Marketing Support for Marketing Professionals
Unlike many consultant-client partnerships, marketing should operate like an extension of your team
Starting a partnership with an external consultancy is a bit like navigating your way through the first few dates of a new relationship. After narrowing down your prospects and finding the right match, you need to get to know each other, ask plenty of questions and set expectations for your future together. At Guide Studio, we take this “getting to know you” phase pretty seriously, and can offer some honest insights into what it’s like to work with our team.
Over the last 20 years, we’ve had the opportunity to flex our design and strategy muscles to produce some pretty great work, but one of our biggest points of pride is the relationship we build with clients. No matter what type of project we’re working on, whether it’s brand development, a new wayfinding strategy or executing on an already-created marketing plan, we work side-by-side with our clients’ in-house marketing teams to achieve shared objectives. Given how much quality time we spend together, we like to be transparent about our approach so clients know exactly what to expect from us before we get started. Here are some important things to know about working with our team.
- We’re on your side. Our top goal when taking on a new client is making you feel like we’re an extension of your team. We want to understand your organization inside and out by familiarizing ourselves with your history, staff, goals, attributes, audiences, partners, and the things keeping you up at night.
We also want to be your go-to resource. If you have a need outside of our wheelhouse, we’re happy to connect you to someone in our network. We find that the best results happen when you loop us in and pick our brains as often as possible (even if it’s out of a project scope).
- We establish common ground. Before starting any new project, it’s important for us to discuss and document the key deliverables so we can avoid communication breakdowns later on. While specific details may vary on a project by project basis, some things you can expect us to outline upfront include: objectives, services offered, primary points of contact, meeting and communication frequency, fee structure, timeline and how we’ll measure ROI.
- Egos get checked at the door. While we bring our expertise and experience to the table, we believe ego-free collaboration and open-mindedness drive the most rewarding work. We enjoy the back and forth of sharing different ideas, interpretations and feedback, and trust your instinct if you feel strongly about something. This approach adds more variety and fun to our day, and there’s an extra bonus: no overly inflated heads will get stuck in the doorway!
- You’re the expert. A good consultant will have an opinion on the strategies and tactics that will be most helpful to reaching your objectives – we’re not simply order takers – but we prefer to listen and partner rather than analyze and dictate. Sure, we ask a lot of questions, but ultimately you know your business and vision better than anyone. It’s your project and we support our clients in their vision and expectations.
- We start with the brand. Regardless of the type of project, one of the first areas we like to focus on is your brand. Your brand is your foundation, setting the stage for everything you do – how you look, how you sound and how you communicate with your audience, which all impacts how they feel about you in return.
If you’ve already checked brand development off your list – great! We can tackle the project and develop a winning concept quickly. If not, that’s okay, too. We prefer to spend a little time creating a foundational brand package, including your messaging, logo variations and color palette, so these elements are primed and ready to pull into different areas of your initiative to streamline any additional projects.
- We’re invested in your success. Whether we’re working with you on a quick project or long-term initiative, we like to monitor activity from the start and measure its impact. If you’re working for a civic institution, some anticipated results (e.g. new visitors, increased residents and businesses, increased funds, etc.) can take time to build momentum, but we won’t hesitate to tell you when things aren’t working and are quick to make adjustments, if needed. When you’re successful, we’re successful, so we are always keen to do what’s necessary to support you.
- We make work fun. We love what we do and work alongside you like we work with our own team. We share ideas and jokes freely, and believe the best aha moments can happen over a glass of wine or a few beers just as easily as they can during an office whiteboard session. Some of our client relationships have lasted for years, and others for decades. We celebrate your success and make sure you’re delighted with every step of your experience with us.
What’s your story? We’d love to hear it.
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