After working in-house as a digital marketer for a couple of years, I made the decision to venture into agency life for a change of pace. While both environments can be wildly different from one another, there are some valuable lessons I took from my time in-house that have helped me craft better marketing strategies and build stronger relationships with my clients.
Sometimes clients only sign on for a specific niche of work from an agency, be it PPC, SEO, Analytics, etc. It can be easy to stay hyper-focused on one aspect of marketing, but there are so many other “levers” that companies pull: social media, email, direct mail, content creation, street teams, and more all play a crucial role in a company’s marketing strategy. When all of these initiatives are aligned, the company can reap the synergistic benefits. Make it a point to ask clients if there are any other areas that you can “plug into.” Below are some examples:
Find out where and when a company is running tv commercials and create PPC campaigns in those areas during those times for extra brand lift.
Is there a specific blog or whitepaper that has been doing well organically? Use that to inform paid campaigns and promote it to a wider audience.
Are their sales reps tackling a specific region with outbound calls? Provide extra coverage with geotargeted digital marketing campaigns.
By doing this, you’ll prove your value and demonstrate that you are invested in the client’s overarching business objectives.
Many times, agencies can get hung up on churning out as many conversions as possible, without giving thought as to whether or not their clients are actually able to do anything with these leads. The great thing about working in-house is that you (usually) have a clear line of communication with the sales team, which translates into a closed feedback loop. This means that you can go beyond tracking the quantity of leads to monitoring the quality of your conversions by assessing what percentage of leads were actually viable (opportunity to conversion rates) and what specific channels or initiatives drove them.
While not all clients will be open to sharing their sales data, it should be a topic of conversation. As soon as you can deduce where exactly legitimate leads are coming from, you can stop wasting marketing dollars on avenues that aren’t producing the same results. This can be done with closed-loop analytics, which combines web data with CRM data to get a complete look at the customer journey. In this context, a cohesive tracking process is extremely important, but ultimately means cost savings and more business in the long run!
At an agency, many times projects or tasks are a “hurry-up-and-wait” scenario, as you bang out last-minute ad hoc requests, only to be held up waiting for approval or new assets. While it is understandably frustrating, what we don’t see is that the in-house team is dealing with similar bottlenecks. They could be waiting for designers to wrap up ad imagery, leadership teams to finalize budgets, you name it.
Sometimes taking a step back and reminding yourself that all businesses have processes and hiccups is a great way to reset before communicating with the client. Make it a point to ask your clients what other initiatives they are working on or which of their projects are deemed high priority. This way, you’re approaching them with more understanding and patience, which they are sure to appreciate, and also nailing down a more definitive action plan for your team.
Want more tips on how to effectively communicate with clients? Check out the Seer Guide to Client Relationships!
In summary, PPC is an extremely diverse asset that can plug into so many marketing initiatives. With proper and focused client communication, you can uncover a wealth of information that leads to new campaign ideas, stronger client-agency relationships, and more business!