09 May 5 Indicators Your Partner May Be Out For Themselves
You’ve just started your new business, with your brand new website. You know you have the best product, and people want to buy it. All you need now is to get that product in front of those buyers, and a streamlined marketing initiative via the web is your most efficient avenue. Simply put, most start-ups don’t have 5 million dollars just lying around for a single super bowl commercial, even though you would gain instant exposure to 100 million people worldwide. That type of large scale advertisement carpet bombing works great for Budweiser, but you want a laser-guided precision strike. You need actionable data. You need efficiency, and the ability to scale up when necessary. You need Google PPC.
Google’s elite reputation speaks for itself, as does their long and distinguished history of online advertising. We all know, if you want more Google traffic, you can bid for it. But this is already a huge and rapidly growing sector, so simply throwing money at Google may not be the best use of your limited resources. Unless you are a digital expert, chances are those advertising dollars are not going to be spent as efficiently as they could be. The endless combination of variables creates advantages but can quickly swell to a level of unsustainable inefficiency. Digital marketing agencies can take a huge burden off your shoulders, and free up time for you to run your company and close new business.
There are tons of solid agencies out there. Call me biased, but Logical Media Group is a pretty great one! Whether you are vetting your first potential partner or are wrapping up year 5 of a long standing relationship, the question is always: how do you know are getting the most for your money? Cost-per-acquisition and ROI are obvious, but that’s not everything. Let’s look past the data for a moment to consider 5 key aspects to keep in mind when assessing whether or not your agency has your best interests at heart:
1. Ownership/Access to Your Data: This may seem obvious, but you may be surprised to discover how some agencies view the data they are reporting to you. You should have the right to see all the data your media dollars are generating, and you should be able to view your complete accounts whether they reside in AdWords or Bing Ads. It is understandable that many agencies have proprietary tools, but under no circumstance should the paid search accounts and raw data they create be inaccessible to you. This includes when your contract ends as well. We all know that no relationship lasts forever, and when it’s time to part ways you should be able to take your data/reports/accounts with you. After all, they call it pay-per-click for a reason! It was your money that bought those clicks that created all that data!
2. Transparency: Being transparent with any business partner is always essential in building trust. You are granting your new agency the ability to spend tens of thousands of advertising dollars every month. A clear and concise review of what is going on in your accounts should be done at least every other week if not more frequently. If there is an issue with the account, you should be told. If Google is making an update to their system, you should be told. Account optimizations should meet your approval, and if you disagree with something, then a dialog should commence until a consensus can be reached. Many times the biggest complaint we get from new clients is their previous agency never really told them what was going on. They reported the data, sent them a bill, and told them everything was great. For all they knew, they could have been cooking the books the entire time!
3. Education: Logical Media Group’s approach has always been centered around teaching our clients what is going on with their campaigns and the reasoning behind our strategy. In our opinion, we feel it is more beneficial to everyone and sets our clients up for future success. If your agency shows minimal to no interest in teaching you the field of paid search, that does not necessarily mean they are doing a poor job. However, we feel this is an indicator that they are not confident in their ability to continually win your business if you were as educated on the subject of paid search as they are. If your agency doesn’t possess that confidence, perhaps they aren’t willing to go the extra mile in other ways as well. Lack of education can also be a passive aggressive attempt to keep you in the dark regarding the details of what is occurring in your paid search account.
4. Creativity: Just because we work with rows and rows of numbers doesn’t mean we can’t be creative as well. Your agency should be bringing new ideas to the table and not recycling the same optimizations every week. This is a fast-moving and ever-changing industry and you should be kept up to date with the latest and greatest. You shouldn’t expect the same old cookie cutter approach everyone else is getting. Your money should be buying you some outside-the-box creative thinking. No two accounts will ever be the same, even in the same industry. If your paid search campaigns can unlock the one or two key levers that no one else is utilizing, this can help launch your company to a new level of growth.
5. Customer Service: I feel bad that this final point even has to be mentioned, but unfortunately in today’s day and age it needs to be. No matter who you are dealing with or what industry you are in, good customer service is a must. Your agency should make it a point to return every phone call, every email, every follow up within a timely manner. If you were told to expect something by a certain day and time, then that deadline should be hit. At the same time no one is perfect, and if something is missed, no matter how inconsequential, then a cordial apology should be given. Of course, customer service is a two-way-street as well, clients. A little extra emphasis on this front lets both parties know that we share the same goal and on the same page with the same level of engagement. It can prove to be the key to setting everyone up for success.
Some of these points may sound fundamental, but too often we see examples where a client was kept in the dark and taken for granted. Bottom line figures like CPA and ROAS are obviously very important, but if your “partner” agency isn’t also working up to some of these standards, I think it’s fair to question if you really are getting what you paid for.