October 11, 2017
As PPCer’s, our best asset is being able to drive trackable advertising performance for companies and clients. We learn our industry, adapt to changes, hone our skills and expand our knowledge of the array of tactics to deliver the best results. We learn processes, “hacks” and ways that work for us across a multitude of clients. However, what I have learned over the years is that to go from being a good PPC Manager, to a great one, is spending the time working directly with clients and stakeholders. Today, we are going to outline some of the reasons I believe that everyone in PPC, regardless of position, experience or industry, should experience a client facing role.
Clear Understanding of Goals
Being able to understand the scope of an account, the goals, the history, and the trends are imperative to you and your client’s success. Many agencies, at times, have multiple layers to the account management process. Typically there is a client face account manager, who coordinates, dictates and delegates roles to varying members of their team. If this person, does not have a high understanding of PPC, the information being passed down to the PPC Manager can get lost in translation or misunderstood. By being able to interact directly with a client, you learn over time to ask the right questions, at the right time, that may lead you down a different path that originally anticipated, due to findings in the account that are misaligned to the clients goals.
Understanding Your Client’s Industry and Business
PPC is not a 1 step solution. We do not just push buttons and look at spreadsheets. We analyze, strategize, test, and analyze again. We think strategically about every step we take, in the same fashion, the rest of the marketing department does. By interacting directly with the client, you are able to ask probing questions about their industry, is there seasonality, who is the space should we be most focused on, where is the industry headed. By being able to ask these questions, you set yourself up to be proactive, rather than reactive. You know when to expect drops in performance, what competitors you should be aware of during peak seasons, and how to predictively research how people will eventually interact with brands in your space.
Naturally I am an introvert. In previous roles, while responsible for crafting and delivering strategy to clients, the day to day interaction was not a big part of my role. Over the years, however, I have had to learn how to explain things on the most basic level, to ensure that the client constantly is aware and understands what we are doing while trusting us to execute a strategy that should help them reach their goals. This is, for many people including myself, the hardest thing to overcome. It has taken me 100’s of calls and meetings to get to a truly comfortable spot. There are still times where I am unclear or I need to reiterate what I just said, but it is a constant evolution as you as an expert in your field. Whether, you stay in the agency side, or transition to an in-house role, developing this skill will help you tremendously as you deliver strategy, performance insights and analysis to whoever the stakeholders are.
PPC Managers at times do not always get the credit we deserve. This is primarily down to not always being in front of the client and showing them what we have done and the strategy behind it. By stepping out of a comfort zone and putting yourself in front of a client will help you broaden your knowledge of PPC and at the same time, create a better rounded you.