Working in an agency, I know clients can be demanding. Seriously 90% of the ones I’ve worked with were – and when I was a client, well – not every meeting was a pleasant one. It can sometimes seem obvious what a client wants or needs (especially when performance is not on target). But what gets them in the position of totally trusting you like a boyfriend or girlfriend in any good relationship is primarily to do with the following 5 points.
Like in any good relationship, transparency is vital. We got into GDPR because of a lack of transparency. Mark Zuckerberg got called in for questioning because of a lack of transparency. And Google has been slapped with a £44million lawsuit because of what? You guessed it – lack of transparency. Clients want to know what you are doing precisely with their accounts. They pay [usually] quite a lot of money for you to manage their account/s, and that’s not just for results – that is for the time you are putting in. As we know, consistent improvement in performance isn’t guaranteed. Especially when performance is remaining level week upon week, transparency of what you are doing is key to ensure you are worth every penny of their fee.
Generally being on top of things
Based on the above point – the client needs to know you are on top of things. What do I mean by that – be the one that notices when things have gone wrong. And your full planned details on how you plan on tackling the issue and getting them back on the track of success. Everyone knows mistakes happen – but what can sometimes be worse than the error itself is NOT noticing it happened. This is why it is an important daily task to see if there have been any drastic changes in volume, efficiency and return on investment.
Are you not getting the desired reply from your emails? Maybe you aren’t telling the client what they need to hear or precisely what they want to know from an account. Yes – it’s all well and good to let the client know that performance is stable/good and to tell them your list of actions coming up. But you have to think again, what is the client paying for? Well, I’ll let you in on something – they want you to wow them! They want you to show them strategic progress, what are they doing that their competitors aren’t, and how can they be the game changes in their industry. The kind of things that they can pass unto their bosses & head to show the marketing campaign is continuing to be a worthwhile investment. Remember, a silent treatment – like in a relationship is hardly ever a good thing.
Get to know them
Meetings, when you get to know about the client, are so important. Assuming you’ve gotten all the details you need from the client because you know what the marketing targets are is misguided. Having a senior member of your team book a lunch and ask questions like – how are things going with you in the business? Or what kinds of performance will make you look like a superstar to your boss? And less of, how much money do you guys have to spend on xyz. This leads to a level of great trust that gives you and your team strategic reign of the account — a dream situation for most agencies.
Finally – don’t be afraid to correct a client! An upset client doesn’t mean you have lost the contract. In all communications – treat the client [and everyone really] with respect. But it doesn’t mean you are just “yes” men/women. A client pays us to be an expert and to direct the account in a way that makes them stand out from the crowd. When they start giving you directions that don’t make sense or too granular instructions for account changes – it means the trust is waning. Gain it right back by disagreeing with misguided instructions and get back on track with giving outstanding recommendations. You will get a reply to those email, and in my experience, it will include the words – “sure – implement those changes you have suggested and let us know the outcome”. Then all there is to it is following up with insightful analysis.
Giving depth to a client relationship is so important. A client doesn’t want another agency that says yes to instructions but one that takes control of the relationship – takes a genuine interest about what is going on on their side of the business, gives meaningful insights and be honest and transparent about what has gone wrong and what needs to be fixed.
Data has long been the backbone of the digital marketing world. If you aren’t measuring performance in some way or the other, you are throwing your client’s money in a deep dark hole and not proving your worth.
So, we need to really be paying attention to what regulations like GDPR and CCPA and platform updates like ITP mean for our clients and how they are going to affect the way account directors show the true impact of the marketing campaigns we are running.
It is easy to think that we’ve just got to leave it to the data scientists and data strategists to worry about that. But that is not true – those who speak to their clients about what to do now will be the ones kept at the decision tables as to how to spend that money in the future.
The Makings Of A Future-Thinking Account Director
I went to a breakfast earlier this week and I can’t lie one of the biggest draws for me was that it was taking place at a restaurant I have always heard great things about – The Ivy (in Covent Garden). I came upon the LinkedIn advert by a company I hadn’t really heard much about – Microscape Event’s – they were running a Women in Tech Sales event, and even though my first thought was, “Pass! I'm not in Sales”, my second was “Go on Anu – check it out, you never know who you’ll meet and you know some of the companies the speakers work at!”. Oh boy! I’m glad I did, because the feeling of being in the Ivy was nothing compared to being with some of the amazing women I have ever met who were just so warm, friendly, ambitious and inspiring.
In a previous post (The 5 AdWords Scripts To Start You On Managing A New Account) I introduced 5 Scripts that will get you started on supercharging your account. So you now know what scripts are – you have taken the vital baby steps and you're efficiently tracking your Quality Score, you've cleaned up your account and do not have any empty ad groups, you know how to see which of the competitors are on your tail quickly and you never spend more than you tell Google to. That’s enough right? Well – maybe and maybe not. As I am sure you are aware, Google is always making new changes & updates. Well if you're anything like me, some of those updates just don’t suit you & you find the way Google manages the account makes me spend in areas you really don’t want to? Well – I am going to give you 5 more scripts to efficiently monitor that and ensure you don’t spend a penny where you don’t need to. Again click on title to be taken to full script.
Having worked in several digital companies or in a digital advertising team for over 10 years, I have seen a lot of management styles. Some good, some not so good. As I have taken up leadership positions along the way, I can honestly say one of my favourite things to see is [mostly] young executives come into the field so eager to “get” Paid Search, so focused and determined. I sometimes wonder – have I ever been that way? However, what really grinds me SOMETIMES, is when some managers don’t manage/nurture/encourage that hunger. I have had great mentors in the past – and it is from these less than a handful of people that I am going to draw on – as the basis of my advice to managers who have hungry execs, but see them leave for something better just after 6 months or less.
Over the years of joining new companies and talking to new clients I have been amazed about the level of expectations that is had of Paid Search. Right in the middle of some chats – I’ve had moments of “wait, I think we need to take a few steps back and educate these guys on what will actually make Paid Search work for this business!”.
Sure - they know that PPC is about driving quality clicks to their websites and that there needs to be a high relevancy between the keywords, ad copy & landing page – but to ensure you get the most efficient CPA and highest conversion rates there are several factors that need to be understood.
Evolution of PPC
In 2002 Paid search was comparatively cave man like – we only had text ads, you could bid on Google with hardly any competition, there were very simple account/campaign structures (mostly Brand vs. Generic) and the priority was traffic to the site, therefore the person with the most cash got the top position.
But times have changed now – we have a plethora of ad types (Expanded Text Ads, Responsive text Ads, Shopping Ads, Dynamic Ads and let’s not get started on the ad extensions). There is so much more competition in pretty much any advertising space you find yourself in. Structures are becoming more granular – as granular as a website is especially as we get more sophisticated with match type strategy. And gone are the days you report only on traffic – the director wants to know their return on investment (ROI) or cost per lead. And let’s not even get to all the different factors that Google now considers to find you worthy of that coveted 1st position (the known AND the un-disclosed). Thanks Google.
To ensure we're on top of being the best at every single one of these we need solutions of several kinds: bidding, campaign management, ad testing, reporting, competitive analysis & attribution. Companies have developed different tools and software that provides you with one or more of these solutions. But did you know there is one tool that opens up all these solutions to you?
As of August 2018, MindSwan is to be the Paid Media agency of Resi – initially focusing on their Paid Search media account.
This isn’t the first time that Resi, an online architectural practice based in Bermondsey, London, have asked for outside help in working on their Paid Search Account.
Resi has previously worked with other digital marketing agencies but without seeing expected results Resi felt that it was best to go in a different direction.
In Paid Search advertising alongside your regular reports of tables & graphs, you are going to have to explain the trends that have formed over time. We mostly call this the commentary.
Whether you are client side or agency – the guys’ behind the purse string want to know why performance has changed in the way it has with as little use of jargon as possible.
So what is the non jargon translation for CPC shift or clicks going up or down? Well let's go through the top 5 volume metrics which will be affected & efficiency metrics that help paint the story.