After the selection process is over and you’ve picked your all star marketing agency, you may think your part is done. It is as far the heavy lifting, so go ahead and take a deep breath. However, you still need to communicate well in order to get the most out of your agency's time and your money.
Know the Best Way to Reach Your Point of Contact
(Psst: define who they are on both sides)
During your first meeting, after you’ve committed your heart and soul by signed the contract (may be called a discovery or kick-off meeting), ask who your main point of contact is, along with every way you can communicate with them. If the agency doesn't give you a blueprint of your project, take matters into your own hands and put together a contact list. Find out the best way to communicate: Slack, email, direct phone line, a project management tool, etc. Whatever they have, utilize it! Also give your contact information to your agency, since it is important for both sides to have open and easy communication. Find the tool that works the best for both parties and sail with it.
Ask About the Agency’s Project Management System
Everyone communicates differently, maybe you just like to physically see where this extension of your marketing team is throughout the process. It's totally understandable and attainable.
Here are a few popular tools that can help you to do that:
- Teamwork Projects
- Zoho Projects
They are all a bit different but serve the same purpose, to show the status and completion level of a project. A project management tool shows you what tasks the team has completed and what tasks are on the docket to complete. If it eases your busy brain to log into your agency's platform, then do it! I like my clients checking up on my perfectly planned projects in Teamwork. On the agencies side, it shows how put together we are at Impulse Creative. So it’s a win-win!
At the end of the day, it's your goal we’re all trying to reach. If you think something is crappy, tell us. If you think it's okay, tell us. If you think it's great, TELL US! If you become a “yes man” in the process, everything from that point on will be mediocre. You may think creatives are sensitive, but don't mistake their genius for softness. Agency creatives combine your thoughts and ideas with best practices, industry benchmarks and innovation to create magic. I know being blunt can feel uncomfortable, but your honesty is so important in our journey to achieving your business goals.
Give Your Agency ALL THE INFORMATION
(even if you think it might not matter)
Give your agency all the information, don't hold back! Everything, we want EVErythinggggg …..
Your agency wants your sales decks, brand assets, past content creation, all the passwords to all the platforms, your favorite color and if you believe in Oxford comma (if you don't know what that is, it’s okay we’ll do that for you too!) You may think it's silly or that some information isn’t relevant, but it is. It’s all vital to helping us fully understand your brand before we begin. Building a brand is a big deal and solid communication is key to make sure our team starts on the right path. Our content, design, marketing and development experts will help your team to dig in deeper and steer your boat in the right direction for your brand.
Ask for Weekly Touchpoint Meetings (and Show Up)
Meetings can be tedious, and sometimes feel like they are pulling you away from other pressing items. Why this may feel true, the project is constantly moving along and your point person needs to keep you updated.
Stand up meetings at our agency are meant to be quick and painless. We send out an “agenda email” before the call, so we know what the client wants, what they need to be updated about and what our team needs to discuss. We never want the client to feel they don’t know what the agency is doing. Here at Impulse, our Client’s perception is our reality, so we have to keep the client informed. A great way to hold these meetings is through video conferencing. Face to face meetings remind the client that their agency is a team of actual people, not a bunch of bots running their marketing department. Email conversations, while effective, don't always convey the same message as a weekly meeting with a set time in which you can give your undivided attention to this project.
Ask All of the Questions
Ask questions along the way and during your weekly/biweekly meetings. There are many things may cause changes in the development of your project if they’re not brought up for discussion. The development of a website involves a lot of brain power and code. Just one minor change could take from 2 minutes to 2 hours to complete. So avoid setbacks that affect the scope of your project by asking your point of contact as your questions or concerns arise.
It is also important for you to understand each part of the project and the importance of each step. There are distinctly different aspects and milestone for each phase of a project. Throughout design, content, development and marketing, you will deal with different people at an agency. At Impulse, we call these people “wayfinders.” Each phase takes a different amount of time, requires a different amount of communication, and a varying amount of effort from the client. Ask questions so that you fully understand each step and are confident in the process.
Trust in Your agency as an Expert
You came to us because we are trained (check out all our certifications), skilled, marketing rockstars. There are hundreds of agencies and you chose us! So let us drive, because we’re licensed to rock your marketing world. Of course we want your feedback, but we want to get the bulk of the “you” knowledge bombs during the discovery phase. Which is why it is important to divulge all the things. We want you to trust us and know what we do is data driven and geared toward growth.
Be Happy, Put a Smile On and Have Fun
This is the important factor in a marketing project relationship. And it won’t happen if you haven't put the previous context into action. Good, effective communication is fueled by positive energy and a great marketing team!
Better communication will also help you feel more confident about your project. At the end of the day it will all help you sleep better, and isn't that usually the goal in life? To get better sleep. My job here is done.