After working in a number of creative marketing agencies, from as small as a team of three to as large as a team of thirty,I have learnt that the principles are always the same
when managing a clients expectations and delivering a great piece of creative to a client.
- The importance of a clear brief!
This is often overlooked but without a doubt, getting a clear and concise brief at the early stages is hugely important. The brief should identify the key objectives behind the campaign! Who are we trying to reach and what materials are we using to achieve these objectives. Sounds simple but you wouldn’t believe how often these fundamental factors are overlooked when time limits are short.
- Make sure deadlines are well defined!
Second to a great brief should be a realistic project plan; this should outline all the different stages within the project, including the client’s involvement and requirements. I have seen it happen so many times when a project overruns due to the client not signing artwork off or neglecting to send over vital imagery or content. Outlining everyone’s expectations and visually showing how it all comes together to achieve the end result is extremely useful.
- Allow time for regular progress reviews!
It’s incredibly important that the project is reviewed regularly; always refer back to the original brief and project plan. Is the project still answering the brief? And, is it on track to hit the next deadline? It’s during these reviews that any possible issues or delays can be identified and the appropriate action taken.
- The dreaded timesheet!
Although no one likes having everything they do tracked, it’s vitally important that individual tasks and actions are recorded. To ensure the job remains profitable, timesheets should be reviewed regularly. If it becomes apparent that some tasks are more time consuming than others costs can be altered and resource adjusted.
It’s this data that can help to justify to a client a cost increase or considered when determining the initial project deadline.
- Feedback and debrief!
It’s very easy to wash your hands of a project once its complete, moving on to the next without a second thought! This is a massive mistake that many agencies make; it’s this period that’s the most important when developing a team and growing a company. Was the client happy? Not just with the end result, but the journey to get there. No one wants to hear they could have done better, but it’s far more useful than just a pat on the back.
Find out from the team how they felt the project went; was the information they received useful? Were the deadlines realistic?
What could be learnt from the project to ensure a slicker process next time? If the project was a huge success what factors contributed to this success! By encouraging feedback, you’re not only showing your team and clients you value their opinions but you’re ensuring there is always continual improvement and development within the team.