Hello all, as Pete said my name is Patrick Shea and I an inbound marketing consultant. In addition to the preveious life experience Pete mentioned, and specific to my role here at Hubspot, I am the consultant for our Partner and reseller channel. That means I spend sun up to sun down, 9 to 5, on the phone talking though client challenges and online marketing strategy with folks just like you all. And what I’ve got here is a rolled up collection of reporting best practices both from my agency experience, my experience here at Hubspot, and tips I’ve heard from the partners I work with every day here. A couple of house keeping points - we’re going to aim to keep the talk to about 45 minutes today, with time for Q & A at the end. This is being recorded, and available for watching after the fact. Ask questions in the side panel or on Twitter using the above hashtag, also use this to discuss and tweet along with the slides. So let’s jump into today’s agenda
We’ll introduce a couple of themes to today’s with an overview of different parts of speech Then we’ll get into WHY you should report and the benefits behind doing so After the WHY we’ll explain the HOW, in terms of how to frame the tone/content of your read out to ensure its compelling, effective and demonstrates the ROI you’re hopefully achieving Then we’ll hit on some Mechanics that we’ve found help agencies nail the “in the room” stuff
So to start – parts of speech The word report - It’s a noun (ask the questions) and a verb (read the sentences) This webinar is mainly about the latter – THE VERB - the practice of reporting back to your customers and clients. Not the formula’s and calculation squares needed to run marketing ROI reports, but the do’s and don’t, the proven tactics and best practices behind how to conduct the effective reporting that serves as the backbone to a successful agency-customer relationship. We will, closer to the end, visit some NOUNS at the end, in the form of numbers we see valuable to be included But lets start with the…GO
The verb. Let’s start with the WHY….
All of you out there listening are marketing firms of some sort – and reporting on the work you do for clients may or may not be broken out in your agreement in terms of here’s how often they want to see numbers, or it might have some language like “regular updates” – but regardless, your customers are going to want to see results here is how embracing that, and reporting to your clients the right way will help you meet your growth goals
first, it’ll help you Lock down more business and maintain and potentially increase your retainer Good, frequent reporting justifies your existence in your clients mind, and the decision to reach for their checkbook at the end of your 6 month or whatever agreement is an easy one these sessions them in the loop, up to date, and tuned in to the successes you’re having, and how efforts are moving along That transperency of frequently showing information and updates will more times than not equal trust
And this is critically important, because as we see in the information we collected in a study of 3000 of you last year, you need these retainers in order to scale and grow your business Your Average project size is low Percent of revenue you get on the retainers you do have in place is low Those retainers you have are small in size 4. And, in terms of overall numbers, the amount of retainers you have that are active at one time are very few It’s an epidemic – not scalable business You all can’t charge enough because you’re constantly trying to get your foot in the door places You’re chasing projects – and can’t hire or grow your business because you can’t generate enough revenue You have to deliver, but there isn’t enough there to justify the time you’re spending – it’s a vicious cycle. It’s really hard for you all to have any confidence in recurring revenue Reporting and Communicating with your clients regularly also allows them to think about your value and the results you’re generating - reinforcing the initial buy decision on a regular basis, and we hope, setting the table for retainers
You should also report to motivate and collaborate The core of any solid inbound marketing effort is content creation. It drives SEO, blogging and lead conversion activities (as we’ll get into). Good deployment of content helps change low personality websites, concrete slabs in a neighborhood of playgrounds, websites go from being online business cards into magnets. Now depending on your situation, you may or may not know anything about their industry or business. You might be getting your sea legs, drinking from a firehouse trying to learn all you can. For that reason, you might have folks from their team on board helping you blog, or key keyword strategy. Asking folks on the client side to help you blog, work social media feeds, etc. needs to be paid off. Show them the impact of their efforts and how their work and participation has helped drive the initiatives forward. Seeing the traffic ones blog post got can motivate a team member to want to better that result – which helps you Get team members other than and in-addition to the decision maker to buy in, and they’ll have pride in seeing the sales goals met. Guide them. Help them generate results that make them look good, give those results a forum like this to allow them to look good, and they’ll work for you and collaborate in the future.
Reporting sessions like these are a great place to lay the brick for upselling and referrals we want your customers to walk away from each of your meetings with 2 things: solid reasoning in their mind about why to keep you on, and 4 or 5 different sound bytes that they can swap around with their buddies at cocktail parties. Communicate early and often every success that reinforces your strategy which thus reinforces your expertise and the reason they hired you (makes them feel they are smart and know they made a good decision to hire you). These successes also become the content of the stories the client will tell to their circle of influence leading to referrals for you. the quality of the report clearly shows that you’re a professional who uses professional tools to get measurable results. -steve Results lead to referrals. Results raise fees....if you have the balls to ask...and deliver. - todd
So in summary, here are the main reasons why scheduling reporting meetings, or whatever process works best for your situation, are essential to both bettering your processes from a client management perspective, as well as achieving your personal business growth goals.
We’re clear now why timely/regular reporting sessions are MUST HAVES as opposed to NICE TO HAVES in the relationships you have with your customers Let’s move onto the ways we’ve seen it done best, in terms of spelling out the tone and way you frame your information
So as we dig into that we’ll be talking about Telling a story with numbers The mechanics behind a running a successful meeting And the key numbers Hubspot recommends including
Data presented well tells a story, and inbound marketing is no exception. Many of the key inbound marketing components can be seen as assets that only get more valuable as they get older HIT BUTTON blog articles, SEO, landing pages, lead capture mechanisms all have the ability to get better with age, both organically and with concerted promotion efforts. A great example of this sits on Hubspot’s marketing blog – a blog titled inbound marketing vs outbound marketing written by our CEO a few years ago. It’s the top spot for the keyword inbound marketing and a magnet for a continuous flow of inbound links for us As you work the key avenues for your customers, you keep coming back and improving the whole. And this is a HIT SECOND So how does this idea of a story lend itself to internet or inbound marketing?
Well, Internet marketing is just like regular marketing, except on the internet (hold for laughs) And good marketing is Built on a foundation of strong positioning… Not that we think any of you need to hear the “101” stuff, but just like we’re telling you inbound marketing is a story, this deck is a story of sorts, too, and we’re starting at the beginning. So let’s start with GO Positioning 101
Good positioning answers 3 questions What business are you in? What do you do better than anyone else? The elevator speech How do you do it? What products? What services? Who is your customer? Break down by industry Break down by position (VP, manager level, IT person?) Internet marketing is no different – just where and how you use the answers to these questions. Here, we need to take the answers to these questions, break them down into keywords that define these different components of their value prop and key differentiators for their business and products. Then we put them on the website in places and formats that help satisfy the biggest internet challenges WHICH ARE…
No traffic Bad traffic – no leads
Let’s step back a second, and in the spirit of storytelling, pull the thread on an analogy – “inbound marketing is a train” Not one of these crazy, runs on magnets trains, goes 1000 mph trains, but GO
A train like this. An old school locomotive. The kinds that ran on coal, and puffed thick smoke out of their chimneys
Well on those trains, a guy, usually in a pair of overalls, needed to shovel cols into the engine to make it go. The answers to our Positioning 101 questions – those keywords – are the coal for our inbound marketing train. GO Don’t make it a readout – your customers are used to those and it doesn’t allow you to differentiate the job and work you are doing Show how the pieces of the puzzle work together Use you presentations to tell a story. Think of inbound marketing as a train
They become the positioning and value props that you run everything around. Again, the coal moving the train. Traffic is created around these words – in others words – let’s get our customers found by the people who have pain points or needs in line with the services and products they offer - get good SEO in places on their product and services, and the rest of the website - deploy blog articles around longer tail keywords ( 5tips for, 10 trends for, something vs something) - social media monitoring and directional sharing where possible - PPC where budget allows (get some clicks, test keywords) Now that we’re getting found by the people that matter to our customer – let’s start capturing leads Calls to Action Landing Pages Emails Lead Nurturing CLICK NOW – and GO
Now we need to tell the story. Here’s where we’re going to discuss how to frame and what context to set with you customer. So the story…
Tell the right one. What type of person is your customer? Here at Hubspot, we have personas for our prospects, and we tailor everything from the sales process to the onboarding methodology used to orient them to our products. Do you have persona’s – if so – which is your client? GO
What do they care about? What numbers reflect the progress they are most interested in? What do they want to see? What do you know of them personally? From education level to attention span – think about who is going to be sitting in the shadow of your projector And depending on the answers to these, Tailor that story…GO
To who they are, and most importantly, to what their goals are. Connect the reporting, the story of your results with the presale goals they set when bringing you on board. In the words of Todd Hockenberry – a partner of Hubspots who we’ll hear more from in a bit – they hire you for the strategy, not all the tactics. Connect your reporting to the goals that your strategy recommendations were born of. Presale goals like these should always be a compass - and you should Work and agree on metrics to be watching and monitoring in connection to those goals So if we know who they are and what they’re goals are - GO
We should be able to tell the story in the right language. And to the point of knowing their goals, remember, You might not have results to present for the first couple of months, as things get going and your initiatives go through a finer round of approvals and ramp. Use the time then to present and summarize things that are being decided on (like content strategy, SEO work being done in prep), etc.) – and let them get comfortable with how you present information. as you getting things in motion with their account, there might be a slog of updates in terms of what you’re doing and what tactics you’re implementing. Always remember, they bought for strategy, as our friend Todd said. They might not need to hear a lot of this. As soon as anything happens or pops in terms of your work, come back and share. It will help you reinforce that you have them going in the right direction
So we know who we’re presenting to, their goals and what language they speak, let’s talk about the mechanics of good reporting – the in the room stuff that will make your readouts regular, efficient and productive.
First is the frequency and timing of your readouts
Build frequency into the contract - You might not hold fast to the time set in stone in there but at least it will tell them that you consider this transfer of knowledge is mission critical Try and Piggy Back - Depending on the size of your client, you may be able to get on the calendar for month end stuff or sales summits, or things like that. Your info could be powerful to others in the org, and the more top of mind you make yourself in terms of timing, the more your work is sure to mentioned at other internal meetings (this is huge for Next Steps – blogging assignments could be agenda items on the following day or afternoon’s department meetings) Enable timely snapshots Monthly snapshot of all inbound efforts Campaign by campaign readouts Stakeholders Have them all on the invite
What do you bring with you?
Get deck ahead of time Regardless of whether meeting is in person or virtual Bring Printouts - Prepare for them Allow space to take notes - Key to the format of the meeting as we’ll discuss next
What should be the format for this meeting? Whether you’ve got the team and the morning, or just a 30 minute block snadwiched somewhere – this is your meeting, these are your results – run it as such.
Start with highlights What worked Who are the all stars? Big wins? New customers? Explain challenges -hurdles -Relay learnings and customer insights Hold questions until the end - Tell how to listen (further instruct them on how to listen) Ask them to keep ideas on their pads Any aha’s? Remember: they know the pieces of coal, maybe there are additional ones that might speed the train up? There is a feedback loop element to this So the meeting is wrapping GO
What are the outputs you want?
Outline clear next steps What do they think? Do they agree? Ask for Buy IN - outline what it would be like for you to move on this Feedback/Ideas Maybe they’ve got something on their mind that you hadnt thought of, it would mean more work – we’ll allow it!
So we’ve talked about the verb The why we do it And we’ve blown out the how we do it GO
Now let’s jump into the nouns that will be part of any verb – so to speak…GO
Here are the two main problems facing online/inbound marketers – and the frameworks for the stories we’ll tell GET ME FOUND GET ME LEADS Based on the problem, what should we report on? Each one of these has there own story, and the parts from earlier on in the deck fit
Remember the pieces of coal we talked about back near the beginning of this deck ? These are the pieces that will help you tell those stories. Right? We threw some SEO in the train and it works, or it sputtered…GO
So for GET ME FOUND GO
We typically cover these three pieces of the puzzle Search engine optimization Blogging Social Media Let’s start with Blogging GO
ORGANIC NUMBERS: how much of the weekly or monthly traffic came from organic search? WHAT WORDS WERE MOST PRODUCTIVE? List words and hits as a result if you can. Begin teasing that story out by indicating where you got SEO in place KEYWORD GRADE/RANKS – where you’ve got them, report them Also, remember the story – SEO is very much a tactic, so in order to make sure you’re marketing jargon doesn’t fly over anyone’s head, point out some of the SEO you’ve got in place and connect it to the results
Next we jump into blogging
How many people subscribe to the blog, and then, theoretically see each newly published piece? Page views for the past 30 days? How many comments has the blog got? Great way to chart how interactive your content is (also, depending on the nature of those posted comments, may be some story pieces in there as well) Which articles have done the most, from a traffic perspective Which authors have got the most hits? One of our newer and more successful partners here at Hubspot, a company named Heligonix, understands the value that incorporating the entire sales team in blogging efforts can be. They show these chart at monthly meetings, run contests, and track metrics for each members blog posts. Making it competitive bulks their numbers
So now we’re onto sharing the content and using it in social media conversations
Reach – how have their fan/follower bases grown over time on the social media platforms critical to their strategy?
For Facebook Insights? Contests? The insights report from FB? Q and A Linked IN Twitter? retweets? Mentions? Listed? You tube Talk about what you’ve done on each platform:
Talk about how all that has contributed to overall website traffic – what has social media brought us, in terms of leads and customers (of course, where you can show this)
HAVE A CHART OF overall traffic, then break it down by the smaller, comprising pieces, so they can get a sense of the contributing Not sure if it’s your style to lead with it or close with it – but show the BIG PICTURE at some point, so they can see overall trends
So we’ve covered the GET FOUND story, onto the GET ME LEADS story People who need more qualified traffic, and some conversion from it…
We usually look at these pieces: On site Off site Lead nuruting Let start with on site effectiveness, and how we show what we’ve been doing there
Report on-site lead capture performance Here are the landing pages, attached to XYZ content, producing ….views, cubmissions, conversion rate of…
Discuss how people get to those landing pages, connect some dots for them, and discuss how you might be trying to improve whats in place. Remember getting a lead proves that you site has at least one effective conversion path – extract what you can from it, and multiply!
So now onto some things that you might potentially have buy in to be doing off the site…
-talk about inbound link campaigns, and the traffic, more quslifed traffic that inbound links are getting you -how good are those links? Where do our competitors have links?
Where are you placing links? Doing any ads? Show them the productivity of any tracking urls that you might have out there and how and what they are generating – again to either reinforce the need for continued action, or perhaps as a segue for you to float another reco at the end
Any PPC? How is that going? Might be good to show the budget and what has been spent as well
And lastly, how are email campaigns performing?
Whether you’re doing one-off emails to purchased lists, batch sends to folks your clients met at a trade show, or drip email/lead nurturing campaigns – give them a sense of which campaigns are working, in terms of how many are clicking through, converting, becoming customers And tell a story about these folks – how do we have their info, trade show? Site convert? Off what?
BC all this about getting people back to landing pages where they convert, Show your total effect – be it conversions, or amount of LP’s you have out there Ladning pages = marketing campaig, customers, sales calls, how ever The part of the report where we show the actual leads generated has become very important for the upper management folks in the meeting and raises questions about how well those leads were handled. Also the importance of tracking customer conversion, it has raised the issue of integrating the customers existing CRM into Hubspot’s tools. Steve Upsell opp. Way for you to expand how you’re helping them. Helps you get them thinking about ways to improve efforts – which further engrain and solidify what it is you are doing
And what do you get when you combine two big pictures, like I did with this slide? A huge picture! Maybe this is something that gets shown monthly or quarterly, or what have you, but have it to give them a sense of overall momentum and trends
We’ve talked about the natural progression here – SEO Blogging Social Linlk Landing Lead Nurturing NOW WHAT? Hopefully, you’ve built momentum around your results, created the case for more resources, and identified things that may be missing Let’s get into that: GO
Unless you’re intimate enough with your customer to be part of the actual sales process – you’re probably involved in a handoff process of some sort - the end product of MORE traffic or MORE total leads is where you start jumping off into your set of conclusions. The tale of the tape if you will. We had this much, now we’ve got this, and we conclude thus: This worked This worked very well And…GO
… Based on that learning, we’ve believe similar efforts or these efforts in addition will also work Here’s where you make your recommendations – what comes next? Whats there yet to be done, low hanging fruit? Here is a great quote…GO
From a partner of ours on the importance of the Reco piece to the reporting he does.
So we’ve reached our conclusions We’ve made our recommendations This should equal more work. Let’s see that manifested in a couple of real time examples
Two Different Types of Speech re ∙ port [ri-pawrt, -pohrt] – noun, verb Where are the reports? What sort of numbers are reflected in those reports? When was the last time we ran those reports? We need to report back to management on those marketing initiatives. What next steps are we going to recommend after reporting to the board next week?
Static pages are optimized Blogs are deployed Social media sharing Pay Per Click Link Building Lead Capture Call to Actions Landing Pages Lead Nurturing Traffic Generation Email Marketing You’ve Got the Elements of the Story…
SEO Blogging Social Media Landing Pages Lead Nurturing Link Building Now What?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/heavyweightgeek/2334939683/sizes/l/ Leads to Conclusions
http://www.flickr.com/photos/featheredtar/2267158499/sizes/l/ Leads to Recommendations
“ It is imperative that we are consistent with holding the reporting meeting and that actionable items are noted, assigned and given a date for completion. This sets up a means to continuously improve a clients inbound marketing, their sales/marketing process and fills our buckets with more opportunities to help. I think this makes us more a part of the clients team and should earn us the right to continue the retainer.”
http://www.flickr.com/photos/amagill/3367543296/sizes/l/ More Work Conclusions Recommendations