Creative Communication Requires New Ways of Thinking About Client and Agency Collaboration
Times have changed, folks, and that means the ways creative agencies and their clients collaborate are changing too.
The real question: how to adjust our collaboration efforts in order to get the best results?
Now, I would argue the new face of marketing, and inbound marketing in particular, is actually a bonus for companies as it actually REQUIRES more communication and collaboration between companies and their agencies, but the trick is in doing it well and doing it efficiently.
Inbound marketing as a whole is a more organic process. Today, instead of us spending all our time making a big racket about how awesome your business is, we’re spending time trying to get into the minds of your (very valuable) customers to see just what is important FOR them. How will they find you? What kind of information are they looking for when they do? And how can we make their lives easier once they get there?
While a lot of this information can come from customer surveys or other helpful user data, some of the most important data available is found in the brains of those who are living it every day: the company founders; the sales team who are on the front lines engaging with customers; in short, the very people who serve them throughout the entire customer journey. That’s a lot of valuable info in there, and we want it.
At Outlier, our process begins with these types of conversations, as these will help guide our initial strategy sessions. Marketing strategy sessions between an organization and its agency are crucial. During these high-level meetings, collaborative input gives the agency, and company, an opportunity to define the brand, as well as helping to identify the competitive environment and how to position the business within that environment.
Once these meetings are complete, these are the strategies that will define our entire efforts on our clients’ behalf. What that means is simply that every tactic we employ following this will be guided by the answer to the question, “is this in line with our overall marketing strategy?”
What does the agency need from the client? An inside look—at business objectives, customer knowledge and the business environment. What agencies bring to the table are fresh ideas, insight into how the many moving parts of effective strategy work together, and guidance on how to get the most out of marketing dollars.