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I love Search Marketing and I read a ton of articles on the subject.  However, there is a longstanding trend of creating rather derivative content tying in aspects of search marketing with either TV shows I’ve never seen nor do I have any interest in seeing (e.g. Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Walking Dead) or movies that I find either uninteresting/derivative (e.g. The Princess Bride) or totally suck (e.g. Star Wars and all its clones). In fact, I’ve actually already done one of these derivative posts myself and have also even mocked the process by doing a post on a movie that very few other people other than me have actually seen.

Anyway, though my idea for this post is clearly unoriginal, I hope it still provides value to our readers :.)

“Ace of Spades” : I’ve said before that in PPC, it’s more important to focus on technique and process than on results…for the results will happen if the techniques and processes are solid and properly executed.  Not every account improvement is an Ace of Spades but from time to time, I’ve executed upon an idea that totally blows performance through the ceiling, which is both gratifying and very humbling.

“Live to Win” :  “Win” is a relative term.  The objective of paid search isn’t to necessarily “beat” your competition but to increase Sales/Margin/ROAS via your management technique. If the client achieves excellent ROI from your efforts, it’s definitely a win.

“(We Are) The Road Crew”  :  The PPC Account Managers get most of the glory, but they couldn’t function at an optimum level without contributions from the production people on each account.  Best-of-breed account management requires regular reporting and account maintenance at a level that exceeds the available bandwidth of the Account Lead.  The methodology and execution of these tasks lessens the chance of “Gremlins” getting lose in the account and impacting performance.

“Bite the Bullet”  : Not every paid search initiative succeeds.  With experience, account managers know when to terminate a test with the minimal amount of money wasted.  Just because the client says that it’s OK to give something more time to work doesn’t mean that his/her advice should be blindly followed.

“The Chase Is Better Than the Catch”  :  It’s great to meet the goals and expectations of the client.  However, people who do Paid Search for a living don’t do it just to “win”.  They do it because they’re passionate about the work itself and the process that goes into making “client wins”.  In some ways, the wins are almost anti-climactic compared to the anticipation of winning that account managers get from strategizing, creating, and executing on a plan of attack.

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“Overkill”:  The accounts I created and managed 2-3 years ago were both very complex and very large.  My account setups/strategy are still quite complex, but I’ve noticeably dialed some stuff down.  I sometimes found that too much complexity increases the likelihood of stumbling and an error would hurt the performance more than the complexity would have helped it.

“Line In The Sand”: These are dangerous.  The moment an account manager or client takes this tack, they limit the possibilities inherent in experimentation, which caps their growth both personally and professionally.

“Killed By Death”: During my 4 ½ year tenure at 3Q, I’ve had a few clients that should have been terminated before they ultimately left.  I liked the people and I executed on the strategies to the best of my abilities.  However, the best PPC management in the world can’t overcome unrealistic goals, imperfect technology, or myopic ideas.  When I had these sorts of clients, I wasn’t at a place in my career where I felt I could ask out…I am totally comfortable in being able to do this now.  Fortunately, I’m very happy with my present client mix.

“Iron Fist”:  As my experience as an Account Manager involved, my patience in any side-dramas that detract from success objectives has devolved.  Early on, I was in situations where I lost control of a few accounts.  Now, I don’t let that happen even if it means having to mix it up and brawl a bit (metaphorically, of course).

“I Ain’t No Nice Guy”:  Well, I actually am a nice guy.  However, when it comes to account management, I prioritize results over feelings.  After we’ve met the objectives of the account engagement, and we’re celebrating, people will be able to see my “Nice Guy” persona :.)

The thing I admire most about Lemmy is his authenticity, which is something I strive for both in my work and my life.

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1 Comment

  1. Terry Whalen September 11th, 2015

    Hey Todd,

    Lots of good stuff in this post – I hear ya, baby! Here is my fave:

    “Overkill”: The accounts I created and managed 2-3 years ago were both very complex and very large. My account setups/strategy are still quite complex, but I’ve noticeably dialed some stuff down. I sometimes found that too much complexity increases the likelihood of stumbling and an error would hurt the performance more than the complexity would have helped it.

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Todd Mintz
Todd Mintz, who has been with 3Q Digital since March 2011, has worked in search engine marketing since 2000 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. He was one of the founding members of SEMpdx (Portland’s Search Engine Marketing Group), is a current board member, and writes regularly on their blog.