We understand how stressful it can be as a CMO to turn work over to an outside agency and just step back and put trust in them. You know that whatever the results are, you as the CMO will have to answer to the rest of the leadership team on your company. And that makes it tempting to want to stay right on top of everything.
Here’s why that isn’t a good idea:
A need to stay on top of everything often leads to a desire for more meetings. More face time. But that typically results in fewer results and/or greater costs.
Consider this: If your agency partner holds a weekly internal meeting about your project, plus a weekly meeting with you, with three agency staffers at each meeting, that is 6 hours per week. Multiple that by 52 weeks a year, and you have 312 hours minimum that your agency spent in meetings with you. At a $150/hour billable rate, that is $46,800 wasted in meetings that could have be spent getting results for your company.
This is a huge reason that we would rather focus on true accountability rather than “face time.” At JONES, we believe that when we hold fewer meetings we can deliver more results.
I don’t think we’re alone.
That doesn’t mean we never have meetings—internally or with clients. Instead, it means we meet when needed, and only when needed, to address specific items. And if my staff and I are delivering what we are supposed to deliver—on time, on budget, and with great quality—my clients don’t ask to have constant meetings just for a status update and face time.
After all, visibility is not the same thing as accountability.
I believe that one of the most important factors in the enduring relationships we have forged with clients over the last 15 years is that our clients never wonder “Will the JONES team deliver?”
We believe it is always our responsibility to meet agreed upon goals—to meet, or even exceed, expectations. That’s why our client-agency relationships last an average of seven years, when the industry average is less than 3 years.
At JONES, we drive the program and proactively ensure that we get the information, input and buy-in we need, because we believe that we are responsible for the success of the program. And we would rather spend our time doing the work that produces real results than in unnecessary meetings for status updates that could have been handled by an email or a quick one-on-one phone call. We don’t want to waste our time or yours—or your billable hours.
Learn more about the JONES philosophy, the lessons we’ve learned and the successes we’ve seen in series of posts published throughout 2019 and 2020 recognizing the agency’s 15-year anniversary:
- Lesson 1: If You Are Curious, You Can Make Anything Interesting
- Lesson 2: Today’s Relationships Are Tomorrow’s Enduring (or New) Accounts
- Lesson 3: Marketing Enterprise Software Relies On Analyst Relations, Case Studies & References
- Lesson 4: Ask The Right Questions, Set Measurable Goals, And Deliver On Expectations
- Lesson 5: Remember Not All B2C Purchase Decisions Are Emotional Impulse Buys
- Lesson 6: How To Hire The Right People & Work With The Right Clients
- Lesson 7: FinTech Marketing Starts With Authority And Trust
- Lesson 8: Experience Essential For Marketing Within The Life Sciences Field
- Lesson 9: Integrate Marketing & PR To Reach Healthcare IT Decision-Makers
- Lesson 10: First, You Have To Do The Data Work
- Lesson 11: Integrate PR & Marketing To Maximize Results
- Lesson 12: Telecom Industry Marketing Means Staying On Top Of Everchanging Trends
- Lesson 13: Successful Marketing Relies On Great Content
- Lesson 14: Use Surveys And Original Research To Fuel Content
- Lesson 15: Sustaining & Growing A Marketing/PR Agency Requires Peseverance To Adapt & Overcome
If you are in the market for a marketing and/or PR agency, I recommend asking candidates about their approach to meetings. Do they provide accountability, or just visibility? Find more questions and considerations for choosing the right agency to partner with your marketing program in our Agency Checklist. If you have more questions about philosophy, I’d be glad to talk with you and answer them all—just schedule a time on my calendar here.