The initiative, led by The Magnus Club, a B2b strategic consultancy for both agencies and clients, and B2B Marketing was born out of discussions with both agency leaders and client side CMO’s on the need to work better together. The resulting best practice recommendations – covering pitching, onboarding and communications – is designed to accelerate growth, effectiveness and ROI in the sector through strengthening the agency/client partnership.
This is the first time the B2B sector has come together to work towards a shared purpose of accelerating growth. Leading agencies Ogilvy, Octopus Group, Omobono, Gilroy and Sojourn Solutions have already signed-up to the code, as well as key client representatives such as Capita, with more expected to follow. Industry networking group, the Business Marketing Club, has also lent its support.
“This is hopefully the beginning of positive change in our industry, there is much more we can do to improve the partnership but it has to start with transparency,” said Teresa Allan, founder of The Magnus Club. “If both clients and agencies agree to work in a certain common framework together, it can only benefit the sector as a whole and drive up standards.”
Antonia Wade, CMO, Capita, said: “As a client we get the best results when we work with agencies as one team. Partnership is about communication, trust and respect – if you have the right chemistry, you are more likely to produce great work. The Code brings these front of mind and leads to positive, conscious behaviours.”
Jon Lonsdale, Octopus Group CEO, said: “This is an important initiative for us to be involved with as an agency. The B2B sector is a major driving force for the economy right now, and anything that improves standards, collaboration and growth has to be welcomed.”
Sam Williams Thomas, Head of Business to Business, Ogilvy: “There has never been a greater need for clients and agencies to communicate better with each other. Budgets, goals and teams are changing weekly and we need to be transparent in theses challenging times.”
Susie Clark, Managing Director, Omobono, said: “Omobono is fully supportive of the B2B Code of Conduct and hopes that it will shine a light on best practice between clients and agencies. We’re excited to work together towards a shared purpose and hope to extend it over time to cover other important areas such as diversity and inclusivity.”
Although the B2B sector appears to be weathering the pandemic better than their B2C counterparts, the marketing heads and agency leaders recognise the importance of working better together with improved communication, transparency and trust.
“Great marketing has always depended on great partnerships, but the blurring of bounderies between clients and agencies makes building partnership on a firm foundation even more critical. This is a great initiative, which will help B2B marketing take another big step forward in terms of its professionalism and sophistication as an industry.” Joel Harrison, Editor in Chief, B2B Marketing.
The Code is a free resource available to everyone to use as a guide to building strong agency/client partnerships and can be found at https://b2bcodeofconduct.com/.