Experiment: Collaborative Marcom Planning with a Client

Giving them a look behind the curtain feels a little weird


I'm obsessed with the optimization of all things so I do a lot of experiments at work. Over the years, I've experimented with my own processes, team processes, presentation formats, prototypes, deliverables and more. This experimentation has led to a lot of really great iterative improvements across the board. But there's one kind of experiment I've never really done before—collaborative marcom planning with a client.

By that I mean giving a client access to the Google doc I use to sort through my strategic thinking and ideas for what I'll ultimately recommend he do with that million dollars next year.

At HLK, we try to deliver a flawless product to our clients, no matter what it is. We even have a dedicated proof reader to make sure we're rocking Oxford commas in the right spots. So letting a client see behind the curtain feels pretty weird.  

My planning doc is full of so many half-baked ideas that will never see the light of day. Is my client going to think I don't know what I'm doing if he sees them? I hope not but there's only one way to find out.

And if my hypothesis is correct—that collaboration with the client from the beginning is more efficient and produces better results—then this experiment will have yielded an insight that can make future planning better. Hell, even if my hypothesis is incorrect, the experiment will be worth it.