”For every client that insists on butterflying their way to the next most attractive flower in the marketing meadow, there is the one that chooses serial monogamy.”

Why Clients leave (and don’t).
Because finding the right agency is a form of professional courtship isn’t it? It needs the right chemistry, the right attention, support, backup and … well it has to click doesn’t it, from both sides..
Tearing themselves from agency to agency every year or five, unsure whether the great results they’re getting are the right great results. “Of course there are the grass-is-greener clients, the not-quite-sures, and so on,” says Frits Hoogsteden.
Effective partnerships are built on trust, which is in turn based on a deep and shared understanding that experience and expertise united and balanced can be priceless. As many companies scramble for quick-fix blasts of online attention, others settle into the long game, with well-paced strategic plans crafting well-placed messages in appropriate channels to identified audiences.

“This is where long-term agency partners come into their own,” writes Frits, “because they have learned first-hand the nuances of needs, the no-nos and must-haves not only of specific clients, but of entire industries, across channels spanning territories. There’s simply no replacement for decades of know-how, honed and seasoned, tried and trusted. This is one of the reasons why so many of our clients have been with us at Dark Grey for so long.”

The taboo of longevity
Isn’t it bad luck to stay with the same agency? What if you miss something shiny and new-media, or a trend suddenly erupts and your agency is looking elsewhere that second? What about big data analytics and NFTs, game theory and topic clusters, SEOs and “stop, no, that’s not helping, this isn’t a teardown of new agencies, nor the technologies that feed the information that help clients know their audiences,” says Frits. “There’s room for all of this, and it’s not a ‘new vs. old’ situation nor has it ever been; our position is more stoic than cynic actually. The joys of free choice mean that clients are free to move to different pastures. It’s just that ours don’t generally do that, and believe me, it’s not because they’re polite.”

(Which of course, they generally are).

You need to speak the same language otherwise what’s the point? You can’t spend the best of yourself on an unexperienced partner and expect fireworks.

Doctors are getting younger
No, you’re getting older, and that’s great, it means your survival instincts are perfectly healthy. But in business, if you’re finding your eyes wandering to a younger model, a fresh agency, then it might be time to look at what you really want from the relationship you’re already in. Maybe it’s about new ideas, you’re looking for something daring in the boardroom, a bit avant-garde, dare we say…. disruptive? “Absolutely nothing wrong with a bit of disruptive action,” says Frits, “as long as you’re dressing for your age, and not trying to be something you’re not: competitive FMCG in a conservative B2B market, for instance. In that case, it might be smarter to save your budget for some eye-catching yet effective sales kits or hard-hitting direct mails to hot leads, instead of fuelling a fantasy of a throwaway viral hit that you can tell the grandkids did nothing but looked great. ‘Know your product’ is what we’re saying, and partner with the people who won’t sell you what you don’t need.”

So what are you selling?
“At Dark Grey Europe? Results, mainly. Plain-old exciting results that shift clients’ bottom line in a predictably upward trajectory, through hard work, great planning and solid team thinking with collaborative brains. It’s not rocket science. Though sometimes it is materials science, chemical / industrial science, additive and paints, heavy equipment, semiconductors … you get the picture (that we get the science)?”

That’s a pretty light-hearted attitude to something as serious as a relationship, no?
“That’s the benefit of being an established figure in this industry, we know how to do what we do well, so we’re kicking back and getting the word out to a select audience to say ‘expect a call from DGE, we’re professional listeners too.

We’ve done our research and it seems there are some heavy hitters out there who may not have given us a chance to impress them.


Let’s Work Together