As with most things in life, when it comes to your marketing and advertising software, what you get out depends on what you put in. Knowing what you want to get out of your software platforms is the most effective way to make sure you actually get the software that’s right for you.
Understand Your Clients’ Goals
Know what you want to achieve with your marketing agency; software choices should be based on your/your clients’ goals. If the goal is greater engagement or reach over social for your clients, that’s going to dictate a different set of tools compared to driving new business for your agency.
Some platforms offer solutions to help you meet several goals with one purchase. These can be effective, especially for agencies with an eye on expenditures, but non-specialist tools often lack the firepower needed to do a specialist’s job. There’s a reason Adobe PhotoShop and MicroSoft Paint don’t cost the same amount, and you’ll probably find the tools with the steeper learning curve are generally the more powerful.
They say what gets measured is what gets done. In most software that means getting familiar with the reporting dashboard it provides. For agencies, understanding the measures that are important for your clients is essential to selecting the right tool. Reporting has become so important over the last 20 years that most platforms are developed with meaningful reporting built in. Clients don’t want to hear about activities, they want bottom line results that justify the money they’re spending with your agency.
Unless you have a data scientist or a team capable of interpreting data, intuitive and customisable reporting dashboards are the way to go. It’s all very well having gigabytes of data, but if you can’t use them, how will they help you tell any sort of story?
Your dashboard should report data that reflects progress to your goals. You should consider whether the measures you choose reflect a snapshot in time or the result of activities over a period, and whether the reports you’re able to produce are simply an update on the status of a project or if they’re supposed to inform future strategy and action.
What You Put In Is What You Get Out
If you want to get anything out of your advertising and marketing software platforms, the data you put in needs to be high quality. There’s no use in having a contact database if the information it contains is inaccurate, and having an email marketing platform without separate personalisation fields for first and last name won’t help you connect with your audience.
Scrubbing your data for things like erroneous characters and fixing mismatched data types – having dates in date fields recorded as text strings, for example – is a vital step in your data preparation.
Going through a process where you and your team identify what client needs your software should fulfill, how you’re going to use it to report back to your clients, and making sure the data in the system supports the kind of reporting you need to do are the best ways to ensure you demo – and ultimately choose – the right advertising, marketing and promotions software for your agency.