Agencies gain and lose clients all the time. Churn is a natural part of the business and as volatile as the weather. So you just received a new client in an industry that you are unfamiliar with. Where do you begin? How do you prepare for those initial conversations? How do you begin to sound like a subject matter expert? This blog post will provide initial strategies and methods for approaching this fact-finding period and prepare you for the rigors of marketing in a new industry.

Client preparation and strategizing session.

Leverage Your Agency Resources

First and foremost, reach out to your coworkers or other connections in digital marketing to pick their brain. Plenty of marketers across most channels have done work in a number of industries and have had a variety of clients. Finding experienced personnel will be the number one way to determine what has worked and what will work, even if they had that client in the past. Be ready to listen, their experience should dictate where that conversation goes and they will be able to keep you focused on the key areas of that industry.

Google partners with agencies and shares resources.

Next, utilize the agency relationships you have with the platforms you will be marketing on. Google and Facebook are the giants here and they offer a ton of resources to agencies since we are making them $$$. The resource I utilize most is vertical trend reports on a given industry. Companies like Google will do all the leg work and send you a pdf. slide deck that contains information on seasonality, CPC trends, device trends, category trends, and even monthly spend depending on the size of certain companies already advertising in the industry. These reports are treasure troves of information that can have you up to speed in no time.

Your Client’s Content

Another info-seeking practice that I like to perform is to gain access to the client’s Google Analytics account before I initially speak with them. This allows me to see how users act on their website and gives great insight to cross-reference with the industry reports that I just mentioned. Some common areas to focus on are demographic data, high bounce rate pages, pages visited the most, conversion paths,  and site speed. These insights will shape how you view a natural user progression on their website and should inform you of how these users may be different than the industry standards.

Using user behavior to understand an industry.

Outside of how the website performs and what the users are doing, we can look into the actual content provided on your client’s site. Original content in the form of blogs, white papers, articles, videos, and more can definitely be used in your digital strategy and will be some of the easiest content to receive from them since it already exists. This content can be leveraged to gain leads, fill the funnel, or generally educate audiences no matter what stage of the customer journey users are at. This content should also paint a picture of where your new client exists within their greater industry and portray where they think they exist.

Further touching on your new client’s content, a cool idea I learned from one of my Hanapin coworkers was to sign up for everything available on that new client’s website. Email lists, offers, new content blast, among others are a great way to stay in the know. The colleague that shared this with me has found promotions that the client did not share with them, then they were able to reach out to the client and see if this should be pushed. This strategy also applies to your client’s competitors. Get on their remarketing lists to see what kind of ads they serve. Get into their email lists to see if they offer different promotions or deals than the types your new client offers. Find anything that can even the playing field and gives you the competitive advantage right off the bat.

Industry Content

One of the last places to gain insights and understanding is within the new industry itself. This seems like a no-brainer but can unveil great high-level insights. The first place to look is any major industry publications whether that be general websites or industry magazines. Then I usually trickle down into the blogs and more opinionated pieces. While you search, be sure to think about your new client and how you can leverage these insights for both conversing with the client and incorporating them into your future strategy. Finding information on the industry as a whole and what executive level folks are discussing at this time will help you position yourself as a subject matter expert.

A few more nuanced pieces of industry content I like to look for exist in alerts and reviews. Starting with Google Alerts, this is a function within Google that will send you emails whenever news appears relating to the subject of your choice. This could be your client, competitors, or the industry as a whole and Google will deliver news pieces right to your inbox, eliminating your need to always be searching for this content. The other pieces are online reviews and opinions which can help you find both successes and pain points in the industry. Fully understanding the customer is crucial to whatever your new goals may be.

Never stop learning and researching within the client's industry.

Wrapping up, these strategies and methods are only a few out of the pool. Always continue to look for new ways to find information regarding your clients and understanding their industry. I hope some of these methods will fill your knowledge gaps and have you prepared for tackling any new market that you may enter. Please check out this awesome PPC Hero posting on Impactful Presentations if you are looking into how to present all of the information that you sought out and good luck on your journey!