3 mins read

Redefining the client-agency relationship: true partnership

Sales & Marketing
Commercial Director
Sales & Marketing

Commercial Director

Traditionally, initial discovery focuses on understanding business challenges.

It’s time agencies evolve beyond this.

Clients should demand the "so what" element that delivers valuable strategies before moving into execution. At Rawnet, we dive into your business, integrate diagnostics into every conversation, and provide digital roadmaps that help you achieve your business objectives. 

In today's fast-paced world, businesses constantly seek growth opportunities and solutions to their challenges. Many have experienced the frustration of receiving surface-level insights or mere affirmations when working with agencies in traditional discovery phases. But that is not enough.

Gyles Marshall, Commercial Director at Rawnet, delves into the significance of the discovery stage, its transformational potential, and the imperative for clients to seek more from this crucial initial partnership stage.

Discovery: More Than a Mirror

Traditionally, the discovery process has centred around understanding a client's challenges, gaining insights, and pinpointing opportunities. But this standard approach merely scratches the surface and is sometimes used as a research phase for the agency. Discovery should be a dynamic, collaborative process that leverages the expertise of agency professionals to validate a strategic path forward, ensuring a positive, long-term impact. It's about more than just reflecting on current strategies, ideal customer profiles, or preconceived notions. The real value lies in crafting a comprehensive strategic plan that produces tangible outputs driving lasting change.

The Missing "So What"

A common frustration among clients has been playback sessions that offer little beyond a recap of their business model, audience understanding, and analysis. However, the pivotal question remains unanswered: "Where is the 'so what'?" Clients deserve actionable strategies that provide direction and substance, propelling their businesses forward. This underscores the need to redefine the discovery process, prioritising the delivery of valuable strategies before diving into execution, whether it's through UX design or product development.

The Price of Discovery

Whether agencies should charge for discovery is a common dilemma, contingent on the level of involvement and value added. At Rawnet, discovery is at the heart of every conversation long before the sale. Insights beyond clients' initial requests are offered by diagnosing their problems and understanding their needs. Sometimes, we have option 1, what the client thought they needed, and option 2, what they need. Compensation for discovery is warranted when it evolves into rigorous research that translates into a tangible strategy—a coveted "so what" element clients yearn for.

A Different Approach

Rawnet has embraced a transformative approach to discovery that extends from the first conversation with a prospective client. Yet, this process doesn't remain static; it evolves with the partnership and once the partnership is formed, it transcends individual skill sets. The team of Product Strategists, Brand Strategists, UX Designers and Data Analysts collaboratively works to identify the client's genuine requirements and translate those insights into strategies that align with their business objectives. The occurrence of a pivotal Discovery milestone or formulation of a comprehensive strategic plan and roadmap hinges upon the project's unique context. Sometimes, Rawnet gathers substantial information before a sale is finalised, while in other instances, when a solution is glaringly evident, the focus shifts towards rigorous testing, validation, and precise execution.

Demand more for the Long-Term Benefits

Clients can unlock the long-term benefits of valuable strategies by demanding more agility and depth in the early stages of the project process. Investing in a comprehensive strategic phase pays off through increased profitability, sustained customer engagement, and overall business growth. The foundation of understanding client goals, identifying opportunities, and proposing innovative solutions proves instrumental in shaping the project's trajectory and success.

Conclusion: Embracing the Power of Discovery

Discovery should be more than just a superficial exercise that merely scratches the surface of a client's needs. It should be an enlightening journey that unearths profound insights, challenges assumptions and develops valuable strategies. Clients should expect agencies to offer more options and strategies and never just hold up a mirror; they should demand the "so what" element that drives lasting positive impact. So, let's venture beyond the ordinary and embrace the power of discovery to provoke meaningful change and propel businesses forward.

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