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Mark,

You hit the core issues here - we do have just one budget and one shot these days. Which makes the risk taking less appetizing. Yet, we live in a sea of sameness and creative thinking is needed. It's a catch-22 (think about the brand equity in that term!) we want proof of something that may not have been proven, yet.

One of the issues in the client/agency relationship is definitely trust - the client has the budget and can only spend it once. Typically they will have a number of different agencies for different jobs all saying they can maximise that budget to deliver good returns.

It's a brave client that backs a single big idea which may be un-proven and so instead they hedge their bets, but a little money with everyone and get mediocre results.

Agencies can sell the big idea but they really have to sell it - prove that if this was their money they would still do it - build trust - and as Michael Gass alluded to above - walk the walk.

@Michael - some companies want leadership, many want execution, most don't want partnership. That is my experience. I agree that many agencies are way behind when it comes to experiencing the new realities of business. Again, I do not focus on tools, but what happens to businesses as a result of the conversation. I find it interesting -and somewhat funny - that agencies are packaging what we who have been participating know well. Missing the "so what?" part, still, in that it's not about channels at all...

@Craig - clarity of vision, intention and purpose have everything to do with it - and staying the course directionally. While changes occur, one needs to evolve and not just pull stuff because it did not work once. That is all the rage in marketing. Also, I see a lot of effort being put into executing things exactly how they should work, except for customers and consumers are now made of Teflon if there isn't an existing, relevant, relationship.

@Cory - trust is a small, big word these days. Everyone wants it, no one wants to earn it :) You got the current deal precisely in not so many words.

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