We see a scenario time and again and our advice is “Own your own stuff!” Don’t become a victim of marketing malpractice.

What does that mean? Here’s something that happens frequently. A marketing agency acquires a new client, and agrees to register your domain name, build a new website, host the site, install analytics, perform email marketing, etc. Often, the marketing company registers the domain, hosting, et al in THEIR company name instead of yours.

That might work fine until it’s time to part ways. Way too often, we meet new clients who have no idea where their domain’s registration lives, who is hosting their site or how to log into accounts that hold their digital assets. All of a sudden, your digital world is a hostage.

There are a couple reasons marketing companies put your stuff in their name:

  • One, ease of access. They can add your url to their existing Google Analytics account, thereby only needing one log-in to access all their clients.
  • Two, the marketing company can mark up third-party costs for hosting, registering, etc.

Back in “the day,” traditional advertising agencies added a standard – 18% or so – markup to any third-party service the marketing company engaged or managed for a client – such as print jobs, ad buys or web hosting.

But let’s say your hosting is $100 a year. I’m going to add $18 to your bill? No, that 18 bucks is not worth you questioning the trust we’ve established.  When Savoir Faire does our best work, we’re a marketing partner — and a partnership is built on trust. Marking up costs like that just feels icky to me – and it doesn’t really drive significant revenue.

Instead, I’ll build project management time into a client proposal. For example, if we’re printing a brochure for you, there’s time involved communicating with a printer or looking at proofs. That time goes into the price we charge for the project. I’ll have the printer invoice you directly so you can see the actual cost. Not nickel and dime-ing clients on markups continues to build credibility for this company.

Back to ‘own your stuff’

Digital accounts that are set up in a marketing company’s name or in their control creates challenges. When a small or medium-size business decides to extract itself from that marketing company, the business risks losing access to their own accounts, historical data and archives.

We’ve seen it happen too many times to clients when we begin working with them – and it can get ugly and contentious trying to extract that information from a marketing company unhappy about being replaced.

We set our clients up for success and for ease of transition, should transition become necessary. Because our clients have ownership and access to all their credentials from the outset, it’s as simple as removing our team members as users from your systems. It’s a painless transition for the client. Log in and remove us as users. We don’t hold our clients hostage. 

For me, it’s philosophically about doing right by the client – and, I think it’s just the right thing to do. When a company knowingly operates in a way that makes clients beholden to them, it’s a sign that they’re operating out of a place of fear or control.

That’s not how Savoir Faire does business. You remain a client of ours because we’re doing great work for you, not because you’re a digital hostage.

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