Communication & transparency yield the greatest success!
One of the most important facets of getting the most from your advertising agency, and of them delivering the best results for the client, is open communication. Constant, open, honest communication is vital for success.
For the agency, the more information that a client can provide on their business, customer, expected results, internal workflow, and approval process, the more successful the agency can be on the client’s behalf. Information equals better optimization of your advertising spend.
As a client, be honest about what you know and don’t know, so that your partner, the agency, can work with you to fill in the blanks, educate, and deliver the best results for you.
And as a client, your agency should do the same. They should not simply say yes to everything or try and sell you only the things they are good at, they should share their strengths and weaknesses and provide guidance as to what’s best for your business. And with any great agency, if the right tactic is not in their wheelhouse, they should have a trusted expert partner they can bring into the mix to achieve your business and marketing goals.
Here is an example of a great client-agency relationship with a major market retailer. During the startup phase of the relationship the agency asked: What is the store revenue by category? Where are your highest margins coming from? Can you provide customer persona or access to your database for analysis? What other research do you have to share on the business? Do any of your vendors or the brands you carry have customer or category research they can provide us? What do you know or not know about advertising that might hinder you in making informed decisions? What do you want to achieve through your advertising? What’s your comfort level with risk taking? More information is always better than less.
Another very important item the client should work with the agency on is expectations. How will we measure return on your investment and determine success? All of this should be worked out up front so that once an engagement begins, there is a clear and concrete expectation in place.
The retail client opened up everything about their business to us. We never received a ‘no you can’t have that’. A relationship of complete trust was established, and the agency became part of the management team, so to speak.
Outcome, every campaign beat agreed upon KPI numbers, and blew away previous sales results by more than 50%. Two-way communication and two-way transparency lead to incredible results!