Everything can be done as before, though this does not make any sense. Sometimes you need a bit of courage to change self evident truths, as well as the bravery to start talking about them.
Mehiläinen is a nationwide healthcare company that has been implementing projects with us for years. Recently we were due for a discussion: should we break up as friends or are we going to start working for the relationship—both of us.
Ove Uljas, Vice President of Business Development, Marketing & Communication and Customer Experience, let us challenge the way a customer and an agency work together. Ove wanted their marketing renewed in the same bold manner that Mehiläinen adapted for renewing their healthcare business.
Together, we defined the boundaries that would allow both of us to do more than before:
- strategic doing meets practice;
- a deeper strategic understanding in all doing;
- from project work to permanent partnership;
- better insights for implementing and resourcing marketing.
We decided to break traditional operating models, as no relationship consists of mere projects. We shared the view that a deeper, smoother, more functional and more rewarding collaboration is created when marketing activities are transparent on both sides.
Common secrets strengthen trust
We at Avidly Finland have been a forerunner in bringing lean and agile working methods to marketing. Implementing new and different methods requires courage, especially from the customer.
Above all, agility is focusing on whatever is essential at any given moment.
When the objective is the best possible result, the boundaries and means of marketing are secondary. Harnessing versatile know how for the customer does not necessarily mean that the customer’s needs have been met if no one has dared to peek into the company’s inner being.
In daily life, transparency comes from shared tools, working spaces and regular meetings. Also, an understanding of what the customer does by itself or with another partner helps reach the common objectives.
A strategic point of view and marketing output that is visible for the customer operate at different speeds. They must nevertheless constantly meet: both have their time and place.
Campaigns progress at their own pace as a part of production; the realization of the big picture is examined in regular steering groups. In this way, even when working from different points of view, everyone is able to focus on their own tasks.
When we last compared the current situation to our objectives with Ove, we reached the conclusion that our collaboration has a more solid base than ever before. We now know each other’s weaknesses. A better understanding of what the other person is doing has strengthened our mutual trust, even though I do not think it was ever on trial.