Are You a Good Client?
Having an in-house Digital Marketing Manager or Project Management job you are a client in some form. Aren’t you? You outsource to an agency or freelancer; you delegate; you signed contracts binding a vendor relationship. You have a tough gig as the hub to all the resources around you. As a Project Manager you are accountable to ensure your project is complete on-time and within budget. At some point along the way of your vendor relationship management duties you have experienced pain points (perhaps more frequently than you’d like). To alleviate this pain let’s not be quick to blame the other side – but, take a few steps back and gain a new perspective asking ourselves, “Am I a good client?”.
From this blog post you will gain a new perspective and best practice checklist to ensure you get the most return from your vendor relationships. At the very least read #12 below for top vendor relationship management best practices.
12 Point Checklist to Vendor Relationship Management Best Practices
1. Know your budget.
2. Know your timeline.
3. Identify your project needs, pain-points, or shortfalls so your vendor can help in these areas.
4. Prepare your vision and back it with examples you like and dislike.
5. Trust the vendor. They are the experts.
6. Assign a main point of contact and 1 final decision maker on your end.
7. Identify what is expected as the final or executable deliverable.
- How many design/copy concepts?
- How many rounds of revisions?
- Timeline or project plan expectations?
8. Build a partnership with your vendor. Collaborate and provide insightful research, interviews, or surveys of your industry. You know your industry best.
9. If you come from a complex industry; pad timelines to allow the vendor to get acclimated. The best work comes from understanding the emotions and influences within the decision making process of your sales cycle.
10. Plan accordingly to allow yourself ample time to collect internal feedback within project timelines.
11.Loop in your Accounting department on invoicing due dates.
12. YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY CLIENT. BE PATIENT. THERE IS A QUEUE OF OTHER PAYING CUSTOMERS TO BE SERVICED AS WELL.
8 of 10 times the reason a client is upset is due to expectations not being set at the forefront of the agreement. Leave no room for guessing. In the event you are not satisfied with the work, provide constructive feedback for improvement. Your Account Manager’s first priority is to ensure your satisfaction. You should be happy with results based on preset expectations and the SOW agreement. In the event the outsourced work is sub-par, it is okay to part ways as the SOW should include an out clause. Typically you will find a 30 day written notice for digital marketing and creative retainer agreements.
Author Name – Polly Brady
Title – Marketing Director
Location – Baltimore, MD
Twitter – @CareerProfiles
Byline – Polly has 8 years broad based Marketing experience with a passion for Digital. Working experience coast-to-coast with start ups in San Diego, CA, non-profits in Washington, DC and the digital agency lifestyle of Baltimore, MD. She thrives on problem solving, supporting sales growth and KPIs through testing new strategies and thought provoking campaigns. Analytics and ROI minded. Enjoys networking with like-minded creatives, marketers and strategists from all industries and locations.