I had a thought the other day – when you work within monthly retainers and have a limited pool of hours, it does not make sense to spend more then an hour doing a report. I personally would rather spend that time doing research, providing strategy, or testing. I feel that with smaller retainers and with more hands-on clients, providing more strategy is more valuable to them than talking about what you’ve done.
For example, let’s say you have a 20 hour a month retainer with a client, and spend 4 hours total in doing a PPT report, prepping, and then run the meeting to review everything. You’ve just spent 1/5th of the total budget. The client should have a record of you are doing anyway, if you are doing things the right way, as you would have communicated intent via a project plan or even collaborated via email, so a detailed, 10+ page recap in a PPT would not be necessary, would it?
While I agree (some) meetings are important (Though I am generally anti-meetings), reporting meetings often default to someone just reading a PPT to someone else over the phone. There’s ways to jazz it up, but that’s a separate post. This is probably not the best use of anyone’s time, right? So why do we keep doing it? I don’t know. It’s time for a change or at least test a scaled back version for a month and see if you are able to get more done.
I feel you can communicate effectively by sending a recap email. You could do this simple email weekly or even monthly, and supply more exported, granular data via your management platform or from whichever analytics platform you are using incase someone on the client’s team wanted to take a deeper dive and didn’t have access or anything like that.
Bottom Line – try pitching the idea to the client that you would like to move away from doing and having a PPT presentation or detailed, lengthy report at the end of the month and wanted to test rolling those hours into strategy instead. You will (And always should) provide a 1-pager of things completed or talking points via email (Or Word attachment would be fine too if there’s a lot) and an export of the granular data for the client to review.