Whether you work client side or agency side, the goal when running any online marketing project is most likely going to be the same:
To increase business generated from the website and improve return on investment
Of course there will be other goals too but at the end of the day, what business does not want to get a better return from their marketing efforts?
At Koozai we have been working with clients for almost 10 years helping them to achieve this goal (amongst others). In this post I want to share with you seven things that you can do to help you really understand the business that you are marketing.
Face to Face Meetings
There is nothing better to help build a relationship than meeting the person you are dealing with on a project face to face. People work with people and if you are purely a voice at the end of the phone, you are going to need to work a damn site harder to build a long term relationship.
This is the case if you are in-house or agency side working for a brand; the premise is still the same. If you have no face to face contact with the person who is looking at the results, then the relationship is never going to be as good as it could be.
Sometimes it just isn’t possible to have a physical face to face meeting but this is where the beauty of platforms such as Skype and Google Hangouts come in. If you have option of having a phone call vs. a Skype video call, hands down you should be opting for video. Neither party can hide at the end of the video call; there are no distractions and above all, you have each other’s undivided attention.
Give it a go…. If you haven’t met the person you deal with month in month out, try and arrange a meeting either face to face or over Skype and make it a regular thing.
Site / Office Visits
Regardless of whether you are promoting a service or a product, being able to see that brand/business in its own environment will really help you to have an understanding of the ethos and background of the company.
Let’s take a product for example. Some products will have a warehouse or a factory that it is made in. If you can set some time aside to go take a look around, see how it is made and talk to the different teams involved in the creation and distribution, you will come away with so much more information to help you promote that product effectively online.
Two of my team did a site visit a couple of months back and they came back to the office armed with offline marketing collateral. This is great for a number of reasons:
- Printed collateral has often gone through multiple sign offs making the text more likely to be able to be used online
- Offline material may not have been used online yet; you may have some ready made content to use
- Pick out the core USPs mentioned in the material
- Read and understand more about how the business wants to be portrayed
To ensure everyone is on the same page and has a clear understanding of the goals that need to be your focus, it is vital that you are asking the right questions right at the start of a project.
Using a platform such as Survey Monkey allows you to have a standard survey with a series of questions that you can use to guide you through an on-boarding process. I wouldn’t recommend that you make it clear you have a set of questions to go through but instead use them as talking points; jump around questions as and when things come up and fill in the blanks.
No one can remember everything that gets discussed at the start of a project so making use of a tool like Survey Monkey means that everything gets stored in one place and anyone working on an account can get access to that information when ever they need to.
In addition, refer back to the survey answers at different stages of the project to see if any of the information fits in with a task that you are currently working on.
Some example questions:
- Give me at least five USPs for the business
- What are your primary products and/or services?
- Who do you perceive as being your offline and online competitors?
- What are your main goals for this marketing channel?
- Describe your ideal target market
- What does a typical customer look like to you?
- Can we get access to your database to help with buyer personas?
- Any upcoming product/service launches?
- What do you require approval on? How long should we expect approval to take?
- List the types of conversions (by importance) that happen on the website
- How are offline conversions (if any) dealt with?
- Any words that should NOT be included in any campaigns?
- Are you happy to share details of your profit margin with us?
- What does marketing success look like to you?
- Is there a timeframe you are expecting certain results by?
Direct Comms with the Marketing Team
Depending on the business you are promoting, there may be different teams of people within the organisation. In my experience, the best relationships come from dealing with people who are in control of the overall marketing for that business rather than the business owner or finance controller. Obviously this is not always the case but who ever you are dealing with; try to work with someone who has a full understanding of marketing including the challenges and benefits the come with it.
Running a marketing campaign without having access to the main analytics account is like having a bed without a mattress (not sure where that analogy came from but bear with me and you will see what I mean (I hope!)).
You will never get the most from a marketing campaign if you don’t understand whether or not it is working for you! Data analysis = better results moving forwards. Google Analytics gives you so much information about how visitors are interacting with the website. Is a campaign causing a high bounce rate? Do those visitors add a product to the basket but not convert? Do they come back multiple times before making a purchase? Which device is most used?
There is so much within an analytics platform that will help you to understand what needs to change to make the project you are working on a better success. It still deeply concerns me when I hear about this happening but trust me, it does. Everyone needs to be on the same page and have access to the same information to get marketing campaigns working!
I totally understand why some businesses may prefer not to share information surrounding profit margins for individual products or services but in order for us to understand whether or not a campaign is profitable, we at least need to know average profit margins.
If we are kept in the dark completely, we won’t know how close our costs and revenue figures can get before the campaign is making a loss.
As with the analytics access, the more we know, the better the account will be able to perform.
Finally, visibility is vital. Everyone involved in a project not only needs to be on the same page, but they also need to know what stages tasks are at, who is accountable for what and the results that are being generated overall.
After trialling so many tools (trust me when I say we have trialled so many), we use Basecamp. It is super simple to understand and use and offers that full visibility for a project. It is great for assigning tasks to different people so we can quickly see what is outstanding and who needs to be chased.
Additionally, their mobile and tablet apps are awesome and work in the exact same way as the desktop site making it easier to review projects on the go, anytime, anywhere.
So there you have it, seven ways to help improve relationships and understand the business you are marketing better. There will of course be more ways than listed above so if you have any that you would like to share with the State of Digital audience, please do so in the comments below. We would love to hear your thoughts.