Frank's Take

Boosting Mid-Market Media Buys Through Uncommon Sense

Where’s the Beef? The Real Goal of Client – Agency Relationships!

Why is it that when the discussion of goals comes up between clients and agencies, things become vague? Specifics on advertising budgets, campaign time frames, targeted audiences and market locations are easily discussed, but when the conversation turns to what the goals are for the campaign, most advertisers do not seem to share too much or even have specific goals in mind for their investment.

A client – agency relationship needs to work like dating. Eventually before you go down the aisle, you need to know everything necessary about each other! If not, just like a bad marriage the relationship won’t be productive or last very long.

When a client sets goals, they should make the priorities clear for everyone involved. Advertising goals need to be made clear to the agency. This allows them to understand what they need to focus on most during upcoming campaigns and what objectives they need to meet or exceed with the advertising.

The purpose of any agency marketing is to reach your client’s target audience and communicate the benefits of their product or service — so you can successfully acquire, keep, and grow customers. The marketing goals must relate to the specific business objectives that you want to achieve.

Effective marketing and media planning must include some specific goals.  Goals are extremely important and provide the information that agencies require in order to focus on the direction they need to build successful campaigns. Unfortunately, most goals that clients discuss with their agencies are not clear or are non-specific and can cause some confusion. To simplify the conversation of goal setting with your agency, look to the past, present and future in your discussions and what you would like to see this investment accomplish moving forward. This will give them the best insight into what you are looking to achieve and allow them to determine the best strategy to get there.

In many situations, the overall goal is simply to increase sales, but your agency needs more information than that. It is best to share with them what your sales goals are, what your previous sales have been, how long you are allowing for the growth to happen, and so on.   Do not be shy when sharing numbers with your agency. Give them the details. Remember they are a partner and now part of the equation in helping you reach the numbers you are shooting for.

In some cases, the goal is simply lead generation. For this goal you need to share with your agency what your leads have looked like over the past year and how much you want to increase them by in the upcoming year and the timeframe you are allowing to do so. Keep in mind, if you ask your agency to help generate leads, they are only responsible for getting the phone to ring. Closing those leads is still the client’s job.

When “Brand Awareness” is the goal, you need to share with your agency how you plan to measure those results. Will it be measured by social media engagements and website visits or will it be measured by sales and/or leads. If it is the latter, the goal really is not brand awareness, and your agency needs to know that in order to help create the best media plan.

Do not forget, depending on what the specific goals are, creative messaging has to first lend itself to those goals and then be placed where the target demographic can engage with those messages. If the mediums do not match the creative, the end result may not achieve whatever the goal may be.

The goals you set should be as clear as possible and include everyone that you need to help reach them.  As an agency owner, it is my responsibility to make sure you are satisfied with the services that my staff and I provide. I know that my client’s satisfaction will always be directly tied to the goals they have set.

While dessert is always nice, knowing everything being served from the veggies to the steak, make for a better and long lasting relationship.

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