by Lisa Sisley on January 18, 2017
Just the other day, one of our current clients hired us for a new, long-term marketing project. I was incredibly excited—this is a cool client, doing really important work—and I started to write a “Way to go!” email to the people who’ve worked directly with the client already, since this is their win.
However, I kept adding names…and adding names…finally, I just sent the message to our entire staff, because it would have been ridiculous to send to everybody but one or two people.
Then I realized how apropos this little story was to this post! Because that’s the New Boston way: All for one, and one for all.
The New Boston Way
Some marketing agencies use the account rep model—in its simplest form, you communicate primarily (or only) with your rep, who then relays your concerns, complaints, praise, changes, or whatever to the people who are actually doing the work. These would be the marketing strategists, content creators, web designers and developers, graphic designers, video specialists, digital strategists and others. Often in the account rep world, those folks are freelancers or third-party vendors who don’t know all the players.
We don’t follow that model here. We’re all New Bostonians, period. And we want you to be able to talk to anybody, just about anytime. (Well, I go to sleep early, but I get up super early, so you can email me at 4 a.m. and I’ll read it at 4:30. For real.)
We have a team for a reason: Everyone has an area of expertise. And almost every client needs more than one professional to carry out a truly great project, no matter how big or small. Collaboration among those professionals is absolutely crucial to get powerful results. And those folks need close, strong, working relationships. Otherwise, you get disjointed, inconsistent deliverables.
And by that same logic, we believe in making communication with the client as easy and seamless as possible. We don’t have any gatekeepers, which account reps can sometimes be. (You can’t count Brigitte as a gatekeeper. Hers is the lovely voice you hear when you call, and she doesn’t want to bar your access. To the contrary, she wants to connect you with somebody who can help you. She doesn’t even like gates.)
Why We Do It Like This
We always assign a project lead who’s ultimately responsible for the outcome of your project—the buck stops here—but we do everything we can to make sure clients can talk directly with anybody and everybody on their team they want to. Here’s why:
It’s your direct line to the experts.Let’s face it, we aren’t all experts in everything. When an experienced graphic designer like Tammy hears a client say something like, “Can you make my logo bigger?”, she knows that the client is really asking, “Can you make my brand identity more prominent so I’ll make a ton of money and crush my competition?” And Tammy knows there may be better ways of doing that than simply making the logo bigger. This kind of professional wisdom can’t be filtered through a rep, who may not even understand the nuance or what your real concern is.
It’s efficient.You know that game kids play, Telephone? Where one person whispers something to a second person, and so on around the circle, and then everybody laughs and laughs at the ridiculous end result? It’s not efficient to filter information through a third person. And it’s not funny at all when it’s your money and your project.
It’s considerate of your budget.Two indisputable facts of marketing: 1) Every client has a budget (whether they want to admit it or not!), and 2) Nobody likes surprises (unless it’s their birthday). We never want to surprise a client (unless it’s their birthday), so one excellent way to save time and money, and stay on budget, is to eliminate steps in getting the job done. When you call Julie directly to talk about your content, instead of talking to a rep first, that helps ensure your budget is actually going toward executing the project rather than that game of telephone.
It’s about respect.We’ve got a culture where we think highly of each other’s talents and expertise. And we’re better together. We’re a veritable cauldron of creativity, critiques, praise, excitement, deadline pressure and excellence, all fueled by collaboration and respect—and resulting in the best possible work for you. If Shawn is talking to a web client about keyword research for SEO, he’ll loop Andi into the conversation because that’s her thing. He doesn’t need to check with a rep to do that. He does what’s in the client’s best interests.
It builds strong networks.Good communication makes for good relationships. And our model of communication drives and is driven by good relationships. We have lovely clients whom we generally find, or who find us, through the normal channels of word-of-mouth, Googling, or by meeting one of us while we’re out and about in the world. We love when they refer us to their contacts, and we facilitate connections as well whenever possible. The more we communicate with our clients, the stronger all of our networks become.
So ask yourself if the New Boston way sounds like the way for you. (In fact, ask yourself a lot of things when looking for marketing help!) And rest easy that when you start working with us, you’re going to get the whole team.