With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, the staff here at New Jupiter Media have been doing a lot of thinking about relationships: client relationships, that is.
As our client base continues to grow, we find ourselves interacting with more and more people and businesses. We love how our clients keep us on our toes: we’re constantly learning new things and making sure our pay-per-click (PPC) strategy is up-to-date. Yet, as with any relationship, there are bound to be some be bumps along the way.
So with the help of some of our senior-level employees, we’ve laid out some classic relationship truths that also apply to the marketer-client relationship and paired them with real-life experiences we’ve had here in-house.
We hope that these anecdotes can help both marketers and business owners alike better understand the etiquette that should be expected out of both parties, which can ensure a successful relationship and – heck – maybe even some love.
5 Ways to Build a Loving Client-Marketer Relationship
1. A Relationship Is a Two-Way Street
No one knows the ins and outs of a business better than the client. As a business owner, sharing your first-hand industry knowledge and audience insights will help your marketing team put together comprehensive and strategic digital marketing campaigns.
You’re the expert, but hey, we’re the PPC experts. It’s a two-way street.
Online customer behavior can be vastly different than real-world tendencies, and often times data can point to surprising and unexpected conclusions.
This might mean a keyword that you were certain was going to be your bread and butter in a campaign ends up being a dud. Or ad copy that you thought was going to bring in the most quality traffic ends up attracting erroneous users.
As account managers, we use data to drive our decision making when it comes to optimizing campaigns. A strong client relationship helps to bridge the gap between the virtual world and the online world.
–Senior Account Manager Alexa Rozzi
2. Communication Is Key in Any Relationship
The most successful client relationships develop when clients and their marketers find a way to exchange information efficiently and clearly.
“Often times email is a great solution to answering a client’s question or concern,” senior account manager, Alexa Rozzi, said. “However, there comes a point where email becomes counter-productive – often times a simple question has a complex answer that is best explained over the phone; or my answer for you might catalyze additional questions.”
To solve this problem, Alexa simply picks up the phone.
“The system that works best with me and some of my clients is, when they email me a question, I put some time on the calendar for a call,” she said. “This gives me a chance to pull up the client’s campaigns and productively walk them through things, while giving them a chance to ask additional questions while we’re both looking at the campaigns together.”
–Senior Account Manager Alexa Rozzi
3. Always Put Yourself in the Other Person’s Shoes
Think Like This: the client’s money is your money!
One of the most important things to think about that ties into client relations, effective spend and an overall successful PPC effort, is to treat the client’s money as if it were your own. If it’s “your” money, then you will spend it as wisely as you can, and you will try to get the best return-on-investment for your money.
There are many agencies that lose this mentality – or just don’t have it to start with. While treating the account spend as if it were your own money is definitely more stressful, it will maintain a mutually beneficial relationship between the marketer and his or her client.
“I treat every client this way, and that’s why I’ve had some of the same clients for years,” according to senior account manager Danny Binder. “Every account manager should take this stance, and then they too will not only have a good relationship with their clients, but a prosperous one!”
–Senior Account Manager Danny Binder
4. Know Your Role in the Relationship – and Don’t Be Afraid to Embrace It
When you spend enough time with someone, it becomes easy to point out that person’s strengths and weaknesses. While you love your partner’s strengths, their weaknesses – leaving laundry around the house, storming off during arguments, etc. – can be a burden for both of you. To build a successful relationship, you have to be willing to – kindly – point out these weaknesses and help your partner improve.
The same goes for the relationship between a marketer and their client.
“Everyone knows that hashtags are a big trend right now, but not as many realize the true potential behind these tags,” web marketing manager, Melissa Anthony, said. “I recently had a client that was using hashtags on their company Instagram with good intentions: they were hashtagging all the obvious terms related to their product. After doing some industry research, however, I found a number of additional hashtags that would attract more potential customers. While I wanted the client to use these industry-specific hashtags, I didn’t want to insult their previous marketing efforts.”
But how exactly can you politely point out something that needs improvement?
“So I sent a list of suggested hashtags to the client and included a detailed explanation on why they should use them,” Melissa said. “I also left the floor open for them to contribute anything else. After all, they’re the expert in their field. In the end, they were happy to use the list of hashtags I suggested, realizing that I was trying to help their business grow.”
–Web Marketing Manager Melissa Anthony
5. In the End, It’s All About Trust
Many marketing teams cite “building trust” as a key factor in establishing and maintaining strong client-relationships. Yet, this is one of the worst things for a marketer to focus his or her time and attention on. Trust is the natural byproduct of acting with integrity and in the best interest of your client’s business. If you regularly conduct yourself in that way, the trust establishes itself.
“My biggest client today originally came to me years ago with a large budget to have his website rebuilt because it kept getting hacked,” account manager and web developer, Steve Calogera, said. “He assumed the whole site was bad and that burning the house to the ground was the only solution.”
So did Steve take the money and run?
“As much as I would have loved the big pay day, I let him know about a common vulnerability that had been infecting WordPress sites and offered to spend the five minutes it would take to look and see if his site had been infected,” Steve said. “It had! I offered him a quick fix for about 2 percent of what he was willing to spend on the new site and he was thrilled. He’s since grown to be my biggest client, and has recommended countless other companies to me, as well. Turning down that quick, easy cash has been one of the most profitable moves I’ve ever made!”
–Account Manager and Website Developer Steve Calogera