The successful execution of any ad campaign depends on the dedicated effort of your team and the strength of your vendor partnerships. It takes time to form trusted relationships that you can rely on when crunch time approaches. You don’t want to rely on someone who is just taking an order. You need someone who is willing to be vested in your success. I’ve worked on both sides of the fence, and here are five things that I found that can help change your vendor relationship into a true partnership:
1) Planning – Get your partners involved early. Their expertise can be valuable when you are trying to come up with schedules, and they can help you to avoid production pitfalls. No one likes surprises.
2) Communication – Keep them informed on a daily basis if your project requires it. You can never give them too much information. Always keep them up to date on any schedule delays – a good vendor partner plans for the potential snags.
3) Be Flexible – Things will happen that can potentially derail your plan. If you stay solution-minded as opposed to concentrating on blame, you’ll be able to find a way to fix it quickly. This can be when a partnership is solidified, so take advantage of the situation and make it a positive experience. Most importantly, try to keep your sense of humor.
4) Follow Up with Feedback – Once the project is complete, make sure you pass on the customer feedback you receive, which should include both the good and the bad. Sit down and review what went right and what needs to be improved upon.
5) Say Thanks – This should go without saying, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t take the time to do this. Send an e-mail thanking everyone for the effort. This simple thing can go a long way in strengthening the partnership.