In this series of posts, I look at how you can communicate better within your team, with other departments, with executives and with external partners. My advice is based on what I’ve found successful in my own experience. Have other ideas to improve communication? Please add them in the comments, or email me.
Communication with partners
No business works 100% alone. You’ll frequently work with vendors, agencies and consultants, and how you work with them can impact not only your success, but how successful they can be for you. One of the first things I learned moving from the client side to the agency side is just how crucial that communication between client and agency partner is. Help us to help you!
So how can you open those channels of communication?
1. Communicate early and often. The more a partner knows about your business, the better they can help you. The worst thing is investing time and effort into recommendations or a project for a client and finding out it doesn’t align with their business goals.
This doesn’t just mean just a one-time communication when you start the engagement. You need to keep up constant contact with partners. Tell them about new initiatives, new channels you’re moving into, even minor site changes.
2. Open communication. If you need an NDA to communicate openly, get it. But failing to give a partner frank and honest information is setting them up to fail, and wasting your time and money in engaging them.
3. Share your priorities. Make sure that your partner understands your priorities. What is going to be most impactful for you? In what order should they tackle what?
Benjamin Gaines from Adobe delivered a stellar presentation about “10 Things Your Vendor Wishes You Did Better” at Web Analytics Demystified’s Accelerate SF in 2011. His points easily apply to consultants and agencies. I highly recommend reading it to better understand how to communicate with your partners.
Closing Thoughts: A Culture of Communication
Yes, corporate cultures with really great, open communication are typically that way because it comes from the top. But don’t rest on that. You as an individual can and should try to improve communication amongst your fellow analysts, with other departments, with executives and with partners. Your success may even help highlight the importance of communication for others, and help build that culture from the ground up.
My advice is by no means exhaustive, but rather what I’ve found successful in my own experience on the client and agency side. Have some other ideas to improve communication? Please add them in the comments, or email me.