Your Agency: Inside/Out
Everything your agency wants you to know but won’t tell you because they don’t want you to fire them.
A Forbes study* shows that only 41% of all marketing clients have a positive view of their agencies. Only 38% report they are satisfied with their agencies. But it doesn’t have to work this way.
Here at Push, we’d like to present a series of articles to help clients better understand and work with their agency. You’re welcome.
Now the sixth in our eight part installment…
Why didn’t you make my requested changes?
We’ve seen it time and again. You’re reviewing the final changes to your website with your agency and you’ve given them very specific instructions. Move this here, change that color, replace an image, move this infographic, re-write a subhead, redo a form, insert a new paragraph.
Two days later you take a look on the staging server and only half of the changes had been implemented.
“Why did this happen? Were they not taking notes? How could they have missed it? I couldn’t have been more clear.”
An agency is a creative beehive. Our semi-choreographed dance is filled with purpose, productivity, chaos and teamwork . We’re motivated by happy clients, new business, cool projects, pats on the head and a chance to do something great. And while much of our work is choreographed, we still get into each others way on a regular basis. The best agencies have processes that help, but too much process can result in slower-than-molasses delivery. It’s a fine balance.
When you send us your changes, especially when they are many and varied, it’s likely that a minimum of three people will be involved in making those changes happen – an account manager, a designer (and sometimes a production designer) and a developer. Even the smallest change requests can easily fall prey to the agency version of the telephone game and it’s not uncommon for something to be missed.
What is the best way to ensure your requested changes are made in a timely (and accurate) manner?
- Have one central clearing house for all content. Client changes are missed primarily of version control. Designate one central hub for communication and stick to it. Don’t rely on phone, text, e-mail, etc. for changes. We advocate for project management software like BaseCamp to help facilitate clear communication.
- It seems easy, but make sure your content changes are bulleted and bolded. In the heat of battle it’s easy to miss changes if they are part of the body of an e-mail.
- Make sure you remain the central contact for all changes. When requested changes are coming from different people on your team, chaos ensues.
- The phone is your friend. In the heat of battle, it’s OK to call your agency contact to validate every change and to make sure nothing is being missed.
- Hidden deadlines = mistakes. Working at the last minute often results in mistakes and missed details. Give us real deadlines and let’s hold each other to them. If you are not clear on the deadline, it’s easy for the agency to assume there is more time.
Let’s use a Super Bowl analogy here. When the ball is down in the Red Zone (20 yards to the goal) the team must double their effort to get it over the goal line. Same holds true of your project. As we get closer to the deadline, everyone — client and agency — needs to double down, work hard and communicate clearly to move the ball over the finish.
Don Low is a principal at Push. When he’s not working, he’s turning laps in a pool, riding his road bike, rooting his kids on or deciding what to make for dinner.