By Sean Brooks on Jul 14, 2021
For a marketing agency to have a durable, competitive advantage, they must build a clear marketing roadmap for their clients. However, doing so does not always guarantee that everything runs smoothly. Customers sometimes have unrealistic expectations. Whether they want your marketing help to start an online business or scale an existing brand, some clients can be unreasonable.
In most cases, they just don’t know what goes into the work they are hiring you to do. As a businessperson, you should consider it your job to educate them. Following are some of the biggest false client expectations and how to address them.
When clients hire a marketing agency to increase their search visibility, some of them expect to land the number one spot on Google in a matter of days. Here’s just a few of the things they may not realize:
You can explain this to clients by talking about the basics of SEO. Most customers probably know that it’s the process of optimizing a website to get targeted traffic from a search engine’s organic rankings. But fewer understand that there are at least a dozen websites in every niche that perform really well. And each one of those websites has gone through a similar SEO process over a long period of time. So, a new website it not going to achieve similar results overnight. It takes some time.
A one-and-done approach does not work in many forms of marketing. Advertising, social media marketing, email marketing and SEO are some of the marketing efforts that gain increasing effectiveness over time.
Let’s clarify it by continuing our SEO example from the previous point. People often start an online business and then hire a marketing agency for improving their search engine rankings. Once their website is ranked, some expect to see continuous traffic without making any further efforts.
However, the reality is that the website needs ongoing nurturing and investment. Otherwise, its rankings will soon decline. Of course, you need to keep adding fresh content to maintain rankings. But another reason some don’t think about is that technology keeps evolving. For example, according to a Statista report, the percentage of mobile device website traffic worldwide increased 23.64% in just the past six years.
The same report states
Due to low infrastructure and financial restraints, many emerging digital markets skipped the desktop Internet phase entirely and moved straight onto mobile Internet via smartphone and tablet devices.
That means a business could have had the best website in the world at one point, but if they didn’t optimize for mobile users, they have lost a lot of business. So, if you encounter a client who is resistant to updates, tackle them using insights and data. Show real-world examples of what works. Be transparent and authentic.
Digital marketing campaigns involve many metrics. To analyze them accurately, it’s necessary to look at the full picture. Some clients form their own opinions regarding these metrics based on a few experiences or a limited set of data. That’s why they may unreasonably argue with you over the results of a specific metric. Sometimes these clients even end up shutting down the campaign! To avoid that, make sure you thoroughly explain to your clients the broader spectrum of the metrics you are using.
Following are a couple examples where clients are concerned with clicks and immediate conversions but discount the power of awareness.
You may have heard people say, “Nobody clicks on banner ads!” If you are trying to build a marketing agency and learn that the average CTR for banner ads is 0.47%, you might turn against banner ads. But the real purpose of banner ads is usually not clicks and immediate conversions.
The core purpose of a banner ad is to make your target audience aware of your product or service. For example, there may not be that many people who are looking for blankets with sleeves. But if a brand like Snuggie markets through banner ads, they make people aware of the product. They also make it much more likely that when people are later looking for the product, they type in “snuggie” rather than “blankets with sleeves.” A a top-of-mind awareness (TOMA) strategy can be followed up with other forms of advertising and marketing aimed at more direct results.
Business people are concerned about the actual number of sales from social media ads. When you start an online business, of course you want fast sales. But for low-conversion industries, awareness becomes particularly important. Let’s say you have a client in the job training niche. The average CTR for Facebook ads in this niche is 0.47%. But at the same time, we also know that 49% of Internet users are likely to buy brands they see advertised. So even if we are making fewer conversions now, advertising on social media or anywhere else creates the foundation for more sales later.
We are not saying not to do advertising aimed at clicks and conversions. We are just saying that advertising also has another purpose your anxious client should know. So, be clear to your clients about the goals of each campaign. An informed client is more likely to trust your advice.
Some clients just don’t understand the difference between a cheap and premium service. So, you will need to explain what sets you apart. Be ready to not only explain why you can help them succeed better and faster than your competition. Also show them your success stories. You need to convince them that though their initial investment may be a bit more, they will get a much higher return on investment by hiring you.
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