Quarterly performance reviews give clients the business-relevant information they want and a level of frequency that enables timely optimization, without overwhelming them.
Many companies wait for annual planning activities to undertake a full "business review" or assessment of the current landscape and existing program/tactical performance. It is based on this once annual process that the plan for the current year gets assessed and the plan for the next year gets built.
Other companies are overwhelmed by data, receiving frequent monthly, weekly, or even daily reports on performance from their agency partners, but not knowing what to do with it or what it all means. And since these reports cover shorter periods of time, clients and their agencies tend to be less inclined to make decisions that impact marketing mix allocations (e.g., kill or continue?): "Well, it's only been a few weeks…"
How Often and How Much Information?
Our agency has found that quarterly performance reviews, or "deep dives" as we call them, are the happy medium - it gives our clients the business-relevant information they want, a level of frequency that enables timely optimization, yet doesn't overwhelm them or take up too much of their time.
While of course we do not discourage frequent, deep data analyses and optimization on the part of the agency, the average client doesn't need or want to be exposed to the complex machinery that often lies just beneath the surface. The fact that your agency has been doing daily optimizations of your paid search campaign is worthy of mention, but the specifics around what was actually done may be too much information. You should mine all the data you need to optimize your campaigns appropriately, but you need to be more selective about what you show your client.
The goal is to give them just a peek under the hood, in a way that makes it relevant to them and their business.
What Should the Review Consist of?
When undertaking a digital quarterly review or deep dive, it is ideal to look beyond your client's own performance data and at the broader ecosystem. A holistic business assessment will ensure that decisions are not made based on a single data point, but based on a combination of insights.
Using a funnel approach often makes sense, starting from the very broad (their industry vertical) to the narrow (their own brand(s)):
Whatever information/data you intend to include in your quarterly review, adopting this practice will go a long way in demonstrating a strong understanding of your client's business, as well as set you up for success for future efforts.
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Julie is a member of the senior strategy team at Klick Health, focused on online media and digital. Julie initially established and led the media practice at Klick for several years, relinquishing leadership to expand beyond media into additional digital tactics. She brings a wealth of experience in search marketing, digital media, and all facets of digital strategy to bear, helping Klick's clients develop innovative digital solutions. As her role has evolved, so have her contributions to ClickZ, which she has been writing for since 2007.
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August 21, 2014