Digital Account Management: Do Your Homework

This is part one of a six-part series recapping my presentation, “Happy Clients: An Intro to Digital Account Management,” from Podcamp Nashville 2011.

1. Do your homework

In school, they tell us to do our homework. The boy scouts say to “be prepared.” Ever acted? You have to know your lines. In sports, practice makes perfect.

Sounds simple, right?

I once worked on a project* with a client where a different third-party agency was responsible for creating branding a web design, and I’d help with the web development. The agency started by, you guessed it, doing their homework.

They googled the company, read all of the materials from its current website, read up on the industry and its competitors, then wrote up and delivered a comprehensive branding plan that included a positioning statement, recommended messaging and copy for the website.

The client looked it over, and said, “???”

The agency had googled the wrong company, and never bothered to dig any deeper to confirm they were on the right track.

Some places to start…

Yes, this a particularly extreme example of not doing your homework correctly, but it illustrates the point. Here are a few places to start:

  • Follow the company on LinkedIn
  • Create a Google alert for the company
  • Create a folder in your Google Reader (or RSS reader of choice) and follow relevant industry blogs
  • Create a list of the company’s competitors (and follow them too)
  • Attend a local MeetUp, or a larger industry event or conference

Where do you go to learn more about your clients and their business?

*Please note: the details of this story have been altered only to preserve the anonymity of those involved.

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