I’ve been pacing my office, wearing down the carpet to the bare threads, nervous about the meeting with my new digital marketing client. I want to make a perfect first impression and bring my A-game to the table. Customers are the lifeline of all businesses. And my digital agency is no different.
Every client is as important as the next.
But no two are the same. They have unique needs and objectives, making your job as challenging as ever. But as a digital agency, it’s your responsibility to deliver customizable solutions to resolve their issues.
Why does that matter so much?
Simply because there are 151,068 independent contractors in the creative marketing industry. If you don’t cater to your digital marketing clients, they will find someone else who does. According to the 2018 Marketing Agency Growth Report, 16% of digital agencies face client retention problems.
And you can’t afford to be one of them. Losing a client to your competitors is one thing. But an unsatisfied customer is a totally different ball game. They can leave negative reviews about your agency and tarnish your reputation.
To avoid such circumstances, you need to ask your client the right questions. Not only will this help keep your customers happy, but it will also allow you to:
- Understand your client and what they want
- Build trust between you and your clients
- Align your efforts with a client’s individual needs
- Create unique, customized marketing solutions
- Set realistic expectations on both sides
- Start a strong and stable long-term relationship
- Deliver digital products and services within the allotted time frame
Want to learn how to do all this and more?
You’ve got to start by asking the right questions.
Your job is to portray your client’s brand to the target audience. So you need information about the client’s business, their customers, and their goals. More importantly, since this will hopefully be the beginning of a long, healthy relationship, you need to establish a good dialogue with your client from the get-go.
Once a prospective client makes an appointment for a consultation, you need to prepare yourself for the initial meeting. You will need to complete preliminary research to get a better idea of what the client’s company is all about and the current trends prevalent in their industry. In fact, the ideal way to do that is to look at their website and social media profiles.
Doing your homework will provide assistance when preparing your lineup of questions. But it’s not only the questions you ask that are important. Actively listening to their responses and taking notes for later reference can significantly help you and your team collaborate to achieve the best results.
However, the key is not to overwhelm your new clients with too many questions. You need to ask just enough so that you are able to gather adequate information and start planning an effective strategy. They may not be able to answer all your questions. After all, they have come to you for help.
Questions to ask your digital marketing clients
This is a list of questions that you should consider asking. However, they are not the only ones. Moreover, you may need to modify and customize them depending upon who your client is and what their needs are.
1. Describe your business.
Though this is a common question, it’s essential to understand the client’s perspective on what the business means to them. This question can branch into several others, such as:
- What’s the story behind the business?
- When was it established?
- What exactly do you offer (products/services)?
- What problem does it solve?
- What is its unique selling proposition (USP)?
2. What is the core message of your business?
You’re looking for a few words that will help you understand the crucial aspects you need to focus on. Your job is then to build value and image around this message.
3. What weaknesses or problems can you identify in your current business model?
Another way to ask this question would be to inquire about some of the biggest challenges they have faced- or are facing. You may need to broaden your approach by asking where the clients see themselves in their journey and expecting to see themselves in the future.
4. Who is the target audience?
You could ask them to define a customer persona to understand what the ideal customer is like. This is the consumer base that you will be targeting your efforts at. Gather all the demographics such as gender, age, location, language, education, income level, lifestyle, etc.
5. How do your customers find your products or services?
The goal is to identify the current sales channels. Knowing whether the client’s customers are active on social media or the website (or both) will help you understand the platform you need to be focusing on. After all, your task requires you to improve their business so that they continue to appeal and engage with their customers.
6. How do you engage with your customers?
Or how are your customers communicating with you? Engagement methods vary from business to business. Is the potential customer currently using social media marketing, paid advertising, or email marketing to reach their target audience? What social media platforms are they currently focusing on? If the groundwork is already available, you need to identify their shortcomings and fine-tune it to improve conversions.
7. Do you have an upsell strategy?
The sales funnel of the company will help you understand where the business stands. But the ideal objective is to ensure that it continues to grow and acquires more customers. One of the simplest ways is to employ an upsell strategy. Depending upon the services and products that your digital marketing client offers, you can devise strategies or campaigns specific to their niche.
8. What are your goals for this project?
Be sure to ask the prospective client to clearly state what they expect you to do. By comprehending the client’s objectives, you can identify potential ways that they can improve the current business. Whether it’s promoting growth, developing brand image, or enhancing engagement, their goals will allow you to highlight the right metrics for this marketing campaign. In fact, you may also inquire what KPIs are tracking if any.
9. What is your budget?
There are multiple ways to improve the business. But it’s always the budget that becomes the limiting factor. You can offer a list of relevant services that fall within their budget by asking this critical question.
10. Is there a deadline or timeline when services need to be delivered?
Depending on the short and long-term goals of the business, you need to know how much time they are willing to offer you. This will help you plan out an effective strategy and the amount of resources you will need to onboard in order to create the desired results.
11. Have you tried any marketing solutions in the past?
If yes, you need to ask about what strategies were previously employed and what the outcome was. Moreover, you may want to inquire if they hired a digital agency for their marketing solution and why they are planning to change agencies.
12. How did you come to hear about my digital agency?
You are as important as your clients. Remember, you need to know where your customer streams are coming from so that you can work on these avenues and achieve further growth.
What happens next?
A prospective client is just as wary of hiring a digital agency as you are of taking them on. You need to assure them you understand their pain points and can provide the perfect solution to their problems.
Once your potential digital marketing client gives you the green signal, you need to arrange a follow-up meeting. This is your opportunity to use the answers from the initial consultation and create a tentative roadmap. Moreover, it’s time to introduce the client to the rest of your team members. A one-on-one interaction helps grow trust and lays the groundwork for a healthy long-term relationship.
Ready to get to work?
You’ve sealed the deal with the corporate handshake and successfully onboarded your next client. You and your team have worked long and hard to make a great sales pitch.
As a digital marketer, you know your business needs to take on new clients regularly in order to grow. But that means keeping all your clients happy. And second-guessing what they need will be fatal for your digital agency.
The above checklist makes it easier for you to align your efforts with your client’s requirements. After all, they expect you to deliver everything you promised.
I’ve listed only a dozen questions you can ask. They are not the only ones. If you have more suggestions than the ones listed above, please share them in the comments section below.