Have you found yourself scrambling during a client meeting? Dealing with an unexpected performance question or new promotion that the client has sprung on your team last minute? Or perhaps participating in an old-fashioned game of conference line awkwardness? Meetings should feel productive and move your team forward together. Meetings should never be draining or distracting and the right PPC topics must be discussed to keep your relationship moving forward toward a common goal.

The bedrock of a good meeting is a well-made agenda that is sent well in advance of the call – ideally, the day before the meeting so all parties have a moment to review or add their own suggested talking points. Below are some pointers on crafting an actionable digital marketing meeting agenda with 2 templates you can use for your own future meetings.

Why are agendas so vital to the success of a meeting?

There are several reasons why:

1) Agendas set expectations of how the time will be spent, who will be participating, and what topics will be covered.

2) Agendas reduce distractions & eliminate offshoot, “bunny trail” conversations

3) A well-constructed agenda allows your client to be feel heard

4) Agendas can serve as a track record of what work has been done in the account

  • If you are sending your agendas through workflow automation software like Basecamp or Asana – all the better! You will have a running log of all topics discussed and decisions made. Sending agendas through email is fine, but it makes tracking past conversations a pain.

5) Agendas allow all parties to leave their meetings full of confidence and assured of what next steps will be taken and what actions are needed.

With that said – what makes a good agenda? Hanapin requires all client meeting to have a few key elements specific to the needs of digital marketers:

1. Get housekeeping out of the way first

Housekeeping items could include:

  • Set a specific meeting length upfront, in case you have a hard stop and need to limit the length of the meeting
  • Discuss any team member absences, additions, upcoming holidays that could interrupt workflow, etc.
  • If future meeting times need to be adjusted, QBRs scheduled, or additional teams need to be looped in on specific meeting types such as a creative review, Facebook ads audit, touch-base with sales regarding contracts, etc. – Make those changes and send the calendar invites while all parties are still on the call, if possible! Coordinating meeting invites is difficult and time-consuming to do through email, so take advantage of real-time conversation to get future meeting prep out of the way.  

2. Avoid surprises: Give the client a “what’s new?” bullet point

  • This bullet point of the agenda can be as simple as: “Client Company / Industry Updates”
  • Verbally follow up with the client to see if there is anything pressing on their mind lately. Do they have new promos coming up? Is their content team rolling out a new project? Are videos being produced? Are budget conversations happening internally? Give the client time to dish about what’s happening in their industry. This step vital to agencies who can at times feel disconnected to their client’s industry. As a trusted partner, you should know exactly as much about the goings-on in their industry as the client does. It will always affect your marketing strategy!

3. Include monthly or quarterly budget projections

  • Touch base on how budgets are projected to spend.
  • This avoids any nasty conversations down the road about budget allocation. It can also feed into the performance conversation if you’re seeing certain opportunities to better spend budget toward KPI rockstar campaigns or channels.

4. Keep the performance updates section simple, and elaborate through conversation or hyperlinked reports / screenshots

Strategies, audiences, targeting, campaigns… performance updates can get overly complicated quickly. In a hard-hitting agenda, performance updates can be broken down into 3 parts:

1) What is performing well:

  • Are there tests that are meeting or exceeding goal KPIs?
  • Come to the meeting with a recommendation on how to take advantage of key wins, whether by shifting budgets, expanding targeting more in the direction of the positive growth, or expanding a minor test.

2) What is performing poorly:

  • What is causing the lag in performance?
  • What can we do about these sore points and what is the ETA on these actions? 

3) Next steps:

  • Actions to be taken with details on who will do them
  • Every action should always be tied to a date – a deadline at which time the client can expect the work completed, or a date upon which your team can expect feedback or assets from the client. Remember – ETAs are not just for you! They are to be applied to every project, regardless of who is in charge of the forward momentum.

5. A few agenda-shaping bites of wisdom for digital marketers:

  • Include conference details such as a screen share link, phone number, and pin, so the client doesn’t need to dig through the calendar invite for this information.
  • No one likes a bulky agenda!
    • Instead of pasting paragraphs of info about a recent audit or project along with bulky attachments, either reference other emails about the project or use hyperlinks in the agenda so that all parties can easily access project threads in Basecamp or Asana, Google docs, and sheets, etc. This will keep agendas clutter-free and to the point.
  • Make sure the meeting date is included in the subject of the email or message
    • This makes looking back at old agendas much easier when you’re interested in certain historic moments in your agency-client relationship. 
    • This goes for reports or audit docs too – indicate when the report was completed and the time period of the data that was pulled for the review.
  • Use “we” language instead of “I will get this report to you by Friday”. If you have other team members committing to work on the account, this acknowledges their participation and instills confidence in the team. After all, the agency is a team and the agency-client relationship is a team as well! No one is doing work alone, here. The same goes for calling out specific team members unless you want to prep the client to get an email from a specific team member.

Meeting Agenda Templates:

Example 1: Brief Version

Good Afternoon, Please find the weekly performance report attached.[The 90-day-roadmap & status document is located at this hyperlink.]

We look forward to speaking with you tomorrow at 3:30 pm EST.

Meeting Agenda

  • Company / Industry Updates
  • Budget Pacing
  • Performance Updates:
    • Google Ads top performers / trouble spots & next steps
    • Facebook Ads top performers / trouble spots & next steps
  • Action Items:
    • Ad Extensions (ETA Date)
    • X Review (ETA Date)
    • Promo Launch (ETA Date)

Example 2: Detailed Version

Subject: X Client / Agency Name Digital Marketing Meeting Agenda – November 13, 2019

Good Morning Client Name & Team,

Below is the link to the status doc and agenda for our meeting tomorrow at 11am EST. Please let us know if you would like to add any extra points to our discussion. We look forward to our call tomorrow! Conference info: Google Hangout Link for screen share
Pin: ?XXXXXXXX# [Status Doc Link]

November 13, 2019 Meeting Agenda:

1. Housekeeping

  • Google Display Audit is complete: Schedule a time to review.
  • Note: We will not have our meeting the week of Thanksgiving (November 27th)

2. Client Company/ Industry Updates

3. November 1-12th MTD Budget Pacing & Performance Overview

  • Google Search: $X | X Conversions | CPA: $X – Running on target of ideal budget pace (we are increasing X campaign spend to close the gap due to high quality, low CPL.)
    • Branded search: $X | X Conversions  | CPA: $X
    • Non-Brand search: $X | X Conversions | CPA: $X
  • Google Display: $X | X Conversions | CPA: $X – Running % over ideal budget pace
  • Facebook/Instagram Ads: $X | X Conversions | CPA: $X – Running % under ideal budget pace

4. Review Weekly Performance

[Link to Weekly Report]

  • Top Performers:
    • Brief notes on performance – what’s doing well, how to take advantage of these opportunities.
  • Trouble Spots:
    • What is not working, and what we can do to improve. [Hyperlink to report wherein we investigated poor performers – to screen share and discuss during the meeting.]

5. Next Steps – Action Items & ETAs

  • Client:
    • We await X review and approval before launching Y campaign. ETA: November 15
  • Agency:
    • Completed recently: Non-Branded cuts completed Nov. 11-12th
    • X ad groups will launch on Monday, November 18th
    • Creation of new budget pacing sheet – ETA: Nov. 18th.
    • Google Local Ads refinement / expansion – Nov. 25
    • Search query review to be completed Nov. 27

You will naturally discover through getting to know your client what kind of agenda they prefer – whether they need lots of details or just a brief outline of discussion. Make sure to keep it simple, actionable, predictable. Agendas should never feel time-consuming but they work well to direct conversation and set priorities of work as you establish a digital marketing relationship with your clients as a trusted agency.

Also – don’t forget to send a brief meeting follow up with next steps after your meetings! This can be as simple as letting the client know that you’ve added next steps and ETAs to their status doc, or it could be in the form of a laundry list of next actions on the account. This will set everyone at ease and establish expectations from week to week.