What Agencies Hate to Hear

Have you ever wondered what frustrates your marketing agency the most?

While we like to think of JMG as unique from all other marketing communications agencies, we admit that we probably have a lot in common with other agencies when it comes to what we don’t want to hear.

Today, we’re going to give you a little insight into what makes us tick by sharing what none of us want to hear from clients…

We hate to hear the client has knowledge, information or research supporting an initiative, and they have failed to share it with us.

Don’t you hate it when you have a difficult situation seemingly figured out, and someone says, “Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you __________”? As you pick your jaw up from the floor, all you can say is, “Well, that changes everything.” And back to the drawing board you go.


We hate to hear that the client has no idea of a budget range.

Can you imagine telling your real estate agent that you wanted a 4-bedroom house, but you have NO price range in mind? “That’s right, Ms. Realtor, let’s look at all the options between $100,000 – $1,500,000 and then tell me what you think I should do.” That leaves a lot of territory to research.

We hate to hear that the client is not clear about their objectives or target audience.

Just yesterday someone told me their objective was . . . get ready for this . . . “develop my brand.” When I asked if they had a budget, he said, “Nope, just tell me what you think I should do.” I won’t tell you what my first thought of what he should do was. And I’ll let you know when I get the solution figured out.

We hate to hear a client say, “I don’t like Twitter (or direct mail or a specific magazine)” when the client is not the target audience.

Do you refuse to let your teenager wear a certain shoe because you don’t like it? Just let your audience be themselves. Then meet them where they are. If you find yourself struggling to understand why your audience likes something you don’t like, put yourself in their shoes. (Figuratively.)

We hate to hear the client has been disappointed in something for a long time, and yet, they’ve never shared it with us.

Can you imagine telling your wife after she’s been coloring her hair the same color for three years that you hate the color? (I shudder to think of the emotions flying around during that conversation…) Better to be honest right from the start.

But we love it when clients partner with us!

We are thankful for our clients who:

  • Give open, honest feedback
  • Share knowledge and information
  • Put themselves in the shoes of their target audience
  • Are open to various ways of reaching that target audience
  • Work with us to clearly define objectives, audiences and budgets

Whoever your agency is, be the client we all love – or the potential client worth fighting for.