Last week the topic of #PPCchat (a weekly Twitter chat about pay-per-click marketing hosted by Matt Umbro) was client reporting. There were some pretty basic questions like “How often do you speak to clients to review reports?”, “Do you have a time limit as to how long an individual report should take?” and “How detailed are your PPC reports?” The answers were great and there was a lot of back and forth from a very smart and accomplished group of PPC managers. Then on the fifth question “When reviewing reports w/ clients discuss how you provide PPC education in order for them to understand what they are reviewing” I felt like my response really hit a nerve.
Keep it high level. You’re not training them, you’re reporting – Robert Brady
That was retweeted 11 times. Here’s why I think it resonated with this group of extremely smart and talented PPC managers.
You Hired An Expert, Now Trust Them
Just like professional sports athletes or concert musicians, professional PPC managers have put a lot of time and effort into honing their skills. Expertise in online marketing requires constant self-education and hands-on experience. Clients may only pay for the time spent on their actual accounts, but the results achieved from those efforts relies heavily on this investment of time and experience.
During the process of selecting a PPC manager, it is understandable that clients want references and examples of previous work. That’s part of performing your due diligence and we’ll gladly provide you the information. We also understand that reporting is a key element of client service and contracts should include a provision for how often client reporting will occur. And here is where PPC managers can get a little fired up.
Reporting = Time Not Spend Optimizing & Managing Your Account
Take a second to read that again. PPC managers are astute, data-driven business people. We know that unless we provide value in excess of our fees we’ll get cut/fired/dropped/whatever. We also know that we have to communicate that value effectively or we’ll suffer the same fate. Therefore, we will report our results.
What we don’t want to do is explain every little tactic we’re using to achieve those results. We don’t want to give you reports so frequently that you panic on a small downtrend and and expect the moon on a small uptrend (even when the overall average trend is upward). We don’t want to argue with you over 1 or 2 keywords. We don’t want you reading one blog post about Tactic X (which made the tactic sound like the best thing since King Midas got his touch) and calling us to ask if we’re utilizing it.
In short, we work hard on your account(s) and will give you regular reporting. Just remember that time spent reporting is time NOT spent on your account(s).
Photo courtesy of Sybren Stuvel