So you're finding the month-end reporting process too easy, huh? Well, let me introduce your agency to some great new ways to waste even more of your disposable time in the never ending quest to provide all of your clients with their monthly reports as late and creatively as possible. That way you look like you're working hard.
1. Reports are Your Last Priority
Of course! That's why you should only start working on them once clients threaten to hold payment. In fact, the best approach is to learn to send the report just before the threat comes in. That always works to diffuse the anger (because nobody likes an angry client).
Now if the client threatens to walk away, well, don't worry. You told them you're the only expert in town, and they could never possibly consider bringing this stuff in-house.
True story: I've heard of agencies that actually stopped reporting altogether, mostly because the girl who took care of it left the company (because, apparently, she was overly stimulated with all the Excel innovation opportunities she was given).
And when you get on the path of making clients wait for their reports, another side effect is that you start having less reports to do, because you have less clients to serve. Yeah! Pretty soon, it's retirement.
2. Get Everyone Involved
Yup, just like meetings, reporting is sooooo much better when everyone has something to do with it.
First, you have to get the interns to fetch the data. Everyone knows these young interns are experts at lesser tasks (as one of our own interns says, he is the Lesser Task Overlord). It makes them feel great to do loads of meaningless work that could probably be done by robots. Why is that? They're probably afraid robots could actually steal their jobs, so yeah, they're all about those lesser tasks. Bring it!
But interns are just one part of the equation. You always need a great copywriter to explain away discrepancies, why the reports took so long to get out, and why you still aren't working on those text ads and new landing pages you promised four months ago.
The role of the copywriter here is to create the illusion that writing new text ads is a long, intellectual exercise that only the elite can perform. And if it takes months, well then it just goes to show that the value is much higher.
Also, be sure to use them to notify your clients that you have to increase your fees yet again, because hiring all these interns is costly (but don't call them interns in front of your clients; the term "data analysts" is much more conducive to getting paid).
Next, throw in a great designer to lay out each client's report into an original design that is unique to each client, and unique to each report. Always create something new. That way, the clients will feel like you pay attention to detail.
Last in line is the analyst. You know, that evil geek who wants to do his own copy writing, and get a platform to replace some of the interns and eliminate the designer. Come to think of it, maybe you don't need an analyst. Just hire three more interns instead and increase your fees. (Yeah, use the copywriter for that again! See? More money!)
4. Use Your Clients Goals as an Exercise in Memory Development
An excellent way to develop your PPC mnemonic skills is by trying to memorize everything you ever said to all of your clients, and everything they say to you, including all their KPIs and business goals for the month. Make a song out of it.
Even better, try to visualize them -- imagine your client's face with a huge $55 CPA tattoo on their forehead. It works! And then, each time you need to start writing a report, use those skills to compare what you've achieved to what they expected.
Not only does this help develop your memory, but it's also a fantastic way to explain away discrepancies between what the client actually remembers ("this month we have to break even") and what you remember ("this month we have to spend three times more than the month before"). Blame it on the client's memory, and suggest that they practice a little more mnemonics themselves.
5. Calculators (and Mental Gymnastics) are Your Friend
Really! Keep on pulling out your trusty old calculator every month and punch in those formulas for all your calculated metrics. It's even better if you can do the math in your head.
Don't bother getting "organized" with any campaign management platforms (remember job solidarity?). Besides, you took accounting in high school. Calculators are always right, and they cost next to nothing. Maybe you should get a backup in case you spill coffee on your old TI.
P.S.: There are only four tips. Belated April Fool's!
Introducing SES Online
Want to view one of the sessions you missed or listen to an especially informative presenter a second time? SES New York sessions are available for purchase on ClickZ Academy's new e-Learning site. SES is now Online!