Guest post by Hernán Gonzalez.
Experienced marketers understand added benefits are what make a sale and features are what provide value. That meant that campaigns with lots of bells and whistles were assumed to be more productive. Each accent added to a brand’s “wow” factor and more updates meant more sales would soon follow. However, the creation of modern day analytics tools has changed the marketing environment from hopeful anticipation to anxiety. Today, added benefits can actually be measured and thus, there is no longer a good reason to pay for features that won’t deliver.
Clients are now able see how much ROI they receive real-time. While this may useful, it also means that if metrics don’t add up, businesses are more likely to return to agencies asking why a campaign is underachieving. At that point, should the agency be responsible to change the site design, content and layout until performance rates are higher? Good Question.
The answer lies in better consultation practices, workforce preparation and adaptation. Even the most seasoned agencies can have trouble achieving a balance between all three on the first attempt, hence the need to include revision fees in the initial budgeting consultation. Clients and agencies alike understand the value of these services, and after all, there wouldn’t be a point in investing in them unless a profit was guaranteed sooner or later.
Marketers should no doubt place as much value on the results as their clients, since a reputation can easily be created or ruined depending on the success of a campaign. What can be done to eliminate concerns about metrics for both parties? The responsibility falls on to the agency, yet clients can at times be too fast in making their own evaluations in regards to what the resulting numbers really mean. For example, a site may convert fewer visitors into subscribers, but the percentage of customers out of those conversions is higher. The click through rate from Facebook may be high, but few products are being bought.
Determining whether a third party or the agency itself should interpret these statistics should be an important part of negotiations. Not only will establishing the importance of metrics assist in showing the agency’s concern for a campaign’s success, but it will help clear the air regarding the extent of their role in adapting to ever-changing analytics. Clients should be educated so that they recognize the difference between attractive statistics versus those that actually matter. A few primary attributes should serve as the basis for determining what’s worth a call for agency resources, such as monitoring actual sales as opposed to casual “Likes” on a Facebook page.
Despite the need to deliver measurable results, less tangible values should not be overlooked. Although they don’t provide monetary worth in and of themselves, “Shares” and page views could translate into the establishment of a broader customer base and increased media attention. Brand exposure and visibility are difficult and complicated things to measure, it not completely impossible. The benefits of both can help lead to more endorsement, brand reach and eventually may provide the exact sort of concrete worth clients are eager to see.
As long as a solid plan is established and agreed upon by the agency and client, marketers must return to the basics through the discovery of their customers’ existing problems or areas of growth. By confirming the results businesses are after- higher click through rate or conversions – marketers can set goals that are within reach and provide improved results. The most significant area of this practice is in the avoidance of cutting costs until ROI has been confirmed. While agencies should and do continue to adapt to the changing marketing landscape, they also need funding to maintain the resources needed for updates based on metrics’ fickle nature.
Hernán Gonzalez is Creative Director at Dutch Monaco.