You want to get your company’s message out to the right people — clearly and quickly. But diving into digital marketing naturally stirs up uncertainties and questions.
“Where do I begin? How to prioritize? What strategies are best?” It’s both exciting and overwhelming. And that’s where a client needs assessment, or CNA, comes into play.
This is the first step when you reach out to Zoe Marketing & Communications or its sister companies, Metro Parent and Chicago Parent. You’ll share more about your unique business needs in our CNA process. We’ll guide you along the conversation, pulling from our 35+ years of experience, to create a plan tailored to you.
By the end of this blog, you’ll feel confident about how Zoe’s CNAs work and how you can prepare. And your CNA will help you learn if Zoe is the right fit for you.
What a Zoe client needs assessment is
Zoe’s client needs assessment is the process of getting to know and understand your challenges, goals and preferences. As your potential marketing agency, Zoe is learning about you.
At its core, a CNA is our version of a casual chat about your objectives and ideal customers. Think of it as sitting down with a friend (who happens to be a marketing expert) and discussing the ins and outs of your business.
While the chats are informal, they’re substantive. Each conversation includes questions designed to build a solid foundation for your marketing. It's like a compass that gives direction.
It also builds understanding, collaboration and trust — between you and Zoe, and, ultimately, between you and your prospects. (For future note, you can perform a CNA with your own clients to get to know them better, too!)
What a Zoe client needs assessment is NOT
Our CNA isn't just a checklist or formal procedure. Nor is it like a stressful job interview. And it’s not a grueling test of your business knowledge and past marketing experience (if any; none is OK!).
There are no right or wrong answers, and no harsh critiques from our team. We listen with open ears. Our goal is to get to know your story and understand your vision so that we can tailor a plan to you. And you have a choice to commit to that plan or walk away.
After all, if we work together, we’re partners. So we want to ensure we’re on the same path.
When a Zoe CNA happens and what it looks like
A Zoe client needs assessment happens after three other key things:
You’ve completed and submitted the “Talk to Us” form on the Zoe website.
You’ve received an introductory email and video from a Zoe marketing strategist within 1-2 business days of submitting the form. It includes a quick survey with a few extra questions to help us get to know you better.
We’ve connected and chosen a mutually agreeable time for our CNA call, at your convenience.
As for what the CNA call itself looks like, you can expect:
The option of a video (Zoom) or phone conversation.
A 30-minute to 1-hour conversation, max. This allows time to address your concerns while also being mindful of your busy schedule.
A low-pressure yet insightful chat about your business and needs (no sales pitches).
How to prepare for your CNA (+ download questions for free)
It’s essential to consider some fundamental questions before your CNA chat.
This isn’t homework but a helpful tool to help you clarify your thoughts and goals. It also helps create a more fluid conversation to maximize your time and results.
Tell us about yourself/your business (the basics, like your website, social media presence, business category and key products/services)
What are your top business priorities? What are you doing well, and where can you grow?
What’s your company’s “edge” over competitors/your niche?
What’s the value/worth of a customer for you?
What geographical area(s) do you want to target?
What time of day/week do you feel is best to reach your customers?
What are some of your marketing objectives? (i.e., driving web traffic, ecommerce sales, driving price and product, building brand awareness/reputation, building an email database, generating sales leads, driving foot traffic, growing local/regional marketing share)
Who’s your ideal customer? (e.g., gender, ages, homeowner/renter, kids at home, income, occupation, lifestyle/interests)
What other media have you advertised in during the past year — and was it effective? (i.e., newspapers, TV/cable, radio/broadcast, Yellow Pages/similar directories, magazines, billboards, direct mail, internet/interactive media)
What other marketing products/websites have you used to reach your marketing goals — and how effective were they? (e.g., banner ads, video, online contests, online directories, coupons, SEO, SEM/PPC, email marketing, mobile marketing, ecommerce, social media, Daily Deals/Groupon, reputation services, etc.)
What were the goals of your previous campaigns and actions you wanted people to take? If you have/were provided analytics, would you be willing to share them?
How do you plan to gauge/track the effectiveness of a marketing campaign?
What other info about your business, goals and objectives can you share to help us create an effective marketing strategy for you?
Can you share a few key business demographics (annual sales, annual advertising budget, percent of market share, current advertising spending, percentage of advertising of total sales)?
What prompted you to reach out to us?
If you talked to five clients/customers, how many would usually convert?
On average, how long do you retain a client/customer?
What are the factors you use to determine if your campaign is successful?
Who else, besides you, is involved in planning/decision-making?
If our proposed plan makes sense for you, what’s your vetting/approval process and timeline for a decision?
Some questions may not apply to you, and that’s fine! The idea is to give these questions at least some advance thought.
It helps create a clearer picture of where you’ve been and where you want to go.
What Zoe does with your CNA results
After your CNA chat, your marketing strategist takes your insights to the Zoe team. We determine which products and tactics will help you reach your goals most efficiently. From here:
We'll create your marketing campaign proposal within another 1-2 business days.
We'll arrange a follow-up video or phone meeting to discuss the plan. This meeting is also about 30-60 minutes.
You’ll get to decide whether to move forward with the plan. If you decide it’s right for you, we’ll begin onboarding. If not, you move on at no expense to you.
Your plan is tailored to your company’s objectives. Zoe’s goal is to ensure the proposed path fits your vision and comfort level.
Your next steps for success with Zoe marketing
Marketing is essential for businesses, but it’s also complex. You’ve likely felt overwhelmed and frustrated by your past results — or starting and sustaining your marketing, period.
You can begin taking charge of your marketing efforts with Zoe’s client needs assessment or CNA. It's centered on your business needs, and you get the final say in whether the resulting plan works for you.
Now that you’ve been empowered by Zoe to tackle your marketing, it’s time to dig deeper into your goals and budget. Whether you choose Zoe or not, discover:
As Zoe Marketing & Communications’ content manager, Kim Kovelle brings nearly 20 years of writing and editing experience in metro Detroit. She has strong roots in community journalism and a knack for making complicated topics make more sense.