5 steps to take back control of your marketing

We’re working with a few clients who share a common problem – differing opinions and indecision is negatively impacting their marketing efforts and they are quickly losing control.

5 steps to take back control of your marketing

Our clients generally come to us with a problem or a need – a new corporate identity, supporting collateral or website perhaps. The Board has probably made a decision and the marketing manager is putting it into action. The brief might be great (or not so great) but we do the creative thinking and put together three potential routes.

The creative is presented, and one route is signed off so we can implement the chosen design across the various deliverables. And it tends to be at this stage that things start to go wrong.

Decisions, decisions

I think we’re all so busy being ‘inclusive’ that sometimes those who should be making the decisions defer to those who, perhaps, should not. This leads to seemingly endless to-ing and fro-ing with tiny tweaks, feedback and changes of direction, with the client potentially losing sight of the original brief. Deadlines come and go, and occasionally everything is so delayed that a new direction comes down from the Board so we effectively start again.

This scenario isn’t that uncommon, and is equally frustrating for the client as it is for the agency so we’ve put together a simple strategy that could help you take back control of your marketing:

  1. If you’re not completely clear about the extent of the brief (and don’t worry, many clients aren’t), we can work with you to write the brief and get it signed off by all the stakeholders. In this way everyone is onboard at the outset of the project.
  2. Decide early on who will be involved in the process and who will make the final decisions on each stage of the project; it’s great to include colleagues or a working party in the journey but, ultimately, it has to be one person’s decision (or the Board) who sign it off to the next stage. That old saying about ‘too many cooks’ holds true in the design world as well – asking multiple people who don’t know the brief for their opinions can easily derail or delay a project, potentially adding to your costs.
  3. If as a client you are providing copy, whether it’s for an advertising campaign, brochure or website, please supply it in one file or as sensible chunks which have been spell-checked and approved internally. This helps keep time and costs down at the design stage.
  4. Be realistic about deadlines for each stage of the project. If it’s a ‘drop dead’ deadline – for example an exhibition or trade show – then we’ll do all we can to meet it but if there’s no set deadline we’ll work with you to agree an achievable timeline for all parties to sign up to, allowing sufficient time for your approvals at each key stage.
  5. Keep communicating. If things change internally, keep us informed so the brief and timelines can be updated accordingly. If print slots have been booked, you could miss critical deadlines or incur extra costs if there’s too little time to reschedule work and presses are standing idle.

If any of this sounds familiar and you’d like some help to take back control of your marketing, drop us an email or give us a call on 01420 568127 because we’ve been there, and we can help you successfully manage the process.

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