September 18, 2017
Having recently become an account manager, my mind has been buzzing with optimization opportunities, strategy initiatives, and communication styles. With all of the ppc possibilities, where does one start?! Friends and coworkers, who have mastered the transition to account manager, shared their tips and tricks with me. I have compiled their advice here.
Here we go…
The importance of organization cannot be overstated. As a production member of the team, routine tasks were assigned by the account manager. So, in the transition to account manager, these tasks are no longer assigned but still need to be done. Organization ensures these tasks are completed and in a timely fashion. Below are two techniques that have proved valuable.
If planning out the next 90 days feels like this: you are not alone! Planning the next 24 hours sounds exhausting, let alone the next 2,160 hours. Formulating a 90-day road map serves a few purposes. First, it helps you visualize where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. Next, it keeps you on track to crush your goals. Finally, creating a cohesive, well-thought out plan demonstrates PPC expertise and competency to the client. Sending the road map, maybe attached to the performance report, on a weekly basis, effectively reminds the client of the plan and the work being done to achieve this plan. This will also establish clear and transparent communication, thus, laying a solid foundation for strong client relations.
To build a 90-day road map, start by outlining basic tactics you will take to optimize and analyze the account. Next, think through and set realistic deadlines. Clearly differentiate to whom these tasks fall; is this something the client will provide or the account manager? Here are some example tasks.
- Average position optimizations
- Budget projections
- Remarketing recommendations
- Keyword analysis
- Location report
- ETA audit
- Device strategy
- Ad extension audit
Lists & Reminders
Priority lists, calendar reminders, and to-do lists are all invaluable for scheduling routine account tasks. Whichever way you choose to set up reminders for yourself is great, just make sure you have it documented somewhere. In the transition to account manager, there is the potential for production work to fall through the cracks. To eliminate this, tools such as, Todoist, are effective in organization and prioritization.
As a supporting member of the team there were numerous opportunities to sit in on client calls and begin talking with clients via phone or email. As an account manager, client communication plays a much larger role. Cultivating strong client relationships begins with excellent communication. Communicating often and early with the client helps ease the transition from support to account manager.
Achieving camaraderie in the client relationship takes effort. The Art Of Client Communication, an insightful PPC Hero post, details preparation steps for client communication.
Learning to Strategize
As a production associate, I became very comfortable doing task-oriented work. As an account manager, the time has come to flex those strategy muscles.
An important lesson to keep in mind when developing a strategy is that it is not just tactics. Sure, tactics will help achieve the overall strategy. But, strategy is a more comprehensive understanding of account health, goals, and a subsequent action plan. Allot a chunk of time to think through and plan an account strategy. It takes practice and time to hone these PPC muscles. In his article, Create A Killer PPC Strategy With This 3-Step Process, Jeff Baum walks through the three steps of strategy.
- Assess the overall situation
- Develop a policy
- Create an action plan
Even the most well-structured plans need a little flexibility. While there may be a rock-solid account transition plan in place, there will likely be a few hitches along the way. Given that PPC is an ever-changing world, it fits that account transitions won’t always go as planned. For example, you could have the most beautiful, well organized 90-day road map; but account work might come up that will need to take precedence over any plan. Seasonality, internal changes, platform updates – all of these could potentially necessitate a shift in the 90-day plan. Rolling with the punches will allow you to prioritize the client’s needs.
Just like the first impression of your best friend probably wasn’t spot on, so fully knowing and understanding an account takes time. Give yourself time and space to start understanding the top-level view of the account before jumping in and pulling levers.
Similar to the 90-day road map, there are some helpful reports and metrics to look at when “getting to know” and account. Rachael Law wrote a great post on New PPC Account Analysis For Beginners.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. While there are tools to automate simple account work, like search query reports, when first piecing together an account understanding, manual tasks can be really informative!
Becoming a PPC account manager is a transition and transitions often come with new, fun opportunities, and with various challenges. Hopefully by getting organized, communicating clearly, learning to strategize, being flexible, and gaining a greater understanding of the account you will master the transition.