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The first 100 days matters

The first 100 days matters
Anna Stone, New Business Manager at 23red, reports back on findings from the IPA's recent ADAPTATHON.

An excellent panel treated us to some insights into quite diverse relationships in ADAPTlab 1, which was all about '‘starting as we mean to go on".

Eurostar and AMV BBDO talked candidly about the pitch process and beyond, what to do when the key client leaves, and how an agency’s role does and should develop through stages which may include internal comms, restructuring advice and sometimes doing some advertising.

Kopperberg and 18 Feet & Rising talked about the importance of having a client advocate who can help sell in the agency and recognising those individuals as much as those who choose the agency.

Grey then summarised and inspired our discussions with a suggestion from Linford Christie, that you never aim for 100m, you always aim for 110m, and a pitch isn’t over until the first work goes out. He also talked about the importance of asking why you won a pitch and not just why you lost, and suggested the first 100 days of a relationship should be seen as an opportunity for preparing the ground for when it does all go wrong in the future.

Smaller group sessions saw agencies, clients and intermediaries come together and talk in a way I’ve never seen: openly, fairly, with time to talk and with no hidden agendas.

Within our group the focus was on working practices and how the granular elements contribute to a better client agency relationship moving forwards.

Through a maze of individually fantastic ideas, from getting the whole agency and client team together to do ice breakers over dinner to get to know each other, to clients inviting agencies to critique existing working practices (and vice versa), our conclusion was that the first 100 days of a relationship has to be treated differently.

Whether it’s through a relationship contract, a philosophy for working together, a 100 day plan; we have to realise that the first 100 days is different.

It’s different in terms of the work we do, the resource we need, the requirements of agency and client for information and shared time, and it’s different for every client agency relationship.

The only thing more important than what was discussed and the barriers that were broken down today is that people go away and do something about it. What will you do?

Find out more about the ADAPT programme.

Photo credit: Ryan Christopher VanWilliams/Flickr

Last updated 12/10/2013

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