“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is a progress. Working together is success.” – Henry Ford.
Not to be cliché and kick out a quote with the first line of this blog, but it’s quite fitting for the subject matter – collaboration and implementation within a new partnership. Mudd Advertising has been growing rapidly lately with numerous new business pitches, staff hires and expansion into new markets. One of these new client partnerships launched with the agency back on January 1st, 2015 as a full-service client and ultimately under my care as an Account Executive.
This client has been picture perfect since the beginning – they’re quick to respond, actively engaged, able to provide input, genuinely great people and allow us to do our thing without impeding the process. Better yet, there is an understanding on both ends that we’re in a mutual partnership working side-by-side to help propel them to the next level of success. Key phrase: side-by-side.
We had an in-person meeting in February, in which we spoke about April and May creative concepts. I pitched the ever-popular “Spring Cleaning” or “Spring Event” concept for April and the client seemed to be on board. It had been a successful meeting with things buttoned up for the next 60 days.
Before leaving though, I was educated on the apparent inclement weather in their state of New Mexico during the upcoming months. According to the client, there’s a thing called “Windy Season” down in the Southwest where winds can reach up to 50 mph+, keeping many residents indoors (similar to an Iowa blizzard). I laughed it off at the time and didn’t put much thought into it.
Some time passed, and as I was planning for April back at the office, I had a lightbulb moment – “Let’s do a Windy Season Sale!” I instantly brought the concept up to our script writers, who eventually put together a tremendous TV spec spot for the client to check out. This concept would have our on-screen talent acting like a meteorologist speaking about the high winds and how the sale prices will “blow you away” – get it?
During our phone call with the client, he was hesitant on running with the creative in fear of negative comments regarding the weather and wanted some time to think about it. After pitching the concept a little harder, we all decided it was worth it. We got the script into production and waited for the month to begin before we could get it to the stations. Once the creative was kicked out and approved by all parties, we sent it out to the stations to run.
So after that, our month is done, right? The creative will just drive the people to the dealership! Not so fast…
All Account Executives know a good receptionist – a gatekeeper, if you will – from a not-so-good one. This client has two phenomenal receptionists… and they hardly get the praise they deserve. Sure, they’re courteous and get me to the right person I need, but they buy in to the creative for the month. I got on the phone to let the client know the TV spot was running, and was greeted by a “Hello, are you calling in regards to our Windy Season sale?” It’s a very simple touch, but it – pardon the windy pun – blew me away.
Later, I took the opportunity to make sure all of our Facebook advertising was running on time and accurately, and noticed an interaction from a customer and the client in a comment section on one of our ads. The customer had general questions about the vehicle we were promoting… and the client followed up with multiple windy puns, effectively getting more interaction out of the customer.
Again, this is a simple touch, but something that I was absolutely thrilled to see as a marketer. The reason I’m so appreciative of this is because it gets lost in the shuffle of monthly campaigns, and this client bought in and aided in the creative theme internally. Not only are they utilizing the creative from a TV, radio, print and digital perspective, but they’re doing it via a receptionist and social media perspective – a crucial stage in the buyer’s decision process.
If every client had a top-down creative approach at all touch points for the consumer, there’s no denying that it’d help improve their campaign. As an agency, we get to provide the idea and create the materials placed on the air, in the POP or through the “interwebz,” but we aren’t able to be at the dealership day-in and day-out to make sure the materials get used appropriately. This collaboration only enhances the relationship between the agency and the client. Constantly pushing forward, working together and fundamentally increase success. There are too many relationships that are a one-way street. Didn’t your parents ever tell you that two heads are better than one?