• The Quest for a Unified Client Services Theory

    October 9, 2014

    “What do you do?”

    For those in the marketing agency world, it’s a loaded question. At Inbound, Robert Solomon (@RJSolomon), author of The Art of Client Service and founder of Solomon Strategic, opened his session with an answer he’d often tell his mother: “Mom, I do lunch.” Doing lunch means being there for clients, and getting the chance to build an actual relationship with them.

    Yes, it’s sometimes hard to describe “client services” amongst the continual flow of client strategy, production work (writing, social media, PR, design, etc.), measurement and account management. Yet, Robert’s second response to the question offers a catchall glimpse: “We do the simple things necessary to help clients achieve their goals.” During his presentation, Robert shared his thoughts on what’s at the heart of client services.

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  • How to Gain Buy-In with Client Decision-Makers

    September 23, 2014

    You’ve won the business, delivered awesome work, exceeded expectations, and built a great relationship with your main client contact. Next thing you know, a new president is announced, who decides to slash marketing budget, and your agency is kicked to the curb.

    Sound familiar? Too many agencies find themselves in this position; pushed out when the going gets tough, run ragged reacting to ill-advised business strategies, or siloed delivering a particular service and unable to grow the account.

    As Paul Roetzer (@paulroetzer) explains, “Growth is the easy part. Retaining it, and making it profitable, is the real challenge for agencies.”

    Part of the problem these agencies face is their marginalization within the client’s organization. They simply don’t have a seat at the table. Comparatively, other agencies are yoked with their clients, enjoying long-range strategies, acting as strategic marketing and business partners, and feeding off each other’s success. How do they do it?

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  • Is Your Lack of Perspective Harming Your Account Performance?

    August 26, 2014

    There’s a silent killer stalking your agency. It chokes off the culture you’ve built up, suffocates results, and is difficult to detect until it’s too late.

    It’s called a lack of perspective. And it has a profoundly negative effect on account and agency performance if left unaddressed.

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  • 4 Ways to Improve Account Efficiency

    August 20, 2014

    Do you feel like you’re snowed under with work? Does it seem like you’re running on an endless hamster wheel of assignments, deadlines and emails? Are you feeling more stressed—and less productive—the more effort you put into your job?

    You’re not alone. According to the American Psychological Association, 65% of Americans cited work as a top source of stress. A large part of that is due to work overload.

    With tight deadlines, competing accounts and multiple clients to please, agency marketers know this all too well.

    But it doesn’t have to be this way. While there’s no silver bullet to neutralize stress, account efficiency plays a critical part in your day-to-day mental health. The following tips are designed to lighten the load. They’ll show you how to work smarter (not harder) without sacrificing quality.

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  • How to Streamline International Account Management

    July 30, 2014

    Account management carries enough challenges on its own. But what about when it also carries more than one passport?

    With tools that make it easy to collaborate and communicate, agencies are better positioned than ever to serve international clients across time zones. However, the relationship’s logistics still may pose a few challenges for account managers.

    How do you set expectations, clearly communicate, manage projects and deliverables, and stay on the same page when your client is a world away?

    Don’t sweat it. With just a few tweaks to your account management practices, you’ll set yourself and your clients up for success—no matter which time zone they live in.

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  • Turn Productivity into Agency Profits

    July 15, 2014

    The old adage time is money never rings truer than in an agency. You can set pricing intelligently, diversify revenue streams and attract business by filling in-demand marketing needs. But, as a service business, your time and talent are directly tied to profitability.

    Boost your personal productivity, and watch your agency reap the benefits, with these seven tips. 

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  • 3 Ways Your Agency Can Combat Impression Fraud

    July 2, 2014

    This is a guest post from Charles Cantu (@CharlesCantu), founder of Huddled Masses.

    Would you believe me if I told you that you’re losing up to 35 percent of your media-buying budget?

    Everyone knows that you allocate about 15% of your budget to commissions if you’re working with a programmatic team. You allocate more if you’re still playing the game with networks or managed servers from one of the “big players.”

    But you may not realize that impression fraud is estimated to eat up another 30%, meaning you’re starting with 35-45% less money than you thought you had.

    That’s not good for the client or your agency. We have to face impression fraud head-on.

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  • How to Keep Agency Account Teams in Sync

    June 17, 2014

    As corporate-marketer-turned-agency-professional, one of the starkest contrasts for me was the decentralization of, well, almost everything. Teams, tasks and priorities are splintered across accounts, and your focus must shift between clients from one hour—or email—to the next.

    With multiple clients to satisfy and competing priorities, it's easy for wires to get crossed.

    This post contains six ways you can improve account team members’ communication to achieve greater transparency, stimulate collaboration, improve efficiency and deliver maximum value to the client.

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  • Failure is a Place of Potential

    June 11, 2014

    Like it or not, we all fail at different points in our life. Trust me on this one. It took me plenty of bruises as a kid to learn how to ride a bike, plenty of missed shots as a guard to make a basket and a healthy amount of rejection as a salesperson just to gain one “Yes.”

    Instead of avoiding failure, we should embrace it.

    Mistakes and mishaps foster growth. Failure is a place of great potential that allows us to accelerate success and improve through experience. But the fear of failure can be detrimental to our creativity, resulting in a lack of risk-taking and innovation stagnation.

    As agency professionals, we must combat the fear of failure, or risk a reactive attitude toward clients. If you have strong client relationships rooted in trust, knowledge and past success, then proactively bring unique, creative campaign ideas to the table without hesitation.

    Here is a checklist to help you stifle your failure phobia and start confidently suggesting new ideas to clients.

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  • How to Be a More Proactive Agency Professional

    May 14, 2014

    We talk a lot about productivity—the art of getting more done, more efficiently. We don’t talk enough about proactivity—the art of anticipating needs, questions and concerns before they arise. Why is being more proactive so important?

    Simple. Proactivity creates more value.

    Recommendations, strategy and expertise are all valuable. But when proactively delivered, their value is amplified by orders of magnitude. Maybe it’s a client who receives an answer to the next question they were about to ask, or a campaign recommendation that solves a problem on the horizon. Whatever the situation, proactive solutions and words help you do better work, avoid serious setbacks, and drive client success.

    Most importantly, proactivity turns you from a knowledgeable agency professional into an indispensable advisor. That’s a powerful difference when recurring revenue and long-term relationships are so critical to the bottom line.

    Here’s how any agency professional can be more proactive starting today.

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