Ah – it’s that time of the year. By the time this is posted and live on our blog, Q4 will have already come to a close, revenue will be finalized for the year, new budgets and goals will be determined, and on a personal level, many of us will have reflected on the past year and thought about what 2019 will bring.
This isn’t exclusive to just you as a person – if you’re an account manager working at a digital agency, recognize that your clients are doing this too.
The beginning of the New Year is the time that clients do some heavy reflecting on the year prior, almost as a post-mortem, to see what went well, and what needs improvement. Just as people do, your clients will use those as opportunities to improve in the coming year in the form of goals and resolutions.
To be as effective as possible, not just for yourself but for your team as well, you should aim to get ahead of what your client’s resolutions are going to be. No matter how the previous year went, and how they frame up what they’re looking for in the coming year, clients are typically looking for improvement in 3 key areas in the coming year.
1) More Revenue
Yes, this seems obvious, but can often get forgotten, and dictates a lot of your strategy moving forward into the New Year. Something to keep in mind is that the beginning of the New Year marks the new beginning of the fiscal year for a lot of businesses. Depending on their business type, it can be an especially high-pressure time of year should Q4 sales have faltered a bit compared to the year prior.
No company wants to shrink from the year before. What you need to do as an effective AM here is understand the degree to which your client wants to grow. Work with them to ensure that the goal is realistic, and break it down into smaller goals based on seasonality.
Get prepared, because this is something your client is absolutely 100% prioritizing for the coming year.
Related: Grow Online Revenue
2) Lower Costs
Barring some kind of tectonic shift in the world of business, your client is looking to increase the volume of revenue that they are driving, while decreasing the cost to attain it (increasing their net profitability).
This is something you need to be aware of as a good partner. This isn’t exclusive simply to hard acquisition costs in advertising etc. You need to have a pulse on the overall cost that the client is currently paying for a customer to help facilitate this discussion and provide recommendations where necessary. Look at what they’re paying you as an agency, as well as the costs that are in efforts like advertising, ESP monthly payments, etc. to get a full understanding of this. Most of the time, this is how the client is looking at things, so it’s best to look at it the same way to ensure alignment going into 2019.
3) Reassurance of Measurement & Trackability
This has been a hot topic over the last year or two. As you’re probably aware if you’ve read this far into the article and you work on the marketing side of the agency-business relationship, you understand some of the potentials for overlap or double-reporting in attribution.
What this means is that multiple platforms may be taking credit for the same purchases or conversion. Facebook Ads may have a longer window, while Google Ads has a 7-day window, and an ESP-like Klaviyo has a 5-day window. There is the potential that they are all reporting the same purchase given the fact that the 5-day window falls within all of those attribution windows. Make sense?
What does this mean for you? Your client isn’t asking for the world – they are asking for continued reassurance that the tracking and measurement you’re providing them with (that they are likely basing a lot of their budget on in the coming year) is as accurate as possible. Work with them and communicate on what you’re doing so that they are in the loop here.
Again, they aren’t asking for insane measurement or tracking so much as they are reassurance that what you’re equipping them with is accurate.
Clients, like us, have goals for the New Year. I want to lose weight and gain more muscle. Your client wants the same thing for their business; to lose weight (extra costs) and gain more muscle (revenue). And, we both want reassurance that we’re trending in the right direction to do those things with accurate data.
Anticipate these 3 macro-goals, and tie them down to the nuances of your account to ensure total alignment going into the new year!