While managing a team of pay-per-click analysts, I grew very skeptical of silence.
When I analyzed why we lost clients, I often noticed that clients went silent for a period of time before they left. The conversations with analysts that made me most nervous typically went:
Me: “How’s it going with Client X?”
Analyst: “Great. Numbers look good.”
Me: “Talked to them lately?”
Analyst: “Been a while.”
In the span of “a while,” we may have sent a client two or three reports. Whether results were amazing or poor, not hearing back from the client was always a cause for concern.
Don’t assume a silent stakeholder is a happy stakeholder
In the marketer/stakeholder relationship, it is the marketer’s burden to improve upon silence.
I learned this the hard way as a young analyst. I lost clients who I thought were happy. Turns out, they were silently unhappy.
My boss at the time told me my goal as a marketer was to make sure my stakeholders could answer two questions about me at all times:
- What have you done for me lately?
- What are you doing next?
If you have a silent stakeholder, do you know how they would answer these questions if asked?
If your client has been noticeably unresponsive, you have work to do.
Create communication that gets a response
As a marketer, the only way to know if you’ve broken the silence is if you hear from a client after reaching out.
Anyone can email a report to a client month-after-month. But, can you generate a report and analysis compelling enough to consistently generate a response from your stakeholder?
Great communication from a marketer elicits feedback from those receiving the message. Engaged stakeholders will ask better questions, respond more positively to new ideas, and feed you useful information to improve advertising campaigns along the way.
Have you heard anything from your stakeholders lately? If your stakeholders are clients, better make sure they don’t already have one foot out the door.