The UK’s IPA agency trade body has produced a new manifesto for client/agency relationships: S.O.U.L, standing for Shared goals and ambitions, Organisation (client and agency teams), Understanding and Learning (striving for best practice.)
“Nourishing the S.O.U.L. is key for agencies and clients to achieve mutually sustainable commercial relationships,” says the IPA.
The research for what the IPA calls a white paper (ie a policy document) was carried out by Only Dead Fish’s Neil Perkin (possibly not the happiest nominative determinism.) It’s based on in-depth interviews with stakeholder groups including clients, agencies, industry research organisations and academics.
The recommendations cover mutuality, how to engender trust, collaboration and safety and how to create longevity and ‘anti-fragile’ relationships.
IPA commercial leadership group chair and OMD COO Christian Byron says: “There are a number of challenges affecting our ability to develop relationships that are mutually beneficial – from rapid changes and economic uncertainty at the national and global level; to the challenges within our own industry, including reduced CMO tenure, increased accountability pressures and the status of marketing itself.
“To navigate these challenges alone is hard, and with a recession threatening, the need to unite and become partners for growth is urgent and imperative. Which is why these in-depth findings are so helpful. I have no doubt that companies that instil and nourish these building blocks – which the paper explains combine to be greater than the sum of their parts – will emerge stronger, healthier and more commercially successful.”