Does anyone remember the NBC public service announcements from the late eighties of “The More You Know?” This is the one with the shooting star and the rainbow across the screen. For some reason, that’s always stuck in my head. It reminds me of how much better we can serve our clients and each other, when we know more information.
A major tenet of how we operate with our clients is knowing about the background and backdrop of their projects and their company, so we can serve them well. Communication is the center point between how we work and collaborate well with each other.
Three Types of Information We Need from Our Clients
Let’s discuss the three areas we focus on as we work with our clients to make sure we are getting the information we need. With more information, we can do a better job. The backdrop, the key players, and the expectations.
The backdrop can be anything from a challenge the company has been facing, to a goal the company is trying to reach or even something a company has been trying to do and hasn’t been able to achieve – and initiatives the company has found challenging.
Sometimes there are different priorities within a firm, for different departments, and maybe things aren’t getting done. Progress may have stalled out because there haven’t been resources. It helps us to understand the backdrop, so we understand how much time to put into a project, and how to structure it to be completed in an appropriate time frame.
The next key area for us to clearly understand is if there are key players involved in a project. Is this something the CEO requested that we should put a high priority on? Or is it more of an operational piece that is important, but maybe not as high of a priority or a project that can be on a longer timeframe? When are people expecting this piece to be done or this marketing program to launch?
We need to understand how to prioritize it among our projects for a client, as well as how aggressively we should project manage it through to the end.
The third area we need to understand is the expectations. Any good marketing project should have a concrete goal in mind. We like to know what that is, whether it’s brand awareness, or generating additional conversations with clients or investment advisors.
We don’t assume we know the goal of a project. Instead, we ask our clients exactly what they’re trying to get out of each marketing program. We can then deliver the correct project and program for them.
Communication is important. And the more we know, the further we can go with our clients. This includes knowing the backdrop, the key players involved in a project, as well as the expectations.