April 5, 2016
Often overlooked in PPC account management are organization and prioritization. When managing multiple accounts you need organizational structure for how each process gets done (bid management, ad testing, reporting, etc.), but also for new initiatives being rolled out (launch of new platforms, betas, etc.).
How do you keep moving forward with excellent account management and client satisfaction when new initiatives are being rolled out? The answer is organization and structure. The tough part is coming up with ways to be more organized. What follows are seven ways to keep accounts and the team organized.
1) Have A Great Training Program That Keeps Alignment But Allows New Ideas And Autonomy
Sending new employees through the same 10-week training program allows for company alignment across the board. This training keeps the values of the team and the structure of the team aligned, but the open communication involved allows for new ideas to be brought to the table. It also allows idea generation to be a part of the team’s thinking as a whole. Consistency is a great idea as long things don’t become stagnant.
2) Create An Agency-Wide Campaign Naming Convention
In terms of organization within the account itself, it is fantastic to keep to a common naming convention. Of course, there are plenty of exceptions here and it is far from plausible to get 80+ accounts using the same naming convention while following practices that align with each clients’ needs. However, keeping similar themes in the naming conventions can be key.
For example: always using “_” for segmentation in accounts. Beginning all accounts with “Search Engine_Network_Category..” such as “Google_Search_Shoes”, and then adding anything else that needs to be added to that particular account such as:
- Match types
- Funnel level
These naming conventions can all be tactics to help with organizational alignment across all accounts with the entire team. It goes back to making it much easier for teammates to read an account as soon as they get into the interface, and allows the whole team to feel organized right away even if new faces are brought in.
3) Have Common Account Practices
Agency-wide account practices are a good way to bring extra value to clients and also a great way to keep the entire team aligned with certain practices. An example of keeping similar practices across accounts is Hanapin’s Creative Testing Cycle. Each account uses the cycle in a different way that works best for their situation (ie: account-wide testing, campaign-level testing, ad group-level testing). All accounts use similar strategies within the cycle to start with a broad test and end with a smaller test to get the best ad copy possible.
Different metrics are reviewed based on account goals, but again, the common theme is the idea of A/B testing. How your team does placement analysis, bidding strategies on certain types of accounts, etc. can all be driven by a top level strategy. These common practices within your agency will help keep organization with these different practices across accounts, keeping your team aligned.
4) Create Internal Account Teams
A helpful idea is to create an internal account team for each account. For example, set up a system where each account has a director, manager and analysts/production help assigned, adding up to 3-5 people per account. Rather than having an Account Manager assigned to an account, and only gaining help when needed, we’ve found it is extremely helpful to create internal account teams.
When an account gets extremely busy you’ve got a team who can shift their focus when needed and align priorities across multiple accounts and set expectations. This also helps with training alignment and abilities for different team members to do the same tasks when workloads begin to grow with new initiatives.
5) Create Internal Status Docs
Status docs and road maps can be great with client communication, but they are even better for internal use. As long as the account manager communicates with the client in some way to assure alignment, you don’t always need a status doc between the two parties (though I do recommend one in many cases). However, internally some sort of status doc is crucial to successful alignment in priorities across the entire team. Assure that the tasks that arise from the strategy in place are evenly organized across team members in the doc, and assure that prioritization alignment can be visualized in the doc.
This document can be as simple as a to-do list across all accounts within a Word document or segmented with a different tab in Excel for each client. The choice here is yours but it should be something easy for each team member to visualize and understand their roles and priorities for the week, such as the document shown below.
6) Have Go-To Team Members Or Specialists For Certain Aspects of Management
In order to assure there are no weak points within the structure of the team, assign people as go-to team members or specialists for certain topics such as:
- Social paid search
- Bidding processes
It can be a great way to assure everyone has a go-to person on topics that they may need help. This member can work across different teams, but be brought in for these more specific situations.
7) Hire an Awesome Leadership Team
For all of step 1-6 to be implemented you’ll need an awesome leadership team who helps put these types of structures in place. At Hanapin, we have a great group of leaders, including Jeff Allen, Carrie Albright, Jeff Baum and Diane Anselmo who work hard to assure a great structure and organization across the PPC accounts and the team. (I also just needed to suck up to the leadership team a little bit here, so I added this 7th way to assure organization).
Pictured: Jeff A (@JeffAllenUT), Carrie (@albright_c), Jeff B (@jeffbaum71) and Diane (@diane_anselmo) (I’ll let the audience decide who’s who, feel free to tweet your thoughts)