In most cases, a PPC agency will transform your Google, Facebook, Amazon, and other paid channels into a much more profitable venture. However, this isn’t always the outcome.
If you set up your agency to fail, they are going to fail. Instead, consider following this advice to dramatically increase the odds for success.
Assign a Project Leader
If your company has several stakeholders, pick somebody to act as the main point of contact. Ideally, this person will be armed with some marketing knowledge and will have the authority to make decisions about budgets and creative direction.
Having a lead to communicate with your agency will avoid conflicts and confusion, preventing campaign derailment. It will also allow your agency to be agile, completing campaign builds and experiments quickly and efficiently.
Tell your agency about your other marketing channels, what you’re achieving there, and how. If you’re working with another marketing agency or freelancer, please introduce us. We may not talk amongst ourselves, much, but enough to ensure we’re aligned on overall strategy.
Provide as much content and context as you can so we truly understand your business. As many advertisers are migrating to an Omnichannel model, it is more important than ever to ensure unified messaging and integration.
Set Realistic Goals
Any good PPC agency can size up your business for what it is. Setting absurd goals isn’t going to make us work better, harder, faster; it’s going to make us quit. If you’re not sure what’s realistic just ask us. Also, set goals that are meaningful for your business and campaign types.
For branding, your main objectives should be to achieve a certain reach (number of users that see your ad) and frequency (average number of times each user sees your ad). There are some ways to measure brand lift, which you should discuss with your agency.
For lead generation, your main objectives should be lead volume and cost per lead. For sales, your main objectives should be revenue and ROAS (return on ad spend).
When combined with your internal business data such as the closing rate for leads or COGS for product sales, you should be able to calculate your profits. Oh, and don’t forget to estimate client lifetime value, it’s crucial for understanding the long term benefit of marketing.
Set Reasonable Deadlines
Small campaign changes can usually be implemented pretty quickly, often the same day for many agencies. Rolling out new landing pages, on the other hand, often takes about a week as there is a fair amount of development time involved as well as several iterations to go through.
Be responsive and your agency will typically be responsive too. If your agency sends you creatives to review on Wednesday morning, please don’t send it back Friday at 4:45 with a bunch of change requests and ask for a Monday morning launch.
We understand that sometimes there’s a push to get something out at the last minute (Black Friday comes to mind); we’ll always do our best to accommodate you. But when it’s always at the “last minute” you’ll probably start to see some push back.
Trust Our Expertise
You’ve hired an agency for their expertise and to free yourself up to work on other things. You need to trust that expertise. Your agency will balance your business objectives with best practices and experience. Remember, they work with PPC ads all day every day.
Read and Respond to Your Reports
Remember those goals you’d set? This is how you check where your agency is at relative to those goals.
I can’t tell you the number of times a client was suddenly surprised about a particular number simply because they hadn’t looked at reports for 2 or 3 months.
Reports provided by your agency contain a breakdown of KPI performance, analysis, details of work completed, and tactical recommendations for the next period. Please read each report and provide feedback and/or ask questions. We’re waiting on you to give us the green light to optimize and/or test certain things that could enhance performance. And if you’re not sure about something, let’s meet to discuss sooner rather than later.
If we send you a report and don’t hear back we must assume you’re satisfied with the performance.
Don’t Waste Time with Busy Work
Your agency has developed processes that deliver positive results. This includes how and when we update and optimize campaigns, reporting methodology, the roll-out of new platforms and platform features, and so on. Frequently asking for changes that are not data-driven or testing of things we already know won’t work aren’t going to result in better performance. Likewise, asking us for a detailed log of everything we do is just wasting our time; time that could be spent delivering better results.
We ask you to trust the process unless and until the process isn’t working.
Facilitate Testing, Evaluation, and Change
Your agency will maintain your evergreen campaigns in good order and optimize them regularly. But outside of this, I recommend having some dedicated budget for experimentation. Ideas can come from you or your agency and should be agreed and budgeted for before implementation.
Be Constructive with Negative Feedback
As an agency, we need your feedback. We’re not always going to deliver exactly what you want. It’s important to be open and honest with us about what you don’t like as much as what you do like. Letting concerns linger is just going to lead to more disappointment. Issues might be about not meeting project goals, unsuitable creatives, a poor customer service experience, or how the original goals no longer suit your business needs. If we have to change the goals or fix something let’s do so ASAP.
PPC agencies realize you have many other options to choose from and will do their utmost to deliver the results you want. Be open, honest, and cooperative with your PPC agency and you’ll set yourself up for success.