August 22nd, 2023

4 Asks We Wish Our Clients Would Make

Author: Ian Wilson
Ian Wilson
Partner & Creative Director

We’re here to be your best wingman.

The relationship between an agency and their clients’ internal marketing departments can be complicated. Past experiences on both sides can cloud the room and make it hard to see one another. As new members come on board and dynamics change, egos get in the way and breed mistrust. Everyone wants to prove themselves, and sometimes it can feel as though there’s not enough credit to go around.

A good relationship between agencies and clients is grounded in trust and mutual respect. So when the bad vibes creep in, there’s nothing I want more than to press the reset button and start over with a clean slate.

The truth is, we’re not here to outshine your team. Choosing to work with us should feel like a stroke of genius. We offer clarity, not confusion. I want my VPs and Directors of Marketing to know: we’re best friends—you just don’t know it yet.

Let me share some freshness from the secret menu: things you can ask us for that you might not know are even possible! If you need to hear a “yes” today, here’s how we can help with that.

1. “Can you come to our event/conference/trade show?”

Yes, please! Learning more about what our clients like to do is probably more exciting than I ought to admit, but it is. We want to see you in your element. We want a firsthand look into how your brand is perceived on the show floor—and what your competitors look like, too. Then we can meet up, debrief afterwards and share our perspectives.

Just think about everything we can learn from attending your events:

  • How you introduce yourself to networking leads.
  • How networking leads respond to your materials.
  • How you position yourself within your industry’s ecosystem.
  • How your industry speaks about itself.
  • How your competition and your industry leaders present themselves.

All this provides valuable insight into your business that we can translate into strategic action. When we have a front row seat at your conferences and trade shows, we get to see what you’re seeing through the lens of our own perspective.

2. “Will you talk to my team about your secret sauce?”

You have a team, we have a team, we do similar things, but from a different perspective. We would love to share how we might do things differently, and be surprised at our similarities. Never underestimate the power of a fresh perspective to breathe life and vigor into your work!

We also think there’s a huge value in talking about the why behind our work. We put a lot of deep thought into everything we do, but when it comes to presenting it to a client, a lot of the reasoning gets left on the cutting room floor. That’s why few moments are more validating to us than when a client gives us the opportunity to nerd out about our process.

Plus, more than once we’ve gone deep only for a client to say, “Oh, if that’s how you do it, would this be helpful to you?” Next thing we know, we’re getting access to the very resource we didn’t know we needed.

3. “Can we show you how we do things?”

We spend a lot of time talking about our own people, purpose, and process, so it might seem like we’ve got that set in stone. But in truth, nothing is more thrilling than an unexpected insight that inspires you to look at a challenge or opportunity in a new light. Getting that inside peek at your marketing mind keeps our own strategies from going stale.

Moreover, since we want to work with our clients for a long time, we also plan on getting to know how you do things differently. Our ability to internalize your idiosyncrasies is what’s going to make our work for your team effective. So, tell us your love language! We’re bad mind readers but excellent listeners.

4. “Can we have a meeting with your leadership?”

Don’t wait until there’s a problem to ask for this! We are happy to make ourselves available to our clients to talk about our work, the relationship, what’s new on HBO—you name it. Just let us know what the agenda for the meeting should be so we can make the most of our time together! Reacting to situations puts us all on the back foot which can make anything feel hard, so let’s be proactive together and make it easy!

We’ve even built being proactive about our client relationships into our process. Our monthly strategy and reporting meetings offer a natural touchpoint on the account to make sure everything is running smoothly. Over the course of a year, Eric or I will join a few of these meetings while entrusting our account lead to handle most of the communication. But it’s also normal for our clients to ask us to join that month’s meeting if they have something they’d like to discuss with us.

The cat’s out of the bag (and living its best life).

In all honesty, we want fewer secrets in our life. We don’t want to hide our secret menu—we want you to order off of it! We don’t want to guard our secret sauce—we want to share the recipe!

The closer we work with our clients, the better we’re able to meet their needs. While we have boatloads of industry expertise to bring to the table, nothing matches the expertise our clients have in their business, their clients, and their team. That’s why we spend so much of our initial discovery work getting to know you: interviewing your team, researching your competitors, building personas for your clients—by the time we’re done, we want you to look at our work and say, “yes, that’s us, you’ve got it.”

So if there’s anything we can do that would help us know you better, just ask! We’d love to say “yes.”

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