When you work in the corporate world of online marketing, you’ll be working with a multitude of search engines, partners, vendors, and technologies. Each interaction will require contracts – NDAs, Ts and Cs, and IOs. When you have a technology and/or marketing background, the legal side of things can often be daunting. Today, I wanted to provide some practical tips for managing marketing contracts, especially for those that work within marketing at a large company.
- Whenever you start talking to a new partner, get an NDA (non disclosure agreement) in place. A mutual NDA allows two parties to share sensitive information without risk of the information being shared with other parties/competitors. Without an NDA in place, you simply cannot have an in-depth business discussion with an outside party. Of course, always keep your confidential numbers close at hand, even with an NDA in place and whenever in doubt ask your legal team (or your manager) if it’s ok to share the information at hand.
- Get really good at project management. When you have a lot of contracts in your legal team’s queue, it’s easy to lose track. Keep everything in an Excel spreadsheet. Follow up with your legal team regularly. Make time to fully explain the business side of the contract. Assign a dollar value to the contract (by projecting the value of the program at hand). Keep circling back with your legal team and the partner to make sure the ball keeps rolling. Dealing with legal contracts gives online marketers a true opportunity to flex our project management skills.
- Always read your contracts before sending over to your legal team. A good percentage of the time, I find errors in contracts. There’s nothing like providing a first line of defense and truly understanding your contracts. Your legal team will truly thank you and you will do your company a true service by taking this extra step.
- Request editable contracts (as opposed to PDFs) from your partners and vendors. This will make it easier for your legal team to add their red lines and save a ton of time. Make sure to do everything possible to help out your legal team.
- Never click to accept any contract before running through your legal team. When you’re creating a new search engine account, for example, there are always Ts and Cs you must click to accept. Unless you are an officer at your company, you will not be authorized to accept any agreement without going through legal/officer approval first.
- Form a really strong relationship with our legal team (and your finance team too). Make sure to take them to lunch, stop by their cubes, and become friends. Your legal team will truly be one of your greatest assets. Without the support of your legal and finance teams, your marketing initiatives would grind to a halt.
- Do everything possible to negotiate a great deal. When you’re in the contract phase, especially with a new vendor, you can often negotiate great rates. When you’re testing, push the limits on pricing and terms. Get your company the best possible arrangement.
- Keep a contracts database. Understand end dates and renewal dates. Stay on top of your IOs (Insertion Orders). The worst thing in the world of search engine marketing is when an IO expires and then your campaigns go offline.
- As soon as a contract is approved, make sure to file a purchase req / purchase order. You cannot pay a bill at most companies until an approved purchase req / purchase order is in place. Just like your contracts and IOs, make sure to stay on top of your purchase orders and the amount of funds left on them. Just like your legal team, your finance team should be your best friend!
I hope these tips help. When you work at a large company, marketing is such an inter-disciplinary field. Leverage these tips to flex your legal skills and make the most of your contracts!
Image of Contract © iStockPhoto – courtneyk
Posted in: Career | Tags: marketing contracts |
Have you gotten the flu this year? It’s horrible! I was sick all last week and that’s the main reason I went a bit silent here on PPC Ian. I’m glad to be back to normal, more or less. The flu this year is the worst I have experienced in a very long time (many years). I was so thrilled to go into work today, healthy!
As you probably know by now, I’m the biggest fan of SEM careers around. The SEM career path is super fun. It’s a very high-powered career with tons of upside. That said, it can be quite the challenge thriving in any high-powered career when you come down with the flu. Today’s post offers tips that will help you get through the flu (or another illness) while thriving in your SEM career.
- Tip 1: Stay home and get rest. In our line of work, we tend to be ambitious. However, don’t let ambition get the better of you. Rest is critical. Otherwise, you will not get better. Even more important, the flu can spread. Make sure to stay home and rest. Otherwise, your illness may spread to others at your organization.
- Tip2: Work from home when you are up to it. When you start feeling better, start working from home. You will not be super-productive. The first day I started working again last week, my mind was half-working. I was trying so hard but the flu had influenced my ability to power through work. That’s ok. In SEM, some work is better than none. It’s all about keeping a pulse on things and making incremental progress. Each day, you will get more and more productive.
- Tip 3: Rely on your team. I have said it many times: SEM is a team sport. Great teams can cover for each other. Those that are healthy can pick up the slack. Then, those that are sick can repay the favor later!
- Tip 4: Make up for lost time on the weekend. When you are ill, you will fall behind in your work. Even if you work from home, you will probably start off working at half-capacity. SEM is a career where lost time will catch up with you very quickly. As such, I always recommend working weekends after you are feeling better. That extra work will get you back on-schedule, as if you never got ill at all. I worked all weekend last weekend and am caught up.
- Tip 5: Maintain work/life balance. This final tip ties into my last post about Achieving Balance In Your PPC Career. Strive for balance and you will get sick less frequency. It’s that balance (eating healthy, exercising, sleeping) that will keep you in the game for the long run.
Image of Flu © iStockPhoto – KLH49
Posted in: Career | Tags: sem careers |
The online marketing career path is an intense one. There’s no doubt about it! It’s a career that involves true dedication, long hours, and an unbelievable level of responsibility. Of course, with intensity comes true opportunity and rewards. I wouldn’t want to be in any other career than this one!
Recently, my friend PPCknight asked some really great questions about achieving balance and longevity in one’s PPC career. Google AdWords and Bing Ads are 24/7 marketplaces. When you’re working long hours and have so much responsibility, are there any hacks and optimizations to make things a bit easier? Today’s post is all about achieving balance in your PPC career. From someone who’s thrived over the long run (8+ years in this great industry), I hope the following tips help!
- Rely on your team. Paid search is a true 24/7 marketplace. It’s like Wall Street, except trading never stops. It’s impossible to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As such, it’s all about covering for each other. PPC is not a one-person sport, it’s all about working as a team. If you do not have budget to hire a team internally, check out some of the tips below.
- Rely on your agency. Do you have an SEM agency? I recommend looking into SEM agencies, even if you have an in-house team. SEM agencies are always on call and can help you out 24/7 when you are in a true pinch.
- Hire help on oDesk. If you don’t have budget to hire an internal team, you can always consider getting help on oDesk (or another outsourced marketplace such as Trada). The more talent on your side, the more you can divide the work and function as a true team!
- View your search engine reps as an extension of your team. Search engine reps are amazing. Yahoo! and also Google are truly going above and beyond these days. They keep upping their game, and if you ever need help with anything, make sure to relay on your search engine reps.
- Hire interns. The theme of this tip ties into the last few. It’s all about building out that team.
- Automate and improve manual tasks with SEM software. I’m a huge fan of SEM automation platforms such as Kenshoo and InsideVault. Not only can they be huge time savers but they can also take your SEM operations to the next level. If you’re not using an SEM platform, chances are you will be working much longer hours for the same (or worse) results.
- Get smarter and more efficient. Are there any tasks you work on that can be crossed off the list? Are there any components of your day that are consuming extra time? Sometimes it all comes down to efficiency. The advanced online marketing professional is looking for ways each and every day to improve efficiency.
- Consider changing your location. In the world of SEM, it’s all about productivity. Don’t just sit at your desk all day. Visit Starbucks, travel between your offices (if your company has multiple offices), break up the days with work/meetings, and make sure to enjoy industry conferences. The more you break things up, the ore productive you will be.
- Remember to take time off. I’m talking about vacations, staycations, and random days off here and there. It’s super important to recharge your batteries in the world of SEM. If you forget to take time off, you will not last the test of time.
- Avoid making changes on Fridays and weekends. Also, avoid making too many major changes at one time. SEM can be quite unpredictable when you are not able to watch changes closely. Make sure to phase tests and changes for maximum ease of management.
- Work at a world-class company. I cannot stress this point enough. SEM is so much more fun and powerful when you have an incredible product and team behind your marketing. It’s so much more fun and exciting to market a product that truly changes lives. Get behind something great! Marketing is difficult. Make sure to stack the cards in your favor as much as possible by picking a world-class organization.
- Focus on your health. It’s all about exercising, eating well, and getting enough rest. If you push yourself too hard, you will not stand the test of time in the PPC industry. You have to pace yourself, it’s a marathon and not a sprint. Bonus tip: If you’re ill, make sure to stay home and get proper rest.
- Love what you do. PPC is an intense career path so you’ve got to love it. Make sure to do a sanity check from time to time, make sure you love what you’re doing.
Image of Balance © iStockPhoto – malerapaso
Posted in: Career | Tags: career longevity, ppc career |
Today marks my 300th post here on PPC Ian. Thank you so much for reading, I truly appreciate it! We’re heading into year end, can you believe it? As we close out 2012 and head into 2013, there are some important tasks you will want to complete as a professional online marketer. Today’s post is geared towards those who work in the corporate world of SEM. I hope you find this year end checklist helpful.
- Make sure to request your budget for 2013. Perform several models – top down, bottom up – to truly understand the right amount. Get as granular as possible. Understand how your budget request fits into your overall company’s goals.
- Plan out your team’s initiatives for 2013. Understand how they fit into your company’s strategic goals. Make the process interactive. Work closely with everyone on your team and solicit ideas. Maybe even create a mini offsite for 2013 planning.
- Think through new media channels (such as display advertising, email marketing, and remarketing) in addition to new product lines. Do you want to expand your online advertising campaigns to more lines of business? Factor such decisions into your budget and plan.
- Audit your resources for 2013. Do you have enough people on your team? Do you want to hire someone new? If you will be making new hires, make sure it’s accounted for in your company’s budget. Think through internal employees and also consultants/agencies.
- At the end of 2012, not only is it the end of Q4 but it’s the end of an entire year. Make sure to get your finance department an accurate picture of your Q4 expenses. They will be working hard to close out an entire fiscal year. PPC is typically a big cost marketing channel so the more details you can provide the better.
- Take a serious look at your technology needs. Are you currently leveraging an SEM platform? Do you want to stick with it or change to a new one? SEM platforms cost money and the competitive evaluation can take some time. Make sure to start the process early and budget sufficient funds. And, get out there and audition awesome technologies such as InsideVault and Acquisio.
- Take some time to reflect and perform a 2012 recap. Create a PowerPoint and send it out to the executive team. It’s truly important to send out regular updates and discuss progress. It’s amazing how much we all accomplish and I cannot underscore this step enough.
- Don’t forget to send out holiday cards (and gifts too). Pay per click is truly a team effort. I don’t know what I’d do without help from search engines and partners. Make sure to thank them for everything. Cards and gifts can take some time, but it’s truly worth it.
Thanks everyone for reading, and I hope these tips help you close out an amazing 2012 and prepare for an even better 2013!
Image of 2013 © GRAZVYDAS
Posted in: Career | Tags: year end |
I’m a huge fan of the search engine marketing career path. My career in this great field has been so exciting that I decided to create this blog to empower professionals all over the world and share the excitement! One of my favorite parts of this career is giving back. I have benefited from great mentors over the years and feel strongly about the power of mentoring. Following are a few quick tips on how you can give back and help build SEM careers.
- Tip 1: Become a people manager. SEM is a fast-paced career path. It’s possible to get promoted and become a people manager quicker than many other careers, if you’re really great at what you do. The best managers are those who truly mentor and give back to their team. Set your sights on people management, not only as a way to grow your career but also as a way to mentor and give back.
- Tip 2: Offer your time to help others. We’re all so busy these days and it’s super easy to get wrapped up in your day-to-day campaign management. However, don’t forget to take a step back and offer your time and assistance to others. A perfect example: I spent one hour on the phone today with a good friend I met at SMX. The purpose of the call: Sharing actionable career advice and tips.
- Tip 3: Set up a PPC internship program on your team. No matter how good we are at SEM automation, there always exists some level of manual work in paid search. The solution: Why not hire an intern to help out and give your team more leverage? This is a rough job economy for fresh college graduates. A PPC internship program for college students can truly help you pass on valuable skills and give your intern the job experience they need!
- Tip 4: Schedule lunches with others. In the paid search career path, it’s important to remember to take a step back. Make sure to schedule lunches with others. I’m talking about people on your team, and also people on other teams. Make friends and see how you can give back and help out. Such lunches are always a two-way street. Leverage the opportunity to build your own knowledge as well.
- Tip 5: Invest in informal presentations. This tip ties into the last one. Consider presenting your knowledge and areas of expertise via brown bag lunches. This will help build your public speaking skills while presenting valuable insights to others.
Image of Which Way © iStockPhoto – wildpixel
Posted in: Career | Tags: mentor, sem career |