Best practice for client/agency relationships: A view from Microsoft

Geoffrey Precourt

Bruno Gralpois, Microsoft director/global agency management, works in a technology-driven environment. And, he told an audience at the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) 2010 Client/Agency Forum, it is technology that has completely restructured the rules of engagement - not just between marketers and their customers but between marketers and their agencies as well.

"The traditional methods of mass production and marketing are obsolete," Gralpois insisted, in a "Harnessing the Madness of Client/Agency Relationships" presentation. But — citing a series of reference points that included pop psychologists, astrophysicists, marriage counselors, and a number of senior-level marketing officers — his vision for the future stepped beyond his despair over the past.

To Gralpois, "strong [client/agency] relationships can increase bottom-line results". And the key to such success, he added, is "harnessing the madness of relationships … The balance of power has shifted from advertisers to consumers. And with that has come a new democratization of marketing."