Dating! Some do it for fun and others do it in search of love. There’s a saying that you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you can find your Prince. Unfortunately, some of us have had to kiss more frogs than others, but regardless, dating is a necessary process when trying to understand what qualities you value in your search for a serious relationship.
Most people eagerly anticipate March's arrival. The days get warmer, the cherry trees begin to bloom, the sun still shines in the late afternoon when the workday is over and you can hear birds chirping for the first time in months. For me, however, I associate March with the basketball court, the swish of a three point shot gliding through a net and the frenzied atmosphere of sports bars. It's March Madness time!
GUEST BLOGGER: David Grenham, Director of Client Services & Marketing - The Ferguson Group
We all get busy with a multitude of marketing tasks, but it’s important to find ways to step back from all the deadlines and think about bigger picture issues that affect our businesses. For me one of those issues is trying to remember the important role that client service plays (or should play) in most every major marketing decision I make during a work day. Ideally I try to always ask myself:
Can we learn anything about account management from AMC’s Mad Men? Lets start by questioning what it is that we really love about the show. Sure, those whiskey-infused morning advertising meetings and the banter between Don Draper and his partners are amusing, but I think the reason we are eager to view the next episode is because we are intrigued by the various business relationships and the behavior of management that makes or breaks deals in the advertising world.
When working with multiple clients, it’s important to learn what is the most effective form of communication for that client. More often than not it will vary from person to person and not firm to firm. There will be some global technologies that a firm uses and are important to know and understand early in a client/partner relationship, particularly if you are working on building a website or designing an electronic annual report. But at the end of the day people just like to be asked – “What is the best way for me to communicate with you?”
Simply because your title doesn’t say Marketing Strategist or Director of Strategy does not mean you should sit on your hands and not suggest strategic solutions to your internal and external clients. Consider this for example:
"Somewhere along the line, I will screw up. I won't return a call, answer an email or give you the attention you deserve. So when that happens, will you do me a favor and let me know? You mean a lot to me and I really value our relationship."
In doing research on a couple of presentations for LMA and AAM, I had the opportunity to speak to a number of in-house marketing professionals at law and accounting firms regarding the client experience they were receiving from their service providers (vendors). Many with “long-term” existing relationships were generally happy; while others felt that their providers had strict policies regarding how clients had to adhere to “their” policies and processes. As a result, the firm didn’t have much of a chance to express their firm’s needs, culture and their goals. While this may work with some service providers it could never work in a marketing communication firm.
When I was young I remember my father teaching me the difference between wants and needs. Whenever I would ask for something he would sometimes reply, “Now, do you need that or do you want that.” Now that I’m the adult I remember his words and while I still make impulse buys, when I’m considering a major purchase the lesson of wanting or needing always sticks in the back of my mind. Just ask my wife!
Lebron James and even Roy Hobbs (“The Natural”) have each been labeled as the chosen one, are you? As part of your client service program, are you calling prospects that did not choose you for an interview or as the winning agency or firm? If not, this is an important step in uncovering what your firm has done well and potential areas for improvement.