We love when clients call us right after they register their businesses because it gives us a chance to get them started on the right foot. When it comes to marketing and advertising a new business, those early decisions can make or break a company.
If you’re an agency with a new business for a client or a new business looking to hire an advertising or marketing agency to help you grow, it’s good for both of you (AS A TEAM) to be able to check all these boxes.
It’s crucial that the process begins with a clear vision of the company, brand or product and its goals. These things are going to set the foundation for any marketing, advertising or branding strategy and deliverable.
If you don’t have a solid grasp on this foundation as the client, it’s pretty safe to say the agency team won’t either. Lack of a clear vision can delay timelines, rack up costs and introduce confusion to the campaign (strategy, concept, design, media, photography, copy, etc.). If there’s one thing a marketing or advertising campaign should not have, it’s confusion. The message and brand need to be evident to the consumer.
When a client doesn’t quite have all their ducks in a row, agencies usually have one of two options:
Politely decline to take them on.
Guide them in finding the right direction.
This decision will largely depend on an agency’s resources—the time, money and manpower (or womanpower) it’s willing or able to spend on that client. Remember, as an agency, it’s okay to say no. Trying to crunch in extra work isn’t helping you or that potential client in the long run.
It’s one thing to say you encourage communication. It’s something else entirely to actually follow through. Ask questions. Clients should feel encouraged to ask questions, and agencies shouldn’t be afraid to speak up either. If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times: Communication is key!
Fight Crime Together
Be Batman and Robin, working together in seamless collaboration to tackle crime. It is the agency’s job to help the client succeed and the client’s job to communicate their objectives and needs. You have to work together harmoniously to create strategies that are successful AND representative of the brand.
Like Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock say: It takes two to make a thing go right…
(Excuse us while we step away for a brief musical interlude and karaoke session…)
Agencies should always be clear on 1) what deliverables to create for a client, 2) what their role is. Some clients will look to an agency to give them advice and direction in their strategies, designs, content, etc. Other clients will know exactly what they want and expect the agency to follow suit, despite recommendations to the contrary. It’s always important to speak up and offer your professional advice, but at the end of the day, you have to respect your clients wishes.
Clients, be clear about what you want. Most agencies have a wide variety of clients, all of whom communicate differently and expect different things. Don’t assume an agency knows what you’re thinking. It’s always better to make sure.
As an agency, keep in mind your client is trusting you with what is essentially their baby. Clients can be protective of their new venture and rightfully so. It’s intimidating to know your future can be riding on someone else. Respect that trust, and listen to their questions and concerns.
Clients, it’s equally important to keep in mind that this is a two-way street. Remember to be open to professional advice. There’s a reason you hired an agency. Take advantage of the knowledge their team brings to the table.