Don't shoot the messenger! | Don't shoot the messenger! | DMA

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Don't shoot the messenger!

Some weeks ago, the MD of a well known agency, which is actually a client of ours, wrote a really interesting blog about client relationships with suppliers.

In the blog, he bemoaned clients who scupper working relationships with suppliers (including agencies), sometimes seemingly at a whim, but commonly because the supplier bears the brunt of the blame for a campaign that “failed”.

When all too often, the blame could perhaps more appropriately be laid at the door of the client and/or for us, an agency.

Over my many years, it’s a scenario the door drop industry is all too familiar with sadly – here is just one example:

As the link to the news article suggests, its not just about the final mile delivery.

At TLC, our mission always has and always will be to provide any client with the best independent advice and services at our fingertips, based upon individual campaign requirements.

And we would like to think that door drop suppliers who could also be classified as media owners and certainly those who are DMA members, would similarly provide best practice advice.

Over the years we have experienced a few quality issues through all the door drop systems we use, because door drop is not a perfect science and I doubt any supplier can claim otherwise.

And there is also research which will show that perfect distribution never creates perfect recall.

But there have also been numerous occasions where the phrase “horse to water” springs to mind.

A door drop supplier's service, should in our opinion, be to provide you the client with the most appropriate door drop solution, whether that be using any one door drop option in isolation or any appropriate combination of options.

The solution would generally provide a rationale set alongside a proposal which should probably includes test matrices, with associated charges and seeks to discuss the options proposed (given the opportunity!) and then proceed.

But if the client rejects the recommendations (particularly testing) and requests implementation of the activity using their preferred option/s, when it goes wrong whose fault is it?

It seems increasingly common for clients and agencies to confirm door drop activity commonly based upon perception, personal preferences and/or “alleged” experience.

But when you are a bit of an industry dinosaur like I am, asking a few questions about the brief and the objectives soon reveals just how much experience the person on the other end of the phone really has.

We regularly receive enquiries about direct mail (and the client does mean door drop) and when the contact does not know what a postal sector is, it’s a pretty certain bet they are a door drop virgin.

Its not uncommon for the contact’s alleged “experience” to be drawn from their peers or more likely their superiors (because handling door drops seems to have become a menial task to some clients and agencies), but just how recent is that experience?

Just how up to date is your company with the intricacies (and developments) of the door drop industry?

To some extent, the industry and the DMA should shoulder some of the blame.

Can anyone show me where door drop training conducted by a current industry expert is a primary part of a marketing course, or even just dedicated training sessions?

All things digital receive plenty of air time on websites, blogs and at events, but you won’t find much useful information about door drops.

But clients and agencies do always also have the option of running door drop sessions as part on their in-house training programmes?

We have been delighted at completing any number over the years and I'm sure any other door drop supplier would be and perhaps more clients and agencies should think about incorporating door drops as part of an in-house training programme?

Unsurprisingly, it’s a practice preached by our agency client mentioned at the outset.

And the agency (and their clients) unsurprisingly reap the benefits.

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