Why You Need To Constantly Be Innovating

By Diane Anselmo | @diane_anselmo | Associate Director of Services at Hanapin Marketing

As account managers, we are constantly faced with the challenge of keeping our fingers on the pulse of the latest PPC innovations. It’s always to our advantage to hear about new products and features and to think about how that relates to our current client base. Experience has shown us that if we don’t do it, someone else will certainly step in front of us and do it for us. Within this scenario, lies two big challenges. First is the discovery of these new opportunities. And second is getting client buy-in to test these opportunities.


I Need Ideas!


With the PPC world constantly changing, it’s easy for something new to slip right by you. That’s why it’s imperative to stay on top of the latest PPC happenings as best you can. But with so much going on, what are the best ways to keep on top of everything? The first thing I do is stay connected with the PPC blogs, as new products and features are usually announced there.


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The Inside AdWords blog is a great resource to find the latest innovations


If something piques my interest and seems like a great idea for one of my clients, I immediately do additional research. Sometimes that involves reading more material on the topic and other times it includes reaching out to a search engine rep for guidance.


You can also gain valuable information by simply talking to other industry people. I find that I learn about new products and features from my co-workers and usually lean on them to relay their experiences and tips to me. With that knowledge, I’m able to discern whether or not this new feature is in the best interest of my client.


Selling It To The Client


Initially, it may seem that every client would want to continually test and try new things, but that simply isn’t always the case. Sometimes clients are content with what they’re currently doing or they may have a perception that what you’re recommending to them is simply a way to get them to spend more money and not actually improve their account. That’s where you come in. As account managers, it’s our job to think these new initiatives through and decide whether or not they make sense for the client. If they do, the next step is to show them why they should hop on the bandwagon, not just tell them.


As clients sometimes have trouble visualizing our recommendations, one thing we can do to help them see our vision is to actually show them how these initiatives might look if they employed them. For example, instead of just telling a client that they should expand into social media, take the time to create a Facebook ad and send it to them. In doing so, they can get a better understanding of what expanding into Facebook would actually look like. That is usually a springboard for deeper ideas of how they can use these initiatives to their advantage. By “seeing” the initiative, excitement builds which usually leads to clients taking the next step.


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Show your client a Facebook ad example instead of just telling them. Here’s an example Hero Conf ad


It’s also important to articulate to the client how advantageous it is to start testing expansion ideas and platforms when they are new. Everyone likes being ahead of their competitors and getting involved earlier usually lends itself to more customer support and guidance, which can result in better campaigns.


Set Expectations


While it always seems like a great idea to expand our accounts as much as we can, our job as account managers is to do that in ways that make sense. Our clients rely on us for that type of insight and trust that we’re recommending initiatives that are in alignment with their overall business goals. With that said, anytime we are recommending something new, we should clearly articulate what we expect performance to be.


For example, if it’s an initiative that’s more of a branding tool, let the client know not to expect tons of leads to pour in immediately. If others in your company are using the same platform, share their results with your client so that they have a better understanding of what other advertisers are seeing.


It’s also important to set expectations on budget. Take time beforehand to conduct research and figure out how much budget you would need to give the new initiative a fair test. The last thing you want to do is get a budget-constrained client all excited about something new and then tell them that you need a $10K test budget (which they don’t have).


You should also keep in mind that some clients are in verticals that can’t work with every platform due to policies and restrictions. Before you go ahead and tell the client how incredible this new initiative is going to be, take a moment to do your research and make sure that they are actually permitted to participate in this initiative. I’ve made this mistake before and it always leaves the client disappointed, as you’ve now shown them how much of a game changer this opportunity can be and then followed up by telling them that they’re not permitted to use it.


Final Thoughts


Once you’ve implemented these new initiatives, don’t forget to report on them separately and really show your client how performance is being impacted. We want to make sure that clients understand the value of expansion, as it will keep them open to future ideas. While not every initiative is going to be a winner, there are certainly some gems out there that are going to make an impact on the account. It’s our job to discover those opportunities, learn about them, explain them to the client, and then implement and report. Keeping a clear focus on all that is new in the PPC world will set us up for expansion success.