Whenever there is a discussion on how a PPC manager should handle his/her mistakes when reporting to a boss or client, it is bound to get extremely interesting. From the answers one is apt to glean, it becomes clear that a lot of PPC managers have very little clue on this issue. Any competent service however recognizes 3 main principles to use when mistakes are made in clients PPC accounts.
The first is to get the whole picture. Often a mistake feels like an attack. The natural response to an attack is to defend oneself. However, to maintain the relationship, the PPC client needs to resist that urge and instead listen. It is important to make sure to understand exactly what the issue is, how large the effect, and why it happened. Further, remember that perception is reality. The boss/client may have a different perspective than you have, causing the issue to be exaggerated in their view. Don’t discount their perspective but rather acknowledge it so that as you move forward you take the appropriate steps.
Own up to your mistake. It takes a high degree of professionalism to do this and only the best services can. The only thing more frustrating than the initial mistake is the blame game. Whatever level of responsibility you have in the issue, take ownership of that. Explain what happened and perhaps give some reasons why. Don’t make it sound like an excuse though and don’t take more blame than you deserve. Nonetheless, owning up goes a long way in maintaining a positive relationship.
Prevent it from happening again. Now that the issue has been determined, responsibility has been taken, and the mistake fixed, it is important to put measures in place to prevent the mistake from happening again. This step is what allows the move beyond typical customer service (fixing the problem) and demonstrates to the boss/client that the commitment to not making the mistake again is in place. It provides closure to the issue at hand and begins the relationship moving forward in the right direction again.
If handled appropriately, mistakes don’t have to be relationship and credibility killers. If anything, they can help bind relationships even tighter.
Marketing principles permeate into every aspect of online marketing but they’re less pronounced and little discussed. This is especially so in PPC. Having a basic understanding of these principles and knowing how they correspond to your campaigns can give you a leg up over competitors.
Product comes first. In traditional marketing, product refers to the physical product itself. The ergonomics, colors, packaging, etc., but for online marketing one doesn’t really get to make those choices. The challenge is entirely different. When you go into a store you can hold something in your hand. You know exactly what you’re getting because you can see it, touch it, smell it, and perhaps even hear it. Online, one has to make up for this lack of physical contact. In online marketing, product refers to your representation of the product/service online.
Place homes in second. Knowing where to advertise your product or service can sometimes be just as important as the product itself. You’re product could be the best thing since sliced bread, but if you’re not in the correct market space, you’ll never turn a profit.
How about promotion? Now that you have your product and you know where your audience is, you need to be enticing. Promotional materials can manifest in many ways for PPC but for the most part they’re all part of grabbing the greatest amount of attention with ad copy.
The issue of price comes up. Price sounds pretty straightforward, but online pricing can get a bit tricky. Essentially, the online price is whatever the customer gives you to get your product/service. The price of a good or service online can be broken down into two portions: actual price and perceived price. Actual price is as straightforward as it gets but with perceived price however, here’s where things can get a bit complicated. A tremendous haul of attention needs to be especially accorded to this.
For any marketer, online or off, the 4 P’s are a very basic foundation of your offerings and how they translate to customers. Knowing the strategies behind each of these areas can help you understand your online efforts better and thus help you to outperform your competition.
Conversations amongst PPC professionals often gravitate toward nightmare clients. The ones who called at all hours of the day, dictated what should be done in the account and when, or were never satisfied even by exemplary results. Looking through these situations, it is inevitable to consider that nobody is happy. The manager feels belittled or berated and the client wants better results and is frustrated; a no-win situation in every sense. So, here’s a painted picture of the perfect PPC client.
Know Your Goals. This is going to be one of the first questions a reputable service will ask you during a sales call. What is your CPA? What is your conversion rate? What is lifetime value? As a client you should already know these metrics. They are the foundation of success in PPC because you can use them to back into your PPC bids and you have a standard to judge performance against. Without them, you’ll struggle to know what’s profitable and what isn’t. To be the perfect client, know these numbers beforehand. If you don’t, and you want your PPC manager to help you figure that out, then you need to build that into your expectations, which is our second point.
Know Your Expectations. This may seem obvious but it’s the core of a successful relationship. When reputable services get answers like “Make a lot of money”, they at once know that the clients haven’t thought through what they expect. Even after digging it seems like they just want to reduce their workload or they only recently fired the last guy and need a replacement fast.
When you know your expectations you can accurately determine the fit between the manager and yourself. For example, if you expect weekly reports and calls and the manager only does monthly reports and calls, you know right away that even if they agree to your terms it’s not habit for them, they’ll simply be going out of their way to accommodate you. If you’re therefore picking them because they’re the low-cost bid, there is the potential to create resentment.
Know How You Communicate. Note that this implies good communication. That is a must, but you also need to know how you communicate best. If you prefer a well-written email, look for a manager that writes good emails in the sales process. If you prefer a quick call, look for a manager that is well-spoken and organized on the phone, even when the call is impromptu. Finding a good match on communication style will help ensure that communication is effective and this will go a long way towards creating a happy client/manager relationship.