As you probably know, I’ve done PPC in both an in-house and agency setting. One of the things that puzzles me about agency life is the number of clients who seem to put their agency on “ignore” after hiring them.
When you’re an in-house SEM, you can’t delete the emails from your boss asking for a meeting, nor can you let all their calls go to voice mail. Chances are you’re heavily involved in marketing planning and strategy sessions, too. So why do clients blow off their agency’s requests for meetings?
There are a couple of reasons I can think of. First off, I think some clients have the mentality that they hired an agency so they won’t have to think about SEM. The last thing they want is yet another meeting to talk about stuff that they don’t want to be bothered with (i.e. SEM).
Another reason could be that the client’s afraid the agency will try to upsell them in the meeting. This is a valid concern – and for all you agency folks out there who use every conversation with a client to try to sell them on more services or a bigger budget, please stop. Now. You’re doing the rest of us a disservice.
As a client, why should you take time out of your busy day to talk to your agency? Well, I’ll tell you why.
Your agency needs to be in the loop.
Certainly your agency doesn’t need to know every little thing that goes on in your company every day. If that were the case, you’d be better off hiring someone in-house. But when it comes to some things, your agency absolutely does need to know in order to continue to provide services that are of value to your business. Here are just a few things that your agency needs to be aware of:
• Website changes, especially pages that get moved , deleted, or added
• Shifts in marketing strategy and messaging
• New product launches
• Pricing changes
• Other marketing campaigns you may be doing, even if they’re not SEM campaigns
There are many more, but you get the picture. In my experience, agency strategy meetings are a great forum for these conversations to take place. Of course, you can use the phone or email, too – but if you’re holding regular strategy meetings with your agency, they can help you manage the marketing process and make recommendations for improvement that you may not have thought of.
You need to be in the loop.
The PPC world is constantly changing and evolving sometimes faster than even us PPC pros can keep up with. As a client, you don’t need to study up on every last detail of new PPC launches. However, you do need to be aware of some things that could impact your business either positively or negatively – which is where your agency comes in.
In addition, your PPC agency probably has ideas for new things to try in PPC. They also have their finger on the pulse of your customers by way of the queries people are using to find your business. It behooves you to listen to this information, because it can inform not only your PPC campaigns, but other marketing as well.
Your agency has valuable insight that you should look at.
I’ve written about PPC reporting and what should be included in your agency’s reports. While at a minimum you need to take the time to read the reports, it’s even better if you schedule a meeting or call to go over the reports with your agency contact. After all, they’re the professional, and they likely have insight beyond what’s written on the page that they can share with you. I’ve found that report meetings with clients are often the best way to keep each other in the loop and to brainstorm new ideas for taking campaigns to the next level. The meetings don’t have to be long, and it’s really worth your time.
A good PPC manager won’t waste your time. They’ll handle the day to day business of running your campaigns effectively, and will only contact you when they have good information to share, questions, or insight for you. Do me a favor: don’t screen their calls, and don’t send their emails to your spam box. Take the meetings. You’ll be glad you did.