Monday, Sep 24 2007
My Top 5 short-list of what a client can bring to the table to strengthen the agency relationship (in no particular order):
- Business Goals. When we present work to a client it is with the careful forethought and intention of improving the client’s business and providing solutions to business dilemmas. Having a discussion about where the business is and the goals of that business is just as important as understanding the marketing strategy for the targeted audience.
- Understanding the Space. We’re not asking you to be digital experts. That’s what we do. But doing a bit of research into the interactive space and trying to understand how it relates to your customers is important for you as a marketing manager in this climate. It is no longer the case when the web doesn’t touch some part of your business.
- Honest Feedback. I have been in client presentations where we were sent out of the room while the client could deliberate amongst themselves. I’d prefer to be in the room and hear the thought process. We need to hear whether we have met the challenge or not. Sure, there are many times we hit it out of the ballpark, but there are also those times when we like to hear the insights—even if you’re thinking out loud. We can handle it, really.
- Accommodation for Approvals. So many times an agency is handed work and asked to turn it around quickly. We accommodate your needs by staffing for these occasions. If you are concerned about meeting deadlines, then you will need to do your part as well. If it takes longer for internal approvals, and those were not planned for, then the deadline can get pushed. The realization, and accommodation for that time, is really helpful for us to meet your goals.
- Realistic Budgeting. Ah. The dreaded “B” word. But if you’re going to be competitive in the digital landscape then you have to pay for it. Digital is not free. The cool stuff that is interactive and engaging does cost money. Programs like viral marketing are not about just creating a cool game and sending it out to friends—it is about seeding and search, not to mention the software and programming that goes into making that cool game. Have an honest conversation with your account manager about what you are trying to accomplish and what it might cost, and you won’t have a case of sticker shock.