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Greetings Readers! During this week’s PPCChat discussion, host Julie F Bacchini sought experts’ views on their clients and stakeholders, do clients ask a lot of questions? do PPCers encourage them by satisfying their queries? and more.

Q1: Do your clients or stakeholders ask you a lot of questions? Do you encourage them to?

Yes. yes, they do. I tend to encourage it as it’s a great way to build a relationship, and understand how they see search and performance media. @JuliaVyse

I actively encourage questions, so yes, my clients do ask questions. I also ask them a bunch of questions every month too! @NeptuneMoon

That’s correct. Most of the time, I collaborate with fellow marketers and sales professionals as my clients. So, their questions are really deep. They want to know the how. I find it good as it keeps me on track as well. I brainstorm a lot with my clients. @1tagupta

‘it depends’ alarm, questions around performance etc are always welcome but without sounding cringey I’m definitely keen to encourage a two-way street where we can ask questions too. Clients who ask lots of questions but aren’t open to OUR questions are frustrating. @PPC_Fraser

A mixed bag. Depends on their knowledge, position, size of the media campaign, and if they are trying to impress/answer something for their superiors. Frequently I get none because they say “I pay you know to know it all” @JonKagan

I’m very open to questions. Usually, I receive more questions when things seem to slow down. But I try to explain everything in advance, so there are no surprises or misunderstandings. The overall feeling is of trust. @DianaAlinaAldea

Definitely get lots of questions from clients, at every phase of a project. I encourage questions though because it ensures we’re aligned on expectations, goals, etc., and also helps us build a more collaborative relationship & strategy. @adclarke10

Really depends on the client. Some are happy & often don’t even want to do monthly calls. Others ask many questions. I have no problem, as long I haven’t answered them before. They are paying us so I think making sure they have good answers is part of our job. @selley2134

I forgot to put this tag. I’m a student and do not have any clients or stockholders but if I did I’d most likely encourage questions. @HolyBlessedCarp

My clients ask questions, some ask a ton of questions! Educating your clients forms a relationship and the ones you connect with stick around the longest. @FindingAmanda

Minus may be the odd client, no one asks too much questions. Some clients forget, which requires us to repeat things. Clients asking questions is cool and encouraged. Most of the time they want to know our POV. No one is trying to trick you into saying something. @duanebrown

Yes, and I love it – the teaching part of the calls. I’ll show them every ingredient in the secret sauce if they want to know. I’ll just stick to basic KPIs & roadmap action items if they want that too (bigger orgs usually). Most of the time they want to know tho. @timmhalloran

It depends on the client, but I love questions. It shows me they’re engaged. @revaminkoff

I ask a lot of questions. Usually, the clients have some too. @robert_brady

Q2: What kinds of questions do you get asked most frequently by clients or stakeholders?

I don’t have any clients as I am once again a student. @HolyBlessedCarp

Most of my questions are about trends and basically reading Google’s mind, with some about performance. I too often wonder what Sindar and Mark are thinking. @JuliaVyse

Two types in general: Deep dive and top level. 1. Regarding performance, trends and the decision-making process. (Sometimes it becomes an exchange of ideas and thoughts). 2. Overall strategy and diversifying channels of growth. @1tagupta

The most common tend to be about conversions (why did they drop off this month?) or CPCs (why are they twice what they were last year?). @NeptuneMoon

The most frequent questions are about why do I think things happen the way they do, how can we get more conversions, what may have broke something that seemed to work in the past? @DianaAlinaAldea

Unfortunately recently it seems like questions around optimizations scores & pinned headlines. Either reps are reaching out to clients or clients have been taking Google “tests”. lol @selley2134

Generally, how can we get more or do better, but sometimes specifics about why a campaign showed or didn’t show on x search term down to attribution year over year etc. @revaminkoff

+/- MoM conversions/KPIs, attribution-adjacent anything, creative perf, A/B test stuff, potential event-breakage, “If we do this, what will that do to your stuff” followed up by, “We’re going to do this in X weeks, so be prepared.” Mostly curiosity though. @timmhalloran

Performance is a big one, mostly related to specific initiatives (like a newly launched campaign). Questions about budget recommendations & allocation are also common. @adclarke10

Most clients ask for our opinions on general trends, strategies, etc. for them or their industry as well. We try to stay ahead of that for them anyways, but some are more involved/interested than others. @adclarke10

Client’s ads knowledge level determines this: 1. Why is traffic down 2. How can we increase impression share/own SERP 3. Any channels we are not advertising on 4. How do we do x or y or how can we see x or y 5. Is Microsoft really worth doing 6. Competitor doing X? @duanebrown

Often around performance and strategy. That’s why it’s always super important to outline KPI’s from the outset – FYI the wonderful @wilreynolds mentions what to do if your client hasn’t given concrete KPI’s here.  @PPC_Fraser

I especially like questions about something they read from a random “expert”. Gotta clean up that misinformation. @robert_brady

Q3: What questions do you wish clients or stakeholders would ask?

As clients get to know us. They usually shift questions to be more business and strategy related. Part of our job at agency’s is upskilling clients so they can have the tools & knowledge to ask better questions. Education is job #2. @duanebrown

They already ask how they can be of any help in improving performance, which I think is very important. They also acknowledge I am a human, and changes in performances may have a toll on us, the specialists, which is again very important. @DianaAlinaAldea

Maybe things like trends? @HolyBlessedCarp

(Really wished these) When do you want us to increase your pay? When will you invoice us next? We are waiting to calculate your royalty. @1tagupta

Always like the questions about the wider agency as it shows they’re invested in the relationship e.g ‘what case studies have your PR team got in this particular area’ @PPC_Fraser

What can we do to bring media in harmony with our business goals. Do our metrics/desired outcomes match our media activity? Do our current KPIs make sense given our objective? Great question Julie! @JuliaVyse

What should we be testing if we had extra budget? Should we be trying to upgrade our landing pages? We mostly work with small businesses so these types of things are a luxury we don’t often get. but we can dream. @selley2134

I like questions that are about how PPC works with all of their marketing initiatives. Bonus points if it’s about how these areas can better work together! I also love when they want to know my thoughts on their web experience. So many conv issues found there! @NeptuneMoon

I’d love to get more strategic questions. Too many clients focus on 1-2 metrics & “how can we make that better.” Of course, part of our job is strategizing & getting them to see the full picture, but it’s nice when people come up with & ask about their own ideas too. @adclarke10

The legit one: I love the questions talking about the overall strategy. I find this part to be so fun. I realized that I am a natural analyser so I ask tons of questions that almost always hit the weak points. Then we discuss these. @1tagupta

“What can we do (or stop doing) to help you improve performance?” Requires a lot of trust. But there are times when I’m hamstrung by bureaucratic, political BS (stepped on toes) when all I want is to do is clear the obstacles in my way & make them money/leads. @timmhalloran

I actually love when clients try to understand how it works. @revaminkoff

Q4: What kinds of questions do you ask your clients or stakeholders?

Possibly what exactly their goal is? @HolyBlessedCarp

Doing lead gen work, I ALWAYS want to know about the quality of the leads I am bringing them. And, if something changes – like the leads used to be good quality and suddenly went to crap. I also ask about any upcoming changes to their prod or service. @NeptuneMoon

What is success for you overall? Where are you most interested in getting help? What channel/media are you most curious about? If budget were not a factor, what would you want to do? @JuliaVyse

All sorts. I know the PPC side pretty well so my focus tends to be what I can’t see. How’s biz overall, how is lead quality, did you notice a change when we did this, etc. @selley2134

I have learned that asking about what they are doing on other channels is also a smart question to ask regularly. And if there are any new players in their industry that I should be aware of. @NeptuneMoon

Can I receive X more budget to scale this campaign that works well, but can work even better if having more spend? Can we invest in X tool that could improve our understanding of the overall user flow, and thus improve performance? @DianaAlinaAldea

How many conversions were there at company level, so I can have a better overview on the overall performance. I’m doing better, worse, I’m on the line with everyone else? @DianaAlinaAldea

A few questions I ask clients regularly: How does this performance compare to site performance overall for the same time period? Any promos or changes happening that I should be aware of? Are you having trouble with the dial-in? Do I need to reschedule? @FindingAmanda

Attributions and inquiry to deals % for b2b -For b2c, funnels -Opportunity on other channels -Product-related updates -Frequent sync with CS, Sales, Marketing & Tech -Talking with mentors for the company I guess I’m too demanding here but I learn a ton.  @1tagupta

Asking clients questions is SO important as an account manager. It allows you to approach from a place of curiosity, listen, and gather info. I feel like my AM skills leveled up when I realized I needed to ask more questions. @FindingAmanda

What are your goals? What does success look like? Any stock/supply issues we should know about? @revaminkoff

I ask about their other marketing efforts and anything the company might be doing that will affect PPC results. Sometimes clients don’t think to tell you about stuff like the new site they’re launching or the products they’re sunsetting. @robert_brady

Questions I ask in every client call after we run through performance numbers – is this translating on your end? Are you seeing these conversions turn into qualified leads, revenue, etc? If not, what are the underlying causes for that? How can we pivot (if needed)? @adclarke10

B2B or large-order ecom clients, I like to hone in on their truest goal. You can decrease CAC & scale but it requires a lot of capital, experimentation, and time. Same idea as “burn fat and build muscle at the same time” Possibly, yes. Difficult, absolutely. @timmhalloran

Try to ask questions around the question to make sure we truly understand how it works. We ask all the questions we would if we worked in-house. @duanebrown

Q5: Have you gotten a question from a client or stakeholder recently that you’re struggling to answer well? Maybe we can help each other!

GA4 for ecom and lead gen. I need serious help with this. Any right resources? @1tagupta

I can’t recall a specific one right now, but happy to help with answers, if I can. @DianaAlinaAldea

Why aren’t people responding to our (slow, clunky, not enticing, hard to implement) program. And how do we entice customers from a competing fast-food chain withOUT using a coupon. oof. these are not performance media questions, but I’m doing my darndest! @JuliaVyse

A lot of questions recently on platform changes. What are we going to do about Bing opting us into the audience network? This can be hard to answer – I think it was @PPCGreg that put together an exclusion list. but outside of that it’s kind of a wait & see moment. @selley2134

Anyone else seeing an increasing percentage of invalid clicks on Google search ads? @revaminkoff

And as usual: why is Google/Meta/Amazon doing this? dude I don’t know. I can often guess, and I can see trends. but I truly cannot fathom the minds of these orgs. @JuliaVyse

Last one: how do we measure this across channels? isn’t that the 10 billion dollar question. Some tools can measure across SOME channels. but…@JuliaVyse

Not a struggle per say… someone asked about SMS marketing on a client call yesterday.@duanebrown

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