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Conversations You Should Be Having With Your PPC Agency And Why You’ll Need An Agency Even In The Age of Automation

Can you remember the last time you had a conversation with someone where there wasn’t a screen involved? You didn’t check your phone, the TV wasn’t on in the background or you didn’t have your laptop in front of you?

It’s good to talk.

In an age where we are consumed by machines, sometimes it’s nice to have an actual conversation – albeit you sometimes might need to use technology as a medium for said conversation! However, I think it’s fair to say that actual conversations can be hard to come by, especially when you’re trusting someone else to just get on and do the job properly for you. But, if you’re trusting that person to deliver the best possible results for your business, how can they do that without talking to you?

Whatever the end goal of your Google Ads advertising, it’s good to discuss how things are going and what could be done better. Which is why I’ve compiled a list of what I think are the 4 most important conversations you should be having with your PPC agency:

What’s New?

Firstly, ask ‘What have you been testing recently?’

It’s easy to set something up within Google Ads and leave it run and get decent results; especially with the rise of automation. But what about the strategy, and the testing of new ad copy, or the fact that you changed your phone number two months ago and the ads aren’t reflective of this anymore.

Asking your agency what’s changed in the account in the last few weeks is always worth doing; it keeps them on their toes and ensures regular changes and testing.

On the flip side of this, your agency might actually have been trying some really cool stuff in your account that they’d just not got round to mentioning or might’ve forgotten to bring up in when they last sent your report over. Finding out what’s new for you as the client/business owner/advertiser can prove really interesting and allow you to find just how in-depth the work being done in your account really is.

The latest tech

Enquire about the latest changes in PPC and how they’ll affect your account. Perhaps your agency has implemented new scripts or automated bidding in your account; knowing what these are will help understand the wider picture and the optimisation that’s involved in keeping your account ticking over.

As an agency we utilise both our own in-house scripts and technology alongside Google and Microsoft’s automated bidding strategies, using tools that actually are extremely complex but work on a regular basis to make sure everything continues to head in the right direction. It’s not a case of throwing loads of tech and hoping it works and actually not having to do anything within the account, in fact, it’s quite the opposite; there’s still strategy, data analysis, and reporting needed.

If you know what’s being used in your account, then your agency can go into more depth about what’s working well and what isn’t, and equally, if you have someone to report to, your knowledge of explaining various areas within the account will be useful when you sit down and discuss performance with your peers and colleagues.

It’s not all about numbers

This is probably the most important conversation to have, and ideally, this discussion would be started by your agency but by letting your them know about any other areas of your business they could optimise towards is a potential game changer. One question I ask clients is “Beyond an immediate sale, what else constitutes to your business’s success?” – or words to that effect. To explain the context of this, let’s dig into what I mean…

Standard conversion actions (tracking revenue for example) might bring immediate value, but as a company, you might have other contributions that offer a medium to long-term value to the business. Let’s say you sell flooring, but also give away free samples; the first thing and the main thing you’re going to be optimising the account for is the sale of flooring, and rightly so. But what about those free samples you’re giving away that feature prominently on your website as a USP? Letting your agency know what these are, and asking if there’s anything they can do to incorporate this into your account is such a worthwhile conversation; it could be that you create a goal in Analytics so you can track the number of samples ordered, for example. It can also help you by giving you greater awareness of the consumer experience, which in turn can lead to some great data and insight from your PPC agency which can help you and your department in those Monday morning board meetings. 

So in other words…

Conversations You Should Be Having With Your PPC Agency And Why You’ll Need An Agency Even In The Age of Automation (1)

So, while ultimately your agency might be reporting on the numbers, they might have a better way of doing this or might be able to offer more insight by knowing the bigger picture of how your business works.

And finally…

Okay so this isn’t so much a conversation to have with your agency, but more an informative paragraph for advertisers who use an agency to get their head around how automation will impact them and the continued need for agencies.

It’d be very easy to think that with smart bidding and automation that you don’t actually need an agency anymore, because if Google or the script that’s running can get the same results as an agency, then why would you bother paying someone to get these results, when you could skip the middle-man? However, the rise of automation doesn’t mean you no longer need an agency, it just changes the game. Especially if your agency is a Google Premier Partner and gets access to the latest BETAs and product launches…

Let’s use a very simple example here to explain how automation means there’ll always be the need for an agency. In 1970s America there were 300,000 bank tellers. A bank teller, or bank cashier, is someone employed by a bank who deals directly with customers. When ATMs were the next big thing, there were a lot of concerns that the job of a bank teller would become redundant.

However in the US in 2010 there were 400,000 ATM machines which lead to there being 600,000 bank tellers in US. These bank tellers now manage customer relationships, rather than handing out cash;  You can’t replace the human experience.

The relationship can’t be automated away.

The same applies to your digital marketing agency. Whilst your agency might be moving away from manual tasks like bid management and keyword mining, they can be trying and testing new ad copy, become true data specialists, build a better relationship with you and also designate more time towards competitor analysis.

It’s one thing paying an agency to manage your account, it’s another thing understanding them and them understanding you. If you feel like you’re not getting the best out of your agency, we’d love to give you a free Google Ads review and have a chat about where things are at. Reach out, get in touch and have a chat with us!

Post by Matthew Soakell
July 1, 2019