Here at Click Convert, we are always striving to improve our clients’ results and keep them ahead of the game. We believe in constant progression and improvement, and in this week’s meeting between our Account Managers and Mentors, we put our heads together to discuss client relationships.
Who’s our dream client? Who’s a nightmare client? How does this affect performance with client campaigns?
Ultimately, our main goal is to work effectively with you as a partner to your business, driving you forward – whether that be with more sales, more leads/enquiries or better brand awareness. The problem we found with some, not all, (this is the bit you won’t like): the client-agency relationship is key to success.
These are the most common home truths we stumble upon in client management, and how you and your agency can work through them to strengthen your relationship.
You may have a bad product/service or a bad reputation
Sometimes a product or service is not going to work – it’s as simple as that. It may be cost, quality, or even customer service that is the problem, which means you’re already fighting a losing battle.
It may not be a lost cause! Many people who have a product or service that is not selling well don’t have a definable USP, which is usually the key to sell any business or product. If you don’t feel you have a USP, your agency should be working alongside you to define one. If, after analysing the situation, there is still no USP, your agency needs to be honest enough to tell you if there is a problem with the product itself – whether that be price, your reputation, or something else.
Too many agencies are Yes Men, quick to tell you that everything is great and that they can fulfill anything you ask for, however big or small.
Your expectations are unrealistic
This one is usually up to your agency to deal with at the initial stage of your relationship: it’s commonly thought that turning on an AdWords campaign or beginning SEO work will open the floodgates for sales to tumble in.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the way things work. Your agency should be communicating with you by guiding you through each step and measuring your expectations along the way; this will help avoid later conversations, such as “we’ve been running this for 7 days and haven’t had enough sales”.
A successful marketing campaign takes time to gather momentum, refine and optimise; you should be aware of this from the very beginning, with your agency clearly communicating how they plan to elevate your business with typical timescales and marketing strategies.
You are micromanaging your agency
Your agency knows what they are doing! They have probably been managing and running online marketing campaigns for years – that’s millions of pounds of spend they’re handling regularly. They’re advertising on major platforms such as Google and Bing, which require qualifications and ultimately a given Partner status (or Premier Partner status for larger agencies).
An agency’s success is built on the success of their clients; with this in mind, they will generally be giving you sound advice, but petulance from a client can often result in agencies surrendering to demands to keep a client happy – even if it goes against best practice. Your agency should be standing strong, explaining clearly and succinctly why these ideas perhaps aren’t productive for your marketing strategy. If your agency says no, it’s usually for a good reason.
You don’t completely understand the financials of your business
Your agency should be talking to you about your profit margins and budget demands. If they are not, they are failing you: what appears to be performing well to them may be bleeding your business dry.
It’s not unusual for clients to say they don’t know the financials of their business; however, without this knowledge, your agency is shooting in the dark and working towards what they ‘think’ is a good return, instead of working towards a realistic target.
It can be difficult for a client to part ways with money for marketing, but it’s essential to understand that it’s an investment and not just a cost. Your agency should show you the value of your decision to implement marketing, explaining how this can help your business grow. Without this reassurance, it can feel as though you’re spending aimlessly.
You don’t communicate with your agency
The total opposite of the micro-management issue is lack of communication with your agency.
Your agency knows all about marketing, but doesn’t possess an understanding of the inner-workings of your business as you do. It’s essential that you pass this on to them, sharing that deeper knowledge directly to them so they can successfully market your new product or service against competitors.
Without this knowledge, they generally won’t be able to market the product or service successfully. The agency should be persistent in this pursuit; if they aren’t, either you’re with the wrong agency, or you need to go out of your way to impart this upon them.
So… that’s enough home truths to digest for this blog!
Keep an eye out for ‘Home Truths You Won’t Like About You And Your Agency – Part 2’, coming to you shortly.