My wife and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary this past weekend. We have a lot of "give and take" that makes our relationship work: We enjoy being out together and being with our kids but we support each other's individual interests. She goes away with girlfriends each year; I go away to a Patriots game with some buddies. She goes to a yoga class 2-3 times a week; I run 2-3 times a week. She meets with a regular book club; I play basketball one night a week. As is the case in other successful relationships, each side understands the others' goals and aspirations and encourages those things.
Your relationship with your marketing partner should work the same way. The relationship between a business owner and their marketing partner should be as "open" as any successful relationship you might have in your life. Think of any successful relationship you have - spouse? friend? neighbor? What makes it successful? Certainly we don't need all the details of your personal relationship but chances are the overriding theme is that you have an understanding and expectation of what you expect from that person. You might not be the "best friend" to the next door neighbor but if you have a mutual understanding of each other, it works!
The Allied Group works closely with clients so we have a clear understanding of our role in the relationship. For some clients, we are their main resource and serve as the role of their marketing department, assisting on just about everything from lead generation to promotional printed products to redesigning their website. For other clients, they may have their own marketing resources but they need Allied to "fill in the cracks" of what they cannot do internally.
When you are not clear on roles and expectations, like other relationships, your relationship with a top direct marketing agency could be headed for trouble. If your client expects one service and you expect something else, this creates the confusion that generally leads to bad feelings and frustration -- on both sides!
We suggest you sit and meet with the client on a regular basis to discuss goals and aspirations. Our formal Client Retention Program mandates that regular meetings occur with all of our larger clients so that we always are aware of what they want, what they expect and lastly, how they perceive our value to them. On our side, these regular meetings keep us aware of their constantly evolving needs, allowing us to react to those needs.
We have found these retention meetings to be a great source of information and a chance for both sides of the relationship to discuss the future. Like a good relationship with a spouse or a close friend, a clear understanding of roles and expectations can help pave the way for many years of a satisfying relationship for both sides.
How well do you know YOUR client?