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Even the best agencies don’t do their best work for every client. This can have as much to do with the marketer’s skill as a client as it does the creative talent at the agency. There tends to be very little focus on the interpersonal relationships, communication, listening, and other “soft” skills that are required for marketers to be strong leaders of the creative development process, even in companies with robust marketing training curriculums. Marketing leaders often find themselves responsible for leading a creative partner, but without the skills to do it well.

The result is less than optimal creative work, process churn (which puts pressure on agency fees), tension in the agency/client relationship (because marketers aren’t getting the kind of work they expect), and most importantly, suboptimal business results (because the work isn’t working).