Join Chelsea, Jon, Lukas and Rebecca as we discuss how we champion the customer in this episode. We enjoy working with clients to offer fresh perspectives and love it when we get to champion the end user! Find out more at www.somarketing.com
Championing our clients customers
Podcast Championing our clients customers
In this episode, we’re gonna be talking about how we try our best to champion our clients customers.
Hi, everyone, and welcome to say, What’s up in this episode, I’m with the team. And we’re going to be chatting about how we try a range of different methods to champion our clients, customers, and really make sure we get the most out of them. So I’m with Rebecca Lucas and John today. This topic came around Rebecca, because you, you got back from Brighton, SEO? Well, he got back from working from home, the digital version. And I think this was one of the talks that I think inspired you the most
Yeah, I can’t remember who it was, and Africa back and have a look. But I think it was a lady who said, she works in an agency. And she says she’s found it very difficult, sometimes working for clients when she’s trying to do something for the client, but they have their own ideas of what it should be like, and she’s got the actual clients of the clients in mind. So it can be a bit of a battle sometimes, because the real customers, the ones you’re doing work for aren’t really the clients, even though they are?
Yeah, no, I guess I get that. And I think you, you, John and Lucas, probably face these teething pains the most really the only because obviously, you built up an expertise base and like I’m user experience, and you know what, you guys have your fingers on the pulse in terms of what’s expected from a Google perspective, and what actually site should hit it. And you always try to champion one what’s best for the overall performance of the site, but to how easy is it for the people that we want to use this site to find it? How many segments are there? What’s the audience base, whereas clients don’t necessarily see the thought that goes into the design? So I just wanted to get your opinions on this, really, because I thought it could be a very interesting conversation.
No, I think certainly from a creative aspect. We challenged the brief as soon as it lands on the table. Because the client is brief isn’t always going to deliver what the end user wants to experience or see. Or yet like they want to immerse themselves into a new land on a website or they see a brand.
Yeah, I think it’s it’s having the confidence to do that, though, isn’t it with some clients?
It tends to be the clients are great guardians are the owners brand, they own experience, but they might not see necessarily how they own clients will be looking at the website. So that’s for us to actually suggest the best routes and best best user experience to achieve that.
Yeah, I think we have to be tactful about that approach, because there is usually an emotional attachment to the brand for the client or it’s something we’re faced with quite frequently.
Yeah, I think from from an account management perspective, we’re quite lucky here. Obviously, we actually do let clients talk direct to the creatives. And we don’t really middleman that creative process too much, which is why I think in over agencies, you can get those quite hard tensions. Whereas like, it’s actually much more open. I think, really, when we try to do these things like you guys as creatives and me for content writing, even when I’m got my creative hat on, we really do try to put ourselves and be empathetic to what are the people that are using this actually going to be using it for the person that’s going to be reading this or the social audience? Who do we want to attract? And I think getting that gets us to a point where we really need to understand the client’s business and what the client wants to achieve in terms of like their revenue goals. And what’s the purpose of this marketing material, this website that they want to achieve, then it’s kind of it’s difficult as well, sometimes if it’s like a brand new client and or a startup company and they have no data for us to work off that gives us any past insight. That’s always a challenge. And then also as well, it’s like going back and just doing some like good hygienic marketing really like creating those like customer personas, or is your segmenting, done correctly? Like is your brand value proposition even clearer? Like I assets, a light available to design online? I think this is becoming less and less of an issue now like kind of more physical to digital assets. But it’s something that we we’ve still been going through quite recently, haven’t we we have some clients.
Yeah, absolutely. And some of those kind of queries are covered in the initial design workshop that we carry out of all clients when a project lands on dusk against quite some depth in terms of those assets that they’ve got available, the history of the business, why they’re revisiting the website? Or why do they want a new website, just so we can really get under the skin of the purpose of that project and deliver the best results?
I think it’s quite important, the next stage on the first round of the design feedback, when honesty and expertise actually pays off, because we may need to push back on certain things, if we if we see that certain approach won’t work, have certain things that a client might insist of, including or not, including there. And then when, if we, if we’re honest, and if we suggest what we think is the best for the overall aims of the website, this pays off in the end, because drives right traffic to, to website and converts, what, what what he needs to do.
Yeah, definitely, I think you’ve hit a really good point there in terms of driving traffic to it. Because I know that recently, we’ve been doing a lot of work, haven’t we, in terms of like digital audits on any websites that we might want to bring in. And you guys from a studio perspective, are really starting to work quite closely now with like, the team that like me and Rebecca are on in terms of making sure that what is designed is then able, we’re then able best to market that the most efficiently and really to hit those results. So we are becoming a lot more holistic now in the way that we see that process through and carry on that relationship with clients. So I think what we’ve started to do now is always look at things with the end in mind, and also just iterate as things go because we know that these websites aren’t going to be static anymore. And Google is going to have new updates like Google mum that’s coming out now.
Yeah, that’s the coming months, then you’ve had like the core web vitals, you’ve got the user experience. So the constantly evolving and constantly wanting things from websites that you didn’t even have to consider 12 months ago?
Yeah. And I think you guys, that’s always going to be a challenge for you, isn’t it? Because it’s something that you’re seeing on our website? It’s not as like a project thing. But it’s something like how do we keep iterating this, and also delivering to these people consistently.
I think it’s, maybe not, maybe I’m just putting words in your head. Maybe I’m telling you how I wanted to
this, this amount of future proofing that we need to build in when we design and build a website is we’re not it’s not a static thing, it’s not going to stay there for a year or two even, there’s going to be content the clients going to be bringing in. So we built all the websites with with that ease of admin for the client, and with the building blocks that might be expanded in the future. So even if a client’s needs to reserve it for new functionality will be easily integrated without without messing up the whole design or changing it to dramatically. Yeah, I
think one thing that you guys have done really well with actually is some of our larger FMCG clients them on the E commerce aspect of things. And we’re starting to see that shift now where e commerce and content marketing are both actually starting to get shoehorned into the same site and create these kind of like effective marketing strategies from both both ends. Really, I guess, I wouldn’t know about this. But is this a challenge that you guys have faced? Like? How do you give weighting to different aspects of them? How do you incorporate it into the journey that is best for the user, the end user, not just the client coming to you with like the next entrepreneurial vision like, Oh, I’ve got this idea, and I want to start a podcast. So how do I just get this onto my website about shoes?
See, you asked you were how we placed that into the website?
Yeah. So like, how, how would you do it in the way that’s best for the user? Because obviously, sometimes like and I know, some of the requests that we get in are very much like, I’ve had this idea and I want to do this on my website, and then then it’s up to you guys want to make that happen. Because obviously like you’re not going to quash entrepreneurialism and innovation, but also as well, you guys, then when you’ve created a website, and you knew the brand, so well, you kind of become that brand guardian in effect. And you want to do it in a way that actually makes sense for the user. Because what you don’t want to do from a branding perspective, is could infuse that customer with a completely new value offering now this new entrepreneurial idea that the client just wants to throw in there and see how it works because a lot of the time they are quite experimental and they do want to just get their idea out. So what would your thought process be on these many things that come through the door?
It’s it depends on the type of content. And obviously, if it’s a social or blog post and pulling that aspect into the website, it’s it’s being sensitive towards the information hierarchy. So if it is an E commerce platform, we don’t want to distract from the core focus of that, that user journey from homepage to products, and then convert it. If it is a new, wacky idea, we can softly introduce it into the website and see how well it does by tracking it and the interaction it gets.
Yeah, I think we’ve done a lot of AV testing and heat mapping and stuff in the past as well with clients when they’re considering which new like CRM forms to use. What’s the best way to do this? What’s the best way to do that. And I think that approach, actually, when you when you are collecting as much data as you can from people who are actually using the site is always a really good and informed way of going about making those changes.
Yeah, so for tracking the activity on those new features that we’re introducing. And that you know, is getting a lot of traction, then we can kind of go full, full speed ahead with it. And you know, really, really push it forwards. But if it doesn’t do so well, we can alternatives as well.
Yeah. And I think this is something as well that we work really well with a lot of our clients doing. And especially when we’ve we’ve created that kind of like safe space that we we are just iterating. And that is really what marketing is. It’s implementing an idea and collecting the data on it to see how it’s working. It’s that constant conversation, I think gone are the days where you have like a five year marketing plan now and you can definitely see that you want to hit those things, we’re seeing a lot more agility, aren’t we in the projects that we’re starting to take on and they are much more customer led to? I think from the kind of client approach, they really do want to please our customers in most respects. And you’ve just done a really great project, where you’ve gone through one of our clients categories, Rebecca, haven’t you and just like completely revolutionised it for it from the perspective of an end user.
Yeah, I always go on to websites, when I look at stuff like categories or the navigation and think of a product that I would want as a customer and try and find it. And if I get frustrated, or if I can’t find it, or if it takes me too long, then I’m going to report that that because like you’ve said, what we’re honest, I’m not being harsh, or I’m not criticising, I’m just saying, for me or as a user, it’s either not gotten off, and they’re probably going to leave so you’re not going to get that sale. Yeah. So we need to change something to make this as good as it can possibly be for you. Because at the end of the day, we all want to do his jobs to the best of our ability. Yeah, for a client. And that means need to meet, meeting the needs of our customers.
Yeah, definitely. Because obviously, if you think about it from like the way that money flows, our customers or our clients, customers, or our clients, clients, pay them for their service or the product that they deliver. And then our clients pay us to enable them to deliver that more effectively or to get them more business. So therefore, really, what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to bypass the client a little bit because essentially, yes, you have your opinions and you know your business better than we know your business. But with all the data and suggestions that we can come up with plus as well working across like a range of different industries, I would argue in a way that enables us to think way more laterally and to actually be more innovative and more agile, because that way then if we know something’s worked with, with one industry, and that’s just like a simple hygiene method in one industry, and then actually, we can be much more innovative in your industry, because that’s actually unheard of in your industry. And it’s not really that difficult to implement. It’s just everyone in your industry is in a silo and no one’s fought to do it. We can offer suggestions like that. And we’ve seen some really, really good results in terms of like SEO results, PPC results, and even just the way that we structure some of the clients content marketing or social strategies, because no one in their industry was doing it like that. And that way, then they become that market leader just because they’re marketing in a slightly different way to everybody else in the industry. And I think that’s where our expertise and our knowledge around our actual jobs in the service area that we provide is best suited to the end user because we think about that all day every day. Not necessarily just for one industry though. We just think about it as people and then you don’t see people as persona you’re actually quite empathetic towards them and see it from that spective team. Yeah. So in terms then of championing customers, do any of you guys have any top tips really to just to like help clients and any kind of things that come come through quite consistently that we can try to work more effectively on, I think I’m going to go first and say that one of my biggest bugbears is probably probably one that you guys face more than me actually, is when clients get too caught up in like the design process of things. And, but they don’t actually give you tangible feedback. It’s just like, make it pop.
Certainly one we’re up against quite often, but hopefully, we join a design, well, a website exam, we eradicate that now because we, we do a wireframe for the website. So it’s basically a work in Blueprints off the websites, which demonstrates the user journey from homepage to product and checkout. Without any branding involved without any imagery. It just demonstrates the transition transition for all the websites.
So what happens when you put the branding on? Do you do you ever come into any Make It Pop moments? Or is it much, much smoother transition.
Um, so I’ve done a project recently, actually where that happened. So I did the wireframe process. And through our dropping in the branding, the dead hover, make it pop moments. But you just take suggestions on board and kind of deliver your your vision on that it’s not fully done, what I’m trying to say is not fully delivering what they’ve asked for. Exactly, yeah, it’s a more creative way some sometimes it can be quite linear, what they suggest in it, sometimes
it’s reading between the lines is trying to get rather than the literal suggestions or, or demands of a client and more of a reading between the lines and loving the gist of it. So just just managing that tension between the actual purpose and utility of the website, if that’s if that’s the worst project and cleans overall vision. Because in the end of the day, we that’s, that’s what we’re experienced at delivering individually delivering the satisfying and effective user experience and user journey,
I think out of out of everyone’s jobs, and I guess the marketing world, I, I feel the most sorry for designers in a way because like, you, it’s so subjective. And I guess we’ve a lot of the stuff that Rebecca and I do like our data, and our results actually speak for themselves. And we’re always on a paid Yeah. I guess like, you can, we can kind of like if something tanks, like we can’t argue if that, like we know from socialist tanked, and then we have to go and buy thinking caps back on. Whereas like, ultimately, like, you guys could have it wherein you’ve got what four stakeholders sat around a table, two of them absolutely love your designs. And then one really, really can’t stand it. And then like another one is just like really on the fence because they don’t know who to side with and which one to please and they don’t say anything. And it’s, I guess, but that’s I guess the nature of design, isn’t it? That’s what evokes those emotions from a branding perspective, in a way like, yes, obviously, you’ve got the functional aspects of like, chopping up content and making sure that it’s like hierarchies. But really like a lot of the visual identity is the thing that helps to derive those strong emotional polls.
I think most of that stuff boils down to the utility and all of our design decisions are quite easily defendable. Just defend, defend them
justifiable, you can justify it, but they’ll listen to
it’s justifiable by the utility. So if the general visual direction is agreed, which we do tend on the on the first beginning stages, then anything after that just serves a purpose. And that’s as simple as that. So yeah, we I say we do not serve clients as much as the client clients, because that’s the main goal of it. So to photosite to convert and, and work, and this dictates most of our decisions.
Yeah, yeah, I think it comes back to challenging not feedback as well as to whether that’s what the end user wants to see an experience. The sight is for the end user at the end of the day, you know, also you have to be sensitive towards the clients feedback and suggestions what the bigger picture is the end user in mind. Yeah,
yeah, definitely, I think, a few other things that we probably face quite challenging. So we’ve recently done a bit of a brand refresh for one of our clients. And we started with a social graphics of all things, which is quite difficult from a branding perspective. Because, yeah, it’s, it’s not an ideal one, really, for a brand refresh to start with that, but um, you know, we like to challenge and
buchtel I feel refreshed.
Practice, yeah, but it’s worked really well. And then now super happy with it. And we’re starting to bring that into effect across like their other marketing materials and their external marketing materials as well, that people see. And because really, I think what we need to be mindful of is, yes, we try our best to deliver the end results. And for that, we need to please the end user. But ultimately, we have these businesses that come to us in completely different stages. And for example, they may not be in a position to want to start with like the most, I guess, justifiable point would be obviously, if you’re going to do a refresh, you’re going to do a website on a roll, like the main company, website, or potentially even a logo and a rebrand, like full rebrand with a name change in everything. I’m always a bit dubious of offering the full full rebrand because I think sometimes people just want them for the sake of it, because they’re a little bit bored or a little bit, they just want to change. Like to me, there needs to be a strategic point to the actual business, not just something that an agency can sell and profit from, because then they have to do everything else, what we do really well is so while we want to try and serve the end user, we need our clients where they currently are. And that’s really what we can do and deliver our skill set to what they actually want to engage with us to do. So for example, clients that come to us and want to work on the social and their content marketing and get that up. Because ultimately, it’s that awareness. Yes, it’s not ideal that they’re going through to a website that’s not on on the Korean brand that we’ve just had to work on. But ultimately, that is what that client wants us to do right now. So we kind of have to do it to the best of our ability, and still keep that end user in mind and be honest about the pitfalls that might actually come into effect. But I think honesty, honesty and transparency and just having that strong relationship is probably the best way to go.
I think there’s a risk, I found it hard nosed before with brutal honesty, I think that empathy is as guaranteed like crucial and an element to that, because obviously I say, the clients are they own the brand, they have emotional connection to the brand. And we do need to honour that as well. So it’s managing that balance between the empathy to how they feel their brand, and our honesty and our expertise and how we can take it forward and how we can make it work.
Yeah, definitely. I think I always have this like, I don’t know if this is like overly woolly. But like I was just saying that people are trying the best, no one wants to do a bad job. And people just really want to deliver to whoever it is hold it. Like obviously, you get some political power plays, and that and it’s always difficult to as an agency when you try to mitigate those internally. But ultimately, if the one of the benefits of using an agency as a supplier is we don’t get caught up in that kind of like internal politicking, political thing, we can just literally say, we think this is the best based on this data, this expertise that we have these case studies that we’ve done in the past, what your competitors are also doing the data we’ve collated from that, and our expertise that we have all amassed over. I think just in this room alone, we’ve got like well over 30 years of experience, haven’t we in the industry, so and so also, we work as a team internally. So if I don’t have the answer, Lucas might have the answer. John might have the answer, Rebecca will probably find some data to support. So that’s the benefit really, of using that agency like we we literally have to work off what we’ve got. We don’t really care about impressing a certain manager in a certain company. Ultimately, we just want you to get the best results and to do that we have to please your customers or clients. So if you would like to have a chat with any of us about the process or how we can help you impress your customers or clients, please get in touch at Hello at so marketing.com