When a client signs on the dotted line, they're taking an educated gamble that the service company will, in fact, make good on their word. While a paid search agency might be confident in the benefits they can provide for that client, it's up to the agency to prove their value.
Especially in the B2B marketing world, where it can seem that success comes at the throw of the dice, clients are often wary of a paid search agency’s aptitude and capabilities.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Concerning ‘Trust’ Statistics on Relationships Between Marketers and Agencies
Trust in agencies tends to wane quite bit in the business world. A study released by AdWeek in June of 2014 provides statistics about how agencies are perceived by their marketing clients.
“More than half of marketing executives (56%) say their agencies are more interested in ‘selling’ them their work rather than solving their problems.”
“While nearly all agencies (90%) say they understand their client’s businesses, only 65% of clients agree.”
“Agencies are more likely than their clients to say they understand how to drive sales (84% vs. 56%) and to do a good job of demonstrating ROI (76% vs. 40%).”
No doubt concerning, these stats broadcast the sorry state of the majority of agency and marketing executive relationships. It’s one thing to have an internal team that communicates, collaborates, and shares the same ‘creative brain,’ but attempting to coordinate that norm cross-company with an agency is a feat in and of itself.
So, how do you bridge that gap? What kinds of things does a paid search agency, in particular, need to do to build trust with their marketing clients?
Data Doesn’t Motivate, but Revenue Sure Does
While we understand that client-agency collaboration can be difficult, if agencies are going to be successful in today’s business environment, they have to speak in terms that align with their client’s business goals. Only then will the execs be able to see value through the dense fog of data.
From our experience (and we’ve been involved in the paid search agency space for a while now), paid search agencies face an even more difficult problem because of the type of results and metrics that they generate. It’s all data. It’s all figures. It’s all numbers in a specific context, which only make sense to someone neck deep in AdWords.
But marketing executives don’t care so much about impressions and click-throughs. They care about revenue, and as the statistic indicated, clients want their agency to focus on their particular business' issues, rather than trying to 'sell' them a set of random data.
At the beginning of an agency-client contract, the client is hoping to see ROI at a comparable cost-per-acquisition. When they’re not handed direct revenue figures by their paid search agency, they often feel that their hard-earned funds were effectively dumped into a sinkhole, only to surface as a befuddling spreadsheet measuring impressions and CTRs.
According to the stats from AdWeek, only 40% of clients feel that their marketing agency does a good job of demonstrating ROI.
What clients do understand are big dollar signs, so agencies should start painting them on every wall.
Yet all too often, paid search agencies aren’t able to provide revenue-based metrics. That would require following the data into their client’s CRM, right? Then you would have to track that initial paid search visitor from their first click up until they became a full-fledged customer. I mean, c’mon. How practical is that in the real world?
Actually, it is now.
How to Use Bizible to Impress Your B2B Paid Search Clients
Bizible is a marketing attribution solution that will sync with your client’s Salesforce CRM. It also pulls your paid search data and connects it to your client’s CRM. Your paid search manager can now follow their leads into the client’s CRM and see, for instance, how much revenue the paid search lead source provided for them.
Having this type of bottom-line data allows you to serve your client more effectively in two specific ways:
1. You can have revenue-centric conversations about your services
Using Bizible, you impress your client with the following types of information:
Sort opportunities by lead source (to provide lead-opp conversion rate from paid search)
See a report of total revenue generated by paid search
Create revenue-expected reports (to predict future paid search results)
By the end of the meeting, they’ll feel confident in your services and maybe they’ll even be ready to increase their spend.
2. You can set revenue-based expectations with the client
Clients often say things like, “If you just do what you say you’re going to do, that’s all I ask for.” And even if they don’t say it, we all know they’re thinking it. The trick is accurately representing what your paid search strategy and reporting process will look like. Furthermore, these expectations should be formed in a way that motivates the client and increases their anticipation of those results.
Using Bizible, your agency can show your clients bottom-line ROI reports, information that most paid search agencies would consider an unattainable utopia. This will assure your client that you plan to demonstrate the success of your campaign, or your iterative progress toward a goal, based on the metric that they care about the most -- revenue.