If you want to be a true advocate of your client’s brand and have real stake in their market position, you must become part of their audience.
Here are a few of evok’s tips for staying dedicated to your clients and to becoming a valuable member of their audience:
1. Read the trades – Trade publications can be monthly or quarterly publications in print or online that focus on a given industry, such as hospitality, quick-serve restaurants, education and the list goes on. Not only should you be familiar with these publications for your client’s advertising needs, but also so that you can request editorial calendars and make your client available as a resource. Also, be sure to narrow in on the trades. If you have a hotel client that has a huge conference space available for meetings, you want to read both general hotel publications and publications geared towards meeting planners.
2. Attend the events – If you want to become a true advocate of your client’s brand and prove your interest in their industry, you should attend local events geared towards them or their audience. For example, if you have a homebuilder account, you should be present at as many Home Builders Association meetings as possible. Doing so gives you the chance to be an advocate for your client, while also learning information about competitors.
3. Research on a macro and micro level – Any good advertising or public relations campaign must be built on sound research. With that in mind, it can also be said that any successful agency-to-client relationship stands on a solid foundation of industry and market research as well. Here’s an analogy for your client research: trying to find the most helpful research is like trying to focus a camera, you need to zoom in and out (like searching close and far), in order to find what’s of the most importance. For example, if your client is a burger joint, you may want to start with a zoomed in approach and research quick-service restaurants in your area, but if you zoomed out, you may want to research the US dairy industry. If the cost of dairy rises, the cost of cheese will rise and if that happens, could your burger joint still make a big return on their $4.99 Cheeseburger Combo deal? If not, good move on the research – if it doesn’t really matter in this instance, your client will be pleased that you’re always looking out for their best interest. It’s a win-win.
There are a variety of ways to ensure that your client is getting the best service possible, but one key to keeping them close for years to come is to stay abreast of what’s on the horizon for their industry. Keep in mind as you manage your accounts and look for editorial or advertising opportunities, a little extra knowledge never hurt anyone.