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BizTrends 2018

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Manufacturing Indaba 2018

TLC for love lost between marketers and their agencies

February is not just the month of love, but is also the month of love lost between top brands and the agencies that partner their inspired and hard-driven marketing teams.
And when love is lost, sometimes a love potion is just what the doctor orders. In this case an evaluation love potion, delivered with some tender loving care by an industry expert.

Johanna McDowell
Rather than a mythical object of desire, founder and managing director Johanna McDowell says the IAS has designed and developed just such a potion. And they are re-launching it in its new format.

Some tender loving care

The TLC Programme is an effective and proactive management tool that can diagnose problem areas and put a plan of action in place to fix them. The IAS developed it in an industry that constantly faces the ubiquitous challenge of often trading in creativity and intuition, not easily quantifiable assets.

When both parties have legitimate issues to sort out, when the relationship isn't working as planned, the opportunity to discuss these issues rarely presents itself at a time when both parties are open to finding solutions.

Which is why McDowell recognised all that is often needed is a little tender loving care.

The IAS' TLC Programme helps clients and agencies as an external medium, to evaluate current relationships on a number of different - all critical - factors and levels. These factors are often very obvious ones and overlooked as a result.


"Both agency and client personnel complete a questionnaire and the feedback is analysed and presented to both parties at a joint session" she explains.

Many leave it too late into the business year to address problems, so the sooner clients and agencies apply some TLC to their relationships the better. If used early, it can eliminate future relationship and communication breakdowns, because delivery expectations are already in place and agreed. A relationship audit should be standard practice if clients want to effectively manage and maintain a proactive rapport - that in the end produces quality results.

The reality is that client/agency relationships are constantly being tested - and often fail. Finding out why a relationship is failing is key to not having the same situation happen again with a new agency, but if the problem can be fixed between a current agency/client relationship this is always first prize.

Happy Valentine's Day.