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Greetings Happy Readers! Here is the screencap of this week’s PPCChat discussion which was hosted by Duane Brown.

Q1. What is your main goal when onboarding an account?

Main objective for onboarding is to the best possible understanding on client objectives and organization. And then, solve all access, data, and formality problems up front in order to establish a smooth relationship. @soanders

Align on Goals/KPIs, learn what they know about their audience, what have/haven’t they tried in the past. How they want reporting to look, how they want communication to look. All about aligning on expectations. @selley2134

Flashback to last week’s chat – Setting expectations! – even if it was done during the pitching process. Just to re-iterate what they should expect from us and what we expect from them. @TheMarketingAnu

Setting up all the reports and getting things in place that we agreed upon before we agreed to work together. Some folks may not have agreed on success metrics/goals yet, so you would also want to make sure this is done. @lchasse

Managing expectations vs budget, getting an early win on the board, tweaking reports as needed, getting right level of comms. @beyondcontent

New acct? Building the groundwork to get accurate baseline KPIs. Keeping “Ceteris paribus” top of mind. Taking over current builds? Understanding it first and foremost. Only once it’s understood will we dismantle/test/put back together. Especially w/ big ones. @timmhalloran

My main focus during onboarding is making sure to set expectations properly (s/o to last week’s topic). We also do an in-depth audit right after kickoff, which helps us understand what we’re actually working with before we get too deep in developing a strategy. @adclarke10

Our agency takes the POV this is about setting the tone for the relationship and setting everyone up for success. @duanebrown

As an agency: – ensuring we understand the goals – set the right expectations – communicate timelines effectively. @MenachemAni

For me, I do what I can to build trust by making sure that we are working towards agreed-upon KPIs and that both myself and the client feel good about where things are headed. Once trust is built clients usually become a lot easier to manage. @alexnicoll93

Making sure that goals/KPIs, etc are ironed out, tracking setup is good, and that the client has a clear plan on what work will be undertaken and when. These three will help to avoid any awkward questions down the line. @PPC_Fraser

Making sure that we and the client are on the same wavelength for expectations and capabilities. @JonKagan

Q2. Do you have a standard process/system for onboarding a new account? Let us know why or why not

We have a standard template & come with a prefilled report with month/month data for the last year. But everything is customizable. Businesses are different. Some may be focused on growth, some efficiency, some lead, some ecom – all goes into what we ask/talk about.  @selley2134

Yes, this is where I utilize @clickup to build processes. I usually have other work going on, so by having a process in place, it prevents me from missing important steps like setting up recurring meetings, reports, reviewing product feeds, etc. @lchasse

Our process is usually: 1. Kickoff (align on goals/timeline, set expectations, get add’l context, etc.) 2. Conduct in-depth account audits + provide strategy recommendations 3. Provide a 3-6 month project plan to reiterate timelines & ensure alignment on strategy. @adclarke10

Yes, generalities in some areas (on purpose) allow for exploration. Sometimes putting things in a box (aka scope), empowers whoever is in charge of the audit/onboard to dig deep where needed. Without those guard rails it’s easy to 2nd guess the amt. of time allotted. @timmhalloran

I don’t always onboard in a structured manner. And I always regret that afterward. The process is everything. @soanders

This has been a huge focus for me for the last couple of months. Our onboarding process was very disjointed so I’m working on building a process now. Shoutout to @PPCKirk for what they’re doing at Zato. I love their process which fosters building and not scaling. @alexnicoll93

Since 95% of our work is in the ecom and DTC space. Our onboarding is a nice blueprint anyone on the team can work off of. If we had business across do many different verticals. I can see onboarding being more challenging to process out. @duanebrown

Yes, we do. There’s a distinct process of how we move from the Sales team to the Account Management team and checkboxes we need to fulfill to ensure that the relationship starts off right. @TheMarketingAnu

We have an overarching game plan/approach, but it does get tailored by each client individually. @JonKagan

Q3. For those that do have a system, what have you found that made the system successful?

It has to be something you will use and is pretty simple to set up. Most of us are busy already so if the learning curve is high or it takes away from our work, it is a no-go right away. I open my tools right as I start the day. @lchasse

We have an in-house form during the biz dev process. Getting to know what the client’s tech stack is…. as we pitch them. Lets us craft the right onboarding welcome series. @duanebrown

Coming with a prefilled report is very helpful. It helps lead talks about KPIs, budgets, reporting, seasonality, etc. @selley2134

Asking for feedback throughout the process! Helps the client feel heard, helps us determine the best strategy, & sets the tone that this is a partnership. We get lots of good info from just opening the convo up to people vs powering through the usual talking points. @adclarke10

It sounds stupid but making sure that the onboarding info is shared with the WHOLE team. It’s so easy to forget to share all the info internally in the first few weeks. @PPC_Fraser

Documentation. DOCUMENT EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME!!! @JonKagan

Q4. What is the 1st thing you do once you get access to the new account? I imagine everyone has a slightly different go-to task they do right away.

Usually, mutter to myself…wtf?! @JonKagan

Who has access to the accounts! @TheMarketingAnu

I do a quick audit to see what is working, not working. We can uncover issues such as too many conversion actions and all set to primary, etc… Usually, I am looking for anything is broken and opportunities we can take advantage of quickly. @lchasse

I like to check the campaign & account-level settings first. These are usually quick fixes but can greatly impact performance (ex: auto-apply ad suggestions being enabled in Google Ads). The conversion tracking setup is also a big area of focus early on. @adclarke10

Like I said, still working on the process but as of now I run an Adalysis audit of the account as a starting point to identify any low-hanging fruit without going down any crazy rabbit holes. Just high-level stuff. The rabbit hole stuff comes later.

Q5. What do you want to ask the community about onboarding new accounts? Thought I would make the last question a free for all. That way we can share our collective knowledge.

What are the biggest or most common roadblocks you run into during onboarding, and how do you usually address/resolve them? @adclarke10

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