Take a few seconds and think of an item or experience you value. What popped into your head? Why? Do you value this particular thing because it was given to you by someone you love? Do you value this memory/experience because it played a huge role in shaping who you are today? It probably wasn’t too difficult to think of one or even several items or experiences you value. As humans, we seem to place a value on everything, whether it’s positive or negative; we might do this consciously or subconsciously. In the same way that we place a value on possessions or experiences, we also do this when it comes to colleagues and professional relationships.
Years ago, marketing and advertising agencies enjoyed a special kind of monopoly that has since disappeared thanks to the advent of the internet. Agencies didn’t have to concern themselves with competition from websites offering less expensive prices for graphic design or “marketing” services. However, now, we do, and with that comes the need to make ourselves even more valuable to clients than ever before. Let’s face it, if clients don’t find value in the services we provide, the relationship is over.
You might be thinking, “Well, of course I am much more valuable than some website,” but are you really? Do you stay up-to-date with current trends, which change as rapidly as the weather? Do you read any marketing article you can get your hands on – even if it isn’t necessarily the area in which you specialize? Most importantly, do you take the time to research, read and learn all you can about your clients’ businesses/industries? If you answered “yes” to each of these questions, then kudos, you’re right on track. If you answered, “no”, then it’s time to change.
While it’s important to stay updated on all things marketing so you can suggest the best strategies and tactics to clients, nothing is more valuable than when you approach your client with a trends report or an article discussing a topic pertinent to the industry in which they serve. This not only shows you have your client’s best interest at heart and want to see him or her succeed, but it also places a value on your relationship with said client – a value that is invaluable in this day and age. Any agency is going to welcome new clients on board and sell, sell, sell its marketing services, but those agencies that take the time to know and study their clients’ businesses and industries are the ones who will easily differentiate themselves amongst the competition.
Any possession, experience, relationship or service that you regard as being valuable is actually invaluable, i.e. you still wouldn’t give up said item even if offered millions of dollars. As a marketing professional, this is how you must be viewed by clients because you must become an incredibly valuable asset to them in order to establish those invaluable relationships that are key to your business success.