Remember the old line about things you don’t know can’t hurt you? When it comes to communication, ignorance doesn’t hurt right away, but it will soon enough.
I read a great post by Judy Neer, a principal with Boston’s Pile and Company, via Advertising Age. Neer detailed in-person communication, the kind we used to do instinctively, and how it can impact agency-client relationships. I covered a variation on this topic in a post a few weeks ago.
One company I was with wanted to live the concept of setting proper expectations internally and externally. To echo Neer’s opinion, communication of expectations have to be ongoing and personal to avoid swallowing a bitter pill later in the process. In other words, the “setting” should be constantly reviewed and evolved.
A peer of mine starts planning meetings with this question: What do you need to be successful in your endeavor? Other questions relating to measurement of success with a project, awareness of competitive issues and understanding of strengths speak to planning and infrastructure which aligns operational understanding with marketing success.
There is another underlying element. In a perceptive post via Twitter from @MarkOOakes, we are reminded, “Idea development is never complete until you closely evaluate which stakeholders stand to win and lose from the idea.”
Many years back, a sports writer I knew recalled an interview with a football coach. They covered various subjects for that week’s game preview. On game day, the team takes the field without the record-setting starting quarterback.
Afterward, the writer asked the coach why he didn’t mention that the quarterback wouldn’t play. The coach answered, “Well, you didn’t ask.”
Remember, the burden of expectation is a two-way street. It’s said in sales that “all buyers are liars” so some communication intends to avoid or mislead.
Other cases simply involve the questions not asked. Or, those inquiries that the client/customer/vendor has not adequately asked of themselves. Nothing suddenly happens. Somewhere along the line, both parties see their expectations stop evolving.
So keep asking lots of questions before others have lots to ask you.
Glenn Kass welcomes you to get to know Catch Driver Marketing. He’ll be happy to help get your ideas on track…just ask. Check out www.catchdriver.com. You can also “Like” it on Facebook (Search: Catch Driver Marketing) or follow on Twitter (@CatchDriverMktg).