Delays are not uncommon when using agencies, so we have written a clients guide to meeting deadlines and budgets during your marketing and design projects.
When using an agency for your marketing projects, you trust in their ability to deliver on time and within the agreed budget. Frustratingly, delays are not uncommon due to many factors, from technical issues to unexpected requirements. As a full-service agency, we do everything we can to ensure these delays DO NOT happen! But did you know there are things you can do as the client to help ensure your project runs smoothly?
We have put together a clients guide to meeting deadlines and budgets full of helpful advice to help clients manage their design and marketing projects, minimising delays and hurdles and ensure you get the most out of your budgets.
What is your objective?
The first thing to consider is what your objective is? Do you want to increase your social media following, build on your brand awareness, reach out to untapped demographics, help convert leads into actual sales, what is your overall goal? Your objective is key to defining what your project should include, from updating your marketing strategy to a full rebrand.
We occasionally have clients approach us for large scale projects requiring a considerable chunk of their marketing budgets because they feel it’s the only way to achieve the results they need. However, with a little digging, we can often find a solution that achieves more significant results using a less aggressive approach that can save clients thousands in the process.
You don’t need to know it all, that’s why you hire an agency! But it is always helpful to come to the table with an idea of what you want and why.
Consider your competitors:
Surprisingly, some clients are under the impression they do not have any competitors within their field. However, with a little research, you’ll undoubtedly find there are others out there providing similar services to you, locally and further afield.
You may wonder why competitor research is so important. It is not about handpicking what you like from other businesses and replicating it for your brand and strategy. Competitor research is about understanding what stands you apart. What are your USPs that customers can’t find anywhere else? How can you differentiate yourself from the pack and tap into new and existing demographics?
Competitor research is part of our process, and during our workshops, this research is brought to light to help you see things from a different perspective. However, before you embark on any project, understanding your competitors or similar brands in the market will help inspire your decisions and help identify USPs, you may not know you had.
Have a vision beyond the immediate and share it with your teams
Before beginning your project, consider the future and longevity of what you want to achieve. There is nothing wrong with dreaming big and making a five-year, ten-year or even 15-year plan for the agency to be mindful of when working on your projects. Agencies (like us) can help identify the key milestones in your plans to form your marketing strategies and use this to develop future project plans. The more your agency knows about where you want to be the more informed and aligned with your goals their outputs will be, whether that’s design or strategy.
Sharing this company vision with your employees from the start will align them with your goals and ensure they are on board with any marketing decisions. In the past, we have found that when it comes to sharing concepts with employees who have been out of the loop or misinformed, it can cause roadblocks. If they don’t understand why you are doing what you are doing, or feel that they are a second thought to the process, they may not be the most objective in providing feedback.
Get your employees on board from the start to ensure a cohesive and smooth project. Their feedback is invaluable to the process.
Speak to your team
Before embarking on a new project speak to everyone in your company, they live and breathe your brand every day and know what works well and what needs to be improved. Every employee faces different challenges every day and will have their own authentic and unique perspective. This feedback may reveal issues or even USPs you did not know existed. For example, your site has accessibility issues that your customer service team often has to deal with, revealing the need to improve your site and that your customer service team are experienced and able to help customers with accessibility issues.
Alongside this, it’s great for internal company buy-in!
Listen to your team
Although the project lead has the final decision, involving select team members who understand your objectives is crucial to ensuring the designs and strategies are hitting the mark.
- Keep these teams small, around 3 to 5 (if possible) as too many cooks can ruin the broth.
- Everyone will have an opinion, and you can’t please them all, what is essential is that you get other peoples views to help make the final decision.
- When sharing concepts, give a strict deadline for feedback and ensure that the strategy and reasoning are clear.
- Listen to the team and the agencies advice.
- If it is still unclear with what decision to make, then go with your gut instinct! You know your brand and business better than anyone, what does your gut tell you?
Content creation – copy
We often find that projects get held up because clients underestimate the time and skill required for writing good copy, targeting specific audiences for specific platforms. Copywriting is not easy and is time-consuming.
If you decide to provide all copy, you must stick to the deadlines. There is only so much a designer or developer can do before needing your copy. Give yourself plenty of time for writing, proofing, amending and sharing for feedback. Consider the SEO if writing for a website, your target audiences’ readability level, your tone of voice and your brand. Above all, the most important thing is to be open and honest with your agency, if you are struggling with the deadline, tell them. Happy Giraffe often steps in to help write copy or adjust studio times to be flexible with our clients. The sooner you reach out, the sooner it can be addressed by the agency.
Content creation – photography and films
Are you planning to supply the images or films? Do they reflect your brand and tone of voice, and are they high quality? If there is any doubt at all, then they are not good enough. Your customers will instantly turn away from your brand if the images are low quality or misrepresenting you. Whether you plan to use your existing assets or update your libraries, what’s critical is providing them on time to your agency. Again, a designer or developer can only do so much before needing assets – a delay in the supply will ultimately delay the project.
As a full-service agency, we offer everything from copywriting to photography and film. Why not put your trust in us with all your requirements, and we will deliver your project on time and budget.
Dedicated point of contact
Projects always work best when there is one point of contact client-side and agency-side. Having one point of contact ensures emails and calls are not lost or missed, and communication remains clear, concise and to the point. Happy Giraffe always allocates a dedicated Account Manager to every client, which should be standard throughout the industry.
Keep in contact
We’re human, and we completely understand that sometimes other deadlines can crop up at work, leaving you with little time to concentrate on your new marketing project. Just let your agency know and keep in contact, there’s plenty that goes on behind the scenes, and we can help try and avoid delays in your project.
Trust and honesty
We’re the experts and remember we have your best interests at heart. We appreciate honesty and aren’t precious about our work, so tell us what works and what doesn’t for you. We will turn your vision into a triumph! Your success is our success, and we like to build relationships that last with our clients and think of ourselves as an extension of your marketing team. To achieve this, Happy Giraffe goes above and beyond to meet your goals and targets by using our creativity and expert multi-disciplined team.
As an agency, we’re always happy to help our clients; there’s no such thing as a project too small or too big for us! We are a modest but mighty team that has worked with businesses of all sizes, from startups to global corporations.
Get in touch if you would like to talk through your next project or get some advice.
Alternatively, visit our portfolio to see what we are all about!