Adaptability in Marketing

By Rod Griffith
April 14, 2017

Adaptability in Marketing

How adaptable is the marketing company you work with?

Adaptability is one of the most important qualities to look for when you’re selecting a marketing firm. Over the long term, you need a company that can adapt to changing customer behaviors and market conditions. Over the short term, you need a company that reacts well when the parameters of a project change midstream, time is short, and stress levels are high.

During the years I spent in marketing at several large and small organizations, I worked with a few marketing companies that were highly adaptable and plenty of companies that were missing this vital quality. I also had one memorable experience that provided examples of both. I was with Hewlett Packard then, and I had two marketing companies helping me to prepare for HP’s big, biannual “Discover” event.

Marketing Agency Adaptability

It was just eight or so weeks before the event, and one company had completed a great video and several event handouts for me. Our CMO elected, right then, however, to change the look of the HP brand.

“Wow,” I thought to myself. “How will I be able to manage this and still have an effective show?” I reached out to this company I was working with, and they said, “No problem.” They instantly threw their resources behind me and created a whole new video and new handouts in the new brand. I was super impressed … and relieved.

The second company I was working with had completed an interactive demo for the event. I asked of them the same thing I’d asked of the first company, but they said they didn’t have enough time to adjust the demo to fit the new brand. Also, when I arrived at the show, I had no instructions on how to set up and use the demo. In crisis mode, I called the company’s project manager from the tradeshow floor, but reached only her voicemail, her message saying she’d get back to me within 24 hours.

Partnerships are built from trust

I came out of that show with a valuable lesson under my belt. The challenging circumstances had helped me understand the differences between a marketing company that could adapt to my changing needs and one that could not—and to shift my future projects away from the latter and give them to the former.

Don’t get saddled with a marketing company that’s going to let you down when the ground beneath you begins to shift and you need all hands on deck. Take the time now to build a good working partnership with a marketing company that you know is adaptable.