In a recent blog post, our CEO, Chris Slocumb, shared some of the critical lessons clients have taught her since starting Clarity Quest in 2001. She wrote about why results matter, creating a market from an identified need, and, most importantly, building trusted relationships. This week we took it a step further and asked the Clarity Quest marketing team to share the most memorable things their clients have taught them over the years.
- It’s essential to pivot and quickly switch gears to meet the demand for services brought on by a global event, in this case, COVID-19.
- Having “go-to” subject matter experts available when communicating complex business topics, products and services are indispensable.
–David Gomez, Senior Marketing Consultant
Look at it from another angle
My clients have taught me the importance of strategic guidance and insights even on small or more tactical projects. Often, clients don’t have the strategic expertise on their team, and they look to us to fill the gaps and share industry and client best practices. Clients are immersed in their product and not always aware of what they could be doing, sharing, or communicating.
Our expertise, either broad or specific, is not lost on them, and every little bit we can share helps them grow and better connect with their audience. The opportunity to share our insights also doesn’t need to be formal – a quick conversation or brainstorm is all it takes.
–Marla Sokolowski, Senior Marketing Project Manager
Plan to have no plan
- It’s OK not to know where you’re going. While marketing plans are great, not every client is in a position to develop a 12-month strategy. Sometimes it’s best to experiment and adapt based on results and market reactions intelligently.
- Nice folks can win. I’ve had the privilege of working with super smart and successful clients but who are also kind, compassionate, and fun! Marketing can be great fun and deliver business-changing results. It’s inspiring to work with business owners and executives who care deeply for their team, value their company culture, and cultivate positive relationships with all.
–Brian Shilling, Branding & Digital Marketing Director
Keep a learning mindset
- Helping clients prioritize deadlines is a critical component of a successful marketing strategy. Great marketing dies on the vine if it never sees the light of day or if it takes months to launch. I haven’t met a client yet who doesn’t appreciate a weekly update or a to-do list.
- How to talk to people (who don’t live and breathe marketing) through the process of providing constructive feedback on messaging and design. Since it’s often difficult for people to articulate what they like and don’t like about marketing, it’s essential that their marketing agency be able to guide them by asking targeted questions about tone, style, archetypes, and mood.
- There’s always more to learn. Whether it’s getting to know the motivations of a new target persona or venturing onto a new social media platform (Clubhouse, anyone?), you can never rest on your laurels.
–Melanie Hilliard, Senior Marketing Consultant
Get off to a smooth start
Projects require team buy-in. Often the signer of the contract is not the day-to-day contact. As their agency partner, I have learned to make zero assumptions. It’s unlikely, that a comprehensive handoff has occurred therefore it is best to bring everyone together for a kickoff (contract signer vs. day-to-day contact) and possibly a few follow-up meetings to align roles and responsibilities to the deliverables. Doing so, will allow the project to get off to a smooth start for the client and ultimately audits the current state of the organization’s assets whether that is their tech stack, cleanliness of their database, the pervasiveness, and adoption of their messaging and brand strategy, or creative direction. Having this upfront dialogue helps the client have a great experience with the agency.
–Lindsay Groth, Senior Marketing Consultant
Work toward a common goal:
- Be humble.
- Know your strengths and weaknesses.
- Don’t be too proud and think you can do it all… ask/demand help to have the best chance at success.
- Invest in the areas you’re not the strongest in with training or surrounding yourself with others who complement your stronger skills.
–Casey Frushour, Senior Creative Director
Be sure to check out part 1 in this series.