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DBA Members’ Forum | April summary

Our April Members’ Forum was a deeper look into the 2023 What Clients Think report with report author and DBA Expert, Jonathan Kirk. Here’s a summary of the conversation we had.

Data and creativity
43% of marketing directors believe that data & analytics is an area that needs to be improved upon. A lot of clients now are much more taken up with the ‘how’ of marketing – how to connect messages across different channels and how to gain actionable insights from data that will drive customer experiences. The time spent on this shrinks the amount of time spent on the importance of the great creative idea. So how do we combat that and keep the importance of the great idea at the forefront when clients’ time is being squeezed. 
Commercial awareness
The most sought after skill in agencies is creativity aligned with commercial awareness. If agencies asked for more data, focussed specifically around the business challenge you’re being asked to solve, it could help drive more effective design. Whilst at the same time making sure you continue to bring your unique perspective and creativity to the insights. Having enough commercial awareness to put together a strong business case for what you’re recommending, and giving clients enough so that they can argue what you’re recommending internally is key – more relevance, more credibility, and more chance of selling ideas to wider stakeholders.
Risk aversion
82% of clients describe themselves as risk averse. The creative presentation is a nervy thing for them – so how can we help them reduce down that subjectivity. Many agencies don’t do a creative brief to translate the client’s brief into something that can give them something tangible to rationalise the creative work, as well as inspire the creative team. But how do you manage this process, alongside the client, without killing the creative idea?
One direction
63% of clients prefer to be presented with just one creative route rather than the option of three. At the same time, a lot of agencies say they are collaborative, but many still rely on the big reveal of that one idea, which can exacerbate the nerviness explored earlier. So how can we work in a way where we get this balance right – particularly when the other 37% of clients strongly prefer to be presented with options rather than one big idea. It’s about knowing your client and understanding what works in their culture.

Our Members’ Forum takes place on the first Monday of each month, at 4 – 5pm or Tuesday if it is a bank holiday. If you would like to attend, get in touch here

Our next Members’ Forum will be taking place on Tuesday 2 May at 4pm BST.


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