Post 2/30: Find All Your PPC Weaknesses In 1 Day

By Jeff Allen | @JeffAllenUT | President at Hanapin Marketing

This is part of a 30 posts in 30 days series chronicling my first 30 days in my new role as President of Hanapin Marketing.


One of the reasons I love PPC is that it gives you the opportunity to constantly be learning.  With so much going on though, it is hard to know what you don’t know. Or to know what your weaknesses are within PPC so you can work to strengthen them.


My second day as President was an extremely busy one and as I reflect on what I learned one big thing stood out to me. When we are our busiest, it shines light on what our weaknesses, or at least preferences, are. Think about it, when you are super busy you typically neglect the harder tasks, or those you are less interested in, and focus on the things that come easier to you.


Here’s a breakdown of my day Thursday and below it a list of the things I avoided (my weaknesses).


6:00-6:45 – Checking new Excel macros, planning for the day

6:45-7:00 – Drive to work, make coffee

7:00-8:00 – Answer emails, check account/blog stats from day before

8:00-9:00 –Read documents for 9:00 department review meeting

9:00-10:30 – Review what each department is working on with CEO

10:30-11:00 – Weekly catch up with Sr. AM Jeff Baum

11:00-11:15  – Weekly catch up with CM Eliza Campos

11:15-12:00 – Reviewed 2 accounts with account teams that I am paying particular attention to this week

12:00-1:00  – Lunch meeting with CEO on training and recognition programs

1:00-2:00 – Interview remote applicant

2:00-2:30 – Review and put finishing touches on 90-day review of an AM

2:30-3:00 – 90-day review of an AM

3:00-3:30 – Discovery call with a new software company

3:30-4:00 – Answered emails/questions from co-workers

4:00-4:15 – Trained new AM on our monthly action plans for small business clients

4:15-4:45 – Reviewed reports accounting set over on churn and hourly rates

4:45-6:00 – Drive home and eat dinner with Lori

6:00-7:00 – Work on blog post

7:00 -… – Celebrate 2nd 2nd by losing at darts all night



What I avoided:


  • Paying a parking ticket (I will eventually, settle down mom)
  • Compose email to team asking for help on a project
  • Review/provide feedback on email from CEO Re: follow up from 9:00 meeting
  • Follow up on project I set a deadline of Wednesday on but that wasn’t completed (to my knowledge)
  • Compiling all my notes from the past week and making sure all my to-dos had been handled
  • Creating my plan for next week so I don’t have to think about it over the weekend


What I know is that I hate doing errands. Things like paying parking tickets are just awful to me so there is no surprise that it’s the first thing, and most urgent thing to do, that got pushed off.


The other gap in my skillset that stands out from this is the fact that I don’t always push people as hard as I should. There was a deadlines that I had set earlier in the week that I don’t believe was buttoned up before the long weekend (it is 2nd 2nd for Hanapin. This is a paid holiday that falls on the 2nd Friday of the 2nd month of every quarter. Basically it is 4 extra 3-day weekends every year that the people that work at Hanapin enjoy). I am great at pushing external deadlines (we always hit deadlines with clients) but I tend to be more lenient on internal deadlines due to empathy for how busy our team can be.


If I am going to manage the day-to-day operations of Hanapin effectively I am obviously going to have to a.) toughen up and b.) create a better process for managing project milestones. I have tools and resources to use that will help me and generally speaking, our company culture is one of not missing deadlines. But even with this I will be making a deliberate effort to shore this up over the next few weeks.


Using this same exercise for PPC you might find that you focus your day(s) on bid changes, ad writing or keyword research why neglecting things like creating 90-strategy presentations, creating product feeds for PLA’s, or setting up sophisticated bid rules.


We naturally lean in to our strengths and away from our weaknesses. This means that an exceptionally busy day is a great opportunity to step back and make note of what you are avoiding!


If you are interested in reading all posts in this series you can start with post 1 about what I am focusing on as president of a PPC agency. Post 3 is about managing PPC accounts while on vacation.