10 Things Never to Ask Your Marketing Agency

We love getting feedback from our clients. Open communication is what helps us do great work together. The more input you give us, the better the end product will be. So please, don’t hesitate to ask us a question…unless, of course, it’s one of these:

1. “Can you make it red?”
Countless psychological studies have shown that red is an attention-grabbing color. So we understand your desire to use it in your marketing. However, there are strong arguments for NOT using red in your marketing, too:

• It goes against your brand guidelines—if your brand doesn’t include red somewhere in your color palette, there’s probably a reason
• There’s already a lot of red in the piece—when everything stands out, nothing stands out
• It’s out of character with the tone of the piece—as eye-catching as it may be, red can have negative connotations, and can be construed as a sign of danger

Unless there’s a sound design reason for making it red, ask us about other solutions that will draw the eye to a particular point.

2. “Can you add sound effects?”
We can understand that you want to create a stimulating online experience for your users, but we promise that adding unnecessary sound elements isn’t the way to go. In B2B, sound effects in web design are widely considered a distraction.

3. “Can’t you find a photo on the internet?”
If you’re asking if we can just use an image from Google, the answer is probably no. People have rights to the images they create, and unless we’re paying for access to them or the owners opted to give their products directly to the public domain, we can’t use them without permission.

These days, there are highly affordable stock photo sites where we can license images without breaking the bank.

4. “Can you make this person look [less/more] ethnic?”
There is so much that can go wrong with this request. If you’re really concerned about the ethnicity of somebody in your marketing, you should probably go with a different image.

5. “Can you add more [pages, photos, video, etc.] without adding to the budget?”
We work hard to ensure that our proposals accurately reflect the amount of work it will take to complete each project. We’re happy to do work above and beyond the original scope of our proposal, with the understanding that additional time and resources means additional cost.

6. “Can you make it pop?”
Sure we can, but without more to go on we stand a good chance of still not actually solving the issue at hand. While we don’t expect you to know exactly what will make it pop, if you can tell us what isn’t working for you we can address that without veering further off course.

7. “Can’t you just Photoshop it?”
Photoshop is made to edit photos. We can smooth a wrinkle, brighten a smile, delete a stray hair or two. We can swap out a different background scene. But you can overmanipulate an image to the point where it looks…well…Photoshopped.

Plus, good photo editing takes time and budget—so depending on the nature of the changes you want made to a photo, it may just be best to use a different one.

8. “Can you use fewer women?”
This is another case where we need to understand why you’re asking the question. People like to see themselves in a company’s marketing, and chances are at least a few of your prospects are women. Your demographics may skew to one gender, but unless there is a cultural reason not to use women in your marketing, it’s probably okay to keep a few in the mix.

9. “Can you make it go viral?”
You can’t guarantee that something will go viral. It’s easy to think that all you need is a certain degree of quality or whimsy to pull it off, but in reality there is no one formula for virality. For every great viral success, there are over ten thousand that didn’t hit their mark. In short, we don’t decide what goes viral, the public does.

10. “Can you [do something unethical]?”
Our job is to make you look good, but we will not do that through purposely misleading marketing.

Why Communication is Important

Good communication allows us to work more efficiently for you, ultimately providing greater value and the best results. We promise to be open, honest, candid and challenging in our efforts to help further your business—and we ask the same of you.

Jason Janoski

Jason Janoski


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