Agency Forum: 60 Seconds with... Jaguar Land Rover's Nathalie Maddocks

Nathalie Maddocks, senior buyer, events at Jaguar Land Rover talks to C&IT about the challenges of working with agencies and how to develop better relationships with corporate clients.

Jaguar Land Rover's Nathalie Maddocks
Jaguar Land Rover's Nathalie Maddocks

What are the biggest challenges of working with agencies?

A key challenge for me is engagement and communication. I often find myself working with event planners who come up with lots of wonderful ideas, but we just can’t afford them. It doesn’t matter how great they are, they need to stick within budget and be creative with what they do. It can become quite frustrating to get budgets back down. Agencies also shouldn’t be afraid to say no and challenge us as clients. If you have concerns, tell us from the outset so we can actually mitigate problems early on. As a corporate company, we might challenge you on certain things, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be bringing up the issues. We want to hear from you.

What can agencies do to improve their relationships with corporate clients?

A bugbear we have with our current agencies has been resistance to change. There’s been a few legislation changes, for example with TOMS (Tour Operating Margin Scheme). To protect ourselves and agencies we’ve had to put a few processes in place. We ask agencies not to fight us on these. If agencies have feedback, then be pro-active with sharing it rather than just saying no. At the end of the day if you help to build a new process with us that makes the partnership invaluable. If you put up resistance to change then it makes it much harder. Our system might not be perfect but if agencies give constructive feedback rather than digging their heels in, it will make life easier. The other thing I would say is don’t promise what you can’t deliver. In a few instances, agencies have offered production services that make them stand out against competition, that they ultimately then find challenging to deliver. My advice? It’s better not to promise things you can’t guarantee.

Where do you find inspiration for events?

I think we’re really trying to push the limits. With the new Jaguar XF, we wanted to break the world record for driving on a high-wire. Because the industry is continually moving, we always look to push boundaries and go one step further. By breaking records, we can really be the ones to do that. I also think it’s imperative that we keep up with tech trends. We often look to our agencies when it comes to emerging new trends. We do know about some of them but agencies have really got their finger on the pulse when it comes to knowledge. If they introduce a new type of technology to inspire our events, it’s going to give them a cutting edge.

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