Marketing Partenerships

Tips to Help Your Agency Manage Client Expectations

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Blog Posts, Marketing Partenerships

by Jordyn Walters

The best client-agency relationships are built on trust and mutual understanding. When you take steps to manage client expectations from the get-go, you will maintain that strong relationship through the ups and downs that are bound to happen when marketing firms and clients team up. We are all human, after all.

Think back to the last client you brought onboard. More than likely you spent ample time preparing to win them over. This includes meetings, presentations, potential brand renderings, timelines, strategies, and budgets. You were living and breathing that client. And sure, when the good times are rolling, it’s a snap to keep the client relationship healthy and satisfied. But what about when that roll hits a speed bump? It takes experience and attentiveness to keep the trust going so you can maintain the client’s relationship and their expectations. Utilize the following tips to improve communication and manage the client:

1.       Stick to the agreed upon strategy.
The agency and client should always be on the same page. You are grabbing a one-way ticket to an uncomfortable conversation with your client when they are expecting one thing and you are expecting another. Everything that you do for them should be defined ahead of time so there is no confusion when the numbers start rolling in. For example, if the client has a different expectation of a certain goal than the agency does, it is only a matter of time before there’s a collision and the relationship gets a kink. Choose a strategy with the client and create a document that outlines everything. If you do this, you are less likely to receive pushback down the road.

2.       Don’t just have a client-agency relationship. Have a true relationship.
Not only is it more pleasant to meet and work with a client, but it makes the relationship that much stronger and understanding when you know the client on a personal level. Take the time to have interest in their lives, whether it’s their family life, their favorite places to eat in the area, or what makes them get up in the morning. Having a relationship built on more than business builds a foundation that allows for more accurate strategies and exceeded goals.

3.       Stay in control.
Remember, the client came to you for help. You should be steering the ship from day one. You’re the expert. Whenever a client feels like they need to keep tabs on their agency you are in danger of losing that trust and more importantly the respect for your expertise. Stay true to the strategy outline, be transparent, and absolutely communicate. Some clients may be more difficult to guide than others, but it is important to remember that you are the leader and the expert. Show your confidence and it will transfer to the client.

4.       Provide monthly reports of progress and success.

Oftentimes the client benefits more from seeing the big picture when they get tangible updates. As long as you are doing your job and the reports show movement every month, the client will appreciate having something tangible. Providing monthly summaries reminds the client of your value and the fruits of that labor. Even with constant communication, the lack of monthly reporting can mean the big picture gets lost in the shuffle. Before you know it, you’ll have angry client’s asking where that movement is. Still stay in contact regularly, but remember there is a great benefit to sending monthly analytics.

Do you have any tips for managing client expectations? Leave them in the comments below!

Talk About a Challenging Assignment – Border Patrol Seeks Agency to Lead Recruitment Campaign!

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Blog Posts, Marketing Partenerships

We ran across this “opportunity” the other day. When you consider all the flak border patrol agents have been getting; when you consider they are constrained in how they actually patrol or apprehend, not sure anyone will want to touch this “opportunity” with a stick! But here it is …

US Customs & Border Protection (CBP)

Opportunity: Needs a agency to provide strategic marketing and advertising services, with the goal of pitching CBP as a top career choice, according to the RFP.

Work includes: but is not limited to: (1) develop and execute a branding strategy that distinguishes CBP as an employer of choice; (2) develop and execute innovative and cost-efficient targeted marketing and advertising campaigns to attract female, minority, disabled and veteran candidates; (3) develop and implement innovative and efficient targeted marketing to attract highly-qualified candidates from science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields; (4) conduct market research to determine the most effective means to attract qualified candidates who come from the intelligence community, are proficient in foreign languages and who have the necessary certification to administer polygraph examinations.

Like so many RFP’s, lots of work described but no mention of budget – range or approval.

 

The CMO’s Guide to Agency Procurement

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Blog Posts, Marketing Partenerships

From getting briefs approved by VPs to avoiding shootouts, CMOs can institute plenty of practices to get better work — and save money. The article in question appeared today (May 13, 2015) in Advertising Age. Well written covering good ground. One comment by Ms. Rieter caught my attention and I wrote this …

Interesting and well written article citing the obvious by both Ms. Reiter and Mr. Strachan to begin. As for agency procurement or agency search, we’ve always argued “you can’t find a ‘right’ among a group of ‘wrongs.’ A successful agency review deserves some of the closest scrutiny of the process at the onset – where a reasonable fat handful of qualified candidates are identified. In an AgencyFinder review, we share that list with the client’s CMO for examination and editing. The edited group is invited to participate in a fairly linear process, but not at the exclusion of initial telephone dialogue.

I’m interested in the AmEx process Ms. Reiter describes – “For many of those marketers, choosing the right agency for the right project isn’t always obvious. So AmEx procurement has an online tool that helps marketers do just that, including case studies from the agency and a button to reach the right person at the agency to get started.” Love to learn more, will you share? Offline if you prefer.

May We Have Your Attention Please …

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Blog Posts, Marketing Partenerships

Here we are, just about 5 years since our last major website update. We continue our motivation and efforts to remain Number One in the field of advertising agency search and agency new business development. We staked our claims for those verticals, first in  late 1994 with Sales Marketing Institute, Ltd. and then in 1997 with AgencyFinder.com. Unless someone is prepared to challenge us, I don’t think there is anyone out there with our deep and combined experience in what it takes to mount and manage an in-house agency new business program and then on the other side of the fence successfully manage a complete start-to-finish ad agency (marketing firm) client search.

On that topic, there is one distinction of which we are extremely proud. Our business model has never been challenged to be double-dipping, unethical or in any way represent a conflict of interest. Our full array of services are funded by registered marketing firm annual fees and never, I say NEVER do we request or accept payment from those who search. For the more traditional agency search consultants who are compensated by searchers (clients/advertisers), as such, participating agencies should never be asked to pay them any fees – for any reason at any time for anything. Before any client/advertiser engages any agency search consulting service, do investigate to be certain they do not engage in any form of “double-dipping.” It’s almost illegal.

Whether you’re a Blue Chip client or a full-service integrated marketing firm (by any definition), you can trust our services to always be in your best interest.

Welcome V6.0 AgencyFinder.com!

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My sincere thanks to everyone …

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Blog Posts, Marketing Partenerships

A heart-felt nod and acknowledgement to the hundreds of staff, consultants, agencies, advertisers and close friends who contributed in so many ways to our new site. Time after time, thanks for critiquing my thoughts and concepts. Time after time, thanks for sharing your concepts and ideas. I hope each of you is able to find and admire your unique contributions to this new extravaganza. Explore the Site Map to see what I mean …

My most sincere thanks – Chuck Meyst

“I don’t know nothin’ ’bout birthing babies, Miss Scarlett!”

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Marketing Partenerships

Years ago, as Publisher of Richmond LifeStyle Magazine, when we launched our inaugural issue my editor’s introduction mentioned something about birthing a magazine was like birthing a baby.  Well, I just checked and “Gone With The Wind’s” maid Prissy actually claimed the opposite and said “I don’t know nothin’ ’bout birthing babies, Miss Scarlett!

There are distinct differences between babies and magazines, yet I can now attest to the fact that birthing this long-awaited new website was like birthing that new magazine … here the gestation period seemed to go on forever! But hallelujah, it’s “LIVE!” Please navigate to your heart’s content; discover fresh material, and if you find something broken that we missed, please let me know. Your comments are certainly welcome, but please, don’t call my baby ugly!

As I swarmed over our 2006-vintage website (we stretched that out, didn’t we!), I was repeatedly reminded just how many clients and agencies we introduced in that time. Thousands! Congratulations to each and every registered agency – that received, studied, telephoned, visited and pitched to win! I can’t name names here, but many of you will know I’m talking about YOUR agency. I’m talking about more than a few Fortune 100 companies; a bunch more Fortune 500 companies, but the majority don’t make the Fortune top lists. Most lack general public brand recognition; they’re one-notch below the visibility of the majors, yet to each of them, having a great and responsive agency partner is the difference between business life and business death.

My ambition and instruction to the AgencyFinder staff is to have “our” people talking with “your” people often. We’re your agent in the strictest sense, so we care what’s happening in your world. So we make a lot of phone calls. In doing that (for 14 years), we often run into the “New, New Business Manager” at a long-registered agency. During that encounter, we experience their natural reaction to what probably sounds like the infamous “bait & switch” sales pitch – Hi, we’re calling to update your information here at AgencyFinder …. After some degree of mutual animosity, we mention a client they won in one of our reviews and the newcomer remarks “Oh, that’s where they came from!!!” That’s the breakthrough that changes everything in our relationship. That may well be the case at your shop.

I hope you like what we’ve done. I hope clients like it and are drawn to the Registration page like a moth to a flame!

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