Transitioning an account between managers is a process riddled with anxiety and confusion – from both the agency side and the client side. However, if an account transition is done right, you can be sure to add value for your client from the first day you are on their account, and build a strong relationship that is mutually beneficial for the agency and the client. Here are the 4 strategies you should implement when assuming responsibility of an account from another manager.
Note: This blog post is written from the perspective of a new manager, and should be a read as a companion to PPC Account Transitions: 4 Parts Of A Smooth Handoff, meant for managers preparing to hand their account off to someone else!
It’s All About Relationships
The first thing to remember before thinking about the 4 strategies for a successful account transition is that account management is about relationships. If you are like me, you are transitioning from an in-house role where you had the opportunity to work alongside the stakeholders of your account day after day – in fact, you yourself were a stakeholder. In agency roles, you don’t have the opportunity to build those deep relationships before being accountable for daily management and success of the account. These four strategies will help you to build a strong foundation for a long-term, successful client relationship.
1. Research Your Client. Learn Their Business
You will add the most value for your client if you truly understand their business. It is one thing to understand the products or services that your client is marketing, but it is much more beneficial to your client-manager relationship to understand the long-term plans your client has. Are they going public? Do they want to expand to certain markets or demographics in the coming months or years? What does the industry landscape look like for your client?
Setting up Google alerts for your client’s brand, non-brand terms, and their top competitor’s brand will provide you with a daily readout to better understand the context that your client is working in. Additionally, reviewing old quarterly and annual business review decks from your agency will held to elucidate current and past goals, as well as past strategies that may still be relevant.
2. Use Your Time. It Is A Gift
If you are lucky enough to be transitioning into managing the account with the previous account manager on board, you will find that you have the gift of time. You will have a few weeks to learn all aspects of the account while someone else is pulling all of the levers. This time is a gift. Use it.
Use this time to get to know your client representatives, and to discuss broad business and marketing objectives. Set up one-on-one meetings with all internal client stakeholders to understand their perspective of the account. Once you work through all four strategies here, you will be able to translate these insights into actionable strategies and tactics to drive campaign performance forward.
In meetings with the outgoing account manager, determine what low-hanging fruit exists for you to pick to begin to establish credibility with the client. Has there been a desire for more automated reporting? Has the client wanted a better labeling system in their Google Ads? Has it been a while since the client’s evergreen campaigns were refreshed? You should take advantage of the additional attention the account is receiving during transition to complete these deferred tasks. You will establish yourself as someone who can deliver results, have an opportunity to learn even more about the account, and maybe even improve performance!
3. Conduct An Audit
Of course, it is equally as important to understand the mechanics of your client’s account. You should conduct an audit of the account to gain a full grasp of the structure of the campaigns, ad groups, important keywords and the types of ads that are used. For PPC campaigns, The Complete PPC Account Audit Guide will provide a great overview of how to conduct a proper audit.
This is also a good time to understand how important other channels are to your client’s strategy. Are touchpoints on LinkedIn important in building an upper-funnel audience? Do Facebook remarketing ads help to drive traffic to important landing pages? Read Facebook Ads Are Working – Here’s How To Prove It for guidance on understanding how other channels impact your account’s performance and goals.
4. Putting It All Together: Building and Earning Confidence
You have taught yourself an entirely new business. You have leveraged the gift of time. You have audited your client’s account. You may have even added value and improved performance for your client along the way. Now comes the fun part – putting what you have learned into practice. As you begin to lead client calls, and make recommendations, you will be speaking from a place of confidence and understanding, and with the appropriate context. The work that you have put in up until this point will lay a strong foundation of trust and confidence between you and the client.