You’ve done your homework, considered your options and decided it’s time to hire a full-service marketing agency. Congratulations. It’s time to lay the strategic foundation on which all of your marketing, public relations and social media marketing campaigns will be built.
At Co-Communications, we kick off new retainer relationships with a Discovery Meeting where we roll up our sleeves and really get to know one another. Nonprofit and for-profit clients alike often ask what the purpose of the Discovery Meeting is, so we thought we would break it down for you. After all, if we’re asking you to block out a few hours of your time to help us better market your brand, you should know what to expect.
Collaborating with a full-service agency
For some clients, hiring Co-Communications marks their first time working with an outside PR/marketing firm while others have handled marketing internally or worked with agencies previously.
At Co-Communications, during a Discovery Meeting clients have the opportunity to share background about their organization, elaborate on their marketing objectives and provide the marketing team with the information they need to be effective. Discovery Meetings are also an opportunity for the agency to learn more about your competition, how your business works and the goals they will be helping you to achieve. The meeting is extremely collaborative and an open forum for both parties to share insights and ideas and to ask important questions. This meeting sets the tone for the client-agency relationship and is an investment in building and sustaining a positive working relationship. It also provides a snapshot of what interactions will be like moving forward.
What to expect from a full-service agency
Every agency is different. At Co-Communications, we pride ourselves on building and maintaining collaborative, long-term relationships with our clients. To achieve this objective we work hard to ensure that we make ourselves ‘perfectly clear’ at all times.
We enter Discovery Meetings with the goal of collecting the background information we need to be successful marketing a client’s brand or cause. Our objective is also to lay a solid foundation for the new relationship. During Discovery Meetings we learn:
- How clients want to be communicated with. This includes both frequency and channel of communication.
- The measurable goals clients want us to help them achieve.
- Designated point person(s) for various campaign components/marketing activities.
- Prior marketing successes the client hopes to replicate.
- Prior marketing missteps that the client hopes to avoid.
Just as clients expect us to deliver measurable results, we expect clients to enter Discovery Meetings ready to roll up their sleeves and dig in. We also strive to set client’s expectations during the Discovery Meeting so that everyone is on the same page from day one. We do this by:
- Ensuring the measurable goals outlined are both achievable and realistic given the duration and parameters of our engagement.
- Establishing regular check-ins with the client to provide updates and exchange ideas.
- Clearly defining various team members’ roles and responsibilities.
- Creating a work plan that outlines tasks and deadlines for both the agency and the client.
Client-agency education and communications
Discovery Meetings are valuable opportunities for agencies and clients to learn more about one-another. This includes not only the subject matter at hand, but also how each other approaches problems or challenge and what types of marketing messages resonate with them. That’s right. Discovery Meetings are giant think-tanks.
While Discovery Meetings are chiefly designed for the agency to learn about the client, they are also great opportunities for the client to learn more about their new marketing partners. As trusted advisors, we walk clients through marketing and PR best practices, share success stories and discuss how local, national and global trends are impacting their organization on a daily basis. Most importantly, Discovery Meetings begin to outline how the client’s industry expertise and the agency’s marketing savvy can be best leveraged to generate measurable and meaningful results for the client.
We realize that clients’ schedules are hectic and that blocking out a few hours isn’t easy. We also know that ensuring everyone is on the same page from day one is critical for building and sustaining productive, long-term relationships that produce measurable outcomes. When you sign on with an agency, you commit to an exciting, thought-provoking partnership that will strengthen your brand. We promise it’s worth dedicating the time for a Discovery Meeting.
Wish you had a Discovery Meeting with Co-Communications on your calendar? Contact us today to learn more about how our strategic PR and marketing services can impact your bottom line.