The Easiest Way for Agencies to Get a Pulse on Business

Posted by on Nov 9, 2017 in Reporting
The Easiest Way for Agencies to Get a Pulse on Business

One of the advantages of working at an agency is getting an unfettered look into the data of many different businesses. Not only does this helps leaders and directors shore up the financial wellness of the agency, but it also guides them in improving their clients’ business, and highlights when an adjustment to a team might be a good idea.

In a recent post, Why Your Agency Needs Branded PPC Reports, we highlighted how clients want to feel like they’re the only one you’re servicing. But from the perspective of an agency director, the agency is a business, and you want to have a pulse on how each and every customer is affecting profit and success. An encompassing look at all accounts and their PPC performance via a custom dashboard is a necessity for all agencies, for a number of reasons, including the power of comparison.

When looking at an account individually, you can pretty easily make some comparisons, like year over year, month over month, or even week over week on fast moving campaigns. But you’ll only ever know about that account. This approach could be compared to the Silo Mentality, when departments within an organization refuse to share info or work together, which Forbes says contributes to the demise of business.

Let’s dive into several reasons why agencies need custom agency health reports.

1. Know Who Your Best Customers Are

Great businesses know which customers are most valuable and treat them accordingly. They also know they must figure out ways to transform average customers into their best customers. But it’s impossible to know who’s a top performer unless you’re looking at your entire customer pool. While it might not always be apples to apples, a client comparison dashboard should show you which clients have seasonal budgets, consistent monthly budgets, and which ones are small spenders but still require a lot of account manager time.

As a leader in an agency, formulating a monthly PPC report template across accounts is the easiest and most conclusive way to check in on the health of the agency without manually pulling multiple reports across several accounts or bugging account managers. Using PPC reporting software filters, you can adjust client views and dates in a few clicks to get a comparison view.

2. Share Learnings

How do you get ok clients to be some of your best customers? You figure out what’s working on your top accounts and replicate. If one client is seeing killer performance in one area, take a look at the marketing plan for a lagging client and see what insights you can recommend or incorporate to boost their performance. That’s why agencies are super careful about who they take on as clients, and the good agencies would never take on competing businesses.

For example, let’s say your cosmetics client sees a bump in conversions after reallocating some spend to Instagram video. You might want to make the same recommendation to your women’s clothing client since you can make the assumption the audience the two are going after is largely the same and would respond similarly.

If you’re sharing monthly PPC reports internally, there are shared learnings to be had across team members at every level, too. Staff gets a glimpse into what their colleagues are working on, what tactics are seeing success, and who to turn to for advice when working on similar projects or challenges.

How do you get ok clients to be some of your best customers? You figure out what’s working on your top accounts and replicate.

3. Determine Trends in the Marketplace

If you remember way back to middle school science or statistics classes, you know it’s much easier to come to a conclusion if you have a large sample size. This goes for spotting trends in your clients’ PPC data, too.

In this case, your sample size is all of your clients’ performance data put together. You might see historical trends within one client’s performance, but aggregating all accounts against each other will give you a look at what’s happening now. For example, it’s much easier to spot the effects of Facebook’s latest algorithm change when you can look at the results across multiple accounts.

4. Spot Benchmarks and Red Flags

Think of it as a case of “one of these things is not like the others.” If you know you’re spending roughly the same amount for two (or more) clients in AdWords, but one is getting drastically lower CPCs, you can immediately catch that something’s amiss and take a closer look at what’s going on. Without comparison, you rely on historical data from that account, or any benchmarks you could scrounge up from studies or blog posts from other digital marketers.

Related, knowing the lowest and highest performance numbers for comparable accounts will help you set quantitative KPIs that are rooted in results that are more assured than calculated projections.

5. Check In On Staff

As a manager, you want to know all teams are operating at full capacity for clients. If two accounts have similar profiles, spends, etc., but one is always lagging, a comparison look at the accounts will help you surface potential staff issues and make necessary adjustments.

Get Started

Eager to get a look at what’s happening across your agency? AdStage’s Dynamic Dashboards have capabilities that allow you to customize dashboards as needed. Throw in graphs and tables and fine-tune views with custom metric options to get the most concise account comparison possible. However you decide to put your dashboard together, there are a few basic data points you’ll want to make sure to include:

  1. Clicks
  2. CTR
  3. Quality score – created by Google to measure how relevant your ad content is. The better the ad, the less you pay for advertising
  4. CPC
  5. CPA
  6. Conversion rate
  7. CPM
  8. Average position on page for search results
  9. Budget attainment – how close you came to the originally set budget despite constant fluctuations in the PPC auction
  10. LTV – customer lifetime value. Companies who retain customers longer make more revenue

Check out our post on KPIs that matter to CMOs, directors, and managers for more pointers on what a PPC report should include at certain levels.

And as our post “What Makes A Great Monthly PPC Report?” suggested, all great PPC reports should end by looking forward to the future.

Based on everything that comes up in the report, you’ll want to ask yourself (and/or your team):

  1. What are the strategies for the following month?
  2. Do we need to stay the course or make big swings in strategy?
  3. What actionable steps are we going to take to improve performance next month?

Take advantage of being able to see into multiple accounts at one time. Not only will it help you give clients a leg up, no doubt it will accelerate your learning, too.

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Breanna Lambert

Breanna is a freelance senior copywriter with a decade of storytelling and marketing experience. When she’s not nerding out on words, she’s exploring the Rocky Mountains with her husband and pup.