Setting the Table

By March 18, 2013 No Comments

Recently, we were privileged to be selected by an international brand in the outdoor sports industry to be their Advertising Agency of Record. What a great feeling, with the anticipation of an exciting opportunity, new people and products to get to know and market and new projects for our staff to work on. It’s always a momentum boost whenever this happens and it keeps things fresh in the office. But it also carries a great deal of responsibility to perform at the level that’s expected and to get results.

Expected is the key word here. Our goal with every client is to exceed their expectations for service, for quality, for creative thinking and for marketing innovation. In fact, it’s up to us to exceed their expectations for everything. So how will we do this? It starts with setting the table.

In my chapter in the book, “Secrets of Ad Agency Owners: Our Best Marketing Advice”, now available on, I discuss our agency’s strategy for setting the table correctly. Each time we take on a significant new client, we initiate our working relationship with a Discovery Session. This is an opportunity for the players from both the client and the agency teams to meet, get to know each other, get to know the company, products, and ins and outs of their marketing needs and opportunities. It’s a get-together that is invaluable in getting things started on the right foot.

At some point in this session, I typically ask our client, “What are your expectations for us”? They are always glad I ask and are usually prepared to answer. And, we definitely want to know because if we know what they expect, then we know how to meet or exceed those expectations. And if we know that, we know how to create a satisfied customer. The table has been set. It’s now totally up to us to deliver.

This process of setting the table works in almost every situation where customer service is being delivered, whether it be in marketing services, at a health center, or in a bank. The customer is king. Always. And they know what they want.

Do you know what your customers expect from you? Are you setting the table from the get-go?

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