I’ve written about what it takes to be a great client . Here is a list of 15 “Rights” you, as the client, should expect from a great marketing agency. This is also a way to tell if you are working with a top-notch firm:
- Intellectual honesty, with discretion.
- Good surprises from great work.
- Confidentiality, in all circumstances and forever.
- Competitive/Industry intelligence, often unsolicited.
- Knowing who will be working on your business from day one, and not high-level sell-in with lower-level service.
- Having the attention of the right people at the agency whenever you need it.
- Slightly more value than for what you’ve been billed … great agencies always supply value-adds.
- Respect for everyone in your organization.
- Realistic expectation of time lines, and remaining true to them.
- Upfront pricing, with adjustments noted in advance; no billing surprises.
- If necessary, having all invoices explained with detailed documentation.
- A clear understanding you exclusively own the work for which you’ve paid.
- Strict adherence to all performance guarantees unless re-negotiated.
- The agency understands they are like baseball managers: As long as they are regularly winning, they stay employed.
- A graceful separation, if necessary, demonstrating mutual respect.
Some of these would be included in your work agreement, but others reflect the way the relationship is handled and the commitment the agency has to you.
I haven’t included “results” guarantees because they are usually complicated and don’t work out as intended. What they often do is hasten the end of the relationship.
Please feel free to add something if I’ve missed it.