A long time ago search marketing was mainly a vehicle for small
businesses to compete with the big boys. For the many Fortune 500
companies that now outsource at least some sort of search marketing,
presenting results whether it's through analytics, lead generation, or
sales can be tricky yet still highly effective.
When working with smaller clients, often the company's one or two contacts are also the decision makers. You can build a relationship with them, recommendations made are often implemented quicker, and you can present results directly to them.
For Fortune companies, it can be a different story. They have more processes, contacts are often marketing directors or managers and they need to prove results to their respective bosses who ultimately approve the budgets. It's important to show value to both.
One thing in common these groups have is they are smart and know how to delegate niches such as search marketing. Sometimes the difference is the amount of info they need.
Presenting or showing results in Excel is pretty common and a good example. They're both easily imported from different analytics and pay-per-click campaigns.
Excel is obviously powerful, but the complexities can be overwhelming for anyone looking at a specialized report for the first time. The nice part is the ability to take a complex spreadsheet and create very easy-to-read charts with trend lines from them. Including charts like these within a Word document can provide the trusted information that large company decision-makers seek.
Again, these large company decision-makers are smart. They don't always want the details as they have other things on their plate. They want to see results and delegate as needed.
This isn't to discount the complex spreadsheets. They can (and should) be presented as well and can serve as incredible tools for marketing managers and directors who want to dig into them and ask questions, and they do. They deserve that opportunity.
Communication is very important as well. Having the ability to physically present documents and results is preferable, although not always possible.
In whichever format, providing both easy-to-read and complex reporting results can only be beneficial. It provides clients the information they need plus the ability to definitively measure success.
March 20, 2008
Paul Jahn is the owner of Localmn Interactive Marketing, a Minnesota-based Internet marketing company. Localmn focuses on helping local companies large and small leverage the most out of their search marketing campaigns depending on their respective needs, including SEO, PPC, local search, and social media campaigns. Paul also runs and contributes to the Localmn local search blog.
With over ten years of Internet marketing experience, Paul has particular expertise in search marketing, with extensive knowledge of local search.