What can clients do to get better creative work? Three tips from Pepsico India chairman D Shivakumar

The IndIAA Awards 2016 jury head stressed on ‘conversations’, ‘time’ and ‘trust’ in client-agency relationships

Sep 19, 2016 04:03:00 AM | Video | Campaign India Team

“The whole relationship between agencies and clients is a complex one, and needs enormous collaboration. It requires mutual trust, mutual respect, mutual ambition of a very high order. Otherwise, we don’t get creative work,” said PepsiCo India chairman and CEO D Shivakumar, delivering his address as jury chairman of the IndIAA Awards 2016 at the gala on 16 September in Mumbai.
Shivakumar was speaking on what clients need to do, to get better creative product from their agency partners.
He pointed to the ‘sledging’ that happens on the and off ‘the pitch’ by clients and agencies, in his presentation (video above) that kept the audience engaged for over 15 minutes, and in splits for the better part of it.
The IndIAA jury chairman pointed to three factors towards the end of his talk, to boost the quality of creative work. 
The speaker rued the lack of conversations between clients and agency partners in the time-rushed world of today. If clients did not have those conversations, he said, they had no right to demand creativity.
He noted that clients needed to make time for their ecosystem and people, which they do not do today. In short term relationships between client and agency, chances of getting good work are remote, and if it happens it might be ‘by chance’, said the marketer turned business head.
“At the heart of why we are not getting creative work, is a lot of people we work with not feeling trusted. If people feel insecure working on the brand, working with us, why will they give their very best? Trust at a very basic level between agency and client means, they are telling you, ‘You will not hurt me when I am vulnerable’. If we can recognise that, I think we will be great clients,” surmised Shivakumar.