Marketing agencies provide direction and support for their clients. Ultimately, we want to have honest, fun, productive, and long-standing partnerships that are mutually beneficial.
Recently I wrote a blog post on what clients should expect from their marketing agency. As a follow-up to this post, we wanted to share some expectations that we have for our clients as their marketing agency.
1. Allow us to be the marketing experts.
Clients hire us for a reason: to provide support, strategy, execution, and measurement to help market their businesses. Just as you are an expert who knows your field, your business, and your customers, we’re marketing experts who want to leverage your knowledge to move your brand and company forward. If you read an article about a new marketing fad or trend and it sparks an idea, share it with us! If we’ve tried it before, we can share past results, articles, and case studies that are related. Maybe your idea is a totally new approach. We can help guide the plan to ensure it’s executed as effectively as possible.
2. Trust the process.
In most cases, we have helped other clients execute exactly what you’ve hired us to do for your business. We utilize both agile and Lean Six Sigma methodologies to regularly review our processes, find ways to be more efficient, identify what went well and what didn’t, and make adjustments accordingly. You might be wondering why we require discovery for all our projects. When we skip this important step, we end up spending more time (your time) making adjustments to our work because we weren’t fully immersed in your business. Ultimately, we need to understand your current state and desired future state. We also need to know we’re all on the same page on how we get there.
3. Consider us an extension of your team.
We always start every client project with a partnership mentality, rather than treating it like a one-off or random task that needs to be completed. We want to be good stewards of your brand, your time, and your budget. Treat us as your marketing team or at least a focused extension of your in-house marketing team. As a team member, include us in discussions and decisions. Be open to our ideas and welcome appropriate push-back on plans we feel might not be in your company’s best interests.
Keep us posted on company updates, developments, and especially any changes that might impact what we are doing. If at any point you change your mind or have a side discussion that makes you question a previous decision, please alert us immediately. Before the next meeting, communicate the update via email, phone, or text, and we’ll share with our team. Communication doesn’t end with us—you may also need to communicate with colleagues, partners, or other internal stakeholders outside of our scheduled meetings to review, provide feedback, or make decisions. This will allow us to move forward on your behalf.
5. Follow through with your commitments.
Whether it’s a contractual commitment, on-time payment of your invoices, or completion of tasks prior to our next meeting, we need your follow-through to execute your project effectively (on time and on a budget). For example, delays in reviewing content can create a bottleneck that creates after-hours work for your team and ours. While we all know and understand this is part of agency life, we build our timelines based on working hours and days. If you can spend an extra hour in your day completing a review on time, you may save others from working through their evenings or weekends to accommodate the delay. We truly appreciate it!
6. Understand scope changes occur (and impact cost and timelines).
Stuff happens. The original request might need to change or adapt. Maybe this is the result of a new administrative requirement, a new deliverable request, or a reduction or increase in work being requested. Typically these changes require rework (making changes to already completed work), development of new materials, or extra effort from our team to plan, execute, and measure. There may be additional work that needs to be completed, which will impact budgets and timelines. You should also keep in mind that reducing scope after work has already begun may not always generate significant cost savings.
7. Consider the variables.
There are a number of variables we can’t control. That’s why we can never guarantee specific results. We can’t control the weather, current events, politics, the economy, or other items that may detract from your marketing event or campaign. However, we do our best to mitigate these risks and build contingency plans with alternate recommendations for our projects. If the final plan doesn’t perform as well as you (or we) hoped, it can be a learning opportunity. We always consider how internal and external variables may have contributed to the results. When we provide recommendations, suggested approaches, and even tactical plans, we are sharing what we believe will be the best formula for success.
These plans and recommendations are based on your current state, desired goals, and our past experience executing similar marketing efforts, including A/B testing within previous campaigns. You might choose to not follow our guidance and go in an alternate direction. We’ll share our thoughts, but ultimately, the decision is yours to make. If you choose to action something differently than discussed, change the language, or venture outside your established branding, it can have a negative impact on your results. It’s similar to following a recipe when baking a cake—if you change an ingredient, the oven temperature, or the baking time, you may end up with a cake that doesn’t taste as great.
The bottom line: We want to see your business succeed.
While success doesn’t happen overnight, you should expect to see measurable progress throughout our partnership. As your agency, we will bring our skills, knowledge, and best practices to the table. In return, we ask that you:
- Look to us as the marketing experts and trust the process
- Treat us as an extension of your team and include us in communication updates
- Understand that changes you request may impact timelines and budgets
- Remember that many variables can impact our success together, and we’ll do our best to guide you down the best path
Do these requests seem reasonable? If so, we’d love to talk about how we can partner to help move your brand forward. Reach out and let’s chat!