Effective Marketing Step One: Get To Know Your Client

by Jason Falls |

A friend of mine told me once that the problem with advertising folks is that they transfer demographic thinking to their clients. He said something along the lines of:

“Advertising has always been putting the general public in buckets. Women 25-34 this and men 35-55 that. Advertisers put us in buckets, too. They do some quick demographic research on my target consumer and think they know my business. They throw out some slick, fancy artwork with clever words on it and think I’m impressed.”

His chief complaint was the agencies he’d dealt with failed to accomplish what smart agencies consider perhaps the most important step: getting to know the client.

Last week I accompanied several members of Doe Anderson’s creative team and client services staff on an outing designed to get to know one of our clients. We’ve had the pleasure of working with Knob Creek, one of the Beam Global brands of spirits, for several years now. A new creative project is coming up and was ready for kicking off. Perry Baldwin, our Sr. VP and strategic planning guru, decided the project was the perfect opportunity to haul everyone down to the distillery for a reminder (and for a couple new creatives, a primer) of exactly who we’re representing.

So, instead of sitting in a conference room going over a creative brief with the Knob Creek brand manager piped in over the phone, we all took a little field trip, the lovely Paige Guzman (Knob Creek brand manager) included, toured the distillery and met in the Knob Creek House, a guest house/meeting facility on the Beam property.

During our lunch break, I asked Perry and Ray Radford, our resident expert on just about anything having to do with marketing, whiskey or both, about the importance of such a visit.


You can also check out some pictures we took below or on Flickr.

The end result of the day won’t come to fruition for a while, but we’re more apt to get it right the first time if we capture the soul of the brand at the onset.

As for my friend’s notion, I only told him one of the first things Ray Radford ever told me about advertising. “You’re a lot smarter if you start out with the belief there does not exist a 25-34-year-old anything.”


[tags]marketing, advertising, Doe Anderson, client, client service, effective marketing, how to[/tags]

About the Author

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).