Internet marketing and web design firms like ours often follow different processes and employ various methods to complete web development, search engine optimization, and marketing projects. Our team, for example, is extremely thorough in the planning and architecture phase of each project. This means we try our darndest at the beginning of the project to account for and balance all users’ needs and stakeholders’ goals and aspirations. That way, once we’re actually designing and coding your website, no one has to guess at how people will navigate and use the site.
While companies like ours may vary in our approach (as well as our size, target market, team structure, and rapport with clients), we can agree that we’re all looking for clients who work with us collaboratively and trust our judgment and expertise.
We asked each member of our team what qualities they looked for in an “ideal” client. Here are our thoughts on the top 6 characteristics of a GREAT client …
1. You trust our expertise: You know your stuff – you provide a stellar service or you sell a unique product. We trust that you understand your business, and when we work with you, we promise to ask you many probing questions to help you explain how you stand out in a crowded marketplace. We hope that you’ll trust us in the same way that we trust you. We know our business too. We know marketing and design. We understand content strategy and messaging. We’ve developed websites and marketing campaigns since Y2K. And we are paid to research, analyze, and interpret the ever-changing world of advertising and interactive media. You hired an experienced marketing team for a reason – most likely because you want someone to advise you on the best possible way to promote your organization, service and/or product. Trust us to do that.
2. You’re open-minded and flexible about your ideas: Bring us your ideas – no matter how many you have, and even if you think they are the wildest things we’ll ever hear. We’ll add our own ideas and questions to the mix, and then we’ll work with you to figure out what will work best for your target audience, and what works with your own budget, timeline, and business goals. Our best clients understand that we are here to help assess and prioritize ideas, and then implement those ideas that help them get the most “bang for their buck.”
3. You can clearly state your mission and strategic business goals: Our ideal client can readily articulate their organization’s mission (in simple words that are meaningful to all). They can tell us what their company does, why they do it so well, and how they hope to grow and evolve in their offerings. When our client can do this, then it provides a great starting point for the key marketing and communications messages we develop to help them attract new customers and retain current ones.
4. You know your audience: Integrated marketing campaigns (including websites, print materials, online ads, social media efforts, etc.) are designed to specifically appeal to your target audience. When you know who your customers are and what they want/need, then your marketing efforts can more efficiently be tailored to these folks. We will ask you, “Who are the primary users of your website?” If you answer, “Oh you know, the general public,” then we will insist that you be more specific. We’ll be happy when you can eventually tell us, “The primary users of our website are college-educated women between the ages of 38 and 60, with incomes of X to Y, and an average of 2 children. They use iPhones, iPads, and home computers with moderate technical ability. When they come to our website, they are feeling stressed out about all they have to do to take care of their families. These are the top 3 tasks they’ll likely want to perform on our site…”
5. Deadlines: When we say “deadlines,” we aren’t just talking about the final launch date for a marketing campaign or website. We are talking about each step and deliverable on the way to the final product. As your marketing team, we will do our best to stick to deadlines, and we appreciate when you do too. Complications and delays may arise (as they often do.) Our best clients know how to stay on track, answer questions in a timely manner, and provide feedback within allotted timeframes. Alaine (our trusty project manager) will make sure that lines of communication stay open, and the project stays on course!
6. Dog Treats and Chocolate: Other web and marketing firms may not agree with this one, but we need dog treats and chocolate to properly complete our work! Wait, let us clarify –our canine team members, Dr. Norman, Ms. Melody, and Princess Agnes need dog treats.
Our human team members love chocolate in all forms – for future reference, our current favorite candy bar is Chocolove’s Almond & Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate