Working With Google & Bing Reps

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) hosts PPCChat with another great question set titled “Working With Google & Bing Reps.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: What do you believe to be the number one benefit of working with AdWords and BingAds reps? Why?

  • Pilots/beta access for accounts. Industry/competitive insights as well. – Jeremy Krantz (@JeremyKrantz)
  • Having 1 point of contact to go to for all issues, who knows your account. – Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
    • This, For as long as you keep that person. Lately it has been better on AdWords than BingAds for us. – Kyle Crocker (@kacrocker)
  • Access to pilots, alphas, internal tools, expedited support, etc. – Gil Hong (@_GilHong)
  • Getting into betas with ease. We have great agency reps (who don’t change) that dig in to industry trends for us too. – Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
  • Best Benefit, they know what’s happening internally wrt new releases/features. They can help you understand what to prioritize. – Christi Olson (@ChristiJOlson)
  • Betas. Betas. Betas. – Matt Umbro
    • Also Alphas. Another great benefit is being able to talk to engineers about what works/doesn’t. – Christi Olson
  • We love access to early betas and getting our questions answered quicker. – Jacob Baadsgaard (@jakebaadsgaard)
  • It’s a relief to be honest if you dont understand something -an update,a beta, a change. G&B reps job is to help you through that. – Mark Irvine (@MarkIrvine89)
  • Betas, industry research, & most of all – getting disapprovals fixed quicky (depending on the rep.) – Mary Hartman (@PPCHartman)
  • Unpopular opinion: “Betas” are overrated. By definition, they’re an unfinished product. – Mark Irvine
  • Consistent point of contact. – Dallas Stevens (@DDP_PPC)
  • Perspective! – Peter Thistle (@PeterThistle)
  • Tossing in another vote for betas, but I’m interested in using their industry research and decks more. – Erika Schmidt (@erikapdx)
  • Betas. Nice to have long term reps at Bing, Google changes every 8 months & reps don’t focus on our biz as much as theirs! – Max Fink (@maxfink_SEM)
  • Aside from Betas, our teams are awesome for middle-of-night changes. We always have 1 overseas rep on the team for that purpose. – Rachel King (@rackelking237)
  • Another great benefit is using reps to help you w/ research & understanding your competitive market place. – Christi Olson

Q2: What are your pain points with AdWords and BingAds reps? Why?

  • Not having reps!!! General support just doesn’t cut it. – Melissa Mackey
  • Rep: “Raise bids and add more broad keywords”. Me: “Not this again rep” – Roxana Hassel (@RoxanaHassel)
  • NOT having a dedicated rep. we had the “agency account strategsists” but they were absolutely useless for a mature agency. – Doug Thomas (@ferkungamaboobo)
  • If you don’t have dedicated reps, the turnover is always a pain. It’s annoyting to explain client background every quarter. – Joe Martinez
    • Annoying and mostly a waste of time. – Melissa Mackey
  • Lack of consistency: when I don’t know who to expect or the level of response I’m less likely to ask for help. – Kyle Crocker
  • Biggest pain point is rep reassignments. So bad at google it affects the entire rep-endeavor. – Max Fink
  • Performance” suggestions that aren’t in the best interest of clients but in the best interest of Google $$. – Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
  • I find the rep’s solution is often “Automate!” and of course giving up control to the system scares me. – Mary Hartman
  • At times, recommendations can seem very agenda driven. – Gil Hong
  • Mainly response time. Google team has become much more responsive since I started hitting Twitter if they weren’t answering. – Rachel King
  • I think it’s more the time commitment. I get that you want to be helpful, but I don’t want to meet with you regularly. And I don’t say that harshly, more so that my time is better spent working and I’ll come to you with issues. – Matt Umbro
  • Theres often communication lags btw product,PR & account teams @ G&B.Too often reps dont hear about announcements or changes. – Mark Irvine
  • Not always, but often, after many words: end of conversion leads simply to spend more. (up budget, increase bids, etc.) – Peter Thistle
  • Rep changes. Complicated accounts require weeks of training reps before we can have a meaningful convo. – Rachel King
  • Most of your “account reps” sit on a sales team for G&B. A lot of your frustration as a account manager is dealing with that. – Mark Irvine
  • As agencies, we’re already trying to upsell clients. We just need support from reps and help w/issues so we can sell more! – Melissa Mackey
  • A lot of times they can focus on their growth objectives over our client’s needs. No bueno. – Jeremy Krantz
  • Btw, I find bing reps to be amazingly responsive and have a totally different attitude than google. G could learn a lot from them. – Max Fink
  • They don’t take the time to understand client’s goals or what we’ve done. You need to understand & review before strategy. – Erika Schmidt

Q3: If revenue and new client generation wasn’t a concern, how do you believe reps should be reviewed?

  • By customer satisfaction. They should regularly survey us and base rewards on high marks from customers. Not on $$$. Happy customers will spend more $$. – Melissa Mackey
  • Simple: Reps should be reviewed by how much they help you to generate revenue/profit for your company. – Max Fink
  • Long term metrics like increased client retention or increased life time value (like most PPCers are reviewed). This would also disincentive Google from rapidly switching us between reps. – Mark Irvine
  • By the quality of swag they give their agencies? – Joe Martinez
  • If their goal is to help accts, then customer satisfaction. Them telling me to spend $$$ more doesn’t help me or my clients. – Erika Schmidt
  • They should be reviewed the same way we get reviewed by our clients, by a satisfaction score. – Matt Umbro
  • Apply customer service metrics. Avg response times, customer satisfaction surveys,etc (which G does for product & engineering). – Rachel King
  • End goal for us is client satisfaction. So by turnover or client KPIs. Those reflect my bottom line. Not sure how to measure tho. – Luke Alley
  • In how they helped improve overall performance for their book of business and advertiser satisfaction w/responsiveness. – Christi Olson
  • If an agency fights to keep a rep during restructuring, it shows the rep’s quality. (Often they get shuffled anyway tho…) – Mary Hartman
  • It’s hard to measure rep effectiveness by client retention. The agency has such a huge hand in that. – Mary Hartman
  • There needs to be alignment on KPI’s and what success looks like. CTR, Conversions, & CPA do not always measure true success. – Michael Abolafia (@MikeAbolafia)

Q4: For those that meet regularly with their reps, how effective are the meetings and what do you gain from them?

  • VERY effective when there’s pre-call preparation and an agenda. – David Szetela (@Szetela)
  • I dislike rep meetings bc they’re not “how can we support you?” but “here are more arbitrary tasks to add to your busy life.” – Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
  • I cancel 1/3 of mtgs. Most bi-wkly calls focus on new features, beta ops, & internal strategy. mSite review this month. – Rachel King
  • When we had reps, I valued the opportunity to ask questions and hear about betas. – Melissa Mackey
  • Pretty worthwhile because we don’t meet every month. Only discuss clients I bring up that need insight. I control the meeting. – Joe Martinez
  • I manage a larger portfolio. Its very helpful when you discuss larger plans/changes for the month/quarter across accounts. – Mark Irvine
  • TBH, even with my best reps, I didn’t get a ton out of the meetings. I either already knew the topics or items weren’t relevant. I do find value in doing webinars with them – they are willing to participate- Matt Umbro
  • Rep meetings = good/bad. Good: Q&As about new products Bad: It’s hard to be completely enthusiastic when it feels like a pitch. – Mary Hartman
  • QBR is most helpful. Semi annual wireline reports are critical. Mostly its “tell me what is not public yet”. – Rachel King
  • Rep meetings can be fruitful for solving tech issues, hearing beta opportunities, describing sales help they can provide. – David Szetela

Q5: What materials/resources/opportunities would you like AdWords and BingAds reps to provide you with? Why?

  • More accurate/in-depth keyword data. Could be tied to Partner status even, but give us the goods! – Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
  • Change coming? (Spoilers- always is) I’m interested in a list of accounts affected. – Mark Irvine
  • Updates for my team could be good. Had the most success talking 1-1, but would like to do updates for the rest of the company. – Kyle Crocker
  • Specific use cases & opps that align to my specific biz needs If I can’t use something don’t waste time on it. – Maria Corcoran (@mariacorcoran)
  • Our current reps inundate us with reports continually. Im swimming in data I never review. Summaries would be so much better. – Rachel King
  • Not to sound pretentious, but I would more upscale swag instead of water bottles and pens. – Matt Umbro
  • Heads up on betas/changes/updates, vertical research, competitive data – especially for B2B. – Melissa Mackey
  • At this point, I’d just take a rep who is with me longer than 3 months (so can know my clients) & who has my entire MCC. – Kirk Williams
  • I’m always loving the data on how users in different industries search online. The deeper the data the better. – Joe Martinez
  • Competitive data is always needed. Click-share, device trends, market-level data. I know my acct, give data cant see daily. – Rachel King
  • Updates on what is in the pipeline, reminders of recent changes. Data to show which Extensions are best so others can be removed. – Max Fink
  • More specific keyword volume, better budget projection data, and better estimates for when new features roll out, if possible. I’d like to have a FB rep who tells us when they’re going to update the algorithm before they do so, please. – Mary Hartman

Q6: Is there any scenario in which you would want an AdWords and BingAds rep copresenting to your client with you? Why or why not?

  • I’d like the implicit endorsement and it would make them feel important, but it would have to be a rep I trusted. – Robert Brady
  • Absolutely, as long as we agree on talking points ahead of time. Direct contact w/engines goes a LONG way with clients! – Melissa Mackey
  • For better or worse, they are effective at upselling. Clients respond and they listen. – Mark Irvine
  • Absolutely! Clients take word of Google/Bing very seriously. If a rep would vouch for my work, would be huge. – Kirk Williams
  • When there is a powerful enough story to tell yes. So long as you both work on the presso and there are no surprises. – Maria Corcoran
  • Already have done this & it works! To hear straight from the G/B source makes a huge impact. Especially when dealing with CEOs. – Joe Martinez
  • Also basically discussing big budget raises/account changes, etc could be helpful of course. – Kirk Williams
  • In-house view – my CFO & COO attend QBR. It can be uncomfortable if exec thinks “why haven’t we already done this?” – Rachel King
  • I’ve had a Google rep vouch for me on a call before. It was great for helping the client to see our level of professionalism.

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More PPC Chats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.


Check out the PPC Chat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• Christi Olson (@ChristiJOlson)
• Dallas Stevens (@DDP_PPC)
• David Szetela (@Szetela)
• Doug Thomas (@ferkungamaboobo)
• Erika Schmidt (@erikapdx)
• Gil Hong (@_GilHong)
• Jacob Baadsgaard (@jakebaadsgaard)
• Jeremy Krantz (@JeremyKrantz)
• Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
• Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
• Kyle Crocker (@kacrocker)
• Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
• Maria Corcoran (@mariacorcoran)
• Mark Irvine (@MarkIrvine89)
• Mary Hartman (@PPCHartman)
• Max Fink (@maxfink_SEM)
• Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
• Michael Abolafia (@MikeAbolafia)
• Peter Thistle (@PeterThistle)
• Rachel King (@rackelking237)
• Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
• Roxana Hassel (@RoxanaHassel)

Working with Streamcaps, No Reps Needed

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; works at WebRanking in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Connect with Paul @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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