By: Tim Leesman and Travis McGlasson
Welcome to Simantel’s Mailbag, where agency owner and Director of Client Services, Tim Leesman, addresses the top questions we hear from our clients. Have a question you’d like covered? Tweet it to us at @simantel and use #mailbag.
Q: What are some shared traits of your most successful client partnerships?
TL: The first one is mutual trust. Like any good partnership, both sides have to trust that we’re working toward the same goal and will always act in everyone’s best interest. If you’re suspicious of your agency’s intentions or commitment, or we’re dubious that you’re being transparent on key topics, odds are no one is going to end up happy.
Open, honest communication – We love a good debate and want to hear your opinions, challenges, opportunities, frustrations, ideas and more. In return, we ask that you’re open to us providing the same level of honesty back to you.
The second is collaboration. We truly prefer to function as a unified team with our clients. Both client and agency have a huge part to play in the success of an initiative, and working together as a team always yields the best results.
Q: I need more leads; how can I quickly get more leads?
TL: When we hear this, our first question is always “what are you going to do with them?” Because if you’re just collecting leads because that’s the goal that has been set for you, then you actually could be doing more harm than good. What if someone is expecting follow-up communications in exchange for becoming a “lead” and they don’t hear from you? This lack of customer service may lose a prospective customer before you even had a chance to engage with them.
Our advice is to have a section of your overall strategy that outlines a nurture plan for all leads. There are a variety of automated platforms available to help you do just that such as Eloqua, Marketo and Pardot, to name a few. Or if you are lucky enough to get your hands on a hot lead, then have an efficient process in place for getting them to a sales rep that can close the deal. Why spend all of that budget to get people’s attention and convince them to fill out a form, only to drop them into a dormant database?
Q: My team has multiple sources of data; how can you help me sort through and figure out exactly what I should be using?
TL: This is a great question and one we hear often. In order to provide you the best answer possible, I decided to hand this one off to our Marketing Technology Director, Travis McGlasson, who is responsible for technology use, digital strategy and analytics.
TM: This is a topic that comes up frequently nowadays. With terms like “big data” being thrown around regularly and the demand for jobs in fields like data science increasing, everyone has become focused on getting the most out of their first party, or internal, data.
Here are questions to ask yourself:
- What problem are you trying to solve with your data?
- What technology platforms are you using now?
- Where is your current data coming from?
- Do you have enough data?
- If you have too much data, do you have the right data?
- Do you have the right model to best analyze your data?
- What are you doing to optimize your marketing based on that data?
These are all questions our clients face regularly, and sometimes they can become somewhat paralyzed by the challenge. Collecting data, integrating the various systems that hold it and hiring people to analyze it are very significant investments. In some cases, the fear of doing it incorrectly and potentially wasting those resources can scare companies into not doing anything at all. Alternatively, some assume that with a sufficient amount of data, some insights will reveal themselves organically. This rarely ever happens.
The most important thing to do when making sense of this space is to keep asking strategic questions. Then focus on those questions and align your people, processes and systems to them. Data doesn’t serve a purpose unless it answers a question. For many of our clients we also supply the people, models and systems when it makes sense to do so. Data can be overwhelming and that’s ok. We strongly recommend bringing on an outside partner to objectively advise you in getting your technology stack in order.
Stayed tuned for future editions of The Mailbag where we will explore more common questions we hear from clients. But in the meantime, if you have a question we haven’t addressed, tweet us @simantel or contact us
About the Authors:
Tim Leesman leads the agency’s Client Services department and champions client relationships. He has an extensive knowledge of developing marketing strategies, executing integrated campaigns, managing budgets and supervising a dynamic team of client service professionals. Read more about Tim
Travis McGlasson leads the agency’s digital strategy team and is responsible for driving media strategy and planning, as well as organize our information technology to keep the agency on the cutting edge and ensure the security of our data. Outside of Simantel, Travis is also an elected official and non-commissioned officer in the Illinois Army National Guard.