Can Agencies Positively Impact Client Strategy? [guest blog]
How can your agency positively impact your client’s business strategy? It’s a good question and one that can lead to a myriad of possible opportunities, for both clients and their respective agencies. From an organizational structure to go-to-market strategies, there are a number of ways that creative agencies can assist their client in achieving their goals. But first, we have to look at what clients are looking for when they approach a creative agency:
The world is changing rapidly and the vast majority of companies simply do not have the resources to stay on top of all the latest trends and technology as they are adopted by the masses.
So, many small and medium-sized businesses turn to a third-party to help them succeed. The marketing industry has seen this first hand as social media and influencer marketing have become successful mainstream tactics for a majority of campaigns. But, many clients are looking for more than just simply “doing” the most effective tactic or strategy. They want to know what works best for them and, occasionally, what they should look for in a professional should they decide to bring their digital tactics and strategies in-house one day.
How Can an Agency Help?
Aside from simply providing their expertise to clients, a handful of forward-thinking agencies have created training facilities to allow their clients to learn from their mistakes. Some, like Jelly Academy, are run by agency staff so that attendees can learn from professionals who are working in the field full-time.
Clear Return on Investment
As agencies and digital marketing strategies delve further into content marketing, the less transparent a majority of agencies have become. This has a knock-on effect, which is that clients do not know if they can trust their marketing partner. Trust, which is at the core of any services business and is a core tenet between an agency and their clients, evaporates in seconds if a client and agency are not speaking the same language.
How Can an Agency Help?
Cut out the jargon and open up the data. Help the client understand how your agency is affecting their return on investment and, if it isn’t working, what you are doing to get them on the right track. Nobody cares about the CTR or the CPM if they cannot accurately track them back to what matters most, conversions.
In an always-on world, communication should be easy. But, with so many different options, there becomes a tipping point where nobody knows how to connect with each other effectively. Too many rules and touchpoints leads to client information overload and, chances are, an agency’s team is burned out managing a million different ways to contact their clients. On top of this, clients also want to be able to see the progress of a project without always having to call the account manager.
How Can an Agency Help?
Keep it simple. When a client is onboarded, provide them with a document that clearly shows each of the communication channels and how they can get the most from them. Schedule additional training or a monthly webinar if possible to provide the client with a detailed walkthrough of the tools, what they should be used for, and how the team uses them.
Be open about the hours that clients can expect support and time frames for responses. Integrate them into the process early and there will be no surprises later. Consider a platform that openly shows a projects’ status so that a client can log on whenever they wish to see how their project is coming along. DashThis is also great for creating and displaying easy-to-use analytics dashboards, opening up important data for clients to see which goals they are hitting and which ones that could do with some tweaking. Function Point is another great asset that allows agencies to monitor projects against time tracking, task management, and project budgets so that agencies can maximize their billable hours.
Whether it is because of a lack of internal resources or a lack of understanding in a particular medium, clients hire agencies because they offer something that they cannot gain internally. And they want to trust the agency that they hired because nobody wants to think that they have made a bad decision. By being open, honest, and upfront, agencies can make a real impact on their clients’ business while enjoying the added bonus of reducing the strain on their team.
Principal / Director of Strategy
Darian is principal of the award-winning Digital Marketing and PR firm known as Jelly. If you didn’t already know, Darian brings unparalleled charisma and excitement to the brands that he popularizes (is yours one of them?). Known for off-the-wall ideas and fantastic stories, Darian’s energy keeps the Jelly bus rolling down fun and fabulous roads