If you could somehow gather dozens and dozens of executives, CEOs, and other business decision-makers into a room together and ask them how important Internet marketing is to a company, the answers you get would likely range somewhere between “very” and “extremely.”
That’s no surprise – nearly every organization uses the web to find customers of one sort or another. But, if you were to ask the same hypothetical group how much they’ve learned about Internet marketing from the companies that they’re paying small fortunes to, a blank stare might be the only answer you receive.
Internet marketing companies simply aren’t doing a great job of teaching customers about what they do. In fact, a fairly large percentage of clients aren’t always entirely sure what they’re paying for, much less understand the processes involved.
That’s simply not good enough. Online marketing might be somewhat complicated, and it’s always changing, but the basics are relatively simple. Marketers shouldn’t only be teaching their clients about the process because it isn’t complicated, but also because it should be extraordinarily important – to both parties.
Before we get to that, let’s look at the most common reasons that many Internet marketing firms wouldn’t bother to teach their clients anything about the work that’s being done:
- They might be afraid the client won’t see their value, and the marketing company will be let go or replaced.
- They could be worried that the client will learn about Internet marketing and decide to handle it in-house.
- They don’t want to give away company secrets, especially if they’ve worked hard to come up with them.
All good reasons. But, we firmly believe that, in addition to helping our clients grow, it’s our job to educate our clients about the fundamentals of search engine optimization, social media, and more. Although this certainly takes more time, both ours and theirs, we think it adds a lot more value on both ends.
For example, when our clients are educated about what we are doing, they can:
Give more input and ask more questions.
Often, the hardest part of our jobs is determining where the client’s real strengths are, what kinds of customers they want to track, and where opportunities lie in the market. The more they understand about Internet marketing, the easier it is for them to nudge us in the right direction.
Help us to streamline the process of getting the results they need.
Along the same lines, there are times when what the client really needs isn’t obvious to us, coming from an outside marketing perspective. By showing us the results and metrics they’d like to see improved, they make it easier for all parties to work on the same page.
Complete some activities without the help of our Internet marketing team.
Although you might be tempted to think that we would like to rack up lots of billable hours for doing small tasks that could be performed in-house, the reality is that clients who can handle routine activities are able to trust us with bigger initiatives.
Feel more confident in every action and campaign.
This is an important one. When clients truly understand the Internet marketing process, and the role we perform within it, they can make smart investment decisions and feel confident about them, while helping set the tone for future campaigns.
In other words, by educating or empowering our clients, we aren’t just helping them, we are opening the door to smoother workflows at the same time. Because we know that what we do has a lot of value, we don’t have to worry that they aren’t going to keep using us, or are going to take what we’ve taught them and spread it elsewhere. There just isn’t an incentive for them to do so, and most of our competitors aren’t willing to go to the level of detail that we are, anyway.
Getting great Internet marketing advice, expertise, and execution is a great start. But, if you and your employees aren’t learning in the process, then you aren’t getting as much value as you could be.
Isn’t it time your team learned more?