Part 3: Problems YOU cause when working with a marketing company.
- Unclear expectations.
- Unclear roles and authority.
- Late event announcements.
- No or late on-site pictures for event promotion.
The #1 Problem on the client-side: Abdication, followed by denunciation, is one of the most painful mistakes in MC/Client working relationships.
Once an MC is hired, a brief “get to know you” meeting is held in which the Client believes everything necessary has been communicated; then, the marketing company is free to do, or not do, anything it wants. This is the abdication.
This abdication feels like freedom! It seems excellent until that fateful day when the Client realizes halfway through the season that there have been no substantial results.
Typically, the Client quickly checks all those old emails from the MC asking for pictures, items, clarifications, and realizes that the MC hasn’t a clue what’s going on, down on the farm. Upon further review, the ads are wrong; the posts seem out of touch, and time is running out.
Both parties go into ‘face-saving’ mode. MC says, “The client never responded/provided/answered.” The Client says, “The MC never paid attention / doesn’t understand us.” and it all falls apart. This is the denunciation.
If you choose to hire a marketing company, please review these common pitfalls and address them during the less busy off-season.
- Unclear expectations. Spell out correctly “who will do what by when,” a John Calhoun quote from his book, “On the Same Page.” For instance, the MC will post three times per week about our Breakfast with Santa event. The Client will provide an Event Details sheet and 14 pictures from last year’s event by November 15th.
- Unclear roles and authority. MC is not permitted to FB Message angry customers; Client will handle complaints. MC should process all customer information requests, including hours, pricing, event details, as listed on the vent detail sheet.
- Late event announcements & on-site pictures for event promotion. For all MC promoted events, the Client agrees to complete the Event Details sheet and supply 7-10 images related to the event a minimum of 21 days before the event.
Planning for your seasons and events with your MC is critical, so you make sure that YOU aren’t the problem in the relationship. The reason both parties skim past this phase of complete clarity is that it takes TIME.
It feels like a waste to the MC who needs to get to work or get on to the next sale. It feels like a waste to the Client who feels like, “If I’m paying all this money, they should be able to figure it all out for me!”
Up next, Part 4: 3 People you should contract & HIRE to create a Hybrid Marketing Team. All this writing and thinking go into our current recommendations for marketing your farm & events for 2020.