By maximizing the service you receive from your technology vendor, marketers rightly magnify the value of the investment being placed in them. The below tips will give marketers the confidence to get the most from their working relationship:
Partner with them -Most of the people who work at technology companies come from a hands-on digital background, making them ideal in terms of being an extra branch of resource for supporting your team. With them comes expert knowledge of the industry and of the technology’s tool, meaning they will have insight into how the tool can best achieve your goals and it is up to the marketer to leverage that knowledge. Marketers should insist on quarterly updates to go over the account and learn how to maximize performance using the tool. Ideally, monthly meetings are a great time to catch up on queries/new releases of the tool and ensure that you are kept up to date with developments with time assigned specifically for focusing on the accounts and the tool that you are running the accounts through.
Maximize all of the tools in the platform – Not just the shiny ones. Yes, there is always one big feature that really sells the technology to you, which is normally the algorithm-led optimization tool in IgnitionOne’s case. But there are also a lot of other tools that yield shiny results by saving the team time and effort in day-to-day campaign management. Bulk changes, scheduled reports and advanced filters have all been designed to increase efficiency while decreasing the effort you have to put in. The efficiency these features provide allows you to focus on the things you lack time for, like overall strategy testing and bigger picture optimization. The tools will also come in handy with the restructuring of accounts in preparation for Google’s Enhanced Campaigns.
Get Training – Make sure you are trained on how to use the tool. Make the most of these sessions with your vendor by asking questions, making sure you understand how to manage and optimize campaigns with the platform. Not only will it help with efficiency, but mastery of a technology platform is a great addition to your CV skill set. If your technology provider has uncapped training hours then maximize on that and have as much training as you need until you 100% understand all aspects of the tool to ensure you are getting optimal value. Undergo refresher training at least once every six months. If there have been new features added to the tool, ensure you understand them. If your technology vendor doesn’t set a training session, you should feel comfortable requesting this.
Communication – Are you unhappy with the tool? Tell the vendor. Often, frustration stems from lack of knowledge, so presenting a problem means you can work towards a solution. If the problem is not lack of knowledge, then tell them that. Proprietary technology means any issues can be easily fixed and worked through with a positive end result. Chances are, if you’re having an issue then other clients will be too, so you’re doing the vendor a favor by providing constructive feedback. Clear, honest and open dialogue is important in any industry – it ensures your voice is heard and will lead to improvements. Though it’s important to bear in mind that these requests typically won’t be solved over night, so have realistic expectations. If you are still not getting what you need or feedback after lengthy discussions, then walk. Equally, if you are happy with the tool then tell your vendor, so they can continue doing what they are doing without switching processes on you.
Make sure your provider has Cross-Channel Capabilities–Managing all media channels in one place, attributing and de-duping against one another is a powerful feature. There is no need for straining resources with error laden and timely data crunching if you have a technology provider with an inbuilt attribution system that will do all of this for you in real-time. You can then have the insight into how your channels interact and perform together allowing you to make informed decisions to effectively manage the budget across channels.
By following the above tips, marketers will not only grow their own technical skill set and knowledge, but also garner better results for clients and ensure maximum potential is being reached with media spend.