How to use analytics to convince potential clients that they need your help
Analytics are a vital tool for establishing which marketing strategies are successful and which are proving to be a drain on resources. However they can be overwhelming to the untrained eye, which provides the perfect opportunity for you, if you work in business development for an agency, to offer your services and expertise to potential clients.
Using analytics enables you to identify issues and shortcomings in their current strategy and recommend solutions, supported by data.
Your initial step must be to establish their existing level of knowledge. It’s essential that you clarify whether they are a novice, or they are just looking for the input of an expert, and whether the use of jargon is appropriate. Making this differentiation early on will not only save you time in your explanation, it will also prevent you inadvertently patronising or over-simplifying to someone that is actually pretty clued up.
Key into their objectives
It is important that you clarify their company , and for the majority of businesses this will fall across either sales, enquiries or leads. It is vital that you make the correlation between the analytics and their commercial objectives clear. You have to emphasise the relevance of the statistics in order for your recommendations to come across as sincere and not appear 'salesy'
You should also tread carefully when it comes to the negative aspects of their current campaign results. It is important that you note its shortcomings in order for them to see that they require your help, but you shouldn’t completely dismiss it. They may have set the campaign up themselves, so it is important that you do not offend their hard work or appear condescending.
The best way to approach this is to acknowledge their success so far, but then focus on the improvements that could be made and how you can help their business progress in the future.
The best things in life are free
The best way to assist potential clients with analytics whilst demonstrating your services is to provide them with something of value for free. For example you could offer them a free one hour analytics bootcamp, to guide them through the statistics and show them exactly what they should be looking out for.
Run a bootcamp
At Zeta we regularly spend time helping our clients to understand analytics and how they can use them to improve their business.
For example one of our clients, a website owner, wanted to see the effectiveness of his marketing campaigns and how many conversions they were bringing. We spent time guiding him through the finer points of analytics so he could see for himself the conversion rate for specific marketing campaigns.
We then created some custom dashboards to show him the data he needed in a quick and easy format, which he still uses to this day. This empowered the client to use the analytics to decide for himself where he wanted to take his business next, and what he needed from us.
It may seem counter intuitive to hand out advice and donate your time for free, but by providing them with practical knowledge, you are demonstrating exactly what your business can do for them. It is also a great way to build long-lasting relationships with potential clients, who will be more inclined to do business with you in the future.
Create a tool
At Zeta we created a free tool that potential customers could use to decipher their ecommerce analytics. We found that a lot of our clients, were unsure how to well their website was performing on mobile and tablet devices compared with desktop. Isomer Analytics is a free tool that provides a quick and easy way to view and compare your ecommerce conversion rates for mobile and tablet devices.
Source: Isomer Analytics
We created this tool with intention of showing business owners the importance of optimising a website for tablet and mobile devices.
Isomer Analytics gives business owners vital information about their site without needing Google Analytics knowledge. It also makes it easier for us to explain the need for changes and illustrate how those changes could improve their potential sales.
Offer clients real value
If you aren’t in the position to be able to donate a chunk of your time or create a free tool of your own, there are lots of other ways you can provide them with that free incentive;
Having a report template ready, enables you to quickly fill in specific details and easily create a comprehensive report on the successes and shortfalls of individual websites. This not only provides the client with a document to refer back to, it is also an opportunity for you to demonstrate the services your company has to offer and why they need your help.
There are a whole host of free tools out there for every aspect of analytics, from user behaviour, to traffic sources. Isomer Analytics, Clicky, and Piwik are just a small sample of the many tools available to make yours, and your clients lives easier. Using a tailored tool makes it simpler for clients to see the exact analytical results that they need, quickly and easily, without either of you having to pay out.
I know what you’re thinking, ;why would I pay for a tool when there are so many great ones out there that are free?' It’s a good point, but the simple answer is that paid tools often have something to offer that free tools can’t quite meet. Paid tools such as DashThis, ClicData, and TapAnalytics, offer a custom experience that enables you to create a high quality report that stand out from standard analytics.
Dashboards are a great way of tailoring analytics so that you can see the results of specific strategies, such as social media and content marketing. By selecting which dashboards are relevant to your clients, you can import them into their analytics account for them.
A 'jargon buster' is a helpful resource that is relatively quick and easy to compile. The main upside of this kind of resource is that it requires very little upkeep and is relevant to all analytic users. The more the client understands the more likely it is that they will see the need for improvements in their own strategy.
Woo new clients with analytics
Analytics are a great way to win over new business, with relatively little effort. It provides you the opportunity to demonstrate your company’s skills, and enables you to show them exactly why they need your services. By establishing the clients pre-existing understanding of analytics you can save yourself crucial time and prevent over-explanation. It is vital to remember that although it is important to point out the shortcomings of their existing strategy, you need to avoid causing offence to the result of their hard work.
Analytics protect you by providing a solid account of what is working and what isn’t. Once you have used analytics to win them over, it’s down to you to showcase exactly what your business can do for them.