Episode 2 - People Leave, Agencies Leave; Opportunity and Chaos


On Ep. 2 of the Advice From The Hart, Chris explains the pitfalls and opportunities for a brand when someone in the agency or brand leaves.

He provides insights into how different types of leaders are ideal for different types of projects.  Find out what opportunities present themselves when the point of contact is off the project.


[:46] Chaos and opportunity happen at the same time

When an agency person goes in-house and leaves the agency, there’s the potential for, relationship issues. But there’s also an opportunity to show flexibility and oversight that the handoff will be smooth and seamless. Potentially, the next person up will be even better than the previous. 

Inevitably, the one-to-one bond is lost. This is especially likely when there’s only one point of contact between the agency and brand. iPullRank brings an entire pod to client conversations so that relationship is not too dependent on one person. There’s redundancy built-in to address a loss.

[3:13] The more complicated the brand the more chaotic the issue might be

There are so many questions that present themselves:

  • Is the enterprise organization laying people off?
  • Are they restructuring departments and roles?
  • Have priorities changed?
  • Has the main POC been moved off the project because it wasn’t a good fit and they were ineffective? Or are they being moved to something more important because they’ve been successful?
  • Who will be the net new champion of the project?
  • Are the pain points different?

You’re entering an annual business review or sales process all over again. When a new person has entered, they need to be re-briefed on deliverables, conversations, decisions, and the path. That’s why project trackers, call notes, and reporting is so important.

[5:38] Enterprise side trends that lead to effective transitions

Whenever there’s one gatekeeper on the client-side that does not inform their team or document their project, the passing of the baton is a disaster. 

  • Tech and IT needs to be involved. 
  • A business decision-maker needs to be informed. 
  • A project champion needs to form relationships with everyone (legal, PR, QA, Content, etc.).

Managing the project by committee is problematic as well. You still need a leader, they just cannot be an information black hole.

[10:05] The job of the agency in the relationship

As an agency, one of our focuses through any client relations follows:

How well can we as the agency help the person we’re engaged with internally look good and move their career forward?

When we do good work for the project and the person on that side of the relationship. Their world gets better because they have a win underneath their day-to-day. 

On our side, we work with a large bank. They have two separate decisions. Two big projects that we were on. Two different leaders and teams. One team was very junior to digital marketing. The leading woman educated her team and removed all of the barriers. The project has been wildly received by the org. 

The other project has a complex problem around audience personas. 6 audience reports with 8 personas that were Venn diagramed to find overlap. The leader made it clear how to present in-depth in a way that his team could receive it effectively. We created layers of decks for different levels of the organization. Without that type of leader, it would have been a great exercise, but not something that delivered value.

[14:50] From chaos can come opportunity

The change can either kill a project or it can add new energy and drive to a project.

Christopher Hart

Title: Executive Director of Client Strategy at iPullRank

Bio: Interactive marketing veteran specializing in strategy, operations, business development, client services, project management, and leadership of Search Engine Optimization “SEO” for digital/social/mobile/content marketing campaigns that enable clients & organizations to drive measurable returns while consistently exceeding expectations.

Leveraging 20 years of interactive experience, he has optimized integrated programs across all channels in the Publishing, Entertainment, Insurance, Finance, Banking, Energy, Legal, B2B, and B2C industries.

Host: Garrett Sussman

Title: Demand Generation Manager

Garrett loves SEO like the 90s loves slap bracelets.

Every other week he interviews Chris about the world of enterprise brands and their agency relationships.

Enjoy this series? Check out Garrett’s video show round-up of everything search engine optimization: The SEO Weekly

Garrett Sussman

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