Limit collaboration to once a day, new study suggests

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Islip: ‘Lack of clarity of expectations’
Islip: ‘Lack of clarity of expectations’

Collaborative interactions between agencies and their clients should not happen more than once a day, new research has found.

When collaboration takes place multiple times a day, agencies feel that the quality of their work for the client decreases, according to a study by the Marketing Agencies Association, DigitasLBi, the University of Cambridge, Dotworks and the UCL School of Management.

The survey of 1,795 employees from DigitasLBi, HeyHuman, Six and Wasserman found that the sweet spot where collaboration is most effective is between "multiple times a month" and "multiple times a week."

It also revealed that embedding an agency team in a client’s office may not equate to more interaction. Respondents felt that they talked to clients less when they were in the client’s office compared with when the clients were in the agency’s office.

Michael Islip, chief executive of DigitasLBi UK, said: "We embarked on this after an internal study found that senior clients seemed to really like high levels of collaboration, but more junior members on the client side found it hard and time-consuming."

Islip believes agencies must be clear with clients about the level of collaboration expected. He said: "At the heart of every disconnect in this study is a lack of clarity of expectations."