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Why The Client Discovery Phase Is Most Important for PPC Marketers

Many agencies and consultants handle new clients thru different phases in the relationship. These phases can consist of Kickoff/Discovery, Launch, Auditing, Optimization, Expansion, Testing, and I can go on and on. Moreover, in order for the client-agency relationship to get off on the right foot, there needs to be an unequivocal understanding of everything that there is to know about the client, including the past, present, and future. If the PPC agency does not get the answers to these important questions, they might possibly never have the chance to “move the needle” as needed by the client.

For example, here are just a few questions that could be asked:

  • When was the company formed?
  • How many years have you been using PPC?
  • Do you have an Affiliate Program? How are you managing them?
  • Do you have your name Trademarked? How about with Google?
  • Do you have a reseller agreement? What are the terms?
  • Have you always contracted out to a 3rd party?
  • Is there anyone “in-house” monitoring analytics?
  • What is the current pipeline looking like?
  • How many “offline” advertisements do you handle?
  • Do you have an internal graphics department?
  • How are your margins on this particular type of product?
  • What is your relationship with Vendors like?

Ppc-consultant-discovery-ph It is these types of questions that can make or break a successful client relationship. In today’s PPC World, everyone is competing with one another, even those who are on the same team want a piece of the pie. As a PPC marketer, you need to know the Politics, understand the limitations and know what types of strategy questions to ask in order to get ahead and avoid any “Imperial Entanglements” (Huge Star Wars Fan)

With that said, this is why the DISCOVERY Phase is most important. You need to know everything about the client’s needs and prepare yourself for a very “in-depth”, almost intimate conversion about the WHAT, WHY, WHEN and HOW. If the PPC Guru or Project Management Team just focuses or cares about numbers, in my opinion, the client will not be happy.

What can be revealed in an “in-depth” Discovery Call?

Well, for starters you can see where the company has been, where it is currently and where it wants to go. If the client is a retailer, you can ask about the evolution of how they may have handled their affiliates over the years or possibly issues they may be having with their manufacturers/vendors.

Be Proactive with the Questions:

Many agencies provide a list of questions to the client before the actual call and that is a very good tactic for the discovery phase. However, I have learned over the years, that the best information comes in the form of the “LIVE” Natural conversation surrounding questions like “what have been your biggest obstacles and how can I help you achieve success” or “What types of legalities should I be on the look-out for?”. Understanding their B2B relationships, trademark legalities and current competitors (other than PPC) can greatly influence your PPC strategy efforts for the next 6 month to a year.

In conclusion:

Ask the important questions. Write everything down. Give the client your utmost attention. Remember, depending on the client’s PPC past will determine how effective you could be for them. Even with an amazing and super-optimized PPC strategy it can fail miserably if the goals/objectives as well as past failures are not addressed in the beginning Discovery call.

“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”

– Galileo

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2 Responses to "Why The Client Discovery Phase Is Most Important for PPC Marketers"

  1. Interesting post. The extent of the discovery will really be dependent on the size of the account and extent of the risk but good business practice is essential for any new client relationship, including a full understanding of their business, customers and objectives.

  2. […] a previous post on entitled “Why The Client Discovery Phase Is Most Important for PPC Marketers” I talked about the importance of the discovery phase and how the agency needs to understand […]

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