Do you own, manage, or work in a digital agency?
Then you know how hard it is in today’s digital environment to effectively see an award-winning performance and show value to clients.
If you can do both of these you are probably achieving the most crucial, and sometimes most difficult, task: making the client happy.
Most digital agencies make mistakes throughout the lifecycle of a campaign. It’s inevitable.
However, getting off on the wrong foot with a client, or derailing mid-campaign, can completely wreck the relationship.
Throughout my career in digital marketing and advertising, I have worked for small, medium, and large digital agencies.
When I’ve avoided the following three mistakes, I’ve enjoyed campaign management success.
Whenever I’ve made these blunders, the result has been some rather terrible and embarrassing fires.
Flub 1: Focusing on the Website, not the Client
Know the client.
Every engagement should start with either a half-day meeting or, in the least, a long meeting-lunch to become acclimated with:
- Who your client is.
- What they sell/provide.
- Why they are reaching out to you.
Often, digital minds start getting to know the client by simply reviewing their website or social presence. You have to see the big picture.
I urge you to purchase or sample their product or talk to those who have partaken in their service.
How will you sell a concept if you do not understand it inside and out?
If they have a physical location, take the team there to get a thorough feel for who you are now working with. This often is best to do before your deep-dive meeting, as it will provide you with suggestions and questions for the new client.
If you don’t truly experience the client’s product/service until late in the game, you will likely regret it.
Diving in early will help you set the right course for your campaign strategy – and help you avoid having to completely change it later.
Want to have an effective deep-dive meeting? Ask/cover these questions/topics:
- Recap of why your agency was chosen. Where do assume we will be most valuable?
- What keeps them up at night?
- What doesn’t keep them up at night? What works?
- What “number” do we need to hit?
While you will most likely cover the basic topics of communication structure client company history, competitive intelligence, etc.
Covering the four points above will let you understand how they perceive you, where they need you, and what they are going to hold you to.
Flub 2: Incorrect Goal Setting
Bad baselines lead to bad conclusions.
Nothing is worse than presenting results on what you deemed to be a successful campaign only to find out the CEO was holding you to a different standard.
The deep-dive meeting helps you to understand the overall need, but goal setting should be a collaboration of:
- What the client C-suite calls for.
- What the client marketing and sales team need to accomplish.
- What you as digital professionals feel is attainable through your digital platforms and campaign execution.
A complete understanding of your client’s needs will help you to educate your clients on what will be considered rock-solid goals as well as key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help lead you in attaining effective goals.
How can you start off with the best foot forward?
Create a standardized goal-setting checklist.
- Assurance that all parties have collaborated to define what campaign goals should be.
- Roadmap of how best to track campaign goals as well as tracking “backups” (i.e., reporting from social media platforms, Google Marketing Platform, etc.)
- Understanding of how exactly you will track goals, event tracking, call tracking, pixel placement, in-platform tracking, etc.
- Configuring the value of a lead.
This last point is where many fall short. Quitting after simply ensuring that the right goals will be tracked is a flub in itself.
From the deep-dive meeting, you understand the “number” to meet. It’s your agency’s job to strategize how you will get to that point but you must also find the value of the goals you will achieve.
You have to ensure that your team will monitor how much in fee or spend is taken to collect upon a goal. Will this meet the client’s desired cost-per-lead or cost-per-acquisition?
Flub 3: Set It & Forget It
Those who craft campaigns and walk away show no value and the job can now be taken in-house or even worse, by another agency.
If you are in a holding pattern or awaiting completion of testing on ad campaigns, SEO, etc., always be thinking about your next step.
Already miles down the road? You are never far enough.
Take time to continue to hone your skills through industry and platform education.
Being that voice that continually keeps your busy client up to date with an ever-changing digital industry means more than you will ever know.
You become more than an invoice. You become a cornerstone in their marketing strategy.
Want to keep your team from getting lazy or avoid radio silence with your client? Try these tips:
- Create a weekly report which goes to your clients. This ensures that your team is never more than a few days absent of any one account. This trains continual motion within campaigns.
- Weekly team collaboration meetings. It hurts when your client tells you that you might not be working hard enough. It also hurts if the rest of your team can see this. An inability to contribute to weekly account status sessions shows the weaker individuals on your team and helps to breed accountability. Again, you are fostering continual motion in your campaigns.
- Incentivize and reward your team. Provide rewards for winning awards and accolades. This drives a healthy level of internal competition to combat staleness within a campaign and keep digital teams driving forward.
Mistakes will always be made in life. Nobody is perfect.
But there are definitely processes that you can put in place to avoid those head-in-hand moments where you wish you could go back in time with a reset button.
Digital marketing agencies will always face hurdles, ranging from creating the best culture to operating with the best-in-class tools and software.
Your client relationships mean a lot to your agency livelihood. So, hopefully, you take a few of these tips to heart.
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Featured Image: Created by author, May 2019
In-Post Images: istock.com