SPRINGBOX / Insights

The Syzygy of Analytics and Client Management: Part 1

by Springbox, August 5, 2015

What is Syzygy?

First of all, syzygy really is a word, despite the fact that it sounds like something you’d say after a few libations on Sixth Street here in Austin, TX. It’s also the shortest word with three Y’s worth 25 points in Scrabble! But that’s less important right now.

Syzygy basically refers to achieving alignment between different entities – and there are arguably none so different as Analytics and Client Management. The former is from a nerdy, number crunching version of Mars, whereas the latter hails from some kind of better looking, yet super bossy version of Venus.

At Springbox, we’ve made quantum leaps in how these ostensibly disparate entities operate as a cohesive unit. In fact, Jeff Burslem (Analytics) and Katie Castellano (Account Management) are here to share tips on how to get your stars aligned.

In Part 1 of our Syzygy Series, we’ll cover the concepts of Education and Gravitation. In Part 2, we’ll discuss other concepts that also enhance alignment (yes, those words will also end with “ation”).


Analytics uses technical terms and concepts that are fairly alien to the uninitiated. As such, it’s really important to educate and evangelize about what analytics is and what it can do.


Jeff: At Springbox, we have elevated knowledge of analytics in a number of ways. First up is the highly popular quiz show-inspired Lunch and Learn sessions known as the “Fun Quiz Times Initiative” (TM, Patent Pending*), where the Client Engagement Team is rewarded for correctly answering questions about Analytics and Strategy. They’re a competitive bunch, so we can assure you this gets the job done!

We’ve hosted “Tagged or not Tagged” (a riff on Deal or no Deal), as well as “Springbox Feud” (my take on Family Feud), where we split the Client Engagement Team into ‘families’ and quiz them on the analytical and strategic services we offer.

We’ve also written internal educational analytics guides that contain hidden pop culture references. This ensures that the Client Engagement Team read them all the way to the end to scoop top marks and prizes!

Finally, we’ve offered trainings to clients, as well as baked in ‘audience participation’ elements to our analytics decks to ensure that we encourage client discussion and analytical learnings.

Katie: I agree with Jeff. For a change! Just kidding. It really is about knowing your audience. Some clients - and Client Managers for that matter - do not understand the dictionary of analytics buzz words used in day-to-day conversations (For example, “Syzygy” - I assure you the Client Manager did not title this article!).

The Analytics initiatives have ensured that this is as painless an experience as possible for everyone. It also helps that the Analytics team speaks in layman terms when telling a story to their audience. In turn, it’s also down to the Client Manager to pick up the basics – which is also definitely happening.


Secondly, it’s important to ensure everyone gravitates towards the same goals.


Katie: For example, when the client tells their Client Manager to track something with analytics, before tasking Analytics with a vague brief of “do some tagging”, you must act as a consultant instead of a yes-man (or yes-woman!). Instead of replying with “Okay!” and a big smile, you must first ask them: “Why? What is the business or analytical objective?”, “What will you do with this information?” and so on. The more details that can be collected up front, the more relevant and actionable the analytics will ultimately become.

Jeff: Great points, Katie! Although it can seem obvious, it’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of agency life and miss this important step. Not only does this help to provide more value to clients, but it also ensures that we deliver a solution that is Right First Time (RFT) and doesn’t require many amendments or additional work.


Over to you!

We hope you enjoyed Part 1 of our discussion about syzygies. You should now be armed with a few ideas about how to align your organization and customers with your analytical endeavors.

Why not let us know how you get on? We’d love to hear from you.

* = it isn’t really Trademarked or Patent Pending (but it should be!).