Working within a digital agency, nothing is more frustrating than partnering with clients that don’t trust the digital space and therefore don’t trust you. Some don’t devote time to digital and others don’t consider it when budgeting.

Most of my colleagues working in this side of the industry are passionate about digital strategy and innovative ideas, we spend our nights thinking about how clients might take advantage of affiliate programs or content syndication… but all this falls on deaf ears. It’s been one of those weeks.

In my mind, there are three types of client, those that:

  1. have digital knowledge, and trust you to deliver
  2. have little knowledge, but trust you to deliver
  3. no knowledge and little trust

I enjoy working with clients from camps 1 or 2. However, those that are still on the wrong side of the digital divide are simply frustrating. You can see a bright digital future for them, but their minute budget and cloistered thinking leave you hunting for scraps of strategic gains. In the end, it’s just not worth it.

I know I am complaining and I guess some of you are thinking “so don’t work with them!”, “move on”. Well, we’re trying, however it seems the majority of clients in this immature Australian market are still afraid to invest. Such a lost opportunity to own their industry space, take the lead and leap forward.

One solution is to educate your client, a fine thought. We are planning on running sessions to better inform our clients, however there are just some clients that don’t get it and are too scared to shift budget from their safe and cosy print marketing or TVCs to digital. Guiding them is encouraging at first, but they soon turn back to the warmth of their familiar media spend.

For some clients an epiphany can occur when they observe online audience members spending time with their brand and enjoying it. Perhaps we need to trap more CEOs with their frontline audience members and not allow them to leave the boardroom until they get the message. Digital is consumer-centric. Learn it, love it and reap the rewards.

What will the future look like?

There is obviously a shift occurring. Both with clients and agencies. The successful groups will allow digital to guide their business and trust that the investment will provide gains in profit and market share. Digital is central, so if you’re not already, get on board.

Tip for the week

Things for Mac. It’s a beautiful to do list manager for those of the Apple persuasion. Split your list into logical categories, tag items with your own semantics and focus them into Today or Next. An item for Today? Move some budget over to digital… and I’m not talking banners! But seriously, Things is a highly rated to-do list tool among mac apps. Check it out and start getting things done.