If you work for a digital agency, I want you to do an exercise with me. I promise it won’t take long, but it may help you uncover some important insight about your business, and help you keep revenue that you could be losing. Think of this as “discovery” for a new campaign.
All I need you to do is think about your clients and answer the questions below:
Step One: Why They Came
Why did your clients sign with you over another agency?
You may be able to answer this for your favorite client or two, but can you answer it for every company that you represent? For every company, ask yourself:
✅ What did they need?
✅ How did you promise to fill that need in a way that no one else did?
The important part of that question is “in a way that no one else did.” What was your specific value prop? You’re trying to zero in on the unique value you brought to that pitch meeting, and how you got the client excited about you in the first place.
Step Two: Why They Stayed
Why have those clients stayed?
More times than not, this can be the more difficult and uncomfortable question to consider. It’s easy to pinpoint the moment during your pitch that hooked a piece of new business, but it’s tough to identify why they stayed with your agency, and, in some cases, why they didn’t.
One of the top challenges for agencies today is retention. Keeping clients is difficult when they’re constantly fielding inquiries from other agencies offering a shiny new thing, sometimes at a discounted price. What are you doing that’s convincing clients to stick with you? If you can’t answer that, you’re working on borrowed time.
Step Three: Why They’re Different
✅ List your top three clients by revenue. These are the brands floating your business with $$$.
✅ List your top three clients by ease of working relationship. These are the brands who really get what it is you do for them.
✅ What is the difference between these client groups?
In most cases, we find that what is different is a clear understanding of the client’s goals, regular interaction and level-sets, and reporting that demonstrates a meaningful impact on their business — not just the most clever creative work.
Let’s talk more about each of those three aspects.
1. Understanding the Client’s Goals
Too often, we forget what the initial brief from the client included, and more importantly, why they asked for help. They didn’t wake up and say, “We need some funny Facebook campaigns because we have too much money in the bank and we want to give it to you.” They had a business need that they’re trying to address. What is that? How can you help solve it better than they could in-house? Have you been doing that?
You are the expert when it comes to digital and social strategy. You need to be prescriptive about how to solve for those business needs, but in order to do that, you need to know what ails them.
2. Regular Interaction
This takes discipline. Are you keeping your clients informed about what you’re working on, and how it’s moving the needle in regards to those business problems you said you’d help solve? Are you doing that regularly so that they understand the unique value you’re bringing to the table?
3. Creative Reporting
Reporting doesn’t have to be tedious. This can be automated, out-of-the-box, or custom, but if you can’t demonstrate success, why would your clients stay with you? I guarantee one of your competitors can. Are you sharing the real, quantifiable results of your actions?
At Simply Measured, we help agencies like yours demonstrate success every day with simple, clear, presentation-ready reports. I don’t say that as a sales pitch — I say it because I have seen the way clients respond when they see the results of their agency’s creative work.
Whoever you work with on the brand side needs to justify their agency budget. Whether you work with someone at the manager, director, or VP level, they’re proposing a budget to someone. Good reporting can hep them make the case to keep you around.
How to Define Social Impact and Communicate Your Performance
The social media metrics map helps tie specific social KPIs to stages of the buyer’s journey and real business impact. This is a tool that you can use in conversations with your current or prospective clients. Download this guide to learn how you can explain, map, and plan social strategies more efficiently.
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As the Head of Marketing Communications at Simply Measured and generally delightful person, my job is to use data to tell stories to the internet that help the internet get better at telling stories...You're welcome internet.
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