Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Client-Agency Relationship Management Tools

Having worked on both client and agency sides, I have been able to experience first hand the challenges that invariably arise over time.
While all professional party working relationships commence formalities through what should be a comprehensive, mutually agreed-upon service contract, incidences eventually arise that cause friction. As with all new relationships, tolerance and forgiveness are high at first, and any process-related shortcomings should be identified, recorded in the Campaign Review Document (or PIR) and used as a lesson for future performance improvement.
The value of making the time to conduct PIRs can't be overstated, for it is only through this process that both client and agency are able to step back from the heat of the work furnace and look at what worked, what didn't and what can be done better next time.
From experience, and leaving aside the highly subjective area of 'the creative', the 3 areas of the relationship that cause most angst and frustration are usually based around:

Briefing - the process (verbal vs written, reverse briefing), inconsistencies, lack of detail, unclear objectives;

Approvals/Sign-offs - the number of parties, time delays due to unavailability, 'new' requirements;

Timing - late/incomplete briefing, lack of reasonable priority management (everything is due tomorrow), continual changes post scheduled sign-off date.

Naturally, the above are expected to, and out of market pressures etc, do happen, from time to time. That's business.
However, when it becomes obvious that a trend is beginning to occur, and the expected exception is rapidly becoming the norm, it's time for strategic intervention.
That's where the Progress Through Partnership review comes in. And from experience, I have had to utilise this strategy as early as six months into a new working relationship as the challenges had continued to mount to such an extent that staff were already questioning their sanity! And nothing ruins a good relationship more than choosing to ignore issues and hoping they will simply go away.
Happily, the PTP saved the day on this occasion. Both parties had time to prepare for the PTP meeting, and as a result of using real examples, objectively and unemotionally, we were able to resolve some unproductive and frustrating process and attitudinal challenges and get back to working much better together.

Identify - Evaluate - Formulate - Implement - Measure - Review

The beauty of incorporating the Progress Through Partnership tactic as a key element of the client-agency relationship management process is that it provides a valuable roadmap of how today's strengths and weaknesses can be developed, redefined and built upon to ensure tomorrow's mutually rewarding success. It is much like a Scorecard, but it is done both ways, with objectivity through demonstrable examples the cornerstone of its effectiveness.
'Perfect' working relationships are as rare as hens teeth. In fact, the same can be said about all forms of relationships. However, there are always measures that can be taken to facilitate early identification of issues and implement corrective intervention before a relationship becomes toxic.
If you don't currently employ a mechanism such as the Progress Through Partnership review as part of your strategic business model, you may be jeopardising a potentially beneficial partnership based on something as subjective as one person's prejudices or misconceptions.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Time to get NUDE!


Not your average business catch-cry, admittedly, but then again, there’s nothing average about N.U.D.E. Marketing.

With over 50 years of marketing and business experience, N.U.D.E. can provide your business with solutions to issues ranging from improved marketing returns to increased employee productivity.

The N.U.D.E. brand came from listening carefully to what businesses constantly ask for -  solutions that are New Uncomplicated Different and Effective.  That’s what we provide. We achieve this by turning intelligence into relevance, for your business, your staff and your customers. We take a channel-neutral approach to finding solutions. After all, channel selection is only a relevant consideration once the audience has been identified, and digital delivery is not necessarily the answer to every communication task – the audience dictates the channel.

Kym McInerney has been managing director of several of Melbourne’s largest Customer Relationship Management agencies (CMC, Grey Direct & EWA) and has worked with businesses including Myer Grace Bros, Honda, Officeworks, Telstra, ANZ Bank, Integrated Packaging, Mobil, Ford, Sancella, Blood Bank, World Vision, TAC, OfficeLife, GN Netcom, McMillan Shakespeare, Roundhouse Entertainment, PROV, RACV, Heidelberg, Monash University, Reclink, Stem Cells Australia, Cenitex, GTAC and many more. His key strengths are strategic planning & facilitation, customer engagement and communications effectiveness audits, creative development and leadership/management coaching.

Kim Gasperino has extensive experience in retail and business marketing including customer segmentation, brand-building and customer communications. Kim also provides individualised programs designed to improve employee productivity. This experience has been gained over 20 years through working in and with businesses such as Target, CML corporate, Ford, Roundhouse Entertainment, EWA Australia, Cenitex, Reclink, MS Society, Ozchild, SANDS Australia and the Public Record Office of Victoria.

Services offered by N.U.D.E. Marketing:
·        Marketing effectiveness audits/review.
·        Customer segmentation analysis – strategy & development.
·        Business and Marketing Plan development.
·        New business pitch facilitation.
·        Brand and customer communications – development & execution.
·        Stakeholder/Staff communications.
·        Corporate memory documentation.
·        Leadership Coaching & process improvement facilitation for employees.

For further information or an initial 30-minute discussion on how N.U.D.E. Marketing can help your business prosper, contact Kym McInerney or Kim Gasperino on 03 9587 2404 or visit www.nudemarketing.com.au.

We look forward to helping you build your business.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Do expectations in CRM need changing?

The following information is taken from a report recently published by Salesstaff.com titled "100 Sales and Marketing Stats that will blow your mind".
I am not sure how wide a range of industries this covers and whether this figure encompasses high-consideration and low-consideration purchases, new sales and cross sales to existing customers, but assuming this is an average across all of these categories, it certainly flags some interesting points for discussion.

Pressure to perform and 'close' sales continues to escalate. It is simply the nature of business. The combination of technology and improved targeting opportunities has, for many businesses, increased the ability to attract more leads at a cheaper CPL than ever before. And predictive modelling based on past behaviour, life-stage, psycho-demographic profiling and propensity to purchase has certainly improved the ability for cross-selling.

Interestingly however, a widely-held belief and practice amongst many sales people I come across is based on the '3 strikes and out' philosophy where efforts and hopes are placed on the next prospect once the 3 attempts for a 'no sale' result have been made. Given the above figures, perhaps the expectations of businesses need revising.

Clearly, the strategy for high value/high consideration purchases warrants a more sustained effort, a range of strategies and a kit-bag of tactics before giving up, and it is assumed that the selling business clearly understands the metrics in terms of cost per lead (CPL) and cost per sale (CPS) so it knows when it really is time to lapse a prospect.

But I wonder - is it time for a paradigm shift in sales and CRM thinking? Does possessing the ability to so easily shop around, to be much more discerning, empower prospects to now demand more attention, more effort and more 'love' before committing their hard-earned money to a product or service? And if so, are all of your sales people really clear about the 'lead-sale-cross sell-retain' cycle and is this reflected in their targets?

Regardless of business size, having the right metrics in place is vital to gaining a clear understanding of what's working and what isn't. After all, if you can't benchmark it, you can't beat it!  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Add some real value - or someone else will!

I can't remember who sent me this visual but I believe it sums up beautifully the situation in which many service providers find themselves - and often as a result of their own actions. Or inaction to be more precise.
It never ceases to astound just how many business web sites and other branded collateral is littered with spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and inconsistencies such as font size, punctuation, spacing, capitalisation, multi-language spelling variations and text alignment.
And these quality issues should be picked up and rectified, particularly if the Brand promotes itself as "expert', "professional", world-class", "industry-leading" etc. Now don't get me wrong, errors will always occur, such is the nature of our endemic 'speed-to-market' environment and the fact that the creators are so close to it that little oversights are quite often missed. However, while accepting these factors, this does not excuse the fact that these taints on the Brand are not picked up and rectified quickly.
Maybe, in a world where spelling and grammatical bastardisations are acceptable thanks to the need for speed and the ever-pervasive "add to dictionary" function on all electronic devices, these errors aren't considered errors at all. Or perhaps my expectations of state-of-the-art, market-leading, subject matter experts with a reputation for quality, professionalism and integrity are simply unrealistic.
However, for as long as I can remember, marketing and communications specialists/experts/gurus/service providers have prided themselves on being the protectors of Brands, developers and custodians of a Brand's persona, its attitude reflected by how it is portrayed and, hopefully, enhanced.
So while marketers can not control all of the Brand touch points such as face-to-face customer service, store or office layout or phone-based customer interactions, they certainly can on all things promotional including web, brochureware and other collateral.
Want to keep your existing clients happy and continue to be recognised as a valued member of Team Client? Then you should probably take a little more time to review the work once it has gone live, particularly in the digital space where volume is increasing. After all, you'd hate to lose a client based on the fact that one of your competitors drew published mistakes to their attention!

Friday, February 20, 2015

N.U.D.E. Insights: B2B, B2C social media insights

N.U.D.E. Insights: B2B, B2C social media insights

B2B, B2C social media insights

If you want to know some very interesting facts and figures about the usage and impact of the various B2B and B2C social media channels and SEO, have a look at the article that I came across on the CMO Network group on Linkedin titled '100 Sales & Marketing Stats that will Blow your Mind'.

One of the key statistics that stands out to me is the increase in the number of interactions reported between an initial brand touch and a sale - it might be back to the drawing board of expectation management for many businesses that still operate on the allowable of 3 or 4 contacts. 

There also appear to be many lost opportunities for gaining valuable client testimonials, largely based on the fact that most customers are not asked for them - and are yet willing to give them..

Very interesting insights here. Happy reading.
Ps. You will need to sign up to obtain the report and you can opt out of future contact - see the link below.