As part of my career, it is necessary for me to meet continually with clients, both old and new. This constant communication is imperative in order to determine what path of marketing is most effective, what works for the client, what changes should be made throughout the course, and overall what enhances the agency/client relationship.
That being said, we have all come across client who are, let’s say… not as privy to our advertising tactics and routine as well as others. I’ve had my share of clients, or potential clients, who answer every question of mine with an, “I don’t know,” “nothing, really,” “we just want to make money,” or “I just don’t want to lose my a**.” It is this type of communication that sometimes, quite frankly, makes me want to ask them why they bother meeting with me in the first place.
On the flip side of that, there are dream clients. Those who have specific goals, for a specific audience. These are the clients I wish I had 25 of. They know what they want. They have a clear image of where they want their business to be in 6 months. Most importantly, they know how to communicate that thier vision to me.
When an advertising agency ventures into a new client relationship, we want to see success on both ends. I cannot stress enough the things a client can do that will not only make our job easier, but will ensure that the client see more effective results. In my opinion, this list is simple: know your budget, know your audience, know your goals. Let us be the ones that recommend how to spend your dollars to reach YOUR target market and help you achieve YOUR success.
If you, as a business, need time to research and think about answers to these simple questions, please do so. Agencies cringe when they find out they are trying to market a business that has a target of “everyone”, has goals of “making money” or “making sales” and we REALLY get nauseous when we hear the phrase, “just propose an amount that will be effective.” I have clients who spend $75,000 a month solely on television. I also have clients who spend $6,000 a year on television. There is no way I can create an educated, effective plan with no guidelines as to what a client’s budget will be. As a Media Buyer, there is always a fear of spending a lot of time, hard work, and heartache on a plan that we think is cost-effective, putting this beautiful media buy in front of a client, only for them to tell you that it’s about $15,000 over the budget they wanted to spend. And….now back to ground zero.
As a client, make it easy on yourself. Go to your agency with a clear picture of what you hope to accomplish and with whom it is that you want to make an impact. Know your spending limits. If all of these things are communicated clearly to your agency, your plan of attack will be much easier to implement and, in the long run, much less painful for all involved.