Marketing agencies are hired to deal with a company’s public image and brand recognition independently of the business itself. While there is an exchange of information, the enterprise usually only shares the things it thinks are essential for the agency to do its job.
Unfortunately, many companies and their advisors fail to realize what constitutes relevant information for the agency to have. The miscommunication could lead to severe issues with reconciling advertising material with the company’s new direction.
Below, 10 members of Forbes Agency Council discuss several changes and developments in a company that businesses should share with their agencies if they want them to produce relevant results.
1. Evolving Mission, Vision And Values
We often work with companies evolving their cultural touchstones such as the mission, vision and values. Letting your internal communications agency partner in on that process in the early stages can help enormously with engaging employees in that cultural language. The best outcome is when that language is based on input from both leadership and employees — and helps close the gap between them. – Elizabeth Baskin, Tribe, Inc.
2. Change Of Location
Clients often surprise the agency with a change of locations at the last second. Quite often, a lot of work is involved in just an address update, so keep your partners informed of any address changes. More importantly, keep them informed of any new products, services or name changes. – Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design
3. Changes In Leadership
Changes in leadership are important milestones for everyone involved, agencies and consultancies included. When those changes are anticipated and planned, as with a C-suite succession, it is advantageous to let partners know (even if not publicly announced). With advance warning, agencies can help build and shape the profile of the new leader, as well as begin to build a working relationship. – Beth Noymer Levine, SmartMouth Communications
4. A Rocky Road Ahead
We all prefer clients tell us straight up they are heading into tough times, as we’ll do more to help them ride out the storm. As long as there are clear budgets and expectations, we love a good challenge. And we’ve found some of our best relationships started by solving big problems. Those few that I’ve seen fail on transparency, fail in business long-term. – Michael Simonetti, Andmine.com
5. Upcoming Regulations
Whether it’s changes overseas such as GDPR or right here at home (CCPA), it is a critical time for agencies and partners to be getting ahead of the privacy conversation. At our company, these conversations begin internally with a clear understanding of what the changes require, and then we educate externally through various outlets such as direct emails, videos and weekly blog publications. – Lori Paikin, NaviStone®
6. Site Changes
Search engine optimization doesn’t occur overnight and there are many ads you’re paying for pointing to current pages. By sharing site changes in advance, your agency can work to minimize disruption for the ad-supported parts of your business. – Kieley Taylor, GroupM
7. Business Model Shifts
When clients implement e-commerce stores directly on their product websites they should tell their agencies. If a client just sold their products on Amazon and now they want to sell directly, this can massively impact the direction of their campaign. They will need e-commerce linking and flawless functionality, SEO, Google ads, etc. When there is any change in the business model, we need to know. – Bernard May, National Positions
8. Changes In Channel Strategies
Businesses use a variety of channel strategies to sell their products, including independent dealer networks, direct-to-consumer or franchise models. If a business decides to shift their channel strategy, they should work with their agency partners to understand the impact of that change on their marketing strategy. Based on the change, the audience and targeting may adjust, as well as the messaging. – Stephanie Shreve, PowerChord
9. Newsworthy Events
We build proposed press release calendars for our clients and encourage them to provide us advanced notice on every possible source of news out six months. This helps schedule multiple newsworthy events in a short time period, avoid pre-announcing (and ruining) a launch and weave a longer-term message or a change in company positioning. – Jim Caruso, M1PR, Inc. d/b/a MediaFirst PR – Atlanta
10. Anything That Impacts Customers’ Perspective
At the end of the day, we’re here to help connect great products and services to customers. If the brand does anything that’ll change how that company is viewed or what they should expect, then we need to know. It can impact our campaigns and, more importantly, our strategy. – Jim Huffman, Growthhit