The Importance of Client and Agency Deadlines
As an agency, you’re expected to be on time, every time. But do clients hold that same expectation for themselves?
Agency-client relationships rely on numerous things to be successful, and without forgetting about trust, meeting deadlines is at the top of the list. Digital marketing is a cutthroat industry and clients may be quick to axe a relationship with an “under-performing” vendor regardless if they are part of the problem. In a world where both clients and agencies are very busy, it is important to keep in mind that deadlines are important for BOTH sides of the relationship in order to keep projects moving forward.
Meeting Deadlines as an Agency
For agencies, showing up late to the deadline party means missing out on profitable opportunities. Since many projects are tackled within the same timeframe, failing to deliver one by the deadline causes those thereafter to be pushed back. While life happens and unexpected roadblocks appear, communication is key and deadlines may need to be reset to provide quality results. In these cases, alerting the client at time of discovery can soften the blow. Once the deliverable is provided, its best to look back and assess the situation to make sure deadlines were set realistically to start.
It is up to the agency and the client to establish clear deadline expectations as well as who will be providing the deliverables. Client participation is almost always mandatory, because let’s face it, you know your business better than we do! While even the most mediocre of agencies performs extensive research for your campaign, your experience and knowledge is what people want to know about.
Meeting Deadlines as a Client
As the client, you may be tasked with providing content, imagery, site logins, and other information pertinent to your marketing campaign or website build. Like many companies, yours might have several tiers of decision makers. It is important that those involved know their role and which deliverables are expected of them. Losing track of deadlines decreases production and increases frustration and anxiety.
5 Common Deadline Killers for Clients to Avoid
1. Slow Content Delivery
- Missing a website content deadline can push the website launch back by weeks or even months. Getting it done sooner rather than later means it can be uploaded and proofed faster.
- Following through with completed articles for guest posts in a timely manner is important for online PR. Missing a publication deadline not only means you miss out on the publicity from that article, it also leaves a very bad impression with the editor, who likely will not want to work with you in the future.
2. Not providing logins for website CMS, hosting, analytics, etc.
- The security of your private information is of utmost importance. If your site requires changes that you would rather do in-house, make sure the changes are done quickly so that your content promotion or PPC campaign stays on track.
3. Failure to provide art direction and/or design style examples will extend the design time required to create mockups since the designer will have no idea how you want the overall look and feel of your site.
4. Missing approval dates for design mockups. Keep the ball rolling without losing momentum by having the necessary parties review mockups quickly.
5. Delayed feedback on questions from Project Managers