In PPC Marketing, it’s our job to educate the client on what PPC Marketing can do for them (Realistically). Whether the client is new to PPC or is just looking for another Agency with the hopes of better success, there are a few things that Agencies should consider before they submit their SOW. In this post, I will discuss five (5) mistakes that can hurt that important relationship (and near future referrals).
1. Expectation Settings: Nothing is more important than setting the right expectations from day one. Agencies that promise the world just to get the account and then under-deliver, make it difficult for the advertiser to trust anyone in the industry. In some cases, this problem stems from a miscommunication between the Sales Team and the Client Management Team. The sales team wants the sale (aka commission) and the client management team needs to make sure they have the bandwidth and support to carry out the execution. Solution: During the Sales call, include a senior member of the client management team so he or she can get an idea of whether the account is worth managing or if the expectations can be met. (personally, I have experienced this many times in the past and it was a nice feeling) 2. Poor Discovery Phase Execution: One of the biggest failures in PPC is the lack information during the discovery phase. Whether it’s not asking the right questions, or even understanding the basic goals and objectives, can create a disaster. In the Discovery phase, PPC Marketers must be proactive with their questions and honestly “think outside the box”. Even though this is strictly for PPC, the strategy/plan should be developed in coordination with all other online and offline marketing initiatives. Solution: Listen to the client, as they are the experts for their company. Allow them to educate the PPC marketer on everything they know about their business (audience, top products/services, seasonality, past success/failures, etc). 3. Covering Up Mistakes How many times have PPC Marketers accidentally forgotten to make a change, make a mistake with a destination URL, or not paused a campaign when they were supposed to (I am just thinking of a few here)? If a client finds out that something was not executed correctly and finds out, then there is a lack of trust. Once trust is lost, the client will start shopping around. It’s not about the mistakes, it’s about being truthful with the client. Solution: Be upfront with mistakes and keep the lines of communication open. If the client notices a mistake before the Agency does, be very clear that it was an honest mistake and that it will be fixed immediately. 4. Execution without their approval: Depending on the client, this one is like “playing with fire” with the relationship. When a client specifically says that they need to review every new campaign, text ad and even keyword before it is live, and the PPC Marketer pushes it live, this could have major ramifications. For example, bidding on competitors is a “very slippery slope” that has the possibility of ruining not only the client-agency relationship, but also the client’s own reputation. Solution: Don’t try and be a rock star, the client doesn’t care. Just get their approval first (if needed). 5. Excessive Delays in Communication If any agency takes too long to respond back to a client, or fails to execute projects in a timely manner, the client will lose faith in their decision to hire that agency. One of the biggest issues that I have experienced is the holes in the “chain of command” within agencies. For example, usually the client has an account manager, then a project manager, and a PPC Strategist, PPC Manager, etc. With all of these different people on an account, it can sometimes confuse the client and create a “longer than expected” response. Even though this structure is common for larger agencies, and in many cases works out fine, the client always comes first. From experience, clients are sometimes concerned that there are too many people working on the account and receive different feedback from week to week. Solution: If the client senses, or even asks why, things are taking too long or they are getting mixed information, it’s time to reevaluate who is managing the account. Remember, the client comes first. In Conclusion: Managing a client relationship is just as important as the work itself. It’s imperative to have a strong understanding of the client’s business during the discovery phase. Being proactive and engaging with the client from the “get go” will only ensure success for both parties. Furthermore, avoid the stupid mistakes (as mentioned above) which lead to overall poor client management.