I enjoy working with smaller businesses because they are in a unique position of being thisclose to becoming larger businesses. They understand the hard work that’s involved with making a business successful and most understand that they can’t do everything.
Realizing that they are not marketing experts is how they ultimately become my clients. The relationship usually looks like this:
- Company A gets to the point where they can no longer handle their own marketing or they need to take it to the next level
- Company A cannot afford a fulltime marketing person and doesn’t want to put such a big role on an intern or as an add on to another persons job list
- Company A brings me in to evaluate their needs
- Company A is very excited at the ideas and strategies that we come up with
- Company A continues the excitement and momentum of working together.
At least initially. At this point, one of two things almost always happens. They company either continues working with us by providing up to date information on the happenings in their company, latest news and industry specific content OR they taper off, lose interest, stop communicating and therefore the value of the work we have been doing is diminished.
Eventually, if you do not communicate and work with your outsourced marketing team, you, the company leader, start to believe that it’s a waste of time and money. Resentment at the expense will begin to build. The good news is that this doesn’t have to be the case. How can you prevent this from happening?
It starts and ends with you – the company leader.
In order to have an effective relationship, it is CRITICAL that you communicate on a frequent basis. Return phone calls and emails. If we’re after you for news, events and updates, it’s because we, the marketing company, are doing the job that you hired us to do. Ideally, we should meet face to face once a month to evaluate where we are and determine any changes and tweaks in our plan that need to be made. We are not mind readers. Since we are not on site with you on a day to day basis, we cannot know what is going on unless you or some other assigned point of contact lets us know. I have received notification of “big news” for some of my clients via Google alerts and this is unacceptable.
If you are unhappy with the way something is going, it is your responsibility to let us know. Ignoring our efforts to do our job (or cease paying your bills) is a catastrophic move for everyone. We’re all professionals and if we don’t work together as a team, we are all going to fail.
What other suggestions would you add to this either as a marketer or a business leader?