A client recently shared words to live by — “You can’t make a friend when you need one.” This statement refers to the value of ongoing relationships, because if you need a friend, or in our case a marketing or communication resource… it is usually something that has been established and nurtured prior to the need.
A marketing or communications partner is no different than “phoning a friend” when you appear on a game show. It’s much harder to vet resources and initiate discussions with a new marketing partner when you need their help right now.
There will always be day one. Consider the person who does your hair, your nails, services your car or perhaps cleans your house. These people become “your people” and problems are solved more quickly because of the relationship you’ve built. They know how you like things done and you share a common language and mutual respect.
Luckily at Jet Marketing, many of our clients are with us for years at a time. The length of the relationship adds value to the client relationship in many ways.
1. Where did I put that?
One of the unexpected roles that an agency can serve for clients is the ability to organize and store files. If you are engaging with an agency for the first time, ask about their filing system. If you ask for something from 5 years ago, how quickly can they find it for you? Can they give you detail about what something cost or how many you printed? Jet Marketing’s response is YES to all of the above.
2. Help, we have an unexpected emergency!
We’ve all forgotten a deadline that creeps up on us. Is your agency team available to help? Do they do it willingly and efficiently? It’s a different story if the “fire” is routine and not an exception.
Ask your agency partner how they can help you stay on task. At Jet Marketing, we hold weekly calls to review our Project Management Tool, which helps highlight activities for the week and helps to avoid too many “hot potatoes.”
What about a crisis mode? A pandemic? A ransomware or any variety of a security breach? Facebook Live gone bad? Or allegations against a staff member that makes the front page?
When you have an established relationship, and hopefully a partner that has some crisis management experience, defining the next steps will just be easier together. Is your agency available? Can they lend industry-specific expertise? Are they prepared or willing to redirect and be “all hands on deck” for your crisis?
3. Our materials have a consistent look and feel, thank you!
Working with a design team or agency over time helps to not only establish a look and feel for your communication materials; but it helps to keep that approved look over time to build branding synergy. Using the same fonts, graphic elements, photo library and calls to action are easier when it’s routine. That doesn’t mean that certain communications don’t demand a different look, but when a new look is justified, it can be more intentional.
4. It’s like a good friendship — picking up where you left off.
Having a communications partner should improve like a good bottle of wine. A shared understanding of your organization; a shared history of what has worked in the past or what didn’t work and why; and shared empathy and appreciation for a relationship well lived.
We value our long-term partners and vendors. We can certainly find solutions together in a more efficient manner because we’ve put in the work towards building a relationship. Yes, there is that day one, but after that, you’ll be well on your way to be able to phone a friend.
Jackie O’Hara, Boss Lady
Jackie loves getting to know a company personally during the process of crafting or updating its brand. Always looking for unique ideas, she finds the most simple and honest ideas are often the most effective.