How many clients do you have? What does your average contract look like? What’s your biggest account? When talking shop, agencies love to ask questions like these, to gauge the success of their business. Nothing sparks pride quite like saying “we’ve got 50 accounts” or “our average annual contract is $800,000,” or name-dropping a Fortune 100 company—especially when your answer is more impressive than the competition.
At JXM, we break out a different yardstick to measure our efforts. Don’t get us wrong: we can brag with the best of them! That said, the questions we ask our peers (and ourselves) reflect a different way of defining success. What’s your five-year client retention rate? How many of your accounts consistently increase their annual ad spend budget? What percentage of your clients are referred?
To us, success isn’t quantified through contracts; it’s qualified in results. We’re all about looking past the bottom line, to the importance of positive collaboration. At JXM, we cultivate relationships that really and truly become partnerships, and we value these partnerships beyond the surface veneer of bragging rights.
Navigating failures with integrity
No agency is eager to brag about its setbacks or shortcomings. Instead, we often hear about triumphs and successes, each greater than the last! But no agency is faultless—so why hide failures or work so hard to cover up mistakes? Why not embrace them, and use them as examples to reinforce successes?
Every partner at JXM has a single shared axiom: learning from our mistakes. It’s not what you do that matters: it’s what you choose to do about what you did that makes all the difference. Don’t sweep the mistake under the rug: own it. Do a postmortem and figure out what the heck happened—where your assumption went wrong or where you made a mistake. Learn what not to do, so you don’t do it again!
At JXM, we share failures with our clients and show them exactly how we can turn them into growth opportunities. We don’t pretend to be infallible; instead, we let our clients know we’re accountable.
Delivering individualized results
One of the reasons JXM isn’t shy about embracing our failures is because they often come in pursuit of truly exceptional goals. Every client is unique, and we believe that demands a turnkey advertising strategy. To deliver exceptional, individualized results, you need to walk the walk—not just plug-and-play a generic strategy.
A lot of service businesses brag about their results in a generalized sort of way, but true partnerships are forged through empathy and understanding. Results at JXM vary across client accounts, since each individual account gets a highly customized strategy based on their unique goals. Oftentimes, so much to the point that it’s hard to even explain to prospects or new clients!
Ultimately, our clients aren’t used to the level of detail that goes into a JXM strategy, but they come to appreciate it when they see contextualized results. No matter how nuanced their benchmarks for success, we take the time to ensure they’re met.
Build on mutual respect
Agencies aren’t wrong for bragging about their number of accounts or contract sizes—these are deeply ingrained in the fundamental nature of the business. That said, these figures are wholly transactional and highly dependent on the relationship with each client. Case in point, you might sign a $1.5 million account, but if they don’t feel valued or understand the methodologies being deployed on their behalf, the odds of retaining them are low.
JXM insists on transcending the transactional. We respect our clients’ time and talent, and we expect they’ll respect ours. There’s give and take that goes beyond paying for and delivering services. It involves taking the time to explain what we’re doing, how we’re doing it and why we’re taking that approach. It’s about listening to our clients’ concerns, validating their contributions and incorporating their specifications. There are two equal participants, because partnerships are about mutual respect.
Building equitable relationships
There’s a sense of fulfillment that comes from building relationships over chasing contracts. You’re putting in the effort to create something that’s equitable and fruitful for both sides. This folds into our philosophy of not selling—rather, we offer solutions. When you’re focused on solving problems, you’re also taking steps to cultivate a relationship. There’s a realness in it, and a reason for clients to stick around.
At JXM, our longest client relationship is more than a decade in the making. It’s an honor to work for a client we also consider a friend, someone we’re on an adventure with: solving problems and growing together. We’ve got other clients that are just a year or two old, but we’ve already got our eyes set on that 10-year anniversary (it’s tin/aluminum, by the way).
If you’re looking to go steady with an agency that sees you for who you are, beyond the value of your contract, reach out to JXM. We’d love to get to know you and build a future of marketing success, together.