A tip to get the most out of your marketing agency

Many corporate clients do not give their marketing agencies the information they need to do their best work, or best serve clients. I’m not talking about the details of the solution or service, or even the strategy behind a particular campaign. I’m talking about the behind-the-scenes, often political considerations that can steer marketing efforts, and cause them to veer off course.

In any large organization, multiple stakeholders have input into B2B efforts—product marketing (of course), corporate marketing, sales, product experts, and even C-suite denizens. There is no guarantee of agreement between these parties. Corporate marketing may want to keep all work in-house, while product marketing prefers using an outside agency. Sales could be sour on marketing in general due to previous perceived failures to meet sales needs.

Many clients consider such internal disagreements or feuds corporate “dirty laundry,” not to be aired to outsiders. However, failure to disclose often leads to confusing, contradictory, or vague instruction and feedback. By omitting the all-important “why,” you hamper marketing partners, leaving us without context, feeling our way in the dark, or playing a game of “pin the tail on the donkey,” i.e., taking wild stabs at satisfying nebulous requests.

If your agency is informed if the not always flattering preferences, divisions, and even squabbles within your organization, we can sometimes help you navigate these choppy seas. Even if we can’t, the information will help develop work that meets the marketing need, while satisfying as broad a stakeholder base as possible.

And even if we can’t square all circles and satisfy everyone, we can help you make strategic decisions regarding the direction you should take. Knowing the context of the decisions that are made, we can execute a program that all may agree is imperfect, while understanding why and providing our best work within the given constraints. Understanding the context behind comments and suggestions is critical to providing our best, which means its critical to providing you with the most effective marketing programs.

Leonce Gaiter, Vice President, Content & Strategy