Splendid Exec on Going Fast, Going Slow, and Setting Clients Straight

Andy Bellass is partner and global creative director for Splendid, a comms firm that started in London, and now has offices in NYC and Sydney. Splendid works with clients like that curious delicacy Marmite, LinkedIn in the U.K., the Sensation events (promo pictured left) that will be coming to Brooklyn’s new Barclays Center, and Smirnoff.

There are about 60 people around the world working for the firm. The programs and events that it organizes are also global in nature, and are meant to be eye-catching. (Glass of Smirnoff Thames water anyone?)

With that, Bellass recently shared with us a few interesting thoughts about working with clients on these sorts of campaigns/stunts, and working with clients in general.

Things go fast. Social media begets instant feedback, which lands in the laps of community managers, who pass the word on to the firm, who come up with ideas and talk about those ideas with clients. After getting the funds and organizing the program, you can have a new and slightly unexpected event ready to go in a relatively short time span.

“It’s all so real-time,” said Bellass.

Things go slow. Just because you have all of this information at your fingertips doesn’t mean you should be jumping onto everything little thing that comes your way. “Big data” was a topic of conversation a couple of times this week. And while data and research is a good thing, perspective is equally valuable.

“The technology is greater than most people’s ability to analyze it properly,” said Bellass. Think big picture rather than skipping directly to “short-term decisions,” he adds.

More than that, turning everything into a piece of data strips away the human-ness of what you’re trying to do. We are people!

Sometimes clients need a good talking to. The customer is always right until they’re not. There are times when communications break down between the agency and the client. Or the client is having some sort of internal issue that’s preventing work from getting done. Or the firm is experiencing a variety of problems with this client, which is robbing the firm’s work of its panache. That’s when you have to have a sit down to talk about which way the relationship is going.

Splendid had to do just that with a client and they ended up getting their collaboration back. And the firm regained the authority of expertise that they were hired for in the first place.

“We got back control,” he says simply.