When conducting interviews, or speaking with new clients, the conversation almost always shifts to something along the lines of “what makes PPC Account Managers really great at their jobs?” The answer typically depends on the Account Manager that comes to mind but the reason why Account Managers fail typically boils down to five mistakes.
Building PPC Skills and Not PPC Mindset
I am a grandpa in the Internet marketing world. I’ve been doing it on a large scale since 2000 and my career has spanned email, lead gen, SEO, social, and PPC. When most people hear this, especially new employees that are relatively new to the industry, they think that I must know everything. While I like to think that I do, the reality is that the game changes so fast that the skills I have developed, and the knowledge I have about how PPC works is largely irrelevant excluding the most recent couple of years.
What makes someone with a lot of experience different in PPC is twofold. They have confidence that when they are in the weeds they can find their way back out, and they understand that it’s not the skillset that matters, it’s the mindset.
By PPC mindset I am talking about the ability to focus more on diagnosis than solution. The ability to see through the excuses about things outside of your control and focus in on those things you do control. Lastly, by PPC mindset I mean that you understand your sole responsibility to find solutions to the complex problems your business, or your client’s business faces.
Working in a Silo
When new clients onboard with Hanapin that had been with a previous agency the most common reason we hear is, “they didn’t understand our business.” Likely, if we asked that agency if they felt they did understand that client’s business their answer would be something along the lines of we always hit goals, so obviously we did understand their business.
Most clients, like most people, just want to be understood. They want to feel that the person managing their account cares about the success of their business beyond just their PPC targets and through to their overall profitability and growth. Focusing only on quantifiable targets will get you in good favor for the first 3-6 months you have an account, to keep a client year-after-year it takes a deep commitment to finding ways to create a business advantage.
This phrase should be outlawed. It implies that it’s just typical, basic, every day account optimizations that are done because they are done. Like taking out the garbage, or doing the dishes, there are certainly tasks that have to be done that aren’t fun, or don’t necessarily have a big impact on the account. However, focusing on these routine tasks too much prevent you from spending and real time on account growth or applying any real creativity to an account.
I’d argue that you’ll see much greater benefit from ditching the basic tasks and focusing more on expansion ideas, implementing new Google features, or testing super-creative ads then you’ll ever get from adding 10 negatives to an account, or increasing a handful of bids by 10%.
Our motto is to never lie and never say no. Sometimes it is hard to do both of those things, which creates a great learning experience when you try to understand how you got where you are in and how you are going to say yes to the client while being honest about the situation you are in.
This isn’t about being a “yes-person.” It’s about finding a way to give your client or your boss what they want while being realistic about the outcome or effect it may have on the account or business.
Working Hard and Working Harder
The Director of Sales here at Hanapin has a favorite saying, “work hard; play hard.” Replacing that last part with more work will burn you out, limit your creativity, makes you grouchy and not fun to work with. Trust me, I am that person often and am working hard everyday on spending more time outside of work enjoying life!
A PPC Account Manager’s job is never ending so it’s easy to check your accounts at night and on the weekend and get pulled in for an hour of work here and there. Sometimes that’s okay, but if you don’t find balance, you’ll severely limit your own growth potential!