief.” The deadline was less than 24 hours for a 60 slide decks, while the client was on holiday!”

Another told us, “A client started briefing on Friday evening at 6 pm and concluded briefing at 8 pm.  Then, on 10 am Monday, the same client called and asked if the full strategic business plan was ready to be submitted.”

And if you think getting that coveted account means you can let out a sigh of relief, think again. One agency executive told us that he was asked to “get the work done as if [his] life depends on it!”- and this was from a client and not even his own boss.

Another horror story was when a client kept calling constantly.

“One client kept calling and calling, until I picked up the phone. Then she started screaming ‘I expect people who service my account be contactable at all times’.”

Maybe its time we set a new New Year’s resolution?

The controlling client-zilla

Many a times, ex-agency folks make the absolute best clients. Simply because, they are clear, ahead of the game and actually understand the agency culture.

But sometimes, these same reasons can make ex-agency folks the worst clients. Especially if they have a vendetta.

We once came across a post from an agency friend who said, “The word clients can sometimes be the colleagues we work with.” True, we say. When asked what were some of such instances of “horror clients,” one agency lead said his client demanded to interview the team lead who will be working on the account, before [the agency] could hire them.

Another also said, “Before you replace anyone working on my account, I have to be one who say yes or no.”

Learn to let go folks!

The flippant

Decisions can be hard. Especially if you don’t know what you want!

We’ve all come across this client. You know, the one who loves all your ideas and approves all of it. Only to want to change it completely 2 hours later?

“One client told us he wanted to change the script…after the agency had shot the approved script, and presented the first offline cut,” said one agency friend to us.

Guys, we know you want the best. We applaud you for it. But there has got to be a balance. Changing everything, after it has been conceptualised is not fair on anyone working on the account. If you have to say no, do so early.

Have your own definitions of clients? Share them with us at venush@marketing-interactive.com or rezwanam@marketing-interactive.com

P.S- We know there are tons of marketers who might not fit these profiles and, we salute you.

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