Notes From the Future Desk - November


Natalie Miller

on 12/5/2016

This month’s knowledge-share comes from Leslie and Johanna of VIA’s Accounts team with notes on third party relationships, campaigns, and constructive feedback.


Week 1: Learning from experience

We had a client who, several months ago at the beginning of a project, asked us in the kickoff meeting, “To be a good client, what should we not do? How can we help to avoid painpoints or roadblocks?” What a fantastic way to start off. We told them to just be open. Open to change, open to ideas, but more importantly, open and honest in their feedback. Because they are not going to hurt our feelings. This really set the stage for the rest of the project. Everyone involved came from a place of authenticity and this built an immense amount of trust in both parties.

  • Leslie

Week 2: Doing Work for Yourself

It is hard to find time for yourself. We are busy with the day-to-day, focused on our clients and their needs and it is hard to prioritize time spent on internal work.

As we craft our latest campaign, we are aware of the challenges and suggest a few things to keep in mind if you decide your agency is ready for a new ad campaign.

Find the space to concept, to explore big ideas. Use the time to exercise your creativity, push your technical skills- and maybe even do a few things the “client” would never go for.

Be patient with yourselves when the timeline gets pushed, but don’t give up the fight. You warrant the same level of consideration and creativity you provide your clients.

A new campaign may not return an immediate paycheck but like running on the treadmill the gains are cumulative and will pay off in the future. So invest some time on yourself, you deserve it!

  • Johanna

Week 3: Constructive feedback

It is our job as account managers to obtain specific, constructive feedback. When I say specific, it doesn’t need to be “make this line thinner and change it to blue”, but really getting to the root of _why_ something needs to be changed. Understanding underlying motives, and helping to get to the right solution. Ask specific questions to get specific answers, always.

  • Leslie

Week 4: Do you have a tool for that?

We were recently asked to evaluate a new piece of software for a client. It was a cool tool- might have been fun to learn- but it was a bit of a one-trick-pony. As we asked more questions about the specific need, we realized they already had a tool that would work. In fact, using the tool already in place allowed us to also obtain more data and customize content for our existing contacts (things that couldn’t be done with a new software).

It is good to keep in mind that having 10 tools that only do one thing can be complicated to maintain- especially if you already have a multi-use tool available.

So before you invest in a new software, ask yourself two questions:

  1. What is the goal of this new functionality?
  2. Can we be creative and reach the goal with a tool we are already utilizing?
  • Johanna


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