5 Reasons Why Your Clients Don’t Read Your Agency’s Reports

Establishing the business value of your SEO performance as an agency is part of client relationship building. It’s also what keeps the churn rate low and the referral rate high.

Yet, when it comes to reporting, why is it that some things get lost in translation?

Picture this – an SEO agency just managed a massive win for their automotive client, a 5% visibility improvement on both desktop and mobile for their highly competitive keywords list in the last month. From the content-driven campaign, over 25 links were built as well for one of the client’s main money pages.

But all of these insights are compiled in a fully automated report that gets sent to the client, together with all the technical tasks and other actions, without being highlighted in particular.

How can the agency make sure the client understands the ROI delivered for their business? Maybe the team is relying on the monthly meeting, but the client postpones that too.

Reporting is a critical activity for an SEO agency – one that supports effective communication and retention. And it can be tedious or strenuous work.

At times, clients don’t react as expected – but doesn’t have to be so.

Let’s dive deeper into reasons why reports sometimes fail to accomplish their objective and what do to about it, to make the best of your reporting process.

Here’s Why Clients Don’t Read Your Reports

Clients Have Different Expectations

One reason why clients won’t read reports can be the implicit expectation to see certain metrics included there or to receive them at a certain date. Or it can be that they don’t understand the specifics of your SEO activities, so they let it slide.

Keeping your clients close from day 0 is mandatory for communications to work. That means setting the right expectations regarding the agency workflows and what’s expected of the client’s team from the onboarding phase.

Reporting is a huge chunk of that so be sure to take into account the following questions and clarify them in the first month:

  • Why do we report?
  • When do we report?
  • How do we go about reporting?
  • What data goes in and where do we get that information?
  • Who is responsible for this client’s reports?
  • When should we escalate an issue? When do we make recommendations?
  • What’s the frequency of our reporting and meetings?

After negotiating all those aspects above in the agency-client alignment meeting, you can create an agency internal dashboard that includes your clients’ portfolio, the account managers responsible for each client report, monthly statuses, and due dates. That way you have an overview of your reporting process at all times.

Confusing, Long, or Unbalanced Reports

Whether it’s a fully automated 70 pages report containing every single SEO action the agency’s done or a document with inconsistent branding and copy-pasted data from various tools – it’s not an actionable document that a client can easily read and understand.

You need to have the end goal in mind: the client reading and getting how your work is helping the business. If the client doesn’t engage with your report, it’s a missed opportunity for both showcasing results and gathering feedback.

To avoid these situations, once more think about the main KPIs and SEO objectives you’ve agreed upon:

  • Do they have a keyword list they’re particular about?
  • Are they an ecommerce client wanting to increase the conversion rate?
  • Is it a lead generation campaign?

Having clarified the expectations and business objectives, that’s what you’ll report on monthly while explaining how your SEO intervention directly impacted their KPIs and business results.

To settle inconsistencies, you can create an agency template with a focus on these key insights and your agency’s brand and unique voice:

  • Think about highlighting the most important trends and victories on KPIs like non-brand organic traffic and Visibility trends.
  • Areas of focus and keyword groups.
  • Content performance.
  • Competitors’ insights.
  • Major updates that affected the campaign (if applicable).
  • Technical insights and recommendations.
  • SEO opportunities.

Then, you’ll have a good foundation that you can go on personalizing for each client.

After all, as each SEO campaign has its particularities, you need to make sure you report on the client’s specific requests.

Too Much Data, Not Enough Explanations

Apart from long or unbalanced documents, another reason for clients skipping on reading the monthly reports can be data-heavy documents, with lists upon lists of keywords and complex graphics that aren’t self-explanatory for a non-SEO specialist.

Sometimes you might work with in-house SEO professionals, but most of the time it will be a stakeholder that is interested in reaching their business goals, so they need to talk business. And even if you’re the extension of the in-house SEO and digital marketing team, they still need to justify the ROI of collaborating with your agency.

In the end, highlighting how you influenced marketing leads and sales is much more important than going into the nitty-gritty of rankings and traffic.

Want more time to focus on what matters? Then think about ways to automate data gathering.

Instead of spending multiple hours in your SEO tools, copying charts, making screenshots, and searching for the most relevant insights, optimize for time and integrate these actions into your daily routines.

For instance, with a reporting module like SEOmonitor’s, you get an assistant in the form of a Google Slides add-on that surfaces the critical insights from your campaign – that you can insert with a click. Those insights are transformed into visually appealing slides, within your predesignated agency template.

You get to focus on what matters – explaining the metrics behind your actions, how the strategy evolved, and what’s next for the client’s business.

Inconsistent Reporting Frequency

Was it supposed to be monthly? Or did you agree on a custom period?

Not getting the timing right and in alignment with your client can be another reason why reports pile up in the unread file.

Having a set frequency, which is usually month by month, helps both from a process point of view and as a ground for calibration with the client’s team.

To make sure you send your reports on time, you can use a project management tool or, again, your internal agency dashboard. Having a support system with nudges and alerts, via email, Slack or something else, keeps you on schedule.

Don’t forget to set your notifications beforehand for preparation – compounding the insights and creating the document itself. Also, you may think about the roles involved in the reporting process from the start, so you coordinate with all the team members in due time.

Unmet Expectations

There may be unmet expectations on both sides: your team made some important SEO recommendations that the client hasn’t implemented, the client expected to see a different outcome.

Returning full circle to the crucial part of alignment and expectations setting, there’s also one final aspect to take into account: communicating why it’s important to receive the report beforehand and read it.

It can work as agenda-setting for the last step in the reporting process – presenting it.

It’s also in the monthly meeting or call that you get to clarify, explain, and make recommendations while presenting the journey so far.

It can even be an opportunity to recalibrate the relationship with a silent client. It’s not the unread report per se that needs solving, but the way you both communicate.

Maybe it’s time to rehash what you both agreed during onboarding or maybe it’s time for a new approach that benefits both sides.

All in all, having the same foundation for this discussion raises its efficiency. You and the client can now focus on campaign fine-tuning and strategic talk because you know where you’re standing, the questions that need urgent answers, and can infer the next steps.

Ways to Optimize Your Reporting Process

Creating an efficient reporting process for your agency is important because, to a certain degree, reporting is retention.

Being able to articulate how your monthly activities and SEO interventions are improving business results will not only be beneficial for your client’s trust, but also for their continued collaboration.

In brief, here are the main things to consider when designing that reporting process:

  • Establishing the rules of reporting and clearly communicating them to the client in the onboarding phase.
  • Having a set internal process for how you approach reporting and its strategic objective.
  • Create a visually appealing monthly report to use across the agency, that showcases your approach and the most relevant SEO insights: SEO actions, visibility status, keyword groups, and their performance, competitors insights, SEO issues and opportunities, and next steps.
  • Automating data gathering so you have time to focus on what matters: strategy, tactics, and explaining what happened in order to translate SEO interventions to business results.
  • Creating a transparent process and gathering feedback. Your reports and meetings are a great opportunity to take the pulse of your clients and find out what you can optimize. For the sake of transparency, you should offer your clients the context to give you feedback and ask burning questions.

Our team at SEOmonitor researched this process through and through, and after gathering insights from SEO agencies, designed a reporting module that takes into account all the aspects above, so you don’t have to struggle.

You get:

  • An overview of your reports’ status at the portfolio level.
  • The status of a client’s report at each stage of the process (Due, Overdue, Submitted, In Progress), in your account manager dashboard.
  • A builder that leverages your campaign data from SEOmonitor into Google Slides – our smart assistant pulls the most relevant insights from each campaign that you can click and insert in your agency template in seconds. Plus, we’ll generate visually consistent graphs and charts that are easy to follow.
  • A feedback tracker for each monthly report that highlights engagement data: the most engaged slides, the most liked slides, and the client’s overall satisfaction, collected at the best possible moment – just after reading your report.
  • Reporting doesn’t have to be a painful or time-consuming experience for your team. And it can be significant for supporting client communications.

By: SEOMonitor

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Ryan Stewart 32.6K subscribers Download report (free): https://theblueprint.training/extend-… It’s much easier to keep your current clients than to sign new ones. This video talks about tips you can use to re-sign your clients at the end of their agreements. ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 💥 LEARN to scale your agency ► http://bit.ly/2MntKos 💥 Let me MANAGE your marketing ► http://bit.ly/2MhTQJi 💥 Get hourly CONSULTING from me ► http://bit.ly/2MiXRNJ ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 🗣 CONNECT WITH ME ON SOCIAL Instagram ► https://www.instagram.com/ryan.was.here/ Facebook ► https://facebook.com/hellowebris Twitter ► https://twitter.com/ryanwashere FREE FB Group ► https://www.facebook.com/groups/digit… ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 👂CHECK OUT MY PODCAST Spotify ► http://bit.ly/mind-of-marketer-spotify Apple ► http://bit.ly/mind-of-a-marketer Google ► http://bit.ly/mind-of-marketer-google Stitcher ► http://bit.ly/mind-of-marketer-stitcher ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 👋 ABOUT ME: My name is Ryan Stewart, I’m on online entrepreneur and marketer. I used to work a job I hated for a company I didn’t believe in, until I stumbled upon “SEO”. Flash forward 10 years later and I’ve built, grown and scaled almost a dozen 7 figure businesses. It’s my goal in life to free you from the old mindset and institutions in place. If you follow my Channel you’ll learn valuable marketing, business and technical skills that will help you build your own online businesses.

4 Ways to Stop Attracting People Who Can’t Afford Your Services

There’s nothing worse for an entrepreneur than putting all your efforts into building a service, and a marketing strategy, only to continuously attract people who say they can’t afford them. 

While many business owners focus their attention on making sure they have built an apparent “fool-proof” plan to bring people in, they can still stumble into an audience that isn’t right for them. This can be frustrating because people don’t understand why, even though they are good at what they do, prospects aren’t buying or, worse yet, they are asking for discounts on everything.

The good news is that there is a way to stop attracting those who can’t afford your services and shift your attention and marketing efforts to bring in people who are ready to buy. It all boils down to having and implementing a brand strategy that deeply resonates with your target audience and allows you to show up authentically every single time.

1. Get clear on who you do want to attract

For your business to be successful and start attracting the right people, you need to begin by understanding who your ideal customers are at a granular level. The more effective you are at connecting with the right audience and speaking to their problems and needs, the more sales you will make. 

Getting extremely clear on who your ideal customers are requires going beyond demographics to truly understand the psychological and emotional elements that are impacting their lives, which will, in turn, determine their purchasing decisions. 

The more you understand your audience, the more effective your messaging will be because you will have the capacity to speak directly to them, and they will finally feel seen and heard. Pricing becomes less important when they see you as the best solution to the specific problem or need that they have. 

For example, it’s not nearly as impactful or effective to say that you are selling a program for women who want to lose weight, which is hugely generalized, than to say that you help busy women over 40 who are frustrated after trying low-carb, high-fat fad diets without lasting results lose weight.  Not only is the latter version a lot more detailed, but it also speaks to a very specific pain point which means that these women will feel an immediate sense of recognition and understanding.

2. Stop undercharging for your services

Many entrepreneurs undercharge for their services because they believe they need to build a robust reputation or have a large audience before they can charge premium prices. 

However, in practice, lowering your prices may end up hurting your reputation in the first place. If you’re building an audience based on people who are looking for a cheaper solution then it will be very difficult for you to make sales once you raise your prices.

If you want to start attracting clients who can afford your services as an online coach or consultant, you need to start charging the right price instead. Trying to sell a service by being the cheapest option out there is going to be a race straight to the bottom. After all, there will always be someone with a lower price in the market.

Instead, you want to set your price based on the value you deliver. To make this calculation, first determine what the outcome of the results you help to generate is worth. 

3. Position yourself as an authority

Attracting the right people also comes down to being able to effectively position yourself as an authority or leader in your field by creating a powerful brand strategy that will allow you to be intentional with your marketing.

Building an effective brand strategy requires having absolute clarity around who you are, what you stand for and the complete experience that comes from being in contact with your business.

It is fundamental to have a well-defined brand message that clearly communicates your value by showcasing the actual outcome that you help your clients achieve. What you have to ask yourself as a business owner is “what am I really selling?” because I can assure you that it is much more than the service you are giving them. It is truly about the transformation, the outcome and the results they are getting because of hiring you. 

Focus your brand communication on them and not on you. Many service providers make the mistake of simply saying things like “I am a web designer” or “I am a fitness coach” as a way to explain to others the kind of service that they provide. When doing this, they are focusing on themselves instead of on the needs of their audience.

Instead, you want to change your messaging to reflect the result you help others achieve. For example, saying things like “I build websites that increase conversions” or “I help women lose those stubborn 10 lbs” is more specific to the outcomes you deliver.

4. True brand differentiation

While it is true that it seems like market saturation is at its peak, in reality,  this is only an illusion. 

The real problem isn’t that there are too many providers and competitors in an industry, it’s that most entrepreneurs don’t know how to effectively differentiate themselves from others.

To attract the right audience, it’s vital that you position your offer as the best solution and ideal vehicle prospects need to achieve success.  One of the best ways to do this is by creating a framework, methodology, or process that is unique to your business, a signature system that distinguishes you and sets you apart from the rest. 

On top of this, according to the theory proposed by George A. Akerlof, winner of the 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, and Rachel E. Kranton, professor of Economics at Duke University, in their Identity Economics book, people make economic decisions based not just on financial incentives, but also on their identity.

This matters to you as an entrepreneur because if you want to attract the right people, you need to effectively differentiate yourself from others while standing for something in the process. Today’s consumers are making more and more decisions based on their identities and how others’ identities shape their own. What this means is that when faced with many different options, we tend to choose the one that reinforces our beliefs the most.

If you, as a brand, aren’t doing an excellent job at clearly and succinctly communicating who you are, then you are making it way too difficult for the right people to choose you.

Putting the pieces together

Ultimately, attracting the right people comes down to making sure you are being highly intentional with your message and the way this message comes across. This allows you to transform your audience’s perception of you while bringing in the right people into your business. Taking the time to craft your complete brand strategy will allow you to get more effective results with your marketing plan as well. 

Fabi Paolini Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

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Skillopedia – Skills for the real world

How To Attract The Right People For Personal Development & Growth | Soft Skills & Self Improvement Training | Skillopedia #softskills#selfimprovement#personalitydevelopment Researchers and personality analysts say that your personality is a combination of people you interact and spend most of the time with. Yes, it’s true. It’s imperative to surround yourself with the right people for your own self-improvement and personal growth. Now, that might make you wonder how should I attract the right people in my social and professional network? Where do I find them? Some people perfectly do that, they have the right people in their life who motivate and inspire them from time to time. This self improvement and soft skills training video would help you exactly achieve that goal. Learn the steps to invite, not good, but the right people into your life for your own personality development. You are watching this video on Skillopedia, part of Let’s Talk Institute for Personality Development and self improvement. We have hundreds of videos to develop good communication skills, interpersonal skills, personal growth, motivation skills, inspirational tips to develop self-confidence. A complete soft skills training catalogue to help you stay ahead in this competitive world. Skillopedia is a well known name in the corporate training segment in Mumbai to deliver best personality development courses for corporate employees and individuals. To watch such interesting videos and read the complete transcript of this video, visit – http://www.learnex.in/ ============================================= Our Social Media – 👉Facebook – @skillopediaone http://www.facebook.com/skillopediaone 👉Instagram – @letstalkpodcast http://www.instagram.com/letstalkpodcast 👉Follow us on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/letstalkone ============================================= Our other Channels you would ❤️ 👉Learn English as a secondary language http://www.youtube.com/letstalk 👉Learn English through Hindi – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtAr… 👉Learn a new English word daily – http://www.youtube.com/letstalkpodcast Some other Skillopedia sessions you might have missed :- 👉Public Speaking Tips To Overcome Stage Fear https://youtu.be/4-R1EHKmano 👉 How to AWKWARD SILENCE in a conversation? https://youtu.be/CDflqsRwUis 👉What to do when people Shout or Yell at you? https://youtu.be/cR_fjOtNqNo 👉8 Morning Habits To Kick-Start everyday. https://youtu.be/BQQ3I6ztO-A 👉The art of saying – I don’t give a DAMN! https://youtu.be/Hwkavu-F9r0 👉Communication Skills Training – How To Avoid Awkward Silence? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDflq… 👉How To React When People Shout At You? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cR_fj… 👉6 Phrases That May Sound Rude. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uv48j… 👉Start A Conversation ANYWHERE, ANYTIME https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPxaU… 👉How to be a SMART MOUTH? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fXja… 👉How to attract people like a magnet? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYxn9… 👉How to sound more confident when you are not? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJtcV… 👉Why People Misunderstand You? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcW9f..

5 Tips For Entrepreneurs Tco Better Serve Their Potential Customers

If McKinsey & Company insights from July are any indication, consumers have rediscovered their power in the pandemic. Due to a combination of product shortages, economic and job concerns, along with a general willingness to change their purchasing behaviors, 75 percent of shoppers say they’ve behaved differently since coronavirus began spreading. In many cases, their new purchasing habits have led to exposure to unfamiliar brands.

This is a huge boon, especially for entrepreneurs trying to disrupt a market or industry. Under ordinary circumstances, getting consumers to move away from their favorite companies’ products and services can be challenging. However, with so much general uncertainty in the world, customers have become increasingly open-minded about giving untested organizations a chance to wow them.

If your startup or small business hasn’t been ocusing on customer service, the time couldn’t be better to put on a huge customer-centric push. However, you need to make sure you have the infrastructure, protocols and tools to be certain that your brand’s first impression is nothing short of powerfully awesome.

Below are a few ways to up your game when it comes to serving current and prospective patrons.

1. Leverage tech to ensure your sales time is nimble and responsive

Your sales team can’t afford to drop the ball anywhere or any time, particularly when customers are moving so freely from one product to the next. Mixmax, a sales engagement tool, boasts the time management benefits of utilizing key sales tools which can help your sales team focus less on tedious tasks and more on prospecting. Ensure they have the resources they need to carry customers from lead generation to conversion by investing in the best tech stack for your needs and goals.

What type of solutions might make sense? If you’re focused on improving the responsiveness of your salespeople no matter if they’re working from home or the office, you might opt for higher-end telephone and videoconferencing software that integrates most forms of visual and audio communication. On the other hand, maybe you want to streamline the information your prospective customers receive. In that case, you may be more interested in adding a secure contract management system into your toolkit.

Related: How the Sales Process Has Drastically Evolved to Fit the Future

2. Centralize knowledge so anyone can be a customer-service star

Nothing frustrates customers quite as much as not being able to get quick answers to their questions. A fast way to ensure that anyone in your business can solve a client’s issues is to establish a centralized knowledge-management database that can be housed on your intranet or another piece of cloud-based software. You may even want to include a corporate wiki so employees can find any information with only one login.

By giving everyone on your team access to customer information such as buying history, touchpoints and other data, you avoid having to bounce consumers between service representatives. Centralized knowledge-management systems can also be invaluable if you’ve moved some or all of your workforce remote. 

3. Channel your inner Nostradamus and foretell customer questions

You want to make finding answers to potential questions as easy as possible for customers. In fact, according to Drift’s 2020 State of Conversational Marketing Report, 34 percent of consumers cite not being able to find the information they need online as their highest customer-service snag. Rather than forcing would-be buyers to hunt around for the solutions they want, begin peppering your site with rich content that gives them the insight they crave. It’s appealing to a lot of customers to be able to solve their own problems, and they’ll appreciate finding answers fast.

What should your content look like? Ideally, you should have a variety of content FAQs on your website. The content can take the shape of videos, written copy, images, blueprints, schematics, how-to charts or even GIFs. Whatever you feel will be helpful needs to have a home on your site. Of course, you may want a more traditional page dedicated to the biggest FAQs your sales folks and customer experience (CX) personnel hear. Just make sure your FAQs stay up-to-date and don’t become stale or irrelevant.

Related: 5 Tips to Help You Create Great Content While Working From Home

4. Stay alert on social media

Spend a little time social listening, and you may just figure out exactly what your customers want. And you’ll be in good company: More than half of companies are currently using social media listening to get real-time consumer information. To be sure, many customers will talk about what they didn’t enjoy about a CX. However, their honesty is exactly what you need to hear and read. Add social listening to your sales and marketing plan today. That way, you can respond quickly if you notice that a customer is unhappy with you or, better yet, with a competitor.

For example, you might discover a critical review of your latest gadgetry on Twitter. Treat this knowledge as the opportunity to jump in and resolve the problem. Connect with the user publicly or in private and work together to solve the issue. Most people are willing to work with companies to get what they want. And you could end up turning a disgruntled buyer into a raving fan if you’re fast on the draw, take crisis management seriously and empower your CX team to do what’s right in every unique situation.

5. Make being your customer a rewarding, one-of-a-kind adventure.

Why do shoppers rave about Apple, Lululemon or Southwest Airlines? Though their products and services do tend to be well-considered, the key to the brands’ almost cult followings is the culture. Wanting to be part of a community is a basic human desire, and certain companies have made being their loyal customer an amazing experience.

If you’re trying to develop a fierce following of fanatics who wouldn’t think of going anywhere else, consider the user experience from start to finish. Look for opportunities for you to go above and beyond expectations to make shopping with you not just a pleasure, but a must-do. You might just end up building a society of kindred spirits like BMW did with its MINI series of vehicles. MINI drivers consider themselves part of a movement and collective, and the brand promotes this camaraderie on their site. Who wouldn’t want to be part of the “in” crowd?

Related: How to Earn Your Clients’ Trust (and Keep It)

Customers are moving around like never before and into a phase of discovery. Meet them where they are, and amaze them with a CX unlike any they’ve had before. They’ll be more likely to rave, not to mention stick with your organization for the long haul.

By: https://www.entrepreneur.com/

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Kimberly Ann Jimenez

Find clients for your service-based business! In this series, we’re covering how to launch, grow and scale your online service business. 💸💸 ***Join The Early Bird List For The Savvy Online Selling Course DROP for FREE 👉 https://kimberlyannjimenez.com/earlyb… **Catch the entire series business series: http://bit.ly/2KwtZiE 💻Get My Best Work In One Place (And 30+ Business & Marketing Courses) Inside The Business Lounge: http://jointheblounge.com Get in-depth, practical examples of today’s episode over on the blog: https://kimberlyannjimenez.com/2019/0… 📺 WATCH MORE ONLINE BUSINESS TRAINING VIDEOS: http://bit.ly/2KwtZiE ▼ GRAB THESE FREEBIES Learn How To Sell More On Your Blog Via My Brand New, Free Masterclass: https://kimberlyannjimenez.com/blog-c… The Online Success Path, a step-by-step guide to launching, growing and scaling the profitable online business you’ve always dreamed about: https://kimberlyannjimenez.com/succes… How To Start A Blog Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAgJg… Learn Content Marketing Playlist:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5gui… ▼ NEW AROUND HERE? START HERE. Run Facebook Ads On A Budget: http://bit.ly/mystrategyforfbads 5 Steps To Start An Email List From Scratch: http://bit.ly/2wgV8hT 6 Stages Of A Successful Online Business: http://bit.ly/2x5CTsR ▼ MORE RESOURCES Don’t forget to subscribe to our Podcast! : https://kimberlyannjimenez.com/podcast/ Come on over and join The Business Lounge’s FREE Mastermind Group: https://kimberlyannjimenez.com/master… Learn to launch, grow or scale a profitable online business without spending thousands on a business coach. It’s my best work in one place. http://jointheblounge.com ▼GEAR I USE: Main Camera Beast: https://amzn.to/2ALA2fQ Buttery Wide Camera Lens of Life: https://amzn.to/3bN9K9N My Favorite Studio/Portrait Lens Ever: https://amzn.to/2WOGcEt Crispy Lucious Microphone: https://amzn.to/2zekiBx Softbox Light For Glowy Skin: https://amzn.to/2XhPE2l Most Reliable Tripod: https://amzn.to/36d2NOa Most Versatile Tripod: https://amzn.to/2XckysF More recommended gear for any kind of budget: https://kit.co/kimannjimenez ▼ FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KimAnnJimenez/ Twitter: http://twitter.com/kimannjimenez Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/kimannjimenez Instagram: http://instagram.com/kimannjimenez

How Data Can Help You Understand Evolving Customer Expectations In The New Normal

How well do you understand your customers? Whether your brand is B2B or B2C, your customers expect seamless, omnichannel experiences. Especially during the Covid-19 crisis, customers expect brands to offer value, relevant products and services, and to grow with them as their needs evolve.

The pandemic has taught businesses that staying relevant in a time of crisis requires a deep, holistic understanding of the customer, and an openness to new ways of doing business. To stay ahead of such rapid change, customer intelligence and data is more important than ever. From remapping and re-creating customer journeys, to developing more accurate forecasting models, all businesses need a data and analytics strategy that allows everyone in the organization to see customers needs in real time and build scenarios, identify gaps, stress-test ideas and improve results with actionable insights.

Your customer is expecting you to lead, and it’s never been more important for your brand to address their pain points and deliver exceptional experiences.

Meeting the customer where they are

While the long-term economic and societal impacts of the pandemic are yet to be fully understood, customer attitudes and behaviors have already shifted in profound ways, and some of these changes are predicted to continue into the future. Recent consumer surveys reveal how rapidly behaviors are evolving:

  • 68% of people report that the pandemic has changed the products and services they think are important
  • 75% of people using digital channels for the first time will continue to do so
  • In Italy, e-commerce sales for consumer products rose 81% in a single week and in the UK, 20% of people say they won’t buy fashion in-store again

In the retail sector, the shift to online buying and direct-to-consumer selling, coupled with a decrease in discretionary spending and flat sales for net-new products, has forced businesses to change their business models overnight. Traditional B2B businesses like financial services organizations are not far behind, augmenting existing sales and service models so they can better serve customers remotely. In the healthcare sector, patients can now choose telehealth as a standard alternative to an in-person visit—and adoption has been swift: one of Europe’s largest telehealth providers, KRY International, has seen a 200 percent increase in registrations. Government agencies and educational institutions are also finding ways to deliver their services in a virtual world.

But meeting the customer “where they are” is not just smart business—it’s essential for survival. Business segments that aren’t responding to changing customer preferences by accelerating their own digital transformations will be left behind. And a central part of transformation includes prioritizing customer analytics.

In today’s competitive and uncertain market environment, your advantage lies in understanding what resonates with your customers. How businesses choose to respond will influence buying decisions today and in the future.

Goal: a complete picture of your customer

What kinds of customer experience metrics are valuable in order to gain understanding of your customer? To create baseline analyses, you need behavioral, transactional, and feedback metrics. And as Gartner points out, more frequent, real-time monitoring of customer metrics is essential during this crisis, since attitudes are changing so rapidly. Useful metrics include:

  • Customer satisfaction scores
  • Customer effort scores
  • Net promoter scores
  • Customer call volume and types of queries
  • Website behavior
  • Point-of-sale data
  • Geospatial data
  • Social media sentiment
  • Employee feedback

Every business, regardless of industry segment, should also expect to field new questions from customers about products, logistics, inventory, supply chain, and operations—and every business needs to be prepared to capture this feedback and respond.

01. Strategic Dashboard

Potential Users: C-Suite, VP, DirectorObjectives: At-a-glance cohesive data storyInsight Examples: Performance and comparison metrics tracked against enterprise goalsExample: Executive Summary dashboard

02. Tactical Dashboard

Potential Users: Analysts, Brand ManagersObjectives: Granular, in-depth analysesInsight Examples: Identify trends, monitor processes supporting strategic objectives, create targets and predictionsExample: E-commerce Marketing Optimization dashboard

03. Operational Dashboard

Potential Users: CRM Support Teams, Website Managers, Marketing ManagersObjectives: High-level, real-time monitoring and managementInsight Examples: Retail and customer satisfaction KPIs, marketing campaign performance, inventory statusExample: Store-level Product Availability dashboard

Know your customer, know your business

Things definitely look different now, and they are different. When every aspect of your operation is under scrutiny, you need information, quickly, to make the right decisions for your business and your customers. Understanding customers and their expectations has always been a priority for businesses looking to create competitive advantage, but the pandemic has proven that businesses must have an even stronger line of sight into what their customers need.

You need to be prepared to proactively respond to rapidly-evolving behaviors and perceptions. As David Leonhardt notes in a recent New York Times op-ed, “When the economy weakens, people have to make decisions about where to pull back.” By using data insights to understand and adapt to new realities, you can give your customers reasons to remain loyal and eliminate some of the uncertainty facing your business.

What untapped insights are waiting to be discovered in your customer data?

Tableau

Tableau

From connection through collaboration, Tableau is the most powerful, secure, and flexible end-to-end analytics platform for your data. Elevate people with the power of data. Designed for the individual, but scaled for the enterprise, Tableau is the only business intelligence platform that turns your data into insights that drive action.

Quiz

Launching a Direct to Consumer Brand? Here Are the 8 Success Secrets

One of my favorite aspects of my job is helping founders bring their vision to life and launch their brands.  Yes, it’s absolutely exciting to work with a brand when they’re already established, but being in those first meetings developing a go-to-market strategy for a brand that’s so new you can still smell the adhesive on their package just hits different. You can hear the heart of the brand beat with every new headline, and watch the founding team grin from ear to ear with each product shot you present.

But all that excitement tends to get matched with the anxiety of a successful launch. There have been months if not years of research and development, trial and error, and highs and lows that lead up to the moment that everything goes live. Everyone’s standing by waiting to see just how well the brand is received — and if people will actually buy it.

Over the last few years, I’ve learned a thing or two about launching brands and products, helping startups get their legs and well-established brands get to acquisition. And although there are many different strategies to get a brand off the ground, there are some things that I believe are essential to a successful launch.

Related: 10 Skills to Master Before Launching a New Business

Identify your ideal customer

The most successful brands know exactly who they are, what makes them appealing, and most importantly who will care. If you’re thinking your brand is for everyone — and it might be true — your messaging can’t be for everyone. Of course, understanding your target demographic is a foundational strategy, but let’s take that a few steps further. Name your ideal customer, understand their pain point, define which other brands they might be loyal to, and create your messaging specific that person in all of your marketing initiatives. It seems pretty basic, but too often do we see brands that fail to connect with an audience because of copy that doesn’t connect to an individual. 

Activate social and collect data

One of our most successful launches was Winged Wellness, a female-focused lifestyle brand.  We strategically activated our social campaign 3 months before the projected launch date to begin growing an audience on social channels with our female-empowerment quote cards and lifestyle images (we didn’t actually have the final product yet) and drive traffic to the brand’s landing page. Why were we driving traffic to the site with nothing to sell? So we could start creating custom audience data for social ads later down the road.

Create a pre-launch interest list

Speaking of driving traffic to your website pre-launch, it’s a good idea to start building your email-interest list for a successful launch date. I’d much rather be reminding consumers about a brand the day that I’m ready to sell my products than be introducing the brand. Keep your interest list engaged before your launch by planning a newsletter sequence highlighting your progress, and “alternative” solutions to the problem that your brand will be solving. For example, if you’re launching a skin-care brand, consider sharing content on food that might help someone’s complexion.

Pro-Tip: Consider a pre-order campaign so you can gauge how much inventory you’ll need to have on hand the day of launch. 

Related: Effective Email Strategies for Startups Marketing on a Budget

Prepare your influencer marketing blitz

Look, I get it. You might be burned out on the idea of working with influencers but at the end of the day, you’re getting reach, targeted engagement, testimonials and really great lifestyle content with each one of your partnerships. The trick is to be strategic about who you’re partnering with. Take a look at who’s following them, the sincerity in their engagement, how often they’ve partnered with other brands and what their audience interested in by using a 3rd party data aggregator.  Please do not just spray and pray based on follower counts — by planning your influencer partnerships as you would any other aspect of your go-to-market strategy, you’ll give yourself the best shot of making them a profitable arm of your marketing campaign.

Related: 4 Influencer Marketing Secrets Entrepreneurs Need to Know

Be strategic about social ads

Since you were already going to be launching social ads, here are a few pointers: start your prospecting with broader targeting optimized for traffic to gather your interest data before remarketing with your offers, ideally before the launch of your product. Think of it like how movies gain interest for their launches. Trailers are launched months, if not a year, ahead of time stating “Coming Next Summer,” getting audiences hyped and thus helping the movie have a big opening weekend. One of the big mistakes I constantly see is brands launching ads optimized for conversion to cold audiences. That’s a sure way to get your metaphorical movie to flop on its opening day. 

Do consider the press

You might be thinking that PR is a thing of the past, but a few of our managed brands depend on press releases for a quick hit of massive reach and establishing themselves as a leader in the industry. And each time a brand gets a good press-hit, there’s almost an immediate spike in sales. Nothing screams “must-have” like “As Featured On…”.  But don’t worry, you don’t have to get on Allure’s Reader’s Choice list to make a meaningful impact on your launch. Even a mention in a trust-worthy digital publication can give your brand the reach and credibility to convert readers into loyal customers.

Get your feedback as soon as possible

Once your product finally gets in the hands of your customers, be sure to ask them for a review on your website as soon as possible. In fact, it might be a good idea to leverage package inserts to help remind your customers to give you some love on your site, if not through an automated, product-specific email upon delivery. During your launch phases, reviews on product pages can be especially useful in increasing visitors’ intent to buy and decreasing your initial cost-per-acquisition through paid traffic. A study by Spiegel Research Center shows that the purchase likelihood of products with five reviews is 270% greater than the purchase likelihood of a product with no reviews.

Think: retention

Getting your first customers is just the beginning of their story with you. After working with numerous founders who know something about DTC launches, the focus of conversations as of late have been about customer acquisition cost (CAC) and return on ad spend (ROAS), which in my opinion have effectively become the buzzwords of 2020 digital marketing. And while these metrics are essential to consider, I’d venture to say that improving your customer’s lifetime value (LTV) is even more crucial. Think about it, the cost of acquiring a customer bites deep into your profit margins, so repeat purchases and cross-selling are critical to your business’s overall profitability.

So how do you do that? You can begin with email campaigns that reinforce the use of your product like Truff does by regularly sharing recipes that go well with their truffle-infused hot sauce. Creating exclusive Facebook groups and cultivating an engaged community that experiences your brand through webinars, Q&As or panels is another way to keep your customers in your eco-system. And of course, don’t forget that a great brand starts with a great product.

By: Mikhail Alfon / Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

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