Hey everyone, PPC Ian here. Today, I’m thrilled to share a guest post from my friend Todd Mintz from PPC Associates, Silicon Valley’s SEM Agency. You can read all about Todd in his bio at the end of the post. Todd, thanks for the great post and I hope you all enjoy.
“Buy the ticket, take the ride.” – Hunter S. Thompson
I’m going to have a new paid search client assigned to me shortly. Each client offers a distinct set of challenges and objectives, but the general framework of every new engagement remains the same.
I will be dropped into the middle of an ongoing narrative, and I’m not only expected to learn the characters and become part of the story but actually take control of the plot and create a positive outcome where temporal happiness and satisfaction is achieved.
A basic narrative structure has three components: Setup, Conflict, and Resolution. Unless the account is brand new, chances are that most of the setup has happened well before the new account manager comes on the scene…and even with a new account, one could say that the setup that led up to the agency engagement occurred when the business was formed.
Now, if the setup was conflict-free and everyone was happy and content, the business wouldn’t need to engage an agency (or a new agency, as the case may be). The conflict facing the business could be any combination of poor PPC results coupled with failed relationships with consultants, less than stellar employee management/oversight, competitor conumdrums, overall lack of knowledge and experience, or a combination of all the above.
Much of the earlier pre-engagement narrative will be anecdotal to the new account manager. He/she must build relationships with each of the stakeholders in the story which will, in effect, be creating minor subplots leading to the creation of a solid structure for the plot to proceed comfortably without costly detours.
The expertise of the new account manager is his/her ability to write a positive outcome to the tale. What makes up account manager expertise? Part of it is his/her technical ability to manage the accounts in a profitable manner that meets the aims of the business. Part of it is to manage the personalities that are part of the process…getting them to contribute to the effort to the best of their ability while making sure they feel valued as people and as teammates. Part of it is to manage the internal stakeholders in the agency…in my case, our wonderful production staff, our design team, and the other office personnel who might interact with the account. Finally, part of it is totally out of the account manager’s control…things such as marketplace events or client circumstances that might impact the paid search efforts but can’t be helped by the consultant.
The skillful account manager can take any plot circumstances and weave an ending that can satisfy all the characters as well as most audiences. Hopefully, the ending will be “totally groovy and far out” for everyone involved, and all can live happily ever after.
Once in a while, the narrative doesn’t end in the manner hoped for…in those cases, everyone can learn from the poor outcome and take those lessons to apply to the next narrative…where I will be dropped into the middle of an ongoing narrative and I’m not only expected to learn the characters and become part of the story but actually take control of the plot and create a positive outcome where a sort of temporal happiness and satisfaction is achieved.
- Todd Mintz is a Senior Account Manager at PPC Associates, a digital marketing firm with offices in the Bay Area and downtown Chicago. Todd has over 10 years of experience in search marketing and has used Google AdWords since it began. He also is very visible in the SEM social media space and is a curator/contributor at MarketingLand and one of the founding members of SEMpdx (Portland’s Search Engine Marketing Group).
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