At Red Door, we believe that collaboration is key to producing great work, and together we’re always striving to help our clients grow their brands to their full potential. But, the process of doing so is not always smooth. Sometimes our recommendations are not able to be implemented because our client contact runs into challenges, such as legal compliance issues or difficulties getting executive buy-in. Whatever the reason, these road blocks can stand in the way of a brand’s improvement and growth.
It’s important to get around these strategy implementation challenges because when recommendations are forgotten, valuable time, money, and additional resources often go to waste. However, while we at Red Door understand why our recommendations are critical for business, sometimes we wonder, “How do we help get the whole client team onboard?” During a recent “Brainshare,” a weekly Red Door gathering to discuss hot digital marketing topics, we worked together to develop some strategy implementation tips for overcoming client challenges. Today, we’re sharing them with you!
Drive with data
No recommendation should be made without the data to support it. Using data to help tell the story behind your strategic recommendation can often nudge the right client contact in the right direction, because it helps them to visualize the recommendation, while simultaneously helping gain their trust. To do this, hop into Google Analytics and pull data from previous projects that have done well for said client, showing them how past recommendations led to great results. You can also gather some high-level data from other clients in similar situations to show how your recommendations have helped them succeed. The point is to get creative with the data that is available, and tell a story that can’t be forgotten.
"The point is to get creative with the data that is available, and tell a story that can’t be forgotten."
Provide a different perspective
Sometimes showing the client a new way to look at the strategy is the best way to get them to understand its importance. Clients may not always be aware of how the benefits can greatly outweigh the level of effort behind the recommendation. For example, if a client feels that trying to rank for a certain keyword is too difficult, provide the education around the effectiveness of the results, despite the upfront work. Another way to provide a different perspective is through analogies. In the past, Red Door has explained SEO efforts as a freight train. When a freight train first starts moving, it’s very slow, but once it gains momentum it’s difficult to stop, similar to SEO. This analogy has worked for us to help explain SEO strategy to clients.
Personalize your approach
All clients are unique in the challenges they encounter from a business standpoint. Personalization is key when making recommendations you think may be difficult to sell through. Remember, always consider where the client is coming, making sure to adjust your approach according to their circumstances. For example, does the company have experience with a specific business practice behind a recommendation, such as SEO and social media? Or are they not familiar enough yet to fully understand the benefits behind that recommendation?
Knowing the client’s background beforehand can help guide your presentation. Additionally, think about the metrics that matter to a client and their team at large. Are they fixated on revenue? Are they looking to increase click-through rate? Or is conversion the driving factor? These are just some of the things to keep in mind before recommending a particular business strategy.
Clients may also face barriers that are highly specific to their case. For example, a great deal of users may be researching a specific topic, but due to legal issues, the client is prevented from publishing content about that topic. Personalizing efforts to fit these unique challenges beforehand can help save time, money, and resources – on both the agency and client side.
Provide extra motivation
Educating the client around what may happen if no action is taken can help give them the right amount of motivation to implement a recommendation, as well as give them fodder for getting the idea implemented by their team. Showing data in graphs over a specific time period or comparing metrics year over year can help give a visual picture of the opportunity that is being missed. Competitive analysis can also help motivate certain individuals. For example, explaining how competitors are experiencing phenomenal results because of a similar practice you’re currently recommending can help client teams understand why your recommendation is important.
Agencies working hand-in-hand with clients to understand their individual road blocks is essential for developing a strong relationship. Knowing what the client team is going through will better equip the agency partner to supply recommendations that are truly actionable and beneficial for business.
Do you have experience getting a difficult idea implemented, from either the client or agency side? Let us know what tactics worked for you in the comments below!