Chasing the fame

People often ask me why I believe we continue to be seen as the leaders in our market and, consequently, successful. I always answer that I believe it’s because we have an embedded client-first culture, at all levels, which revolves around a set of principles and strategies that create trust and respect.

The world of marketing and communications has changed so much in the past two decades. The days of traditional big-budget TV ads, standout double-page print spreads and posters are long gone, replaced with a multitude of channels, numerous ways to reach target audiences, hugely changed preferences on how content and brands are consumed and new ways to analyse data and measure impact.

However, the PR industry, while it’s tackled many of these changes, still grapples with a problem: selling an existing skillset rather than building skills to meet their clients’ needs. Many agencies still have one or two specialisms and, regardless of what client brief comes in the door, those specialisms are the only solution.

That’s where we, as an independent agency and leader in our sector, have sought to turn the age-old issue on its head. Founded over 25 years ago with an individualist approach and a different mindset, davies tanner has moved away from the agency-first model, with a deep-seated belief that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for a client; it’s about starting with the strategy and working out what brands need.

Why would this matter to brands? Well, unlike the larger network agencies, we are one single entity, rather than several competing propositions. With only one profit and loss statement, there isn’t an internal battle to capture business, and customers are offered the right solution to their challenge, saving them time, money, and potential headaches in the process. Not to mention significantly enhanced impact, accountability, and measurement.

We believe this gives our clients better results. Our only interest is delivering on your objectives – plain and simple. We adapt to you, and we build something personalised for you, and that’s the real difference.

Most agencies won’t talk too broadly about their talent, but marketing communications is a relationship-led business and relies on having the best creative, strategic and client focussed people.

When looking for a true partner, brands and companies should look for agencies that have the right blend of people who are motivated to deliver, can work cross-discipline and are adaptable. Plus, it should be clear that they are part of a team that collaborates at a greater level, from which they can collectively add value.

We’re incredibly proud that our people have, on average, been with us for at least twice the industry average. Having often nurtured them from the early stages of their real and honest relationships with our clients.

The simple fact is, that it’s about delivering long-term for our clients. The most beneficial relationships have always been built on the foundations of mutual trust, respect, and a shared focus around a common goal that only a partnership of many years creates.

So, what should you look for in your next agency partner, or when you are refreshing your communications strategy? Well, it’s certainly not about agencies that chase the fame. Ask your prospective agencies not about their awards and accolades, but about how long they’ve worked with their clients. Ask them not just for creative ideas but what impact they’ve had on their clients’ financial performance, their visibility, their sales or their brand and market reputation.

Agencies need to be relentlessly interested and proactive in their approach to helping clients build better businesses. If they are not side-by-side with their clients and invested in them, those brands in turn will not be invested in the agency.

So, if you are you looking for a fresh approach from a communications agency, and a strategic partner that can take you where you want to go, then we’d love to talk to you.

Sue O’Gorman is Marketing and Brand Director at davies tanner, the leading global communications agency for business events and travel sector.

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