Breaking up is never easy, but just like that heartbreaking first romance sometimes it might just be for the best.
The same can be said for calling time on your current PPC agency. And let’s face it, if you clicked on this article it’s probably because you feel something isn’t quite right with your current digital squeeze.
There are a myriad of reasons you might feel this way, but we’ve used our experience of being both the dumped and the dumpee (is that a word?) to put together 5 sure-fire signs it might be time to tell your current agency “it’s not you, it’s me.”
But we all know it’s you.
Sign 1: They won’t give you access to your account
This is, without a doubt, the biggest reason to bin your current agency. Transparency is critical, not only in our line of business but in business in general.
There is no reason you shouldn’t be able to access your account. Sure, you likely outsourced the work due to lack of knowledge, experience, time, or maybe a combination of those things, but your account represents your investment; it should be something you can access and see at any time.
From our experience there are a couple of reasons why you might not have access to your account.
One, your current agency isn’t utilising a proper My Client Centre, or MCC for short. An MCC is what we use to manage our partners’ accounts, keeping everything nice and separate and secure. If your current agency isn’t using an MCC your campaign data is just smooshed together with everyone else’s. And that ain’t cool.
Two, your current agency doesn’t want you to see that current performance is terrible, or they’ve not done anything in months (remember, check the change history!).
For the people at the back, there is NO reason for your agency to deny you access to your account. If this is you it’s most definitely dumping time.
Sign 2: Their idea of success is different to yours
As an agency ourselves we kinda get this one. We see, and get excited about things that you couldn’t care less about. That’s why we do this instead of you.
But if your agency is going on and on about how great your brand campaign’s click through rate is or how many impressions that banner generated, instead of the targets you’ve actually set them, it might be time for a frank conversation.
It might be that the key performance indicators you’re interested in aren’t being met, and the agency is attempting to gloss over that with some nicer numbers. I know this because this was something I would do back in the day. It’s always easier to report on what you’re doing right.
But what’s more important to the long term success of any relationship is tackling challenges head on and addressing problem areas. Unfortunately this is something that a lot of agencies don’t like to do, focusing instead of what they’re doing right to justify your continued investment.
Understanding your objectives and KPIs from day one is how we go about ensuring our vision of success is perfectly aligned with yours.
Sign 3: You can’t remember the last time you spoke to them
No agency should be as unfamiliar as a wedding reception uncle. This is, or at least it should be, a collaborative process between your business and the agency. It doesn’t have to be every day, but communication between you and your agency should be fairly frequent.
We’re the experts of what we do, but not what you do. And while emphasis on research prior to launch is a must for any serious agency, the chances of us needing your help and input is pretty high.
But let’s say your agency is seemingly nailing things — you’d like to hear from them once in a while, right?
Sign 4: You don’t have a clue what they’re talking about
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
You don’t have to be Albert Einstein to get PPC, but try telling that to some agencies that love coding everything they say.
Naturally we’re going to know things you probably don’t, but it’s vitally important that any agency ensures what they’re reporting and the way their communicating is at the very least being understood. Because how can anyone appreciate something they don’t get?
So if you’re being bombarded with reports littered with SISLs, CPMs, Avg. CPCs and JIEs it might be worth asking for a glossary, or a break in your contract, depending on how savage you are…
Sign 5: They’re more reactive than proactive
This one kinda boils my blood. Unfortunately there are still too many agencies that coast on doing just the bare minimum to manage an account. This is usually checking bids and search terms once a month and putting together a report your nan could whip up in 5 mins.
And for that they’ll bill you a hefty chunk of change. Not cool.
A sign of a good agency is one that is constantly looking ahead, tracking consumer behaviors and putting together a strategy that anticipates. It takes effort yes, but that’s why we do what we do. We’re here to do things you can’t.
As I mentioned earlier, an easy way to see just how reactive your agency is is to check the change history report. Another way would be to ask them what their plan for the next month is. Ask them, and then ask them the following month to see if they’re just giving you a stock answer.
With the right agency you should be happy and comfortable knowing a team of experts are actively working to help your business hit its goals. If you doubt this is the case with your current outsourced solution or internal department it might be time to seek results elsewhere.
It should be said however that every successful business/agency should be built on collaboration. Have you truly given your agency the time and insight to allow them to succeed?
If you have and any of my above points sound a little too familiar it’s definitely time to scope the market for your next partner.
Obviously, this was always leading to some sort of call to action from us. If you’re not feeling it with your current agency and fancy a change we offer a free and discreet auditing service that will review your current performance and provide recommendations on how to improve.
If this sounds like a bit of you swipe right and get in touch today! x