Last May, Andrew Delamarter of Huge wrote a great article on Search Engine Watch about getting the most out of your search engine marketing agency. In his article, Delamarter emphasized a few key points that I know many agencies and SEM contractors struggle to communicate effectively with their clients. Some of my favorite were:
- Workload – Delamarter explains that with small-scale PPC campaigns, “The headaches are the same, but the budgets are tiny.” If you are an SMB with a relatively small budget, you may feel that you should pay a search marketing agency less to manage your campaign. In general, however, the same amount of work goes into working on small PPC campaigns as large ones. If you don’t want to pay for expert advice and management, you may be better off learning the intricacies of search engine marketing and apply them on your own.
- Patience – Search engine marketing is a data-driven practice. It takes time to accumulate enough data to make well-informed decisions on a campaign or marketing initiative. Constantly making changes – particularly in the early stages of a campaign – only extends the timeline of having statistically significant, actionable data to use.
- Sharing and Communication – It amazes me how many businesses don’t seem to know what their average client is worth, or what their profit margin is on a given product. Marketers need this information in order to make online campaigns profitable. If you don’t have this info – get it! If you do have it, share it with us. The more information you share with us regarding your business goals, strategies, finances, etc., the more we have to work with in terms of building successful online marketing strategies. Additionally, keeping your search marketing team updated on your other marketing initiatives, any seasonal trends, upcoming sales, etc. gives us the chance to provide insights and ideas that may extend to other marketing channels you hadn’t thought of leveraging before.
- Transparency and Kindness – In SEM, the client-agency relationship should be viewed as a business partnership rather than an outsourced service. We are not mindless button pushers whose only role is to find new keywords to add to your account. We are talented, experienced marketing professionals who have a whole lot to offer in addition to ad copy and bid adjustments. As such, keeping an open, transparent line of communication with your agency will keep you both accountable for the success of your search marketing efforts. Treat SEMs with the same respect your treat your other coworkers, and they will go that extra mile for your company.