My whole 23-year career in advertising has been spent working for several advertising firms.
I’ve never worked “in-house” in the SEO industry.
Working at an advertising agency, especially one that excels in the field of search, is, in my opinion, the finest job that can be had anywhere in the world.
I have experience working with clients ranging from Fortune 10 corporations to one-man operations that are searching for new customers in a variety of countries and regions throughout the globe.
Believe it or not, despite having so much experience, I’m still often taken aback by brand-new circumstances involving the connection between the agency and the client.
Having said that, the vast majority of people who have not worked in an agency are unlikely to be aware of some aspects of the day-to-day interactions that take place between the agency and the client.
I’m going to enlighten you on a couple of those topics, so stay tuned.
The job requires you to act as a punching bag from time to time.
The advertising profession now has a more glamorous reputation because to television dramas like “Mad Men.”
Many ambitious young people have been drawn in by the image of the gleaming, cutting-edge glass structure on Madison Avenue to pursue careers in account management, traffic management, media purchasing, and even search.
However, there is a shadowy aspect to the world of agencies.
While I was on my honeymoon, I responded to inquiries from customers.
I was let go as a consequence of the outcomes of campaigns that I had no involvement in at all.
No matter where I am, if my phone rings, the first thing I do is check the caller ID; if it’s a customer, I don’t let myself rest until I have a chance to speak with them again.
When you work for an organisation, your time is no longer entirely under your control.
When you work at an organisation, “bovine garbage,” as the expression goes, has a tendency to roll downhill, and unfortunately, you’re at the bottom of the hill.
It was explained to me that working in an office is not a job for the elderly or the frail.
It’s possible that I’m getting closer to the former, but I’m still a long way from the latter.
The single worst error that I see customers make when working with an agency is walking in with a lot of bluster and immediately giving agency workers orders about what they should do.
In most cases, the situation is not as as aggressive as the archetype of the screaming customer.
It is more understated, with a lot of passive-aggressive undertones and frequent reminders of how the previous agency was terminated.
But don’t be misled — the employees at the agency is assessing you in the first meeting as much as you are judging them. Later on in this column, we’ll discuss why it’s vital to keep that in mind, so stay tuned for that!
Kind customers always come out on top.
The “underground lobbying” that determines which team obtains a certain client is something that can be attested to by everyone who has ever worked at the agency during the time when assignments are being determined.
Clients that are fascinating will initially get a lot of support from the personnel at the agency, at least up to the point when the persons engaged in the account expose who they really are.
Trust me when I say that once a client is established in the agency, the account people know which clients are great to work with and which ones might bite their heads off if you took a thirty-minute lunch break instead of eating a sad sandwich at your desk for lunch instead of eating at your desk.
Believe me when I say that you want account professionals who are enthusiastic about working on your account.
If you have a good reputation, the best account people will be vying for the opportunity to work on your account.
If you collaborate with a bigger agency, this is a problem of quite significant proportions.
Larger agencies are fantastic and include some of the industry’s most talented individuals, but they also feature some of the industry’s most inept account personnel.
Your ability to get along with the staff members you first communicate with may have a direct impact on the team you end up working with.
I am not suggesting that you are unable to hold your agency responsible in any way; rather the contrary, in fact.
Your agency would want you to provide feedback on how well they are doing in your eyes because, believe me, it is not always easy to tell.
Over the course of my career, I have lost my job at an agency more times than I can count due to the fact that I failed to anticipate a potential issue since the customer never informed me about it.
In reality, lack of responsibility is very seldom an issue.
Talk to each other and behave well.
You’ll be astonished by how much those two factors will alter the outcomes of your experiment.
The One That Makes the Most Racket Gets the Work
It is common knowledge that pleasant customers get superior service than that which is provided for irate customers.
But being kind doesn’t imply being silent.
Even when collaborating with a company that adheres to strict discipline and well outlined procedures, a customer who remains mute runs the risk of being forgotten.
Every week, my staff and I discuss each of our clients in detail.
When I initially start working with a new client, the first thing I check is to see whether their time is being used effectively.
Even though our company has been in operation for more than 15 years and has developed procedures and policies, I still see instances in which calm customers do not get the appropriate amount of attention.
It’s not because the task was finished; there’s no such thing as finishing a job.
It’s not because they were rude or unfriendly; in fact, all of my customers are kind right now!
The reason for this is because these customers did not want to get a regular check-in call.
This is due to the fact that these customers never provide comments on their reports.
We make the assumption, which is accurate in many instances, that a customer who is quiet is a happy client.
On the other hand, we value input from our customers more than anything else.
Additionally, customers that make themselves heard do get superior service.
Especially when they are pleasant to be around.
Customers Frequently Evaluate the Incorrect Outcomes
When a customer that is lacking in experience begins looking into data, it causes me anxiety.
Things is possible for it to be both stressful and funny at the same time.
In the outset of an engagement, before we’ve done any work together, I urge you to engage in this activity.
That way, if the customer loses their cool over results that they don’t fully comprehend, they will direct their ire against the previous firm, and not at me.
Just joking – sort of.
I will state unequivocally that having an informed customer is almost always preferable than having an ignorant one.
However, even well-informed customers often focus on the incorrect aspects of a service.
I’m not suggesting that those of us who work in the agency business are flawless.
In no way does it.
However, we do have the unique opportunity to see the inner workings of a number of different websites.
We are able to view the beautiful, the horrific, and all in between (if only I could unsee some of the sights I’ve seen).
When you measure the success of months of SEO effort based on the shifting ranks of a single keyword – even if that term is essential – you demonstrate to me that you do not understand what it is that we are attempting to accomplish.
If you are a client of mine, I can promise you that intellectually you are aware that chasing single keyword rankings is a waste of time in most cases. This is something that I can guarantee.
But despite the fact that my customers are aware of this fact, I can see the joy in their eyes whenever the term moves up in the ranks. On the other hand, I am aware that I am more likely to lose my job once the keyword falls.
Even though the amount of traffic coming from search engines has significantly increased, which has led to an incredible return on investment.
To tell you the truth, as an agency, we want to be evaluated based on how effectively we assist you in accomplishing objectives that we establish together throughout the course of our partnership.
Whether you don’t take the time to define objectives with your agency, you’ll never know for sure if they’re performing to your expectations.
Therefore, you should determine the objectives, and then delegate the task to the agency.
If the agency is as excellent as you believed it would be when you engaged them, then you will succeed in doing what you set out to do.
If they aren’t, you should remain cordial but look for another agency.
At the end of the day, everything comes down to the agency with whom you have the greatest working relationship.
And so long as you achieve those objectives, the connections you have with individual clients may take on quite distinct forms.