One of the most important ingredients in an advertising agency’s ability to produce successful work for clients — work that moves brands and creates sales — is a solid relationship between agency and client. It’s an important business relationship based on clear deliverables which goes beyond each party merely liking the other, says Johanna McDowell, CEO of the Independent Agency Search & Selection Company, sponsor of this year’s FM AdFocus Partnership of the Year Award.

“Good relationships are about ensuring all the business principles are in place — that money is wisely spent and strong business metrics are agreed upon by both parties. In a healthy relationship, the agency understands the needs of the client, and is curious enough to ask questions. The better informed the agency is, the better the work it produces will be,” says McDowell, conceding that this is not an easy relationship to build. That said, she believes the alchemy of the relationship is critical...

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