Anti-Agency Agency & Client-Side DNA

Kel Kelly, Kel & Partners' Founder and CEO, spent much of her career as the head of Marketing on the client side. As such, Kel has hired virtually every type and size of agency on the planet - from the smallest boutiques to the biggest full-service agencies, from ad agencies to PR agencies and more. While some of her greatest friendships came out of these relationships, unfortunately, her business experiences were always the same - the agency never really understood what it was like to be the client.

A typical scenario went something like this: The head of Sales misses the revenue number on Monday morning; Monday afternoon, the CFO goes to the budget and sees that Marketing is the biggest line item of discretionary spend and cuts it in half. Tuesday there is a Board of Directors meeting and the CMO needs to explain how he/she is going to achieve the objectives on half the budget. Sound familiar? Instead of rolling their sleeves up and trying to generate out-of-the-box ideas, the agencies would always try to argue why Kel shouldn't cut the budget. They just didn't get it.

So, when Kel turned 40, she decided to build the anti-agency agency. She staffed it with people who actually "got it" and, above all, didn't do the typical agency stuff that drove her insane, like use billable hours, manipulate clients with the "pitch and switch", put junior people on accounts, lock clients into long-term contracts, produce reports rather than results and so on. Kel & Partners has, at its core, employees who have not only walked a mile in the client's shoes, but have run a marathon in the dark and freezing rain while darting across a six lane highway. It's what we proudly term Client-Side DNA, and it's what differentiates us from any other agency on the planet.