How to Be a Bad Marketing Client

When you outsource your digital marketing, you (rightfully!) assume the relationship will make your life easier, generate new leads, prospects and customers and ultimately drive revenue. But, when that strategy doesn't go as planned, are you the first one to point fingers and blame the marketing firm or agency?

I bet you're thinking:

  • they're not delivering the right creative
  • their ideas are terrible!
  • the new ideas or strategies just aren't coming quick enough--or there's just not enough of them in the first place
  • they're putting other clients' needs before yours
  • [insert your own shady agency practice here]

But what if you're the problem? It's certainly a possibility that you have a partnership problem, maybe it's mutual, or it really might be a you problem.

Let's pause and reflect here for a moment...


Are we zen now? Alright, here are some things that might hurt your relationship with your marketing company/agency.

Creating ridiculous deadlines. A good marketing company will make you feel like you're their only client. But let's get real here--you know you're not, right? We all have schedules to maintain so that everyone's projects and stuff can get down on time. Yes, emergencies come up, and most will be willing to accommodate a rush project now and then. But, if EVERY ONE of your projects has a "we need this in three days" turnaround, you're not doing your part. If you want the best possible work, which will attract the attention of your leads and customers, give your marketing people time to do it.

Offering nonsense feedback. It's not effective to tell your creative team that you don't like what they've produced without a specific reason: "It's just not the right thing." "I'll know it when I see it." "It's not what I was envisioning." With those kinds of responses, both you and your creative team will be cranky. Instead, offer detailed feedback on both content and design.

Communication. If you have to change direction, it should be for good reason, and it can't be all the time. Marketing efforts aren't a mad sprint to the finish--the shotgun approach doesn't allow you to measure the success of your efforts. Stay the course! Let the team execute the full plan or campaign before making drastic tweaks. 

Absenteeism or being difficult to reach. Just because your marketing has been outsourced, doesn't mean you wash your hands of all responsibility. The team needs your input (see previous two concerns). If you're frequently out of the office, create a secondary point of contact, or set-up a weekly call to check in, or offer your cell number. Likewise, if drafts piles up on your desk, you need to find someone in your organization who you trust and empower them to provide feedback to keep the ball rolling. If answers or guidance isn't provided, work will stop, schedules will be delayed and you won't see the results you want. You MUST be involved. 


Getting remarkable work from your outsourced marketing partner is all about creating a strong foundation. Step one is being a good client. If you're considering an outsourced marketing relationship, contact EELECTRIK marketing. and we can help you determine if it's the right fit for you!

PS. If you're interested in entertaining yourself with some scary Client Stories, visit Clients from Hell (image credit, too).