Check out in this post the importance of advertising service in a communication agency, what are its characteristics, what to take into account when hiring for this role and much more
Advertising service is the professional who bridges the gap between the agency and the client, playing an important role in the project’s success, regardless of the quality of the team’s deliveries. He is the one who guarantees that the agency will deliver its value proposition in line with the client’s objectives. What does an advertising service professional do? What are your strengths? What tools do you use? Where do you live? What do you feed on?
If you work for a marketing agency, you’ve probably heard one of the above questions. In this article, Blue World City will help you answer these and many other questions about the topic. At the end, you will also check out tooltips to increase the efficiency of these professionals’ routines.
What is the real importance of service within an agency?
Advertising service is the guardian that ensures that the agency delivers its value proposition aligned with the client’s objectives, in a way that the client perceives it. He can tip the balance between the success and failure of a client’s project within the agency, regardless of the quality of the team’s deliverables.
Therefore, it is essential to have a dedicated professional focused on customer service, especially in the marketing and advertising segment, where much of the deliveries and generated values are intangible.
But for this area to work as expected within the agency, it is essential that the advertising service professional has some characteristics, among which the following stand out:
Knowing how to listen carefully is a prerequisite for any self-respecting service. After all, what’s the point of knowing 250 different marketing solutions if you don’t understand what the customer’s real problem is?
Furthermore, it is only with very keen ears that we can identify the impact points of each client, whether they are more emotional or rational, and thus adapt the speech to a more appropriate language.
The customer will not always be able to explain well what he is wanting or what his reasons are (how that makes sense for the company’s objectives). When we talk about Digital Marketing, this is very common, especially in cases of high digital immaturity.
Then think to me: If the client’s demand was not clear, the briefing will not be good. Without a good briefing, the risk of misalignment between delivery and expectation is very high. So ask, ask, and ask! Confirm the obvious. Make sure everyone is speaking the same language. The agency’s team thanks (and the client too, of course)!
Asking questions is something that every service can learn from the sales sector, where this practice is already widespread.
Know how to translate
The client’s language is almost always very different from what is used within an agency, especially the technical terms. Therefore, it is essential that the service has this power of translation between the parties, being able to capture a customer demand – “I didn’t like this button on the site, it needs to be soberer” – and translate for the team in a task practice – “we need to round the corners of this button”. The higher the quality at this point, the fewer reworks will be needed.
Know the importance of selling your ideas well
Many brilliant campaigns are disapproved daily because the agency could not explain its proposal well and gave up on the idea due to the client’s objections. Knowing how to sell the idea is as important as the idea itself – the same goes for the agency’s deliveries. The “how to speak” is the heart of the matter. See that there is an abyss between simply saying “follow web store banner for approval” and “follow web store banner, we chose the Y image because it conveys our position, while the Z call connects directly with our main objective of the month. We are optimistic about increasing sales of the W product.” The banner delivered was the same, but the speech is what “guarantees” approval. Nothing like good storytelling, is there?
Understand different business models
Each company has its business model, with its peculiarities, strengths, weaknesses, etc.
The more the service knows and has references to business models, the better the value generated for customers will be. Consequently, the transmission of information to the internal part of the agency will be more fluid, making the delivery more assertive.
Knowing how the customer actually profits is very important because that way we can always speak the language he understands the most: the pocket language!
Have technical knowledge of marketing tools and possibilities
A service with technical knowledge, not necessarily operational, but with the possibilities of each tool, is capable of solving various customer demands in a way that is simple and effective, both for the operation and for the company.
For example, the greater the fulfillment of RD Station Marketing automation, the better will be your alignments with the customer regarding adjustments in strategy. In addition, there is no risk of staying in that tight skirt of promising something to the customer and only later discovering that it is technically unfeasible.
Characteristics to consider when hiring an advertising service
The hiring of any professional to the agency is always a challenge, since the impact of a bad hire can be even worse than the lack of a professional. This challenge is intensified even more when we need to bring someone to a position as strategic as that of advertising service.
Since he is the main figure, both before the client and representing him within the agency, it is important to consider some of this professional’s main traits. After all, this collaborator can be the key between contract renewal or not.
Important: There are several factors involved in hiring a professional, from the agency’s culture, the candidate’s profile, the expected skills, selection process techniques, etc. However, as this is not an HR article, the idea is to bring just a few insights to everyday life. Remember: Consult (and have within your agency, if possible) always an expert!
In addition to the characteristics mentioned in the previous topic, it is also necessary to evaluate:
- Ability to sidestep objections
- self-time management
- Logical reasoning for understanding and reporting
- Technical knowledge – the more you know, the more resources you will have to guide the production team and defend the agency’s deliverables to the client.
Points harmful to good advertising service
We talk a lot about the qualities that a good customer service professional should have. But it is also necessary to keep an eye on characteristics that can harm the routine in this area. Are they:
Not having empathy
Empathy, the power to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. The absence of this skill can nullify all the qualities listed in this article and compromise all the agency’s deliverables.
As a function where relationships predominate, the lack of empathy can generate many conflicts, both internal – with planners, designers, developers etc – and external – with customers and suppliers – which doesn’t help at all and can even lead to dismissals and lost contracts.
Not having a commitment to retaining the agency’s clients
“If it leaves, it leaves”. This is one of the worst phrases an advertising service can use. We know that not every customer is easy to deal with and build a proactive relationship. We also know that some types of customers demand a lot of services and require more attention than what is provided for in the contract.
However, customer retention is the main indicator, together with sales, which indicates growth or not of the business. As service is so strategic in this relationship, customer retention is also the main indicator of service performance, as it is directly related to the agency’s business objectives: revenue.
There are already branches in which services have a retention goal and are commissioned for this, which definitively solves this problem.
Being insecure to position yourself both within the agency and with the client
Accepting recurring excuses for the team’s delays and finding it normal, accepting any and all criticism made by the customer, with or without grounds, accepting the most bizarre requests from customers without even questioning the reasons and trying to make them understand that the idea is bizarre.
If any of the above happens, we have a great development point here. As in sales, authority in speech is crucial. Those who don’t pass on security usually don’t pass on trust.
Thinking it’s normal to serve customers via WhatsApp late at night and on weekends
The customer’s company has defined hours of operation. The agency too. So, it’s only fair that negotiations take place during business hours, except in cases of real urgency.
If your advertising service as a whole has become used to this practice of being practical “hostage” of the customer’s good will, letting them choose the channel, when, how, at what time and how long will you speak, I have bad news: The requests and schedules will only get worse every time you reply it on Sundays. And if this time is correctly measured, most likely the conclusion will be: “I spend more hours than the agency receives from this client”, in other words, loss.
Remember: The client hired the agency for certain deliveries, with the objective of achieving certain results, and not marketing assistance 24 hours a day. It just needs to be well-aligned in the beginning and reinforced when necessary.
Confuse happy customer with successful customer
It’s not because you have a beer or lunch with the client every now and then that everything is fine, after all, that’s not what he pays the agency for. We need to be very critical and clearly understand what this customer’s success is (usually sales) and ensure that our deliveries are always aimed at that goal. How many opportunities for the customer’s commercial were delivered in the last month? This is one of the healthy indicators you should look for.
Behaviors that must be charged to your advertising service
Regardless of the characteristics or qualities that your service has, there are behaviors that are expected from this function, such as:
Commitment to customer results
Clearly understand the goals agreed with the customer at the time of sale and genuinely seek the results together with the team, also understanding the customer’s perception of results (If he understands and values apples, it’s no use delivering oranges)
Commitment to the growth of the agency
Like any business, the agency also needs to make money and keep growing. A service that doesn’t have that look, that is concerned only with itself and with receiving the salary at the end of the month with the least effort, that celebrates when a “not-so-nice” client leaves the branch – can bring problems. However, this will only happen if the agency’s partners do not sell the idea well to their employees and fail to create a strong culture. It is a double way path;
Every person has flaws, right? And if companies are made by people, then they too have flaws – no matter what the size or investment of the organization. In this context, errors will happen on both sides, both from a misaligned delivery of the agency’s operation at some point and from the client’s side (who has never heard rudeness, rightly or wrongly?). It is up to the advertising service to take a deep breath, keep calm and maintain an atmosphere of harmony in the project, without taking it personally and continuing to be propositional – that is, proposing solutions that help improve results;
Translating it into day-to-day terms, an advertising service should never speak ill of the customer, much less before the operation team and even in the scenario of the greatest crisis between the parties. When that happens, the whole team “gets fired”, starts to work automatically with less pleasure for that client and the final delivery can only be worse.
Without a harmonious atmosphere between agency and client, everything goes slower. And the service is primarily responsible for creating and maintaining this propositional atmosphere between the parties.
Useful (and essential) tools of a good marketing agency service
Okay, now let’s get to practice. Below we share instruments that are fundamental in the routine of advertising service professionals:
If it’s official, it’s by email. It is essential for keeping records and formalizations, both for deliveries and approvals. You can use other channels to streamline demands, but never neglect and stop using email, it is also your insurance policy. Tool suggestions: Gmail and Outlook.
Appointment Management – Agenda
The service life is made up of meetings, appointments and different types of responsibilities. Having an organized schedule for both internal as external demands is essential. Suggested tools: Google Calendar, Outlook etc.
Video conferencing tools
You know that face-to-face meetings are out of fashion, right? And it’s expensive – time is money, my friend – for the customer too! Betting on videoconferencing can greatly optimize your agency’s time and resources. Tool suggestions: Hangout, Zoom, Whereby (all include free versions).
Agency Task Management Software
In some agency models, the service itself is responsible for uploading the tasks in the system and also acts as a kind of project manager, while in other models, there are both professionals and each one works with its more specific scope. Regardless of the model, it is the greatest ally of any advertising service, an indispensable consultation when the client asks for that adjustment 45 minutes of the second time. Tool Suggestions: iClips, Operand, Trello, RunRun.it.
The good old phone
The phone is still a great ally to resolve issues in 1-minute conversations instead of waiting for the customer’s willingness to answer the email or WhatsApp. We’re not going to stop the operation or cause an unnecessary redo for lack of detail, are we?
Cloud file storage and sharing tool
Does anyone still use their own server? It is important to streamline the exchange of files on a daily basis, both internally and with the client, after all, email tools have a file size limit for attachments, in addition to delaying receipt for the other party.
Having folders shared with the client in the cloud is an excellent way to streamline day-to-day processes, as well as allowing them to have access at any time to all deliveries made to the agency during the period. Tool Suggestions: Google Drive, Dropbox.
Extra tools to increase efficiency
If you work with Google’s email solution and use Chrome as your browser, there are numerous email extensions to improve efficiency. Below are some types:
– Read Confirmation: Classic but essential. No need for introductions. Suggestion: Mailtrack
– Scheduling the sending of e-mails: It makes day-to-day easier, for example, allowing you to schedule an e-mail to remind the client of the campaign approval deadline 48 hours in advance, schedule notices for the team on Monday morning etc. Suggestion: Boomerang for Gmail
Time Management Tool – Time Sheet
Do you know if you really work efficiently? Measuring time through a timesheet is also essential for the service, whether to find bottlenecks in the agency’s processes and have a greater information base for adjustments or to see a possible overload to the professional, an indication that the agency may need to increase the team.
Attention: No, this is not for checking if you are really working, but for how you are working. It is very useful for self-assessment of time.
Tip: Most agency task management software has this functionality. If not, use Toggl.
This article provided an overview of the advertising service professional, a crucial figure within an agency. But remember:
- There is no such thing as a perfect professional, there will always be strengths and also points of development.
- The agency’s processes (or lack thereof) will compromise the performance of any advertising service, no matter how good it is.
So, what do you think? Leave your opinion in the comments!