Client Management

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As a marketing agency, the best way to promote yourself is to constantly expand your portfolio.
By having a large and diverse group of clients, across multiple industries (if possible), an agency can maximize its exposure.
If client relationships are handled properly, not only does each client become an advocate and spokesperson of your agency, but every customer they interact with is also interacting with you (although they may not know it).
Your client's market exposure is also your own.
Before you run out your door and sign up all the business you can, consider a few factors.
There are many ways companies can destroy your reputation if you're not careful.
The biggest issue is creating, or recreating, a solid platform without destroying everything a company has built.
Unless dealing with a startup, one can assume that there has been a branding and marketing structure in place to get your customer to this point, but they need some help.
As a creative entity, you have a certain amount of credibility when it comes to aesthetics, content, trends, styles, and so on.
If allowed freedom and leeway, you can build a masterpiece.
Of course, this is rarely the case.
Most companies have an idea of who they are (or who they think they are), a plan for how to promote themselves and your job is to implement it.
If your customer is asking you to do something you know is ineffective, unethical, impossible or just plain stupid, what is the best way to handle it? Calling them stupid and telling them they have to just trust you is probably the fastest and most satisfying way to handle an impasse, however it's not likely you'll be in business very long if that becomes a habit, despite the fun you'd have.
There is also something to be said for the company that does what it's asked, every time, without fail.
Customer satisfaction at 100%, right or wrong, isn't always a bad thing.
Walking the tightrope between educating your clients on what they should be doing, and forcing them to have a branding style that they don't believe in is an incredibly difficult proposition.
Obviously, if you're up to date on trends, research, and have had success in the industry, you know what works.
But if a client comes to you with a marketing plan that the CEO's wife (who has a budding interest in design and wants to help out) came up with, politically you can't just throw it out.
There is no right answer.
Tread carefully.
Handle each situation differently.
Try to subtly influence the right people into supporting your beliefs, and if a confrontation arises, stand your ground.
It's the only way to retain credibility.
Back up your claims with evidence and impress upon your clients that you know what you're doing.
If you didn't, then why are they talking to you? One of the great challenges facing any marketing agency is managing their clients.
Because you're creating the face the world sees, you not only control how people see your client, but your client has some control over how people see.
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