Whoever the ultimate decision-maker is, they need to be involved fully, from beginning to end.
This will help to get a better end result for two reasons.
First, when it comes to agency selection, it will force agencies to focus their attention on how their work will help tackle the client’s business challenges, not just brand or marketing issues, bringing advertising closer to the needs of the business as a whole.
Second, hands-on CEO or owner involvement helps to remove the dreaded fear of getting it wrong.
This fear is perfectly understandable given increasing expectations and pressures on marketing budgets.
But it can sometimes affect the decision-making of some clients, leading them to play it too safe in how they judge the recommendations and work of their agency.
With the senior client in the room, good honest conversations can be had, and decisions made with confidence and without fear.
More direct, active senior client involvement is one of the simplest routes to increasing your chances of making more successful advertising.
And you need a direct working relationship between the senior client decision-maker and the senior creatives who are hands-on on the business.
No middle men keeping them apart - a direct working relationship where they can talk, discuss make decisions together.
If you look at the best creative work throughout the years, it tends to come from this kind of relationship... Bill Bernbach of DDB and Bob Townsend of Avis, George Lois and Tommy Hilfiger, Lee Clow and Steve Jobs, just to name a few.
It’s not a coincidence you know, this is how great things get done.
But increasingly meetings about advertising are between people who haven't done the work, and people who aren't the actual decision-maker.
Yes, it requires an investment in time from busy and expensive individuals. But it pays back many times over for clients in the quality of advertising they get.
Keep the middle-men and middle management out of the process, you're far more likely to end up with advertising that's much better than middling.