Text 11 Aug Plop Factor - The worst biz advice I ever got

When SEER had 1 employee, one of my advisers recommended I assemble an advisory board.  A group of people to meet quarterly (I’ll pay for dinner) and can throw out problems I was facing.  Remember at the time I was 26, running a business, I studied teaching in college, so I didn’t know squat about running a business.  I did feel the heartbreak of watching a company I poured my heart and soul into go down though.

I promised myself early on that I would never want to see this company go under b/c I didn’t get help running it from people who had more experience than me.  So A board was formed, I strongly believe that an advisory board should evolve as your business evolves, but that is for another day.

One member (who is no longer on my board) one day told me about “PLOP Factor” as a young guy I took it all in.  He lit up as he explained what plop factor was. His eyes got big, you could feel his pulse speeding up, he described it as the sound a big document makes when you drop it on the table in front of the client.

This guy who had run 2 semi-successful agencies in his time, knew more than me.  He Hammered home that if you spend 10 hours working on a project and the results can fit in 2 pages, find a way to use blocks of standard copy, screen caps, appendixes, anything possible to make the client feel like they paid for something “substantial” something with “Plop factor”.

I listened, I tried it, but it didn’t feel right.  I was like let me get this right, clients are going to feel like we worked harder just based on the size of the document??

Are you serious?

Clients are at fault!

Yes, he was serious, and he was right in many instances.  It was sad, I blame clients for not knowing how to properly assess agencies. Clients, stop getting wowed by plop factor.  Your time is valuable, value agencies that value your time.

Do you work for a boss who wants to see a “BIG Document?”

Get a new job, priorities are wrong.  Someone who listens for the PLOP as an indicator of “work” is the same person that requires face time and other stupid crap we all hate.

In the SEO space this leads to clients piling on more keywords - “The more keywords the better” kind of mentality. Its actually not in your best interest to spread your agency out so thin, IMHO.

Its funny to watch SEM people talk about # of keywords they manage…like that means anything.

Agencies you are at fault too

Clients who love plop factor can at times be the big names, the ones so many of you drool over to get.  Stop that CRAP, have enough confidence in your agency to not look for big names to just make you feel better about yourselves.  

Agencies need to be educated

I know when I get requests like that, I take time to educate clients / prospective clients.  I try to re-set expectations - I tell our clients, we’re going to give you what we think helps you…if you need a “Plop Factor” document, then you need a new agency.  Sure could we take the easy way out and add in some templated blocks of copy? But that is not how we roll!

In conclusion, agencies, FIGHT the desire to have a big document as your proof that you worked hard for your clients.  Take the time to educate them, and if they still need a big doc…RUN, or someday that client will drop you for the company who has a bigger plop than you.


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