Are you a CMO, VP, or Director of Marketing? As we approach Halloween (and more importantly, the ecommerce holiday season), here’s a PPC horror scenario to strike terror in your heart, keep you up at night, and catch your breath in your lungs…
…what if I told you your PPC team, agency, or consultant can do everything right and the account can still fail (or appear to be failing)?
How is this possible, you ask?
To answer that question, we have to accurately analyze the relationship of PPC Agency and Client.
In this relationship, it is tempting to hire a PPC agency with the objective of having them act like a slot machine that wins every time. That seems to be the objective of some brands looking for an agency.
They assume that it is a gamble and that the solution is to search until they find the slot machine that will deliver results every time they plug in their expense.
The problem with this imaginary relationship, is that looking for a PPC agency is more like searching for someone to run a three-legged race with you. With the exception of a few mis-matched players I’ve seen in which the larger carries the smaller (to be quickly disqualified from cheating), this requires equal effort, investment, risk, and work. It’s usually a little clunky, sometimes too close for comfort, and maybe a little tiring. However, it is a true partnership where you accomplish something together, and in which both are needed in tandem to make the race work.
The Limitation of Marketing
What we have found to be true in partnership with clients, is that we as a PPC agency cannot drive ROI or revenue. Our ability lies in identifying high intent keywords most likely to be searched by your targeted audience, as well as identifying high intent audiences themselves. We can do other audience related things like ad testing and Landing Page testing to ensure the right message is being matched to the right audience.
However, there are key and crucial aspects to the relationship that we cannot control.
We can send targeted audiences to your website with a perfectly strategized Google Ads account, but if they cannot checkout on the website… then the account will fail. We don’t control that aspect of your business.
We can send targeted audiences to your website with a perfectly strategized Google Ads account, but if your sales team is constantly cursing at and hanging up on the leads then the account will fail. We don’t control that aspect of your business.
The list of limitations goes on. Is this a cop-out? Is this another agency trying to get out with a “not my job” excuse? Certainly not. It is a realistic look at limitations so we can identify what the true problem is in a failing account. There are times when changing the bids on a keyword isn’t going to fix that account struggling to close leads, and if the real problem lies elsewhere it would be doing you (and us) a disservice to pretend the problem could be solved simply by changing the marketing.
In order for the PPC relationship to work, we must recognize the limitations of marketing, and the scope of what we are able to accomplish. In this way, we can move beyond simply addressing website conversion variances by “trying another ad test”, and we can invest in what is truly the problem. Perhaps there is a major drop-off somewhere in the MQL to SQL process. Perhaps there is a poor offer on the landing page that is a mismatch with the audience that needs to be fixed. A great agency will partner with you in doing their best to offer guidance in these things to partner with you, but will also do you a great service by being honest with the core issue legitimately does not lie in the advertising account.
At the end of the day, we strive to deliver excellent targeting audiences… but we need your help getting them from lead to sale stage. If the lead quality isn’t correct, there may very well be an audience issue… however it’s important to recognize there could be something wrong internally and the ideal director will humbly leave both open to possibility and work with the agency to determine the issue rather than hold the agency to unrealistic ROI standards that can’t actually be achieved without buy-in from both parties.
In this way, the relationship is truly symbiotic. That is, a great PPC agency is designing, strategizing, and implementing a solid PPC plan sending excellently qualified traffic and a great client team is ensuring that internal process and tracking is locked down. There is an exceptional feedback loop between the two to ensure constant (even if slight) adjustments are being made, and the account can soar because nothing is holding it back.