In this guest post, Celia Wallace (lead image), partner at creative agency Today The Brave, talks the value of agencies and their people seriously immersing themselves in a client’s business…
Earlier this month, the Today the Brave team spent time in Broome, WA with our clients True North, the team behind one of Australia’s leading adventure travel companies. Rich in culture and history, True North’s Founder Craig Howson first launched adventure cruises along Western Australia’s Kimberley coast in 1987, earning a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2016 for his services to tourism in the state. Driven by his focus on giving guests greater opportunity to experience the destination, Craig and his team have been doing just that for over thirty years.
A business as unique as True North called for a slightly different approach to onboarding, with the usual cadence of signing clients usually involving a series of in-person meetings or video calls, ensuring everyone is on the same page with the same goals and objectives.
With True North, our onboarding looked somewhat different. By fully embedding ourselves in the culture, team and experiencing the product for ourselves, we’ve (hopefully) set ourselves up for success. By spending time with not only the sales & marketing teams, but also the deckies who are the ones out at sea giving their guests the time of their lives, we were able to understand their day-to-day lives and pressure points that will ultimately give us insight into their business and help drive long-term success.
My advertising and management consulting career has enabled me to work with some of the biggest and brightest minds in the business. It’s only since we founded Today the Brave in 2022 that I’ve truly ramped up the art of immersion. Aside from our recent jaunt in Broome, immersion has included a deep dive into the University of Sydney through mentoring budding entrepreneurs in their newest venture start ups and helping them commercialise their ideas.
Amid one of the most challenging environments we’ve faced in our industry, getting closer and forging relationships with clients, understanding their business and problems they’re facing will set agency teams in good stead to support them when it matters most. For agencies looking to deepen existing and future relationships, here are the five biggest advantages of taking a deeper plunge into your clients’ businesses:
#1 Intelligent Empathy
In our information and data-saturated world, we easily fall victim to becoming disconnected from authentic human connections with our clients. Once we consciously nurture open lines of conversation and engagement with not only our immediate teams, but broader and front-line employees, we’re better able to gain a comprehensive understanding of the impact made by each individual in the broader business operations.
#2 Demonstrable credibility
By immersing yourself in the perspective of your clients and gaining an understanding of how their front-line operates, you will naturally enhance the value of the output. Engaging over Zoom is one thing, but truly experiencing what your client partners offer is completely different. Embracing the brand and hearing from the people behind it signifies your unwavering commitment to fully embodying the business and refusing to accept generalisations.
#3 Competitive edge
By deepening connections with clients and their businesses, you will be best placed to elevate strategic decisions regarding resource allocation in terms of where, when, and how to invest. By embracing a considered approach in terms of consistently embedding yourself in the internal culture of clients will not only yield significant benefits to your agency culture, but also directly translates into improved output.
#4 Elevated trust
By integrating deeper, meaningful engagement into your plans, you will organically generate increased trust throughout from top to bottom. Essentially, immersing yourself into your clients culture will lead to a more intimate way of doing business, rather than adopting a more formal or basic approach.
#5 Thought leadership
Experience leads to great insights. Consistently focusing on the relationship between small everyday factors including, business operations, employee feedback and so on will almost always lead to new evolved perspectives and insights. The communication of these insights wienables businesses to better engage in the conversations that resonate with entire industries and not just clients