A blinding Flash of the Obvious: Giving Your Digital Marketing Agency Precise Instructions and Understanding How to Communicate Choices.

Nauman Akbar, founder and owner of MessageMuse, a full service digital marketing agency, talks about effective communication with your web developer and your reputation manager.

I always explain to customers that we are here to help them express themselves through their digital marketing projects. Whether it is website design and development, a mobile app or a reputation management campaign, our goal is to help them meet their goals and to do it with a style that is all their own. I also tell them that we are here to work for THEM and what they want. That is when I get the “blinding flash of the obvious” look from the client sitting with me to discuss their digital marketing needs.

In two previous articles This One’s Just Right we talk about the process of selecting a digital marketing agency that is right for you. But as you begin your journey together there are some subtle rules of the road to keep in mind—ones that will make the journey easier and more productive

Know What You Like

I wish I had a dollar for every time I have heard, “I’ll know it when I see it” when referring to a client’s preferences and the feel he wants to give with his website design, mobile app or reputation management campaign. As a digital marketing agency, we are here to help determine what would be best for readability and functionality but we really can’t help figure out what a client likes. And we don’t have the luxury of creating one iteration after another until the client sees what he likes. That results in extra costs and frustration all around.

So how does one go about figuring out what is just right? Some of the discovery will come in the form of positive reactions (I love this) or in the form of negative response (I definitely don’t want that).

My best advice is to perform some of the following activities:

  • Check out the competition. See if there is a certain look or feel you like or dislike. Then go one step further. Ask what is it about your competitor’s digital project that you like or dislike. Is it the color, the font, the placement of the photos and words, is it the message? Take copious notes on why you prefer or dislike specific images. Gather and review this information with your web developer or digital agency. Why let your digital agency prepare an entire project using a shade of blue as a background only to learn that it is your least favorite color? Create an efficient process for your digital marketing agency so more time can be spent of delivering a creative, eye-catching result rather than letting them fish around for what you like, requiring many do-overs.
  • Share your images. Most customers have some images that they want to use as part of their digital project. Collect them, organize them and share them with your digital marketing agency or your web developer. Create “must use” and a “like to use” image folders and review them with your digital agency. But don’t be offended if some of your photos are rejected. Pictures taken with cellphones may be great to share with friends and family but for most digital projects such as website design, posting to Facebook, and mobile apps, the resolution is low and pixelated. Poor quality images will degrade the overall effect of your digital project.
  • So, if you fear that many of your photos are not worthy of use, what do you do? Go for another option—check out stock and search images that are appropriate to your project or business and save those to review with your digital marketing agency. Again, this will provide a window into what you are looking for and the feel you want to convey.
  • Once your digital marketing agency understands your likes and dislikes, turn him loose to create for you. It is what a digital agency does. Resist the urge to micro-manage your project. Avoid trying to copying another business’s work. Let your digital agency do what you hired them to do—create something that reflects your preferences but that is new and unique.

One Line of Communication

In my years in this business, I have come to understand that no man can serve two masters. In a recent personal post to Facebook I used the quote: No dragon can have two heads. It gives the dragon a huge headache and confuses the hell out of the tale. I posted this after a particularly frustrating weekend taking orders from multiple family members of a client.

And when you hire a digital marketing agency, you need to be keenly aware of the issues that occur when more than one person weighs in on what is to be done. It seems that the minute, a client hires a digital marketing agency, those who know best seem to appear out of nowhere. Aunt Sue who knows you would want your fifth-grade picture included on your website or a cousin who absolutely insists that a specific function be added to your mobile app wants to help. But that is not what they are doing. They are, in effect, contradicting your instructions and wasting time for your digital marketing agency. We will politely listen and then call you.

My best advice would be to include those who may have input into your initial project planning and keep the digital marketing agency out of it. You can evaluate recommendations and choose to include them or not.

Some Other Communication Pointers

  • If you have a business partner, decide together what is to be done with website design. Discuss all choices between you and decide what you will do before giving information to your web developer. Choose who will speak for the team and stick to that decision. This creates a clear line of communication and a consistent avenue to use for additional choices and questions that may arise through the creative process.
  • For husbands and wives who work together in a business, remember that marriage counseling is not one of the services offered by your digital marketing agency, web developer or mobile app developer. Too often arguments that start over a husband’s poker night end up exploding over the choice of font in your web design. We are sorry we can’t help you so please leave your beefs at home.
  • Understand that we are legally bound by the contract that we signed. The person who signs the contract calls the shots. That is how it has to be. If your sister calls and says to include something on your website and to consult with her about future choices, understand that we will say no and mean it. Warn those who will try to help in advance. We are not trying to be difficult but we do understand the legal parameters of a contract.

A digital marketing project can be an exciting and rewarding experience. It moves you closer to realizing a major goal. And you can ensure that the journey will be an effective and rewarding one by using these tips for defining what you want and how to most effectively communicating your ideas.

This article is brought to you by Nauman Akbar, founder and owner of MessageMuse, a leader in offshore digital IT services. We are a full service digital marketing agency offering website development, enterprise app solutions for businesses, mobile app development, reputation management, logo design, and branding. We currently have customers internationally and in the US. We are now expanding our services to South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and Virginia. We are a registered business with the Delaware Secretary of State. We welcome individuals, businesses, and brokers to check out all the services and skills we offer. Give us a call at +1 (704) 315-2120 or check out our website at https://www.messagemuse.com/ or send us an email at agency@messagemuse.com . Let us help your business find creative digital solutions at any price point.