Martin-Wilbourn Partners

Approach to Client Service

About Martin-Wilbourn Partners

David Martin and Randy Wilbourn have worked together for nearly 35 years. Their 75 combined years of experience in applying their communications expertise at some of the largest and most respected firms in the world has provided the foundation of our approach to working on behalf of clients locally and around the globe. Our work has taken us to over 40 countries to service some of the largest global brands. We’ve launched revolutionary products that have defined industries, introduced new ideas that changed the way we see the world and tackled slim-hope crisis situations so deep and complex that they threatened the very survival of our clients.

Each member of our team brings special expertise to Martin-Wilbourn Partners which enables us to complement each other’s work as well as bring different perspectives and more robust offerings to our clients.

The Martin-Wilbourn Partners Approach to Client Service

It’s all about trust. We approach our work with clients as an ongoing trust-building exercise. If you can’t trust us to do what we say we will do, then our relationship is doomed from the outset. We will always be straightforward and honest. We’re going to listen to you, dig in and do our homework, and give you smart solutions. You can count on us to give you our best thinking based on the best research and information we have, our knowledge and our experience.

The pillars of the Martin-Wilbourn Partners client service philosophy are:

Professional Friendship: The word “partner” is thrown around so frequently in business these days we’re not sure what it really means anymore. But we do know what a friend is: a confidante; a trusted advisor; a fresh, honest perspective; someone you can count on. When you become a client of Martin-Wilbourn Partners, you become a friend. We’ll care about your business and are committed to your success. We’ve got your back and we’ll be there when you need us. You’ll get our best thinking, our energy, our passion, and our loyalty. We know we’ll have to earn it, but we hope that in time you’ll come to feel the same way about us.

Collaboration: Despite what a lot in our profession like to think, agencies haven’t cornered the market on the best ideas. We’ve learned from experience that many of the best ideas come from our clients. Our philosophy at Martin-Wilbourn Partners is that between every opportunity and goal, or every issue and solution, there is a white space where client and agency must collaborate if the best result is to be achieved. We’ll bring our best ideas to the table and you bring yours. We’ll then work together to build the best solution to your specific challenge.

Communication: We’re pretty intuitive, but we’re not mind readers. We ask that you be open, honest and candid with us. Tell us what you really think. You’re not going to hurt our feelings. We need your input and feedback to do our best work. We’re good listeners, too. We work hard to not only hear what you have to say, but to understand it. We may ask a lot of questions, but they’ll be smart questions that help us better understand your business and its goals and objectives. You can count on us to be open and honest with you as well. We may not always tell you what you want to hear, but you can always count on us to tell you what you need to hear.

Confined Creativity: We believe the best form of creative expression is confined. We know that sounds counter-intuitive, but think about it. A great painting is confined to a canvas or great gourmet meal is confined to a plate. The fact that such depth, meaning, nuance and emotion can result in such confinement is part of what makes great art great. We believe the same holds true for communications. We draw our inspiration from many places and from a multitude of experiences and ideas, but our creativity is always focused through the prism of our clients’ communications objectives. We concept and create great ideas around those objectives. We may start outside the box, but our creative process is evidence-based and is designed to draw that creative energy back and focus it to deliver results against business objectives. We like the unique, fun ideas as much as anyone, but if it does not deliver the intended result, it’s not really creative – it’s just a failure.

Results: Everything we do is focused on delivering results. We’ve shaped our business around the absolute commitment of helping our clients be successful.

What to Expect When Working with Martin-Wilbourn Partners

Unlike most agencies, we don’t “on-board” a client. Instead, we assimilate into your organization. We adapt to your work style and organizational needs. Meeting frequency, program status tracking and reporting are determined on an individual basis.

Want to meet weekly.  Sure.

Need to collaborate virtually?  We can do that.

Need team members in different locations to have real-time access to all work products?  Been there, done that.

Need on-site staffing and support?  We’ll be there.

Want us to make suggestions on effective reporting formats?  Glad to do it.

But as flexible as we are with the mechanics of account management, there are certain tenets about working with clients we hold dear. If we’re going to be truly effective for you, we must:

Understand the big picture – Call it “a seat at the table,” or letting us “inside the room,” or whatever you want, but to get our best work we need to have a clear understanding of your strategic business goals. We also need know about conflicting agendas, political issues, program roll-out delays, and other obstacles to meeting those goals. By having a full and clear view of what’s happening – good and bad – we’ll be better able to fashion a communications program that can mitigate issues while maximizing opportunities.

Set clear communications objectives – We need to know what you want to accomplish. Improve media relations? Drive website traffic? Manage relationships with regulators? Correct a misconception? Repair a reputation? It all goes back to measurement and results. At the end of the day, you want to know the return on your marketing/communications investment, but we can’t measure accurately unless we planned to meet that goal from the beginning.

Align Expectations – Sometimes, some things just aren’t possible. We can’t control external events, organizational leaks or other self-inflicted reputational issues. And, sometimes, no matter how smart we work and how hard we try, we just can’t convince someone to do what we want him or her to do.

Be ready on day one – From day one, we’ll be upfront and realistic with you about what we can accomplish. We can do a lot with very little under trying circumstances in a short amount of time, but there is a difference between magic and miracles.