Partner Communication at AMZ Pathfinder

Why Communication is Important 

Communication, when broken down, defines the process of sharing and understanding of information. In business, communication is one of the vital structural pillars, without it success or growth is stunted.  Why is this?  Without communication our day-to-day will begin to lean toward entropy, toward disorder and randomness. Making sure everyone is on the same page and understands their role in the mission is key in reducing disorder and confusion.  Chicago Pd Nbc GIF by One Chicago AMZ Pathfinder’s expertise in the Amazon space combined in partnership with our clients intimate knowledge of their products can make for a powerful duo when both parties communicate effectively. The rest of this article will take you through how we like to communicate with our partners and how this helps in reaching their goals together.

Partner Communication at AMZ Pathfinder

Communication at AMZ Pathfinder 

The importance of effective and efficient communication in business has not escaped AMZ Pathfinder and we pride ourselves on having a top notch communication team. 
  • We are a service providing agency who understands the value of building strong business relationships alongside our primary service offering. 
  • Unfortunately we hear frequently that customer service and care is deteriorating in this sector, we are determined to go against the trend. 
  • With the ever changing face of Amazon it is even more imperative to build trust and have empathy with our partners. 
Our communication style is based on two company core values. We apply these values to ourselves and expect them in return from our partners: 
  • Transparency – Building trust is very important to us, we are transparent and will not conceal the reality of any situation. We will be honest with our opinions and analyses. We will not wrap bad news in cotton wool. 
  • Accountability – We do what we say we will do, we do not pass the buck.

Who are our communications team and what can they do for you? 

Our fantastic communications team consists of three main characters, Shannon, Bill and Manoel. It is their job to ensure: 
  • That your requests are turned into actions.
  • With our PPC experts, we are moving toward your objectives and goals.
  • You are in the loop and understand what is happening.
  • You are happy with the results and to hear any grievances or concerns (it is not always sunshine and rainbows). 
Their focus is to communicate clearly, precisely and punctually. A common question from our partners is ‘why am I not speaking directly to my account manager? Animation GIF by David Urbinati The reason for this is simple: we want our PPC experts to be doing what they do best, PPC. We focus our discussions with partners on the wider picture, the direction of the account and less so on the nitty gritty PPC see fig 1.  Communication in itself is a skill that takes training and experience to become honed, at AMZ Pathfinder we are consistently training our team to provide the best service. But also to not fall for the cognitive phenomenon of ‘all you see is all there is’, we look and explore deeper than what the initial information and data is showing us. Face-value is not trusted until explored.

Proactive vs Reactive Communication 

Like PPC, communication is a constant process. From client to client we practice the following communication philosophy: 
  • We focus on being proactive with our communication.
  • We get ahead of opportunities and problems instead of reactive firefighting.
Each one of our clients has a dedicated communications team member who is assigned to their needs. This means you will not be speaking to a different person every month, but to someone knowledgeable about your account.  This communications team member will work closely with our PPC specialists to:
  • Understand your account
  • Provide effective solutions
  • Provide strategic direction and advice. 
Shining Schitts Creek GIF by CBC

How do we communicate? 

Above we have covered Why and Who, now we will cover How and When. The first question is how does it all begin? Upon joining AMZ Pathfinder we will all gather together:
  1. the communications team
  2. your account managers
  3. you, the partner. 
Together we discuss at length the account objectives and plan, referring back to the audit we provided and your past experience. This allows everyone to meet each other, make that human connection and set us on the same trajectory.   

Means of Communication 

Right from day one we are available through the following channels, we keep it simple here:
  • Slack
  • Email
  • Zoom or Google Meet
Less is more, ensuring our communications are not spread across too many channels ensures we can offer prompt and timely responses and avoids anything slipping through the cracks. Team Tumult animation film space science GIF

How often do we speak?  

Our scheduled client calls happen once a month, very occasionally twice a month. Why is this? We are firm believers that data speaks the loudest. Therefore,, making changes and discussing the outcome too frequently before the data is ripe for interpretation is a mistake. Discussing major results and account direction once a month allows us to have the whole picture. Nevertheless, we often communicate with our clients through slack or email to discuss action points related to the strategic direction we are working towards and keep clients informed between calls.That is not to say we are unreachable before this. Our call agenda follows a rough structure and takes place in the first two weeks of each month (we say rough as clients come in all shapes and sizes. What works for one may not work for another.) During our calls we discuss:
  • The KPIs and what actions were taken to get there
  • Realign our goals and the next steps for the account by default. 
We use our End of Month reports as supporting material for the discussion. We are flexible however and our meetings can have different focuses if this suits you and your company better.   After each call you will receive a comprehensive rundown of everything discussed and the action steps required from you and from us.  We will not leave you without information as we have automation and safeguards in place to monitor your account. We consistently flag issues or opportunities and give feedback on deliverables throughout the month on slack or by email.   

Slack is King

What is our preference? As in the heading, Slack is King. The software is super simple to use and provides you access directly to our team and our team to your team. slack GIF Although we do not use Slack as an instant messenger (we still have an SLA on turn around) it provides us a place to concentrate all conversations and action points as well as providing us tools not available through email, like huddles, reactions, reminders and threads. We usually turn around emails faster than our 24 hour SLA, however our slack response time is exponentially quicker, they don’t say email is the new snail mail for no reason. 

What do we need from you?

Our partners are essential cogs in the machinery described above. Without active participation from them it is difficult to communicate effectively, so what do we need from our clients?
  • To be engaged
  • To be responsive to our requests, questions and feedback  you are the expert on your products
  • To provide your honest feedback on all you see
  • To challenge us on our practices if it doesn’t make sense to you

AMZ Pathfinder Communication Review:

Client communication is an extremely important cog in our machinery. It is characterised by punctual, efficient, transparent and non-superficial dialogs in both directions. 
  • We work closely with our clients to understand how our advertising strategies fit into the wider picture and how together we can reach our objectives. 
  • We want our clients to feel that we are a member of their team rather than a hired agency. 
  • Feedback from our partners is vital for our improvement in all areas, we are open and ready to hear your opinions. In turn we hope you are ready to hear ours.

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