Last month I wrote a blog entitled, ‘Why Our Marketing Was Crap’ in which I confessed to having completely dropped the ball with Sprint’s own marketing last year. Initially I was a little unsure about how our clients would respond to this kind of blistering honesty on my part but it seems to have gone down a storm.
So much so that it got me thinking about another issue that we uncovered last year regarding clients' longer term strategies.
Let me explain. When I start working with a client on a new strategy, I’m always bursting with ideas about their campaign content. Coming up with the plan for those first 4-6 phases is always exciting, but what I was sometimes guilty of was not planning enough for how we would build upon the success of those initial campaigns.
The result was that, as we moved deeper through a strategy, I was sometimes guilty of doing too much thinking on my feet or even asking clients if there was anything new that they wanted to “shout about” in their emails.
And while a certain amount of back and forth between us and the client is healthy, most of my clients understandably want to be led confidently through their strategy by the experts rather than being consulted at every turn.
Of course this challenge isn’t unique to Sprint, it’s something that many education businesses have found themselves when their strategy starts to loose its "spark" part way through, whether they are managing it in-house or using a professional agency. However, it was something that we really wanted to eradicate in order to improve the overall experience for our clients and catapult their results to the next level.
So what did we do? We put the "spark" back into our clients' strategies!
We ordered enough pizza to keep the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles busy for a week and bedded in for an evening of legendary marketing idea fizzing. In the spirit of creativity, no idea was deemed too off the wall to be considered (well, with the possible exception of Stu’s idea of including free beer in our client meetings to get the creative juices flowing!).
The result was a huge library of campaign ‘themes’ that we could use to plan a client’s education marketing strategy in its entirety. These 30+ themes include some of the best campaign ideas we’ve ever come up with, including many that (to our knowledge) have never been unleashed on the education sector!
In short, we’ve created a way of ensuring that a client’s strategy stays fresh and never loses that sense of excitement.
As an example of our themes, this blog you’re reading right now is an example of a ‘Disruptor’ themed campaign where you rip up the rulebook by drawing attention to one of your weaknesses or mistakes (it’s a little bit too far towards the “dangerous” end of the spectrum for some of our clients but others have loved it!).
The next stage was to design, print, and laminate some strategy theme cards, order some marker pens so we could flesh out the specifics of each theme with a client, and then get some meetings booked in so we could put them to use.
And to be quite honest, it’s revolutionised what we do for our clients and taken our clients’ content and strategy to another level. It’s fun too!
I’m dying to get some more meetings booked in so that I can share these ideas with you so, if you’re even just a little bit intrigued, ping me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get something in our diaries.