Building client empathy into a marketing agency’s everyday

How do you advise existing clients to buy into the new?

What we did

Gave client-facing staff a 3-step approach to put themselves in clients’ shoes and find a role in their world.
Retraced OMD clients’ buying journeys to highlight the biggest pain points.
Used tried-and-tested tools and techniques from ethnographers and design thinkers.


Clients retained: 5 client accounts moved out of a ‘defend’ status
Organic growth: 3 new products were co-created with clients and sold
More efficiency: The data and analytics team reported faster sales cycles


OMD is one of the largest marketing services companies in the world, providing brand and advertising services and advice to over 5,000 clients in over 100 countries, and spending billions of dollars on behalf of their clients

In 2019, they wanted to build more empathy into their engagement with clients to further underpin their brand promise to make "Better decisions, faster" on behalf of clients.


Through a tailored Client-Centred Thinking workshop, we taught OMD’s client-facing teams a framework for consultative sales discussions that put the client’s interests first. This would allow them to advise clients on increasingly diverse products and services to help them grow their business and brands.

Overall, the True and North workshop helped reinforce our empathy-based approach and enabled our teams to have more productive conversations with our clients based on a greater level of understanding of their business. This ultimately resulted in the positioning of our products in new ways that unlocked growth for both our clients and OMD UK.

Jessica Roberts

Chief Agency Development Officer, OMD UK
We now have fewer client meetings, and the ones we have are faster and more efficient. In the past it would have taken 3 or 4 of softly, softly meetings.
Now in one meeting we get all the information we need, give the client options and co-create a scope of work.

Jody Saunders

Head of Data and Technology, OMD UK

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