Business Advice: What Clients Look For

HOW editor Bryn Mooth led a panel discussion for AIGA/Orange County’s Ultimate Promo Show. The panel, including design industry veterans Peleg Top, Steven Morris, Petrula Vrontikis, John Travis and Michael Hodgson, shared their advice and expertise on promoting their design businesses.

Among the topics for discussion: What clients really look for when they’re hiring a design agency. Adobe vice president John Travis, who in his role works with numerous high-profile design firms, talked about the most important criteria clients use when they’re considering which agency to hire:

I’m looking for firms and people that I can move beyond a transactional relationship to a partnership with. There are three pieces: I want people who really want to work with me—and I can tell if the agency really cares about my business.

Number two, I’m looking for strategic and creative vision, but I want that to be in the context of my brand. Sometimes I see very talented people putting their mark on various brands vs. using their talent to take that brand somewhere.

Number three, many brand and marketing professionals are under enormous pressure to demonstrate value within the context of business strategy, revenue, growth. It’s my job to help articulate the return. The agency that understands that, that can put their work in that context, is extraordinarily helpful for me.

Video courtesy of AIGA/OC and the Ultimate Promo Show.

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