March 22, 2017
If you have ever read any of my blog posts, you might have noticed that they are all very client-focused. That’s because I don’t actually do PPC work. Rather, I work with people who do. As an associate director of client services, my position is mostly client-facing and is somewhat a client concierge. One of my main goals is to make sure our clients have an internal voice when they aren’t around. By being on the outside looking in, I have seen some common themes or characteristics of successful PPC managers that resulted in happy clients. I will share them here, but keep in mind these are just my opinion, based on listening in on thousands of client calls throughout my career.
Here they are, in no particular order:
- Successful PPC account managers really know their accounts.
Not only are they able to spout off performance KPI’s compared to goals, they know where the performance is coming from and where it isn’t. They have a mental tab of what has been tested, what has worked and what hasn’t worked. They can easily give an ‘elevator pitch’ about what is happening with their accounts at a moment’s notice.
- They understand their client’s business.
Like, really understand their business. Not only what services or products the clients provide, but where the client makes the most money, how much the most valuable leads are worth, as well as the ins and outs of the business.
- They look at their client’s business as their business.
Not only do they say “our account” when referring to performance in the account, they take on the responsibility of success or failure. They are personally connected to the performance of an account, sometimes to a fault.
- Successful PPC account managers are very responsive, even if just to say, “I’ll get back to you…”
Even if they don’t have an answer quite yet, they respond back with “thanks for the message, I will get back to you when…” This puts the client at ease and lets them know you are on it. Waiting to hear back from anyone can be a little trying, but knowing the message was received and the other person is “on it” goes a long way.
- They think strategically and often talk about the big picture.
It’s not always about the tactical stuff. Tactical activities have to happen, but when an account manager can take a step back and talk about an overall strategy and how it will help meet the client goals, it is a win-win for everyone. Being able to remind themselves of why they are doing the tactical items is an effective way to keep them on track and a great way of letting the client know they understand things from a big picture perspective.
- Successful PPC account managers structure to testing.
There usually isn’t an ambiguity when good account managers are testing something. They know the objective, the goal, when the test will start, how often they will be checking on it and when to pull the plug. They know all of this BEFORE they launch. They also convey this to the client, which eliminates any misunderstandings.
- If they make a mistake, they know how to handle it.
Everyone makes mistakes! We are human and mistakes are just a part of life. The best account managers find those mistakes quickly, figure out why they happened, put in place a plan to eliminate the mistake from happening again and then come clean to the client. No one ever likes to hear about mistakes, right? If the account manager has all the details previously mentioned and what safeguards were put in place so it doesn’t happen again all wrapped in a bow, the mistake seems to become an easier pill to swallow.
- They create some sort of personal connection with the client.
Not every great account manager I know does this, but the ones that do are usually pretty great at it. Why would you want a personal connection? I always say that it is much more enjoyable to do business with someone you like or have something in common with than not. I know that to be the case in my personal life and it is apparent in my business life as well. A personal connection helps to humanize us. We are not an adversary or just an agency — we are people. People working together towards the same goal.
- They ask other account managers for help or their experience.
Asking for help doesn’t make them inept. It shows they are open to any and all ideas. Other’s experiences may be beneficial to them and they know it. They are usually the first to go to someone else after they have exhausted their experience looking for help.
- Successful PPC account managers are always open to feedback and oftentimes ask for it.
This last point is an interesting one. Being open for feedback and requesting it is an indicator that an account manager is self-aware. In my opinion, self-awareness is an underappreciated trait in business. People who are self-aware tend to be more open and coachable. Knowing their strengths and which weaknesses to work on help them become even more successful than they already are.
I am sure there are more than 10 traits of good PPC account managers, but these are the traits I see the most and find most important. Take a minute and think about which ones you possess or even which ones you would like to be better at. Remember, being self-aware is one of the traits!