Welcome back, today’s article will focus on the first 90 days after a marketing agency is hired by an organisation. The first 90 days are crucial for both, the organisation and the agency and hence it is imperative that a few things are ironed out before actually getting to work.
CLEAR OBJECTIVE SETTING – for the client- What is most important is that the agency is onboarded with the client on every level so that there is no loss in communication. A single point of contact must be established on both the sides and all communication should pass through them. Once the point of contact has been established, objectives should be defined very clearly for both sides. What will the client offer, content, images, keywords for the campaigns, the budget and so on. What is the agency going to offer, the social calendar, details of various campaigns, the proposed outcomes and so on. Once individual objectives have been set, they should look at the combined objective, the combined objective is simple, a long innings. Both, the client and the agency should look forward to a long partnership, a marriage of sorts
UNDERSTANDING THE CLIENT – If you are wondering what I meant by onboarding, let me clarify. Onboarding is the process of talking with the client, understanding their values, work ethic and best practices, assessing their current brand presence. Basically if a partnership is like a marriage onboarding is “getting to know the girl’s family and understanding what they like.” In order to do this effectively, the agency should spend quality time with the founders and top level management, talk to them and understand the crux of the organisation. Now we must remember that not all companies are perfect and they have their shortcomings too. Not everything we ask for will be given to us on a platter, we have to, in our own interest, proactively do it in order to get what we need. If you find the branding and marketing structure messy, it is your prerogative to establish a new structure and make it more efficient. This will require a lot of patience and high level of client engagement
INVEST TIME – You cannot expect client managers/marketing managers to spend all the time in the world with you because they might have other agendas internally, so it is up to you to spend some quality time with them even if it means working overtime or more than your billable time because these 9 -12 hours that you spend with them every week for the first 90 days will pave way for smooth partnership for the next several months, maybe years.
STRENGTHEN THE STRENGTHS – It is imperative to understand what the organisation has done thus far. The agency should analyse their marketing operations and campaigns in order to leverage their strengths. For eg, if a software company gains traction through e-mail marketing more than it does on facebook, then the agency should look to focus on e-mail marketing and make it more effective to gain more traction than it already does.
NOTE DOWN WHAT IS MISSING – While you are trying to understand what the organisation has thus far also make note of what they have missed so that you can recommend them to your clients in order to effectively help in the brand building process.
UNDERSTANDING THE CLIENT PRODUCTS – Just as it is essential to understand the customer, it is necessary to understand their products too. For eg, if your client is a company specialising in fishing nets, you need to know the models of fishing nets they use, the fabric that goes into the fabrication of the nets, what their functionalities are and everything so that you can curate appropriate content in order to engage better with your client’s clients.
BRAINSTORMING IS KEY – Just as any idea requires planning and brainstorming, marketing and branding does too. So in order to create meaningful and engaging campaigns it is essential for the client and the agency need to sit together for multiple brainstorming sessions in order to map requirements and come up with valuable and relevant ideas.
AVOID MBA JARGON – You may face the client’s consultants who are worried about the brand’s global positioning and the brand’s monetary value and what not but your focus should be solely on the deliverables and collaterals. To put it simply, focus on the road you are driving on initially, we can focus on the storm 500kms away when we get there.
GET ACCOUNTABLE – Make sure you let the client know that you will be accountable for whatever you have promised. Respond to calls, respond to mails promptly, make sure all their queries are clarified and let them know that they are important to you and that you will be accountable for it.
This post will be a user manual for a client as well as an agency about how things need to be taken care of after joining hands.
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