Why we all benefit from strong agency partnerships.

man standing infront of group of people


Over the course of my twenty-five year career, I’ve had the opportunity to work across a broad set of marketing organizations, on both the agency and client side. Throughout this journey, I’ve been fortunate to witness a wide spectrum of relationships take shape. While I’ve come across some terrible relationships,

I’ve also had the privilege of witnessing partnerships that have produced remarkable results: securing tens of millions of dollars in revenue, igniting positive social transformations, and forging meaningful connections between individuals and services that make their lives better.

To be honest, though, it’s the horrible relationships that have given me all of this gray hair.

In my experience in the agency realm, unfortunate relationships show up as clients making unrealistic demands, often accompanied by heated interactions, insisting that our team “doesn’t get” their vision or can’t fulfill our responsibilities. Similarly, as an agency client, suboptimal relationships look like our team falling short of our objectives, reporting disappointments to executives with a sense of regret, and incurring substantial costs without achieving commensurate results. In these scenarios

I am reminded of the importance of creating productive partnerships that produce mutually beneficial outcomes, where open communication and shared goals thrive.

I’m writing this series of articles (dubbed, “The Partnership Payoff”) to provide valuable insights that can help agencies and client teams build stronger relationships. My genuine optimism stems from the belief that by considering the concepts I’m about to present and by implementing them in your agency relationships, you will witness notable improvements in results, experience enhanced camaraderie within your team, and ultimately find a renewed sense of enjoyment in your work.

As you dig into this series of articles, I’m going to offer you guidance aimed at helping you to navigate the path towards more fulfilling and fruitful collaborations between your team and your agencies.

  • Why should you spend 30 minutes reading this?
  • Why do I need an agency in the first place?
  • When should I issue an RFP?
  • What to prioritize when selecting an agency?
  • How do I set good expectations for my agency and my team?
  • How do I set and check in on objectives?
  • How do I have hard conversations when things go sideways?
  • When (and how) do I say goodbye?

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