Guide to turbocharging your marketing agencies performance with online collaboration


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This guide is essential reading if you’d like to:
• Improve your communications with clients
• Improve client retention
• Devote more time to creativity and less to admin
• Widen your pool of creative talent
• Increase productivity and margins
• Win new clients and service more accounts
• Deliver better campaigns

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Guide to turbocharging your marketing agencies performance with online collaboration

  1. 1. A MARKETING AGENCY GUIDE How to turbocharge your marketing agency’s performance… with online collaboration softwareA MARKETING AGENCY GUIDE If it’s collaborative, it’s in Kahootz 1
  2. 2. ContentsAbout this guide 3Let’s talk about communications 4Why online collaboration? 5But what is online collaboration software? 6Improving client services 7Achieving business efficiency 11Growing your business 13What next 15A MARKETING AGENCY GUIDE 2
  3. 3. About this guideThis guide is essential reading if you’d like to:• mprove your communications with clients I• mprove client retention I• evote more time to creativity and less to admin D• iden your pool of creative talent W• ncrease productivity and margins I• in new clients and service more accounts W• Deliver better campaignsA MARKETING AGENCY GUIDE 3
  4. 4. Let’s talk aboutcommunicationsBut why are communications so crucial? When you get your communications right, your clients are more likely to stayA research by Reardon Smith Whittaker, with you. You’ll also enjoy other majorwhich involved 184 client marketing and benefits such as:brand executives, uncovered the topthree reasons for clients leaving their • etter staff morale — clients will make Bmarketing agencies. fewer objections • ore efficient workflow — you’ll need to MThey were: make fewer revisions1. nhappiness with their U • reater margins — increased efficiency G agency’s approach means your team can serve more clients2. Dissatisfaction with creative work They’re great results to aspire to. But how3. Not being proactive enough can you achieve them?The thread that connects them is Our ”How to grow your marketingcommunication. That’s because agency” guide provides many ideas forgood communications: refining the way you communicate and manage projects. In this one, we get a• elp clients understand your approach, H bit more specific and look at the way one what is happening with their project and particular solution can help. when – thanks to clear reporting and transparent working processes That solution is online collaboration.• elp clients understand your creative H direction and allows them to get involved in shaping it• re at the heart of being proactive, A allowing you to create a full picture of their requirements before any competitor does.A MARKETING AGENCY GUIDE 4
  5. 5. Why onlinecollaboration?If you saw our last guide, you’ll remember Keep it simpleresearch by a US software company that The insecurity of email, firewalls thatfound 38% of clients have decided not block large attachments, and the adminto give business to an agency for one time needed to circulate files also causereason — it didn’t have good enough communications problems and can damagetools for managing the account’s work your relationship with your clients.and communications. How do you solveDon’t mix and match tools these problems?A significant part of the problem may come The evidence suggests that clients preferfrom agencies using communications tools clear, simple tools to manage workflow andon a mix-and-match basis. You might be communications. The US study we justin this situation, using (for example) one mentioned also found that clients see onlineapplication for sharing files with clients, collaboration software as a major part of theanother for managing projects, another for solution.collaborating on strategy and so on. • 1% of client side marketers thought 7This can cause confusion that leads to online collaboration systems gaveproblems with the client relationship. Even agencies an edge over their competitorsif you and your teams know how yourcommunications tools fit together, clients • pproximately 1 in 4 clients had Ararely have the same insight. required agencies to offer an online collaboration system in order to keepStreamline processes or be awarded an account.Further problems can be caused by Ignore these stats at your peril — the CMOyour internal processes. File naming Council has found only 36% of clients areconventions can cause problems and committed to staying with their currentmisunderstandings. Commonly, agencies agency this year.don’t have the systems in place to recordwhich team member has had contact with What are you offering the 64% who mighta client, when — and for what. This can be tempted to look elsewhere?cause both misunderstandings and delays.A MARKETING AGENCY GUIDE 5
  6. 6. But what is onlinecollaboration software?We thought you might ask that. We’ll look at the details in a moment, but from an agency’s point of viewIn a nutshell, it’s a cloud software these tools allow you to achieve threesystem that both you and your clients essential objectives.can access online. 1) ignificantly improve your SDepending on the software you choose, client servicesit can give you secure access to any 2) mprove your business efficiency Icombination of the following within a and profitabilityshared workspace: 3) elp you target new and H• Shared files bigger clients.• Multi-author files anyone can edit How? Let’s take a look.• Calendars• Task lists• Polls• Surveys• Databases• Web pages Collaboration software can• Blogs help you achieve three big…and more ‘wins’ for your agency. 1. Improved client servicesSo far, so good. But what can youuse these things for? 2. Efficiency and profitability 3. New and bigger clientsA MARKETING AGENCY GUIDE 6
  7. 7. Improving client servicesThe principal reason for adopting an online Ideally it should send automatic emailcollaboration system should always be to updates each time a task is completed —improve your service to clients. these are essential for setting the pace of the project, stimulating quicker action andAs a marketing agency, there are many faster project completion.ways you can do this. Once you and yourclients share the same online workspace, 2. Project collaborationyou can use it for a whole variety of As a marketing agency, you want topurposes — from the productive to the work more effectively with clients on theirhighly innovative. individual projects.Every agency is different, and each one As well as keeping progress on track, awill use its chosen software to innovate in collaboration system allows you to work asits own ways, but almost every agency will close partners with your clients on everybenefit by offering the following. project. It’s a huge advantage — clients feel they’re more closely involved with the1. Project progress process, and it eliminates many of themanagement frustrations that go hand-in-hand withCloud collaboration software often inconsistent communication.has tools that are ideally suited forproject management. To get it right, though, you need to match the right collaboration system toEvery time you or your clients log into a the demands of your projects. The mostworkspace, you will all have access to a effective way of doing this is to compile ashared calendar, task list and other tools checklist of the ways you want to sharethat help you to monitor work and keep it information with clients, and then opt foron track. a collaboration system that offers the right tools.If your projects involve a number of creativeteams, or it is a complex one, opt for a These are some of the most common thingscollaboration system that lets different to look out for, but never assume they are allteams work on individual workstreams. available in any particular collaboration tool. Compile your own checklist first!A MARKETING AGENCY GUIDE 7
  8. 8. • ile sharing — every agency will need F • ommenting. While multi-author C to share briefs, creative work and other documents are extremely useful, you documents with clients. Unfortunately, and your clients may simply want to methods like FTP and email can make it add separate comments underneath difficult to keep track of your documents, documents that have been uploaded. and they aren’t necessarily secure or Choose a system that allows you to even effective (for example, some comment on copy, visuals, video corporate firewalls will block large and other files without altering the email attachments). files themselves. overcome these difficulties, choose a To • mage folders. If you need to share I collaboration system that allows you to images, some collaboration software keep all project files in a single workspace, offers specialised image folders that allow gives you access to earlier drafts of the you to make simple edits and crops on same documents, and provides an audit the fly. These can be really useful to speed trail of activity — allowing you to track up communication and ideas. both your teams’ and your clients’ activity.• ulti-author documents. If you need M to develop briefs, copy or concepts in collaboration with your clients, opt Tip: One size doesn’t for a system that offers multi-author fit all, so opt for a documents. These allow both you and collaboration system that your clients to edit the same copy within allows you to tailor your the same file, ensuring your combined workspace to your clients. thinking stays within one document — Some systems allow you and that you don’t have to waste precious to apply your clients’ time compiling feedback from multiple corporate branding and files into one master document. instantly create templated workspaces with the functionality you and your clients prefer and need.A MARKETING AGENCY GUIDE 8
  9. 9. 3. Offering your clients a 4. Working as an extensionwider pool of talent to your clients’ marketingYou don’t have to limit your use of departmentscollaboration to project management. The same remote working techniques alsoYou can bring added value to your clients open up new ways of working with yourby using your chosen software to link in clients. With a secure workspace offeringto additional talent. shared files, project management tools and the opportunity to collaborate on briefs,For example, if you are working on an creative work and more, your agency canintegrated marketing project for a client position itself as an ‘always on’ resource tothat requires advertising, online and email complete any tasks needed by your clients’marketing, direct mail and social media marketing, you can use online collaborationto link up with specialist partner agencies All your client needs to do is assign theor freelance talent anywhere in the world work to you using the system, and you— all they should need is a browser and can use the same project managementan internet connection. tools to make collaboration effective and keep it on track.If you want to present third part talentas part of your own team, white labelling Working in this way has two big bonusestheir services is simple. All you need to do — clients quickly come to rely on you, andis give chosen individuals access to the it becomes much harder for competitors toproject workspace, allowing them to share displace you.and upload relevant files, work to tasklist deadlines and act as a fully integratedmember of your team.And if you need to brief them for multipleprojects, you can set up a separateworkspace to allow your agency tomanage and monitor their overallworkload and progress.A MARKETING AGENCY GUIDE 9
  10. 10. 5. Creating better-researched 6. Create dedicatedcampaigns client extranetsSome collaboration software allows Some collaboration software will allowyou to conduct surveys and polls, you to create intranets for each individualautomatically generating reports and client, complete with their corporategraphs from the results. branding. You can use these to manage all work you undertake for an individualThis functionality can give you a major client, creating dedicated teams andadvantage when designing campaigns workspaces within the portal as needed.— it allows you cheaply test creative It also ensures the benefits of onlineconcepts and ideas on a sample audience. collaboration remain at the heart of theAll you need to do is invite them into your client relationship — using the systemresearch workspace and ask them to becomes second nature for all parties.complete questionnaires, comment oncreative work or give you feedback on the While usually inexpensive to set up inusability of webpages. You can then use this way, a client extranet not onlythe results to shape your campaign and streamlines your communications withgive clients confidence that you are clients, but also sends out a powerfulheading in a tried, tested direction. signal that you are willing to invest in your relationship with them.A MARKETING AGENCY GUIDE 10
  11. 11. Achieving businessefficiencyOnce you make online collaboration the deliver much bigger savings — youcore of your project working with clients, may be able to reduce the size of youryou can extend its use to help you achieve premises by replacing permanentgreater business efficiency and improve workstations with a smaller number of hotyour margins. desks for occasional use.These are some of the ways you can do it. • educing admin support. One of the R great benefits of online collaboration1. Cutting your costs software is that it reduces the amount of administration time needed for anyand overheads given project. Because workspaces haveYou can not only use cloud software to centralised calendars, co-ordinatingcollaborate with your clients, but you diaries takes less time. Because multi-can use it to create shared networks for author documents allow agency staffyour employees. and clients to collaborate on the same version of a file, there’s no need toOnce your staff can contribute seamlessly gather and compile feedback fromto agency business and client projects multiple documents sent via email. Andfrom any place that they have an internet because some collaboration systemsconnection and a browser, it allows you to send automatic updates each time therereshape the way your agency works — is activity in your workspace, there’s noand potentially quite radically. need for anyone to email new files or spend time summarising recent work.To give just a few examples:• ome and remote working. With a H 2. Internal communications system that allows simple, auditable file Online collaboration really comes sharing and allows you to track progress into its own as an effective internal of all employees’ progress, home and communications tool. As long as you remote working become much more choose a solution that allows you to effective and viable for agencies of all create different teams of people, each sizes. This allows you to cut overheads with different access privileges, you have such as electricity use, and can even flexibility that allows agency staff to work together in any configuration.A MARKETING AGENCY GUIDE 11
  12. 12. These are just some ways you can use 3. Reduce turnaroundonline collaboration to transform your and billing timeinternal communications. This is one of the best internal results of using online collaboration software for• gency intranet. Why use an intranet A client projects. Because it speeds up the system that’s the electronic equivalent project process and reduces ‘dead time’ of a neglected and dusty notice board? by providing instant, actionable updates, By using collaboration software to power you can take clients from initial concept to your intranet, you open the door to two- delivery in much less time. way feedback, giving staff a voice and helping to keep communications open This allows you to boost client satisfaction and morale high. And because you can with fast, quality work — and give your keep tabs on details and progress of all accounts department reason to cheer by client projects within the portal, it’s easy delivering a shorter billing cycle. for any staff member to see what work and communication has been completed for any client, easing internal project 4. Service more clients handovers significantly. In this way, you Faster project turnaround has another can easily create and support an agile benefit — you can use the same teams to working environment within your agency. service more projects or clients, increasing your profitability. As your agency grows, so• HR. You can create secure workspaces do the economies of scale. for each individual staff member and   use it as a collaborative area for HR matters, including appraisal documents, performance data and more.• nternal projects. Revamping the I website? Refining your own marketing strategy? Organising the Christmas party? Whatever the project, use the same functionality that you offer clients to keep your internal projects on track, on time and in budget.A MARKETING AGENCY GUIDE 12
  13. 13. Growing your businessYou’ve seen how to use online 1. Attracting bigger clientscollaboration to improve the service you Intelligently used, online collaborationgive clients, and you’ve got an insight puts you in pole position to attractinto ways it can improve your internal larger accounts.communications and profitability. Do you remember the research weBut are there ways you can use cloud mentioned at the beginning of thiscollaboration to grow your business? guide? It found about 1 in 4 clients had required agencies to offer an onlineIn short, yes. Here are some of them. collaboration system before entrusting it with their account. That proportion is only going to rise as online collaboration within agencies becomes the norm rather than the exception — so it’s a good idea to provide it before your competitors do. That aside, major clients are also going to demand specific expert knowledge within your team, are more likely to ask you to work with other agencies, and will be sticklers for progress reporting and updates. They will also want evidence of sound campaign research. As we saw in an earlier section, these are all benefits you can deliver with intelligent use of online collaboration.A MARKETING AGENCY GUIDE 13
  14. 14. 2. Partnerships and mergers 3. Tender managementAgencies often grow and sometimes If you need to put work out to tender, youeven merge because of the partnerships can invite potential suppliers to submit theirthey foster. bids using a dedicated tender management workspace. This will allow you to give allIf you want to work closely with another suppliers relevant information without havingagency, but need to negotiate the details to email it, and will let you answer questionssecurely, or if you need to collaborate on a in one place — knowing that all suppliersshared project or sensitive merger process, will be alerted collaboration software can act as asecure deal room. If you require suppliers to fill in a questionnaire, you will want to ensure thatSituations like these require security and your software generates instant reports thataccountability, so be sure to choose allow you to see results at a that offers you a full audit trail  — allowing you to see who has logged onwhen, for how long, and to do what.    A MARKETING AGENCY GUIDE 14
  15. 15. What next?Throughout this guide, we’ve 2. njoy a free trial of Kahootz — it’s Eexplored practical ways of using online collaboration software that helpsonline collaboration to improve client marketing agencies deliver more for theircommunications, make projects more clients on a daily basis. Simply log on toefficient, introduce efficiencies to the way to claim a free trialyou work and deliver high-achieving, that gives you full-featured access forwell-researched and creative campaigns up to 10 people, allowing you to put itthat deliver the results your clients need. through its paces in the real world.But perhaps the most compelling reason And of course — if you have any queries orfor introducing online collaboration is questions about online collaboration, simplythat clients are increasingly asking for visit or give us a — either by demanding better projectcommunication, or specifically asking theiragencies to offer online collaboration. Find out more…If your agency doesn’t yet provide an The advice in this guide is based on theonline collaboration platform for your real-world challenges faced by modernclients, it’s a highly cost-effective way marketing agencies.of turbocharging the way your agencyoperates, and of staying abreast or It is brought to you by Kahootz, the UKahead of your competitors. online collaboration software experts who have been working closely with a wideBut how do you choose range of clients since 2002.the right tool? It’s our mission to help creative businessesTo get started, follow these two to transform the way they work, and tosimple steps. continue refining our software in the light of the challenges they face.1. ownload our short, simple guide D Choosing the Right Online Collaboration Find out more about our work. Tool to make sure you match your choice Visit today. of collaboration tool to your clients’ and   your agency’s needs.A MARKETING AGENCY GUIDE 15
  16. 16. 1 Weston Court, Newbury Road, Weston, Berkshire RG20 8JEt. +44 (0)1488 648 478 e. @KahootzFor more information about Kahootzand to sign up for a FREE trial please visit:kahootz.comA MARKETING AGENCY GUIDE If it’s collaborative, it’s in Kahootz 16