Nothing really compares to meeting with clients face to face to discuss strategy. It’s an opportunity to find out what they hope to get out of marketing efforts. This time is also necessary to explain why we have chosen the tactics and strategies for their business. Conveying this information and making the client feel comfortable and involved in the plan is absolutely necessary for the success of the marketing plan and the relationship with the client.
These meetings seem to fly by, there is so much to talk about and plan for that there just isn’t enough time. Going into a client meeting unprepared is a recipe for disaster. You have to ask clients specific questions and find out what they want and how you can achieve that. Clients will have big, wonderful plans, but without you making sure all of your questions are answered, they might not happen and they certainly won’t happen easily.
To get everything you need from a client meeting, get started before you even schedule a meeting. Make sure you know the status of projects discussed last time and what questions you still need answers for.
When you get to the meeting, it’s time to take the most specific notes possible (which is hard to keep up during a conversation) but you don’t want to miss anything. It’s easy to forget to do something when you forgot to write it down. Trust me; you might think you will remember after the meeting, you won’t. What helps me is when the meeting is over and I have pages and pages of notes, I go directly to my computer and rewrite them in a more organized way. This helps me break down what we talked about and allows me to digest how to work through all of the tasks and create a hierarchy of important action items. When I have meetings back to back and don’t get a chance to work through my notes, I struggle to remember everything and don’t do as well at organizing what needs to be done.
Once your notes are compiled and you start working through marketing campaigns, don’t forget to go back and reference your notes. Projects change and sometimes campaigns take on a life of their own, to make sure your clients are happy, be aware of what you promised them at the last meeting. You need to deliver on your promises or you lose trust with your client.
When I finish a portion of work I send it to my client for approval. Here at the ‘peg we like to keep clients in the loop. We don’t like to surprise them at the end of the project so we send material to clients before publishing with a note to remind them of the decisions we made in the meeting and confirm they are still on board.
When all is said and done and your blogs/tweets/posts/newsletters are all published, it’s time to do some research and see how you did. Analytic data lets you dig deeper and find out what people clicked on, liked and read about. Take note of this data and hang onto it for the next campaign. Analytics can tell you what times were more popular among your audience and see what content caught people’s attention. Paying attention to this data and presenting it to clients shows them that your efforts were successful and helps you gain trust and sets the stage for the next round of meetings.
Want to learn more about marketing metrics and how to use them? Check out our webinar on that topic.