In this episode of In-Ear Insights, the Trust Insights podcast, Katie and Chris talk to fellow agency owner and marketing superstar Mitch Joel. Mitch dishes on what agencies should be doing to retain clients, keep business, and move forward during a global crisis. You’ll learn some of his favorite tips, how to think about your customer base, and the one thing you should absolutely NOT do right now.
Subscribe To This Show!
If you're not already subscribed to In-Ear Insights, get set up now!
- In-Ear Insights on Apple Podcasts
- In-Ear Insights on Google Podcasts
- In-Ear Insights on all other podcasting software
Advertisement: Data Science 101 for Marketers
Do you want to understand data science better as a marketer? Would you like to learn whether it’s the right choice for your career? Do you need to know how to manage data science employees and vendors? Take the Data Science 101 workshop from Trust Insights.
In this 90-minute on-demand workshop, learn what data science is, why it matters to marketers, and how to embark on your marketing data science journey. You’ll learn:
- How to build a KPI map
- How to analyze and explore Google Analytics data
- How to construct a valid hypothesis
- Basics of centrality, distribution, regression, and clustering
- Essential soft skills
- How to hire data science professionals or agencies
The course comes with the video, audio recording, PDF of the slides, automated transcript, example KPI map, and sample workbook with data.
Sponsor This Show!Are you struggling to reach the right audiences? Trust Insights offers sponsorships in our newsletters, podcasts, and media properties to help your brand be seen and heard by the right people. Our media properties reach almost 100,000 people every week, from the In Ear Insights podcast to the Almost Timely and In the Headlights newsletters. Reach out to us today to learn more.
Watch the video here:
Listen to the audio here:
- Need help with your company’s data and analytics? Let us know!
- Join our free Slack group for marketers interested in analytics!
What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for listening to the episode.
Christopher Penn 0:02
This is In-Ear Insights the Trust Insights podcast. This episode of In-Ear Insights is brought to you by spin sucks. If you work in communications or public relations you’ve heard of the peso media model paid, earned, shared owned, pioneered by Gini Dietrich at a team at spin sucks. take the next step and level up your career by earning a professional PESO model certification from Spin sucks at Syracuse University, and an eight week online course you’ll learn PESO model strategy, effective use of all four media types, how peso forms the foundation of your overall communication strategy, and how to tie communications to business impacts like lead generation and overall business goals. When you complete the course, you’ll earn an accredited certificate from Syracuse University’s si Newhouse School of Public communications, a powerful tool for setting yourself apart and above in the job market. Learn more about the certification today at Trust insights.ai slash pay so that’s Trust insights.ai slash p e. s o In this special episode of In-Ear Insights, we’re doing a series talking about customer and client retention with some of the most successful agency owners we know. Today’s guest is our friend and colleague Mitch Joel, founder of six pixels group, Mitch spent close to two decades building, running and selling his agency WP P. Mitch is also an internationally noted keynote speaker podcast host of the award winning six pixels of separation and best selling author. So welcome, Mitch, to kick things off. Let’s talk a bit about your experience with plant services. Katie, you want to set the table?
Katie Robbert 1:32
Yeah, so the reason we’re having this conversation is you know, there’s a lot of things going on right now obviously, a global pandemic and it makes companies hesitant to purchase new things, they start cutting budgets, and a lot of times the first thing to go is any sort of agency that they’re working with because it’s easier than cutting headcount, you know, for example, and so, you know, Chris and I are at Trust Insights, we are a client services type of consultancy and Mitch, obviously You’ve spent a long time working in Client Services. So we want to get your perspective on, you know, not only how to do client retention during times of crisis, but just some general tips. And you know, for people who are looking to do more Client Services, so let’s just start. So Chris mentioned you spent over two decades, but how long have you been doing or how long did you actually do? Specifically client services?
Mitch Joel 2:25
Yeah, it’s a great question. I mean, as the agency grew, and it grew, you know, quite significantly at the beginning, we had one office here in Montreal, where I lived, we added on Toronto. Then when we were purchased by WP p we became this agency called mirim, which eventually are still is about 30 different offices with close to 3000 people. I don’t think you ever really stopped doing Client Services, especially when you’re I was the president. You don’t really stop because you’re maintaining all of the senior relationships, you’re doing a ton of bizdev and even when You have your client services team doing, you know, your account executive, your account managers, your coordinators, which is sort of the day in and day out, you’re still is my role was still very much like where’s the client at what’s happening and whether or not I was selling them things like keynote speeches for events they were doing or checking in, or, more often than not, you’re sort of dealing with the more complex situations, which is usually the problems, right, that’s all the problems get elevated to you. So I don’t know that I ever left. It’s definitely a situation where in the early days until we had a client services team, you know, you’re sort of all doing everything. But again, I kind of felt like that was my job day in and day out being somewhat of the evangelist somewhat of the thought leader somewhat of the face of the company. People want to see me spend time with me, you know, towards the end, it was definitely more of a let’s trot the Mitch out when needed type of thing. But I was still quite busy on the speaking circuit, and just sort of offices coffees lunches. And again dealing with a lot of phone calls and meetings around issues around everything. It could be contractual, it could be project based. So you’re sort of in it. Unlike my other business partners, some of them were more on the sort of creative technical side, one of them was more of a sort of operations, finance. So as myself in the CEO that were, we were in the in it for quite a while, when you
Christopher Penn 4:24
so you obviously doing for two decades. So you went through the Great Recession? When you were in the Great Recession? Did you find that more of your time was spent on account defense and trying to, you know, retain clients, as opposed to the biz dev side where you biz dev flat out the entire time? ups and downs?
Mitch Joel 4:42
Yeah, I think I was sort of bizdev the whole way through. But definitely, it’s hard not to do business without Client Services. I mean, I never go into a meeting alone. So who do you bring in you bring in your account executives and your account managers and people like that. The unique thing about this moment in time In relation to the to the recession, which we definitely live through is we did really well in the recession. And what what a lot of people don’t remember is when the recession hit digital was happening. But still, a lot of people weren’t there. And I believe that what happened during the recession for us because we were doing primarily platform developments and online advertising and stuff like that. His companies said, This, perhaps is the sign for us to go more digital to make things leaner to be more amenable when we come out of this. And we did really well. In fact, a lot of the traditional advertising from our bigger clients or marketing became diverted towards us. So it definitely impacted I wouldn’t say that we had this sort of cakewalk through it, but we did quite well through it. We didn’t have the same growth that we had on yours, that word recession, obviously. And I think there’s a message in that which is depending on what you sell, depending on what type of agency you are and what type of services you offer. I think this is a moment where you could do exceedingly well. Because this stuff that, for example, I think you offer would be one of them where we need insights more than ever, we need to move faster. We need to be smarter in terms of things like analytics and understanding artificial intelligence. And it may be tough right now where we’re at in terms of recording this show. But I think in the short term near term, you’ll see a bump up because people will look at their more traditional models and go, how can we be more efficient? What’s going to happen as the lights get turned back on here, as we sort of deal with this whole COVID-19 thing is that I think a lot of businesses are going to try to figure out how to increase sales really, really quickly to make up for time loss, public companies, shareholder value, of course, but just private companies. It’s like, Can we salvage this year? And if not, how do we move faster whenever the lights do come back on? So I do believe depending on the type of agents You are the types of services you offer and how well positioned you aren’t communicating that there’s a huge one And you’re going to see many agencies have massive wins, because businesses are furloughing and laying off people. And they need people to do this lifting. And I think this type of lifting and heavy lifting that for example you might do. So my focus would be, maybe we can move away from brand story and that sort of content stuff and focus more on things like lead gen, you know, direct to consumer, like direct purchasing models like that, showing people how to do that. I think there’s a business there really efficient.
Katie Robbert 7:32
So, one of the things we’ve been talking about, and I’d love to get your perspective on this is with our current client base, you know, we’re seeing a lot of crisis comms, which is to be expected during a crisis. And so we’ve been, you know, taking it piece by piece asked by ask, and so how, in your experience, you know, how do you go above and beyond for a current client to keep without setting that expectation that they can always get whatever they want, whenever they ask for it.
Mitch Joel 8:05
I think the I would reverse engineer that question. I think what I would do is not focus necessarily on what sort of new things can we bring them that we know they need, I would take a step back and really look at who the client is. If the client is not the CEO, the client is very scared that they’re about to be fired for a load or push to the side. And I really believe that, ultimately, the smartest agencies are the ones that are helping that employee, stay employed, whatever it may take, because if they’re gone, you’re gone. And we had a mandate for many, many years. That was not just sort of a fake thing, like, be everybody’s friend and be the nice person. But we made it really clear as we were training our account team that when the clients gone, the business is gone, and that your job is to understand what metrics they need for success. What’s gonna happen in their quarterly review? How long employed are they if there’s this whole sort of furloughing and laying of people off, what can you do to make them a superstar, and I would be over delivering on every key indicator that you may have in terms of, clearly don’t annoy them all the time, because they’re probably busy, busy and panic, but if you know what it takes for them to be successful for them to get their raise, stay employed, whatever it might be, you should be smart enough to be scouring the world to find them resources to make them more powerful, stronger and more relevant. And whatever you can do in terms of value add, prepping a deck for them, showing them new information. I would be very suspicious if I were on the client side of an agency suddenly coming to me with a whole bunch of sort of COVID-19 panic strategies and products and services, unless historically that’s what I did with them. So you know, a good example would be in your case, you know, Chris does this sort of lunchtime pandemic. emailed I don’t think I would send that to my clients. But is there a way that you could customize things that might be relevant to their industry, that might give them a sort of bit of insight that they could flip to their team that they could flip to their boss? I think there’s tons of value add and just the agency being somewhat of an info vor just sort of consuming and being able to parse and give them relevant and powerful information. And that stuff is everywhere. I think the challenge that I see is like when I look at my inbox, it’s all like how to survive through a pandemic, how to work from home out, like, it’s kind of very pedantic to me. I think if someone is curious about that, they can find it and I don’t necessarily know that, you know, a lot of people that I know are the thought leaders in that are the people might go to, so figure out where you’re the go to and provide tremendous value there. If they start asking you about things like crisis comps, and things like that. I think it’s fair ball for you to jump on and be like, Sure, that’s really similar to how we’ve done this or that for you. Let me sort of show you what that might look at and then I would not just Be sort of proposal, here you go. But I would give value in that scene also, so that they really have something where they can hang their hat on and go, you know, I know, I know, Trust Insights may have never done crisis comms, let’s say, but based off of what I’ve seen them do over here, based off of what they showed me in terms of how they’re thinking, and this sort of free result that they gave us is just a teaser, we should go down this road.
Katie Robbert 11:25
It makes a lot of sense that you phrase it in that way. You know, it’s funny, I saw something that somebody posted, basically, along the lines of I didn’t know that so many CEOs were here for me during this uncertain time, because that’s really all you’re seeing, and it’s not something of value. But you know, to your point about, you know, Chris’s research into what’s currently going on, we have actually been able to use that information to help our clients understand what to do with their digital channels, because it’s really the same kind of analytical insight that we do all the time. Just To a slightly different context or with a little bit of different third party data than we would normally use. So instead of, you know, Google Trends or the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we’re looking at more of the healthcare data to help understand the patterns of what you should be doing with your CPC are your ad spend, they’re your social media right now. So it is interesting that you’re putting it in a very pragmatic way of keep doing what you do. Don’t suddenly try to change course and be everything to everyone and be the expert if you’re not, but you know, do what you do best and just make sure it’s, you know, in the right context.
Mitch Joel 12:37
Yeah, and even when you said that, Katie, I had a bit of that twinge in my stomach, like, ooh, be careful how you present it, because sometimes it can feel desperate. And desperation is a strange thing. If you are sending messages that make you sound desperate to the client, they’re gonna sort of feel that and push up people. are desperate enough, they don’t need more of that headache. If it feels authentic and real, it’ll be powerful. I’ll give you an example from my world. Now, I’m not in the agency world anymore, but I do a lot of public speaking. Now, it’d be a bad time to be sending emails asking about their upcoming events, or when they’re starting to think about events, they’re, they’re panicking. They’re not in the mood for that. But my good friend, Scott stratten, who I think both of you knows, well, who’s a great speaker, he sort of started looking at his list of all of the places he’s spoken to and had a relationship with the person and basically created a video for their team. Just sort of saying, like, Hey, this is Scott had such a great time at your event whenever that was, I know things are crazy. Right now, I just wanted to give you the sort of three items to help make you maybe think differently or feel better, or whatever it is. It was just a gift. And it was nice. And based off the testimonials he’s had from these previous clients on LinkedIn. He knew they might appreciate a note, not to their audience, but to the team that he knew that he had worked with to get to that Stage. And when he said that the other day I sort of went, like that’s the right thing to do not to be sent an email saying, hey, like when you’re ready to start talking about events or just checking in to see how you’re doing. It’s like, nobody needs another email necessarily from business people is to see how they’re doing. Everyone’s on fire. That’s the answer. And so the way to circumvent that is to is that sort of empathetic generosity gift. And if you don’t have that, if you’re sitting there going, like, I don’t think I have that the answer is that don’t do anything. Because the last thing you need to be is another email in their inbox, telling them about how you’re going to help them with their work from home remote work and or sales challenges during these unprecedented times. We’d like to say a lot in our marketing jargon, too. So I’d be very cautious with that stuff. Just as you said it might my reaction was, I’d like to see how you speak to those clients in a way that is not about You but about them and understanding what their goals and needs are.
Christopher Penn 15:03
One of the things that we always had to
Unknown Speaker 15:05
contend with when we were at a different
Christopher Penn 15:06
agency was the issue of over servicing, you know, scope creep, things like that. In when you have a situation where literally everyone is on fire, do you even think about that? Or do you say, you know, what we’ll we’ll do whatever it takes to keep this business for right now and worry about, you know, the consequences of a doubt, you know, after the fire is out.
Mitch Joel 15:27
I think it’s a question of time, and who you’re paying. So my sort of harsh agency owner head is saying, Don’t be stupid, don’t do that. You have to measure always, you know, I always say the business that we’re in is is very simple. We sell a human unit of time for more money than we pay for it. That’s the business that we’re in. So you constantly want to understand that this is a game of very small margins, very small percentages. It’s a nickel and dime business and that you have to know at every moment in time Time exactly where you are in terms of receivables, hours, where the clients at where your staff is that that’s part one. Part two is in a scenario like this, you also have a main goal, which is to save your ship, which is as you are thinking about your ship, it means you have to cut deep and hard if that’s what the budget calls for, at this point, can’t carry these people. We can’t do all this extra stuff. We have to keep this line so that we can bring these people back later. So that there is a shift for them to come back to. nobody wins if you go bankrupt, especially you so it’s still as a business. Unless you’re switching over to a nonprofit, which I don’t think most agencies are these days. So it’s a question of that balance. You don’t want to be like I’m not helping them. They’re not giving me any mark. You have to think how long of relationship has this been? Is this a sort of bill by Bill invoice by invoice project by project or is there a real partnership here? How much will they appreciate the extra work, we’re going to put it could Could those hours be banked and we understand what they are, we’re not gonna be billing them for them later. But we’re going to be understanding that that’s where we’re at. And so we understand where the margins of that client might be. I’m a very emotional person. So my, my gut reaction is whatever it takes to keep the client Of course, but I’ve also been in the trenches so long that I can’t just let my heart run wild, because it can be detrimental to your actual business.
Katie Robbert 17:28
Something that you said just sort of struck me and it was, you know, along the lines of, you know, if you’re sending them this information, can they even process it? And so I think that that’s a really good tip is to sort of, you know, really understand where your clients are at on a good day so that you can better serve them on a bad day. So, you know, if your clients are telling you on a good day, you know, this is great, but it’s still too much or we don’t have time, then during a time of crisis or on a bad day. sending them extra information isn’t really going to do anything because they can’t get to it. They’re on fire, as you said, and so you want to go above and beyond you want to do whatever you can. But you also need to have that awareness of how they operate, when they’re functioning very well.
Mitch Joel 18:16
It’s it’s like, it’s like when you start with the client, and you want to do a briefing, and you start looking at the questions and the download and everything you want to do. And you realize, wow, this is a ton of make work for the client. And that’s kind of the situation I see with a lot of this sort of proactive marketing, or ability to retain clients when it is moments like these, which is it feels more like make work for the client. And I’ve, I’ve said this to my own team members, I’ve said this to my peers who are like hey, do you think I should do this or Does this make sense to me it you have to look at it and go, am I adding on to my clients inbox or their to do list or have I just taken four things off of them, and or if I given them something that makes them have superhero powers. And if if you can’t do that you have to be able to step back or side or to the side. But understand that there still is a job of maintaining this relationship. So that’s the trouble the sort of like you have to be taught. I talked about this when I teach about content marketing. It’s not just about the platform you publish on or the content you create, or how many people you have were engaged with it. I call it the pulse. It’s you got to know from your audience, what is too much. Is it too much that I publish a podcast for an hour every Sunday? The answer is yes, it is too much. But my workaround for it is they make each episode self contained. If you don’t like the guest, if you don’t like the content, pass, you can come in next week. You’re not missing anything. There’s nothing from the previous episode. There is no last season sort of review of what happened. So you have to be able to operate your business. In that way, you have to note the pulse of your client and the work they’re getting. If they’re getting pounded by a very overbearing CEO or manager, you adding more emails in there is going to make them iral. And as much as they may love you, they will hate you in three days as much as they hate their manager, right. But if you are giving them things, to constantly throw water on the dragon’s fire that’s coming down from them, they will see you as being on their side not being another thing for them to do. And that’s the nuance of it. And that’s the sort of analogy I would bring out with this idea of understanding the pulse. We talk about this stuff so much, but so few content creators understand the pulse of their, of their of their audience. So understand the pulse of your other audience. If this is somebody who is you know, like right now I’m in a situation where we’ve got kids were home. We’re not like Chris Penn had been homeschooling for a while. This is all new to us. And when I say We’re all on fire. We’re all on fire here. It’s like I literally came running up the stairs into my office here at home, because I was doing, you know, kindergarten and grade three work all morning. And if that’s your client, and you’re now adding on to the fact that they only have three hours to work in the day, like just imagine how they feel when they see your name in the inbox. And that’s the question, can you remove yourself and astral project yourself into their body? And literally go, what would it feel like to get this email? Considering that they are working from home, they’ve got kids of doing homeschooling, there are some people where they’re older, and they don’t have kids, and they’re home alone. They’re completely isolated. And all they want is for to get a note from Chris Pat, like, that’d be the greatest thing is to get a call from Katie. That’s a different client. So you have to deal with that pulse differently. The problem is, we send the emails as we feel and we expect the recipient to read them that way. That’s not what happens. People read emails, not how you wrote them, but how they feel in That moment.
Katie Robbert 22:02
So smart, you know, I, I’ve been writing down notes, he’s even talking and sort of like really good quotes. And, you know, you saying Don’t be another thing for your client to do I think if nothing else, if people don’t take away anything else that is such a smart piece of advice. And so one thing you know, so obviously, you It sounds like you’ve been through a lot of different types of situations. We’ve all been through the 2008, you know, recession. What was one thing as you were working with clients or working through, you know, crisis or, you know, whatever was going on with them on their bad days, what was one thing that people don’t expect to prepare for that maybe came up for you?
Mitch Joel 22:45
Give me a lot Sure. I captured the question or so.
Katie Robbert 22:49
So essentially, you know, when you’re doing you know, crisis comms, your client is going through their own like crisis within their company or sort of what we’re dealing with now, which is a more of a global crisis. You know, there’s you all you, you always have these contingency plans of if this comes up, we’ll do this. If this comes up, we’ll do this. Are there things that came up in your experience that you had no idea that you should have been prepared for?
Mitch Joel 23:14
Oh, I mean, my, well, let me take a step back and just give you my general theory of agency life is sometimes the wind is in your sails and sometimes it isn’t. And you could be doing the exact same things with exactly even sometimes better work. And the wind is just not in your sail. And so how many times did we have a big pitch, massive national piece of work? We went it unbelievable. Through marketing. Then suddenly they changed the e commerce person another side of the business they want to bring in their person what we just spent months we want the business. How many times have we been down the road things are great. new president comes into the organization puts everything on freeze or they don’t get marketing frozen. mean, it’s it’s a net? I mean, what is an agency, if not constant moments like this? I’ve had people come in and quit on us. And when we said, well, how much time are you giving us? They’re like, I’m double parked outside, you know? So I just I sort of look at my time in the agency business as especially when you’re senior, and you’re one of the leaders as all you’re dealing with are these sort of sudden crazy, insane problems. So if there’s any industry that is somewhat buffered from sudden chaos, it should be the agency business. It comes from within. It comes from team members, it comes from other departments, it comes from clients, it comes from changes in laws and register, you know, we worked with a lot of large national multinational brands that were highly complex, and some of them are highly regulated. A lot changes and everything is just gone. It’s it’s very similar to the world we’ve seen now. In fact, I we, every Monday, we had our partners meeting, which was We were for business partners in the Canadian operation, we then had a bigger leadership one. And to this day, we still have what we joke they call our partners meetings or lunches, the four of us are still really, really tight. And we were talking about this very recently actually about how it would probably be really tough to be running the business right now. And then that being said, as we looked around, we realized that between the four of us, there was a tremendous amount of knowledge and understanding about how to keep the ship steady and pointed in the direction because there was a familiarity with each other and understanding of who has what sort of like almost like watching a rowing team or or a bobsled team that they just know how each other works. So I think that that is part of the real strategy is understanding that clients really love competence. They love confidence. They love knowing that if I work with Trust Insights, it’s I’d have to think about it. There’s not problems it’s done. So I think the more you can take the fact that it’s the duck analogy, right? That you’re sort of it looks to the client, like you’re floating on water underneath the legs, or, you know, hey, if we gave you the $600,000 piece of business, can you do it? Of course we could do it. This is what we do. And then you turn to each other. You’re like, who do we hire for this? We don’t have $600,000 worth of human time sitting on a bench no agency does. So I really do look at scenarios like this and think I’m so well suited for it in terms of client services, in terms of talking about it, because every day was COVID-19. Basically every day was some weird pandemic sprouting up that came from you know, it’s funny, like I saw there was a I think it’s a startup newsletter or something. And they have a podcast now called Black Swan. I’m like, this isn’t a black swan. This is a white swan. Right a black swan is every so often these things happen. A white swan is never saw it coming. So in the agent business. I mean, there were so many days where we just sort of looked at each other and never saw that coming. That’s pretty wild. You know?
Christopher Penn 27:10
When you look back at what all the clients, your most long standing clients had in common, what were the things that you did, above and beyond the basics above and beyond to have the relationship reinforce the relationship, you know, deliver competence, deliver confidence? What were some of the outliers, they like? That’s something that maybe we should take that and port that to other clients to see if it helps retain them as well, because it was unusual and different than above and beyond the basics.
Mitch Joel 27:39
It’s a great question. And I think that that question led to our success, because you start off in the agency business with I want to work with cool brands, I want to work on cool projects, I want to work on the cutting edge. I want to do this, I want to that and we did too. And we realized that a lot of times those clients know that. They know that they’re cool. They know that everybody will They’re projects and so they act a certain way. I’d love to do startups. startups are great. I love startup. I’m an investor in many, I’m advising many, they don’t have money to pay your bills. And so what we learned as we went is that as we got to more senior executives who were more seasoned executives, who weren’t all into that stuff, or into the actual function of marketing, we did really, really well. more senior people, more experienced people who really understood what marketing means. And at the time, they weren’t working for the sexiest brands. Those became very interesting, not because they wanted to do sexier wild things with them, but they just wanted to do great work. And that led us to when people would say to us, like Who do you work for? What where do you do best we would always say the line that I already use, which is we work with large national multinational brands with ongoing and large significant mandates that are in usually very complex organizations. And that became the archetype of People that we would be attracted to senior experienced people, usually very highly regulated very complex that we could help navigate and add value to. But at the same time, give them all the stuff that they were seeing on the shiny or sort of oh look a squirrel thing that everybody else does like. So to me, that became the answer for the clients we searched out. So if did we have cool brands answers, we had some cool brands for sure. But to me, it was way less about that and way more about the work and who it was. The other point of this is, when stuff comes up, and it does in the sort of story we just went through in the last scenario. They tend to see you more as a partner on the same side of the table versus my agency across. I find the less experienced Client Services people on the brand side and the less experienced and sort of we’re cool Brown, we could do whatever we want. They don’t see the agency as a partner and agent acting on their behalf. They see them as a vendor. Now, I will Say that towards the end of my tenure, which was about two years ago now, I felt that the world was changing a little bit. And because of the compression on the agencies, which would be things like in house teams, the consultants coming in more boutiques, etc, etc, that the attitude of the brands and clients there became more like that, regardless. But it’s a great question, Chris. And I think that it led to the actual business model like we would like not even pitch or look at certain clients based off of the brand. We’d be like, that’s not for us, we’re not going to do well. They’re
Christopher Penn 30:35
sort of the equivalent of going after the wallflowers at the dance like these are the folks who are decent people that you you would feel perfectly fine working with, but they’re not the center of the attention. They’re not in the middle of the dance floor like yeah, that’s that person might be interesting to work with.
Mitch Joel 30:51
It’s so funny because my one of my business partners is older than then than we are. We’re all in sort of similar age range, I think For three bucks and bid at the gray hair now worth the gray hairs, but back then this person was the gray hair. And he would often say to me, you know, it’s a young person’s game. He’s in amazing shape. I always say he’s like groundskeeper Willie takes off his shirt. And he’s like, jack, you know. And I would always say like, it’s amazing how well in shape you are, how you look younger than I look. And he would always say it’s a young person’s game. There’s a lot of ageism in marketing, especially digital, I find, we see that when we go to the bigger events. We love the fact that we almost use reverse HSM to a certain degree like we went for it senior executives, we wanted people who had done this for at least seven to 10 years, who maybe they work for the cool brands, but now they’re at the sort of bank or whatever, and we could be their partner. So it to a certain degree was somewhat discriminatory. But I say that in a more of a way of we were just targeting a certain audience. I think you should do that as an ad. And so you should do that you should figure out who will we work best with? Who can we support best and who will appreciate our work the most? Because right now, if you can’t answer those questions in relation to your own ethos, that client has gone at one point.
Katie Robbert 32:16
I agree. And I think, you know, it really speaks to that, you know, back to what you’ve been saying about even just managing the clients that you have, you can’t be everything to everyone, you can’t be things that you’re not in order to try to bring in more clients or retain the clients that you have, because it’s not authentic. It’s not who you are. It’s not in your wheelhouse. And so, the last thing I just want to ask you, because you’ve given us some really good, solid advice and things to think about if you could have, you know, one or two, what is your best tip for client retention? Yeah.
Mitch Joel 32:54
I’ve had many over the years, the line that sticks with me to this very day, and I think It speaks directly to the business came out of Mad Men, which I didn’t even watch the whole thing I started watching the beginning and I tried to binge it and that’s not a show you can binge those episodes can be pretty slow moving. I don’t remember the characters it might have been. I don’t remember their names. It was like the white haired guy. And then there’s the good looking guy I don’t even remember and it’s a good looking guy walks into these sort of older person who’s running the agency and says, Hey, we won business XYZ, and he’s just sort of sitting there with his martinis are packing up to go home. And he just looks at him and goes, You know what they say the day you when a client is the day you start losing them.
Katie Robbert 33:37
Mitch Joel 33:39
I, I sort of like, like guffawed when I heard that, and then I sort of texted it out to my business partners, like how true is that? But it’s a great way to live. If you really think about the agency business. It’s so exciting when you get to be the word to have forever and millions of dollars and the truth is the minute you get them as the day you start losing them. And if you can really think about that every day. You go in, the question becomes how do I prolong that? How do I prolong the losing? Because we want to think it’s a marriage and it’s going to last forever. But the truth is, I don’t know, one agency client relationship that has lasted even in the 50% range of marriages or whatever it might be. So my tip for client services would be the minute you have the client is the day you start losing them. What are you going to do?
Christopher Penn 34:26
Alright, well, thanks, Mitch, for being on where can we find you online? Where can we find where can people find your stuff?
Mitch Joel 34:33
Sure. So I’m still doing my podcast as if I’m a lunatic, I keep going with that thing. It’s called six pixels of separation. It’s in my podcast, and I do still write on the blog there at six pixels calm. And if anyone’s interested in having me come down and speak to their group about things like how do you decode the future? How do you think about content marketing? How do you think about things like remote and innovation? You can find me at Mitch Joel that calm
Christopher Penn 34:58
Alright, and for everyone else, you want If you have questions about this episode, leave them in the comments below. You can always find more about this at our free slack community TrustInsights.ai dot AI slash analytics for marketers and stop by the website as well until next time, take care. Thanks for listening to In-Ear Insights leave a comment on the accompanying blog post post if you have follow up questions or email us at marketing at Trust insights.ai If you enjoyed this episode, please leave us a review on your favorite podcast service like iTunes, Google podcasts stitcher or Spotify. And as always, if you need help with your data and analytics, visit Trust insights.ai for more
Need help with your marketing data and analytics?
You might also enjoy:
Get unique data, analysis, and perspectives on analytics, insights, machine learning, marketing, and AI in the weekly Trust Insights newsletter, Data in the Headlights. Subscribe now for free; new issues every Wednesday!
Want to learn more about data, analytics, and insights? Subscribe to In-Ear Insights, the Trust Insights podcast, with new 10-minute or less episodes every week.