by: Colby West
Avoid Morphing Account Management into a Reporting Department
Last week, we heard a new client say that his Account Management department was turning into a Reporting department. He was frustrated and expressed that he didn’t sign up with a marketing agency just to pull reports.
As a marketing consultant, sometimes it’s easy to get so caught up in the numbers that you forget to actually do what clients need most from you—use the numbers to provide valuable insights.
This article will act as a guide to help you move away from simply pulling reports together to providing focused direction for your clients (with the use of reporting tools). Here’s how.
1. Spend your time on analysis of the numbers.
Imagine you are the client and you have an option to choose from two different marketing consulting companies.
The first company provides detailed reports at the end of the month, and leaves it at that. The second company, on the other hand, not only provides you with a monthly report, but they also take the time to give you detailed analysis of what those numbers mean. Additionally, the second company gives you advice about marketing strategies that make sense for you.
Which company are you going to pick? Yes, the second! While this seems like a silly example, it accurately reflects the services provided by different marketing companies. And, you want to do all you can to make sure your services match that of the second company.
Here are some ideas to provide the value your clients need:
- Anchor your analytics to their overall marketing strategy. You gather data, because the numbers tell you something important about what marketing measures are and are not working, right? As a marketing consultant, the best thing you can do for your clients is tell them how the numbers inform their marketing strategy.
- Use comprehensive data analysis to guide your advice. One of the reasons you gather data from multiple sources is to get as much information as possible. For example, if you want to know what really makes a customer buy, you need to pull together numbers from social media campaigns, email marketing campaigns, paid search conversions, heat maps, content maps, and more. When you provide comprehensive insight into why certain campaigns are driving results and why others are not, it will help your client make the right marketing decisions.
- Explain the data in layman’s terms. Not everyone has a brain that sops up numbers like you. That’s why sending over a report is not enough, and, more importantly, that’s why your client hired you. They want to understand the story without having to jump too deep into the numbers. When you send your reports, also send a description of what the numbers mean. To go the extra mile, set up an end of the month call where you explain the report and allow your client to ask questions. They will love you for it.
- Be an advocate for value added resales. As you work with the client, if you see an additional service that they would benefit from, don’t be afraid to mention it. Let them know how the service you are suggesting will help them grow their sales.
As a final note, remember that not only will steering away from the reporting-only mindset help your clients, it will also help your employees. Many marketing agencies cite retaining talent as a huge pain point. If you want to keep the brilliant marketing analysts on your side, give them opportunities to do more than just crunch numbers all day. Read on about marketing operations team efficiency pointers.
2. Ditch manual reporting and embrace automation.
There is no better way to waste time than to rely on manual reporting. Manual reporting takes forever and is highly prone to human error. Instead of hiring someone to pull reports, use software to automate your reports. Then, ask those same talented humans who would be pulling the reports to analyze the reports. Let computers do what computers do best and humans do what humans do best.
Here are some of the top ways to use automation tools to provide better account management services.
- Set recurring reports and dashboards. As you sit down with your client, you will first set goals. The next step is simple. Set up your client’s dashboards to feed real time analytics that will monitor your goals. With TapAnalytics, all you have to do is set it up once, and then you can forget about the manual process of running reports. The software does it all for you. Set and forget. It’s amazing.
- Repurpose your time to build better reports. Now that you don’t have to worry about spending your time pulling a report, you can use that time to build better reports that offer more in-depth insights.
- Update on the fly or create new reports as needed. As you continue to receive automated reports, you’ll see which dashboards you need to update and whether or not you need to create new reports. Thankfully, automation offers flexibility and you can customize your reporting whenever and however you would like.
- Build new reports ahead of time. You never know when a client will ask for a specific report. Thankfully, with TapAnalytics automation tools, you can build custom reports ahead of time. And, they will look good. You definitely don’t want to be stuck trying to manually pull a report together at the last minute, because it could include errors, and the design will probably be lacking.
- Customize your cover sheets. Another great way to use automation tools to provide better services to your clients is to customize your cover sheet. When it comes time to turn in your TPS report, you’ll be ready! Be sure your software has a white-label reporting feature.
As you work to build up your reputation as a marketing agency, make sure to use your reporting tools wisely to offer top-notch account management services. You can do this by automating your reporting, and then using those reports to help you provide valuable insights to your clients.
Colby West is the President & Co-Founder of TapClicks
Connect with him here