In my experience working in digital marketing, there are two keys to successful agency engagements. Listening and Trust.
The digital marketing industry suffers from a general lack of these factors for two reasons:
- Many clients have been burned by agencies in the past.
Whether it’s due to lack of experience or lack of transparency, it’s often hard to have confidence in what you are buying in digital marketing if you have had bad experiences.
- Many agencies are geared to sell you specific products at “scale” that don’t fit your needs.
Banner ad vendors will always sell you banners, Search agencies will always recommend Google or Bing search. In most cases a selective mix is going to provide you the best results, but many agencies haven’t built or trained teams to put integrated media strategies together.
When I started in the industry, I was a “search specialist” and trained to advocate for search. This didn’t make sense to me as there were many other tactics, I knew clients should be using that I wasn’t in a position to recommend. I left that role knowing that campaigns had to be managed differently.
In response to this, Augurian has taken action to create better and more collaborative relationships.
- Trained to Recommend & Listen – Augurs learn how to communicate with confidence and transparency, but equally important how to listen.
We use an acronym around here to help us. REAP, it’s an business adaptation from LEAP. LEAP is a communication process developed by Dr. Xavier Amador, a psychologist at Columbia University, New York to facilitate collaborative relationships. It outlines constructive steps to practice whenever engaging in a conversation with someone.
LEAP – Listen. Empathize. Affirm. Perspective.
REAP – Recommend. Explain. Affirm. Perspective
Here is a short guide to Dr. Amador’s work that Augurian’s “REAP” adaptation is based upon:
Building a Collaborative Relationship “LEAP”
- Building trust through a transparent process.
We practice Bi-modal management at Augurian. The core concepts of that philosophy are having core and edge tactics and managing each differently. Core tactics are things that work and drive consistent ROI. We manage these not to fail and want to grow these over time.
Edge tactics are new experiments for tactics we feel have a chance of working. Each quarter we endeavor to run a few new tactics that take up a small amount of budget. Wins are moved into the core, while unsuccessful tests are ended.
As a result of this transparent Edge process Augurian builds trusts with our internal contacts so that they have confidence that we are driving consistent results while trying to find new opportunities on their behalf. This provides internal contacts with a data driven narrative that they can use to get other internal stakeholders excited about the digital marketing efforts they are managing.
Contrast this Edge process to the to pre-built offerings that may or may not be right for their objectives and it is clear why Bi-modal management at Augurian is preferred by clients.
Keys to Successful Agency Engagements
LEAP/REAP and Bi-modal management are two of the keys to successful agency engagements that help our clients win online and have confidence when they are reporting on their digital marketing investments internally.