Communication and Networking being her core strengths , Sonali is a vivacious PR Professional from Mumbai. She started her entrepreneurial journey in April 2014 with Public Relations being her forte and has ever since been churning new ideas to expand new business horizons. Sonali holds a Masters in Business Administration with Marketing as her specialization. She is actively involved with marketing intelligence, market research, brand management and ATL/BTL marketing. Having worked into customer service during her early days of career, she possesses enhanced experience in dealing with international clients. Her current profile involves global brand positioning, communication and media strategy.
Do we as agencies pride upon taking the client’s feedback constructively? Or are we stuck in the dilemma between ‘the client is always right’ and ‘we are the experts’ leading to discomfort and draining creativity?
Clients select agencies for their social media management based on several grounds- creativity being the first. As the client and the agency get engaged, the chances of differences of opinions and ideas in the initial phase are really high. The agency generally may think out loud with their creative zeal while the client may expect subtle and sober designs or vice versa. Many-a-time, the client has real high expectations from the agency of creative concepts for every single post; but each idea gets subjected to rejection. And thus begins the love-hate relationship between the client and agency, which eventually could lead to disagreements and a sour taste. In these delicate moments, how do we as an agency with creative minds at work, tackle the equation between the teams?
Sonali Ramaiya, Founder- Roarrr Media & Public Relations shares a few points for agencies to ponder upon, to be able to deliver the best and stand out as their go-to partners for marketing:
- Placing your thoughts is as important as listening to feedback: While suggesting an idea, they may want to tell you that it cannot work out or shouldn’t be done, without even listening to your story. Make sure that you are heard and you complete sharing your thoughts with a valid reasoning. Word play acts as a great tool in such situations, while you may not want to sound rude but assertive.
- Tone down your creative mind from wild ideas: We are bound to come across as loud and flashy, given the risk taking attitude a creative mind is loaded with. Understand clearly by probing questions about the styling, designing and the theme the client wants to follow. While wanting to adhere to the client’s expectation, you still have room to suggest bending a rule.
- Set their expectations right: It is important to state terms for no. of times one can suggest alterations, right at the beginning of the engagement. Two to three sets of alterations may be considered as fair play, given the exclusive thought processes at both ends.
- Propose the design rather than the concept: Create now and edit after. Who knows where your creative mind will go? First design the concept with your initial instincts and then ask for as much feedback as possible, for changes. This may sound like extra effort, but would give them clarity rather than an abstract idea left to thrive on their imagination.
- Do not promise them the world: Honesty is the best policy when it comes to stating what you can deliver. Find out what they want to achieve. Site examples if need be, of past projects of similar nature to make the client understand what is possible for you to deliver and what isn’t.
- Establish regular conversation: Let communication be flowing soon after the initial kick-off meeting. Make weekly meetings a mandate between teams for improvement discussions and feedback. The feedback needs to be a two-way street with the correct usage of words and tonalities. Clients are happy when they are informed and connected to their agency.
- Make room for expressing your ideas: Some clients may come across as adamant while imposing their ideas and that often restricts the flow of creative juices. Don’t be bogged down. Advocate your concept without being emotional and keep digging out new concepts which you may use another time.
Working with creative agencies can be equally challenging for the client at the same time. It is crucial to evaluate our merits and shortcomings as an agency and continuously work upon them to create happy client experiences. The fun also lies in tackling challenges and converting them into opportunities to gain trust and be referred with confidence by the client as an agency that walks an extra mile!