Here are 41 Orange, we learned pretty early on that clear and consistent communication is key to a successful relationship.
As a former social strategist at a massive global agency, I witnessed first hand the benefits of holding regular meetings with your marketing partner, and the adverse effects of the lack of communication (budgets going down the toilet, wires getting crossed, frustrated clients and flustered marketers trying to figure out where it all went wrong).
That is the opposite of what we've experienced with our clients.
At 41 Orange, we require that our marketing teams meet with our clients at least bi-weekly, if not weekly. It makes for a much more successful relationship and we get outstanding results because of that closeness and openness we cultivate with clients.
If you're on the hunt for a marketing partner or having some trouble with your current provider, here are a few reasons you should absolutely insist on regular meetings:
Many times we talk to prospective clients who tell us horror stories about working with other service providers who fell off the face of the earth or who just couldn't seem to meet deadlines. Having regularly scheduled marketing meetings with your agency creates accountability on both sides.
During your meetings, you'll discuss what was done, what has worked and what's up next. The action items from this meeting should then provide the agenda for the next meeting. Meeting every week or every other week creates a method for checking in on those items to make sure that work is getting done by your agency.
On the flip side, if you're falling behind in providing feedback or assets, your marketing agency can gently remind you at your regular meeting. (Don't worry, it happens to the best of us :)
No More Long Meetings
Weekly meetings are NEVER 2-hours long. In fact, if you're doing it right, you should be able to get in and out in about 30 minutes.
Let's face it; long meetings don't really help anyone. And there's a reason for that.
Have you ever noticed how TED talks are just 18 minutes long? There's a reason for that. TED curator Chris Anderson said this is “long enough to be serious and short enough to hold people’s attention."
These meetings should be just long enough to get down to what needs to be discussed and to make an action plan for what should happen between now and the next time you meet.
Meetings also give you a chance to do a check-in on metrics. We, like many agencies, review data internally constantly, but we also make sure to share any interesting stats with our clients during our regular meetings. We also hold one meeting a month to dive into the previous month's results so clients know exactly what's going on.
When you pay attention to results, you tend to get better results. HubSpot found that teams that achieved a greater ROI in 2015 were 20 percent more likely to review data and monitor analytics on a regular basis.
When you meet with your agency regularly, you start to feel like the agency is more of a partner than a vendor (which is what we LOVE!). You'll have a much higher level of comfort with your marketing team and feel able to share feedback and swap ideas openly.
This camaraderie is also great for your internal team. Spending time with a great marketing agency gives you the opportunity to learn from them. When you have time set aside to collaborate, the ideas that flow between your agency and your team tend to get better over time as they learn from each other.
The agency will also get to know your style, how you talk, how you prefer to work and more the more they meet with you. Basically we become your colleague -- imagine having a marketing company that anticipates your questions before they even come up. That's what happens.
Peace of Mind
If nothing else has convinced you that regular meetings are great for your business, then how about just the peace of mind it brings.
You don't have to wonder what your marketing agency is doing. You don't have to worry that you're not getting the results you want.
You will know exactly what they are doing. You will know exactly how it is going.
That is the beauty of attending weekly or bi-weekly meetings with your marketing partner. It creates a level of transparency that is difficult to achieve without consistent communication.
Whether it's a phone call, video chat or in-person meeting, you'll be happy to partner with a marketing agency that insists on regular communication. It's truly an asset to being successful in your marketing.