Our digital marketing strategy process is quite intrusive, uncomfortably so in some cases. On that point, I was recently asked how we handle our clients’ sensitive information given that we work in such a paranoid industry [his words not mine].
It’s a fair question that I’ve come to expect to answer at the outset of any engagement with a new client. In truth, on occasion, we’ll sign an NDA [non-disclosure agreements] or similar confidentiality agreement – principally because if it makes the client feel more comfortable with the process then that’s what we’ll do.
But that’s where we stop making you feel comfortable and start making you feel more uncomfortable.
You see, we like to get into the meat early on. We want to hear your marketing challenges. We want to hear the views of all those involved. We like to ask “why?” especially if we hear ‘gut feel’ responses eg.
Them – ‘It’s true because that’s what happens’
Us – ‘How do you know for sure?’
Them – long pause – ‘I just do’.
We aim to raise objections early on and overcome the potential road-blocks before they get in the way of progress. For instance, if there is no evidence for a state there is room for further research and then improvement.
We like to understand what better might look and feel like in the minds of our clients and also what impact that will have on their businesses. We like to find out if they are ready to handle being better!
This first stage of our process is all about you, your team, your business and your products and services. And you need to be willing to help us learn about your business and that’s likely going to make you (or more likely your team) feel uncomfortable at first. Questions from strangers can be unsettling. I understand that.
You’ll need to be honest with us. You’ll want to show us where you’re winning now and how good your business and products are. We don’t want to know that. That will be obvious.
No, we want to know where you might NOT be winning right now. You’ll need to prepare your team to be shown where you’re not winning and where we need to improve in order to redress the balance.
Our questions may make you, your team, the old guard, the new go-getters feel uncomfortable.
This is good; here are 5 good reasons why:
- Uncomfortable questions make you… think.
- Uncomfortable questions seek out honest answers
- Honest answers highlight vulnerabilities
- Vulnerabilities are opportunities to strengthen
- Well articulated opportunities build strong strategies
Uncomfortable questions build powerful strategic plans that help you win more often.
What good consultants do is ask good questions and then LISTEN. The questions are likely to make you feel slightly uncomfortable, or protective of your information.
Our job is to benchmark and audit and then recommend digital marketing strategies to improve your current condition. If you’re not prepared to let us in, don’t expect to get much out.