How much is it worth to have a cup of coffee or tea (or whatever your preferred beverage may be) with your agency account person a couple of times a month? I’d say it’s one of the best things you can do for your business. I’m not talking about those planned meetings with set agendas to design comps or web site design progress. Neither am I talking about those infamous high-level planning sessions that include everyone from the CEO to the summer intern.
The regular meeting that I am advocating is the one that invites casual conversation. A simple half hour where you can bring your agency person up to speed on the ins and outs of recent business. It’s the time to mention the opportunities that you aren’t quite sure are going to come to fruition, the frustration going on in the sales office or the glowing letter that you just received from a big customer.
These are all things that your agency account person needs to hear. Not because they are smarter than you or have an immediate answer to the latest challenge but because a marketing person’s brain, especially one on the outside of the company, tends to work a little differently. In the nuances of the conversation a good account manager will see glimmers of bigger ideas or perhaps opportunities for improvement. At the very least, they will walk away with a more thorough understanding of the current challenges.
For example, in a recent client conversation my client mentioned that he needed to cut our time a little short because he was mentoring some local students in a program set up by the company. To him, it was a something he felt great about doing but also a little extra stress on his busy schedule. To me, it was an incredible fit for the company blog and a PR opportunity to show a softer side of a construction business.
Another time a client related to me that there sale staff was struggling to keep up with portfolio samples and case studies. They were simply overwhelmed with information when it came to putting together a sales presentation. After taking this back to our agency, we helped them devised an online database with searchable features that not only archived case studies but also organized them.
Some of you readers will be cynical, I know Some will say these little pow-wows are just an opportunity for my agency to ‘upsell’. Others will claim neither they nor their agency have time for this. I’d argue if you feel strongly about either of these, you may need to take a harder look at your agency relationship.
The most effective client/agency relationships are ones where ideas and conversations flow freely. Where there is trust on both sides. Keeping your agency at arm’s length and focused solely on one project at a time may seem like the cost effective approach in the short run but in the long run, the only way to maximize the effectiveness of a good agency is to open the communications. Now, how ‘bout that coffee?
Mindstorm upgrade the Miller Street Dance Academy website using the Joomla CMS system. Mindstorm redesigned the site and upgraded the functionality of their site. Miller Street wanted a web site that could be maintained and updated by their staff. Having two locations they needed a way to ‘get the word’ out faster to their 1,000 plus students. Miller Street will using the new site to promote their two dance studios and at the same time keep their current students informed about current events, class schedules and more.
This morning, Nike unveiled a video to promote its newest high-tech fitness device: the Nike+ FuelBand, developed with help from R/GA. Before we get any further, let’s try to figure out what this fancy toy actually does. According to Nike, you wear your FuelBand during the day to track your steps, calories burned, time spent exercising, etc. But more important, it also calculates something called “NikeFuel” using “oxygen kinetics,” which tells you just how active you’ve been, regardless of your chosen pursuit—everything from dancing to walking to playing basketball can be quantified and compared.
Now that we know what a FuelBand is—sort of—let’s watch Nike’s latest spot, from Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore., to see some examples of activities that can be measured in NikeFuel. And in classic Nike fashion, they’re using clips of famous athletes and film scenes to do it. (Hopefully they got licenses for everything!)
So, dancing like M.C. Hammer, swinging a tennis racquet like Serena Williams, battling evil ex-boyfriends like Scott Pilgrim, playing basketball like LeBron James, trimming hedges like Edward Scissorhands, and chasing chickens like Rocky—all things that result in NikeFuel. On the other hand, chilling out like the Big Lebowski, riding your Segway like Paul Blart, and getting waxed like the 40-Year-Old Virgin won’t get you anywhere. (Although the amount of pain endured during a chest waxing must amount to something, right?)