Cutting out the middle man

By Robert Brown

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Opinion
Cutting out the middle man graphic

In today’s creative industry, nothing is more important to an agency than delivering work that speaks for the client. Often however, having too many ‘middle men’ can cause miscommunication. Whether this results in messages getting lost in translation, lost all together, or just general discord and disharmony, none of this will reflect well on the brand. To create something that is truly bespoke – ‘made to order’ or ‘for a specific user or purpose’ - its construction relies on direct communication. So what else does direct communication ensure?

No misinterpretation

It is the client’s job to tell the agency what they want and the agency’s job to act, but sometimes this can get confusing when passed down a long line of people. As said before, if there are too many people between the client and the agency, this can cause messages to morph into something they never were. In the worst case scenario, the message may never reach the right person at all. Both client and agency want to get things done efficiently, and if the chain of communications becomes like Chinese Whispers it can result in a colossal waste of both time and money. Ensuring this doesn’t happen causes reassurance for both parties; the client knows they have told the right person and that person knows exactly what needs to be done.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
George Bernard Shaw

Speaking to ‘the right person’

Nothing is more important than having the right person at the right place for the right project. When you have a team of in-house specialists, it is vital to match up the project with the person. If a client is holding a meeting about a potential new logo, usually it is the designers who will best be able to respond accordingly. Here’s another example: does the client’s website need to cater to 1,000 people or 100,000 people? Is it for young people or old people? It’s easy enough to find this out and pass the answers on, but it is ultimately the developer who knows whether its doable and how it could be approached more effectively. Clients should always be put in touch with the best port of call.

Total familiarisation

From an agency viewpoint, someone can explain something to you and you can research till the cows come home, but nothing compares to sensing it first-hand. Going to the company’s base, speaking directly to the people, immersing yourself in the place or product – that’s what allows you to truly understand a client’s needs. Understanding them allows you to write their narrative, whether that will be through design, digital or other.

At JUMP, we operate using direct communication whenever possible. We want our talented designers and developers to be in the midst of it all. After all, the more they know, the more they can do.

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