By Mike Eckert
It is not just a coincidence that three of the largest advertisers – Proctor & Gamble Co., Unilever and General Motors – have relationships with their marketing agencies that date back to 1922 and earlier, surviving mergers, recessions, bankruptcies, and management changes.
Long term relationships last and work….
One of the key benefits of any long-term relationship is that it fosters effective communication and understanding for the planning and implementation of goals, costs, timing, and expectations.
You know your client’s brand, their vision, how they work, and their culture. You should have the ability to function and change as they change and grow.
Understanding the brand and incorporating it into your deliverables, bringing your knowledge of the consumer, the market, and contributing an outsider’s view is an important element in the dynamics.
How does the program fit into their overall vision, how will it move sales, what ideas are you bringing that will help your client build revenue?
As a Point of Purchase manufacturer we not only analyze how the display will engage customers at retail but we incorporate the big picture on how it relates to the entire marketing program.
Obstacles are opportunities to push the brand and projects forward, contributing fresh perspectives that bring new ideas to the program. Does the display incorporate the brand through imagery you use, does it reflect the personality of the product, and does it highlight the features as well as the benefits to consumers? How will it reinforce the overall product, company image and message?
In order to create an environment where you are able to apply those business principles, there is a level of trust, communication and understanding that needs to develop over time. This deepens and enhances the communication and understanding process. It allows you to be comfortable thinking out of the box and presenting ideas.
Do you understand your client’s culture, how they make decisions, are you someone they can work with to help them work through programs and challenges? How do you bring in new management and personnel so they feel comfortable with your operations? Can you work with all the different departments?
Just like any good relationship that incorporates trust, communication and understanding, a business relationship is both business and personal. And if you want to keep that relationship you don’t just know the brand, you live it.
Mike Eckert is President of Design Phase Inc., a leader in the point-of-purchase industry. With over 30 years in the industry, Design Phase’s long-term relationships with some of the world’s largest brands including Microsoft, LG Electronics, Disney, and Bose have partnered in lifting their sales for over 20 years. Mike can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.