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08/10/2018

We make it easy for our clients to leave us – here’s how and why

As counter-intuitive as it sounds, it’s true. We make sure that transition process for our clients, should they choose to continue their digital marketing efforts without us, is as easy as possible.

Of course, we’re not in the business of losing clients and we try to avoid losing them, but we see first-hand how damaging to business can be the change of its digital marketing partner.

Why exactly

About half of our clients have worked with somebody else before us (for others we’re their first partner in digital marketing) and so our cooperation starts with handing all the access to digital properties down to us from their previous agency, project managers, etc.

In some cases the previous marketing partner has created client’s digital assets in such a way that it is impossible to forward them to anyone else and that means that while we might be able to access those assets and even use them, there will always be this agency that will also have access to this data and this is bad because of several reasons:

  • We do not want our competitors to see how we set up, optimise and use digital assets – we have invested in our knowledge, tools and know-how and don’t want to give that away for free
  • Client’s business data will be accessible by this agency forever – even when if they start working with direct competitor of the (ex) client
  • Over years small tasks will have to be done by this ex agency – changes in profiles, user permission changes, etc

The purpose of all this is to make sure that we don’t put anyone in this position which can be compared to that of a drug addict. We always feel sorry for clients who have to put down unnecessary investments or lose part of business just to work with us (leave their previous agency), so we try to make sure that we don’t leave the same aftertaste if they decide to leave us. We see that as the civil thing to do and we practice what we preach.

Building on open and well known platforms

This is the one that comes with the biggest costs – websites that are built on obscure, self-made or inflexible CMS (Content Management System). Thing to note – developers are not too fond of going through code of a website that has been built by some one else. This can be compared to reading somebody else’s handwriting. You kinda usually can do it, but it’s always much easier to read Helvetica.

In theory you can take any website from the agency, move to a server you own or rent and find somebody who will take it from there. In reality, if the website isn’t super simple or built on wordpress or something similarly popular, it’s a hassle.

First, some websites are built on so specific engines, that finding a developer who knows how to work on it is nearly impossible. This is most often true with very old websites. And even if you’re lucky to find such developer, the lack of competition may mean that it will be quite expensive or quality may be lacking.

Second, some agencies have built their own CMS that they build their client’s website’s on. This is the case we compare to putting a client on a needle. In a lot of cases this means that to actually continue business after leaving the partner who built this page means rebuilding the website from zero.

Last, there are also the kind of well-known, but not very flexible options – Shopify, Squarespace and others. They can save a buck in the short term, but at one point most businesses understand that they just don’t cut it and have to move to something else that offers more freedom and flexibility.

We don’t build websites, but always when we’re part of a project where we have to give input on CMS choices, we suggest and go with wordpress. This website is also built on wordpress and while ours is quite simple, the possibilities are almost limitless, plus – you can always find a developer who will be able to help with changes/updates and we can be pretty sure that it won’t go anywhere for at least next ten years, so support and everything will be there.

Sure, wordpress has it’s problems and issues, but nothing that can’t be dealt with and compared to upsides, it’s nothing.

Creating new and separate analytics/marketing assets for each client

There still are agencies which run Facebook ad campaigns for all of their clients through the same Facebook ad account. While this doesn’t affect how campaigns are performing, this creates a couple of problems:

  • Client can’t get access to data of these campaigns directly (agency just can’t give it since the same account contains data of all of their other clients)
  • Client can’t take this data to the next partner to give valuable insights and comparable metrics
  • Since each account usually has only one Facebook pixel, the aggregated marketing data within pixel is lost when changing agency

The same goes for various Google Analytics and other tool set-up that are used to collect data. If no separate properties are created with every new client, then it can be and usually is cumbersome to move the data.

And not being able to move data and other information can cost quite a lot. We have seen this first-hand.

That’s what we do. Every client has separate accounts on all the platforms so if they need to they can access, share and move all the data anywhere they wish to.

Play nice

Google’s motto for years was “Don’t  be evil”. Ours might be somewhere between “Play nice” and “Fair trade”. Doing the right thing by the client should be the way to approach every task. Even if it means that somebody isn’t going to make that extra dollar. Playing fair pays back in the long term.