As the GM at ToriStar Media, I get to meet a lot of people. Over the course of my 20+ years, I’ve met thousands of marketing directors and advertising directors; you name it. One of the things that has always surprised me is the turnover in many of those positions. Unfortunately, it usually comes down to choices that the person makes based on their experience or the pressure to stay on budget. But what’s more important, consequences? I mean, it’s probably bad either way, but would you rather be a few dollars over and have an outstanding result or would you rather cut corners and meet the bottom line? It’s a tough decision, and one that I bet the guys that chose the company to build the Healthcare.gov site regret.
But Imagine that you’re the Marketing Director at a company and have been tasked with the new corporate website. The current site has been around for several years and isn’t cutting it. There are no leads being generated from it, the sales team won’t even show it to customers because it’s embarrassing, and it’s just ugly. So what do you do? On the good side, let’s assume you do your research, interview three companies and pick the one you think is best. They rock it. This is the greatest site you've ever seen; the Sales Manager is thrilled at all the leads coming in. All because you made the right choice in web design companies and were successful.
Choices are great, especially when you make the right one. But over and over again, I see that many corporate decisions are being made based on things other than what company is the most qualified. It’s time for some of these marketing and ad directors to get educated. When choosing any company to work with that will have an effect on your sales, choose the best! This seems like basic advice, but there are thousands of companies that are pinching pennies in the wrong places. If you can afford to run that fountain outside of your building 24/7, you can afford to spend the money with an agency that will get results for you. As the Marketing Director, it’s important for you to educate the people that write the checks. Explain why an off the shelf website template is not a good idea.
I also think its time for design companies to start educating their customers too. I’ve been in plenty of presentations by firms and agencies in which the only person in the room who understood a word of the presentation was the presenter.
I think that if the agency does a better job making sure that their customers understand what they’re selling, the customer will be able to make better choices.
Many expect one thing and receive another because they didn’t ask the right questions. They didn’t want to feel foolish in front of their superiors and who can blame them? It’s the agency's job to answer those questions before you have to ask. But it all goes back to consequences. Any company worth doing business with will explain everything so you can understand it.