All good agencies value crisp time and budget management, and all of them have specific roles and titles for team members who do nothing else but what they do best. However, have you considered how critical it is for your team to be timely in its dealings with the agency?
Most B2B marketing deadlines are based on fixed-time events: an upcoming product launch, for example, or a major trade show or exhibition. Agencies realize how crucial it is to hit milestones along the way to have compelling, business-shaping tactics ready to deliver in a way that pays off pre-defined strategies. However, a significant pain point for agencies who are held to task for their delivery schedules is a lack of promptness or completeness in communications and project feedback.
If your agency holds a live presentation covering a strategic approach, a series of new concepts, or messages, they’ll often grant you a period to “live with the work” for a while before you supply consolidated feedback. Feedback that never comes, is late or is incomprehensible steals the momentum from the project. As a result, follow-ups and “nudges” from the agency often start to feel like “nags” to a client that finds itself challenged to respond.
If you and your team find yourself in that last group (challenged to respond,) make that a discussion point with your agency rather than suffering in silence. If you don’t know what your agency needs in response, ask them. Don’t guess. It’s likely that, to “move the project forward,” some agencies will take incomplete or unclear feedback and attempt to interpret it, perhaps with a lack of context, and deliver work that misses the mark in whole or in part.
Timely, clear feedback, even if the clarity is “we don’t know how to respond,” is better than too little, supplied late. Transparent, prompt feedback is the oil in the engine of a successful agency/client relationship. Honestly, we could stop here. If all of our clients were timely in their feedback, we’d be about 90% happier and more effective.