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Hosted by Amalia Fowler, in this week’s PPCChat session, experts discussed the changes made to communicate with clients, How changes made in strategies affecting their reporting, How PPCChat community supporting each other during this critical time and more.

 

Q2: How have you seen communication change during the last two weeks. More emails? Less emails? More questions? Radio silence?

 

If I get one more request to “hop on a quick call” I may lose my mind. @DigitalSamIAm

Sporadic. lots of starting and stopping rather than continuous threads of comms. @JuliaVyse

Communication has not really changed too much except for the clients who have decided to not pay their invoices and they’re dodging me. @CJSlattery

Clients are quieter generally. This week feels different though – calls/meetings being canceled or pushed. @NeptuneMoon

Way more communication from some and actual contact from the ones that are usually radio silent! @ynotweb

Some of my clients have been all in, needing more support & communication. Some have been all out, leading to me wondering how much to follow up right now. @amaliaefowler

A LOT of questions and interaction with existing clients. We have gotten an unprecedented amount of new inquiries for the past few weeks, though – probably double or triple what we normally get. I think there has been a mass exodus from traditional ad agencies. @gilgildner

We’ve been very proactive on reaching out to clients. Send info on the Google Ads Grants and Funding, even info about the stimulus bill that can help small businesses. Also just checking in to see how things are going. @nikkijumpfly

Varies from client to client. Some have gone quiet others are super-chatty because they want to use this time to work on business/marketing strategy. @stevegibsonppc

Clients are quieter than usual. A few freelancing gigs dried up, but overall still in a good spot.@FindingAmanda

This week is seeing the gravity of what is happening in the world start to impact more than just the first wave of businesses immediately impacted earlier this month. @NeptuneMoon

Varies by the client. Some are eager for updates, impacts, others are quiet. @KurtHenninger

Given that I’m not agency-side anymore, it’s been eerily quiet. On the flip side, I’ve been able to get some great deep work in on daily. @CassieAllinger

Work – moved chatting to Microsoft teams (daily am video chats and some other ones for team meetings or checking everyone is keeping sane). about the same volume with emails (surprisingly – I though there’d be more). @mindswanppc

Everyone, internally and externally, is a lot more scatterbrained. Clients with few changes so far are understanding the longer-term nature of this, and clients with many changes are overwhelmed so are either shutting down comms or coming a mile-a-minute. @ferkungamaboobo

Communication has increased significantly with our clients who are still running ads. And rightfully so, these are unstable times, we have to make sure we are on top of everything. @joshuadubs

Well every company I’ve ever known has emailed me. Clients are mixed. @JonKagan

 

Q3: Given the uncertainty of the current environment, are you making changes to how you communicate? If so, how?

 

Just being more proactive so clients know we are here to help and support. @nikkijumpfly

I’m trying to reduce email conversations. Being much more careful, much more clear. trying always to reduce complexity. chats are still chats, calls are still calls. but email is succinct and short as possible. @JuliaVyse

I’m currently looking for a good video conferencing tool. I’ve recently read a popular one that begins with a “Z” has some security issues. Thinking of GoToMeeting? @JasonAKrause

It’s more immediate communication, making sure all are in the proverbial loop. Much more reactive. @KurtHenninger

Taking extra care with all communications. More personal talk, small talk. @CassieAllinger

I’ve been communicating to clients about changes in online behavior right now and how to take advantage (more attention available so more prospecting/content related efforts). @FindingAmanda

Some industries are affected more than others. We’re helping some of our clients scale up (like online education or ecommerce or remote recruiting) and helping others trim the fat. A lot of folks are confused at the fluctuation of metrics right now. @gilgildner

A big piece has been helping clients understand what changes we’re making, what help is available + providing strategic guidance based on market + competitive data. There are lots of opportunities out there, so we’re trying to help them stay on top of those. @DigitalSamIAm

Not much. Just trying to be more flexible and allow more times (earlier mornings, later afternoons) to meet than we normally would. @ynotweb

Apart from the reactive “changing things on the fly” that we’re all dealing with more or less, I’d say the past few weeks comm has been more proactive. Sending quick performance report blips weekly so clients can see WoW changes. Making sure all that is top of mind. @timmhalloran

We’re being proactive & supportive, going outside the normal scope to do extra projects that help businesses right now. We’re also making sure to connect more often. Also collaborative. They are scared and we are the ones with the knowledge. @amaliaefowler

I think just empathy. It’s really hard (and probably not right) to try and spin positives to keep a client running right now. Not that we can’t give ideas, it’s just tough to justify the sales pitch. @SEMFlem

Starting any conversations asking how they are doing and sharing how I’m doing. Also trying to be a steadying presence – there is a lot of upheaval happening now, so if you can be a calm and reliable entity, do it. @NeptuneMoon

Patience and understanding (it’s a good mantra for when you can see yourself losing those two things). We’re all trying our best, and acting like clients aren’t also trying their best is definitely going to put everyone in a worse place. @ferkungamaboobo

It has become about partnership – I am learning more about my clients and their lives and their businesses than ever before and consider myself not just their ads person, but also someone who can hold space for them in this time and support in new ways. @amaliaefowler

Yes. Daily communication with some clients. Updating the reporting sheet and KPI’s with data daily. @joshuadubs

More frequent and brutally honest conversations. Now is not the time for tacky sales pitches. @Mel66

Showing understanding and patience as they figure out what they need as a business and we figure out together how our relationship will work inside this situation. @jennifer_lash

 

Q4: What communications have surprised you in this time in a positive way? What do you hear from clients/see them doing in this time that’s been positive and unexpected?

 

Other clients who are also parents just sharing what’s happening and how they are handling being teachers in addition to everything else we are trying to do. Sharing things over Slack that are not 100% business-related, but more human. @NeptuneMoon

This is a time when we see reckonings. We’re seeing clients who previously made questionable (reactive) business decisions continue to dig themselves into holes. Whereas some of our savvier (proactive) clients are surging because they’re willing to take some risks. @gilgildner

I’ve noticed a ton of compilation videos with UGC that are super fun. Trying to encourage them to create this type of content so I can boost on FB/YouTube. Example: youtu.be/qTbl4BC8N14. @FindingAmanda

I have had clients pivot in really unique ways I wouldn’t have thought of (and been able to support them), I’ve had a client cancel but leave their retainer to help us(!!), and I’ve had my smallest client who I thought for sure was going to pause, change strategy. @amaliaefowler

It’s our smallest clients that have “essential services” and are actually thriving right now. Glad to see them appreciated more- as service providers and employers.. @ynotweb

Not exactly surprise, but very pleased with our clients and vendors. everyone is first asking how they can help rather than asking how to protect themselves. it’s sort of awesome! @JuliaVyse

I find people have been extraordinarily understanding. Especially the ones who’ve had to postpone their weddings … The compassion I’ve observed has been heart-warming across the board. I’m hopeful this is one thing we’ll all take with us when this is over. @CassieAllinger

The increased level of transparency has been pleasantly surprising, the feeling of “I work from home but can’t let anyone see that I have pets or a family here too” has kind of gone away…getting to see people’s pets on video calls is a bonus too. @jennifer_lash

We have clients who are actively concerned for our well-being as well. Some have made it clear that they want to get through this together as partners. @joshuadubs

I’m seeing courage. Many clients stepping out and saying “This is what’s happening, how can we survive and thrive.” and taking steps to make it happen. UGC, brand building tactics, long-term projects getting more visibility. I love seeing this happen unprompted. @timmhalloran

 

Q5: We’ve all had to change strategy, we’ve spent a couple chats talking about that in specific – how are you communicating these changes? Given the time of the month we are at currently, how are these changes affecting your reporting?

 

I’ll be talking a lot more about specifically the second half of the month. We typically talk YOY in our reports, and we’ll be talking about those changes in that context. For SEO, the story is “stay the course” but paid media will be heavily focused on CPA/ROAS. @ferkungamaboobo

For some clients that are strategically expanding, we’ve dramatically increased the frequency of updates. We’re also talking to people we wouldn’t have before (supply chain + logistics) to ensure that we’re not marketing what they don’t have in stock in stores. @DigitalSamIAm

We will be trying to frame as much of the positive. We want clients to feel encouraged that they will get through this okay, so any wins will be highlighted. @ynotweb

Also, I’m telling my team that if they’re finding it hard to say something a specific way, maybe don’t say it. HOW we communicate right now is arguably more important than WHAT we are communicating. @amaliaefowler

Usually, my team and I plan out strategy a few weeks, if not a couple of months in advance for the overall next steps. Can’t do that this month and it’s affecting how we report, for sure. @amaliaefowler

I could write pages on this answer but it boils down to transparency, highlighting the positives (lower CPCs or increased traffic), and a custom approach for each client. @FindingAmanda

I have had a couple of clients say they don’t really need the reporting I would be doing this week (they paused everything mid-month)… So, there’s that. @NeptuneMoon

For active clients, try to find positives to keep clients encouraged, work on longer-term strategy as we can. Some clients that have paused mid-month say they don’t care to see March performance. @jennifer_lash

Working for a white label agency has been particularly tough on communication since we can be as proactive as possible, but it’s ultimately on the agencies we work with to communicate things to their clients before the panic sets in. @LeSeigfried

Talking about why we’re making changes, the thoughts behind them, etc. Also more communication. @CJSlattery

On the reporting front, we’re highlighting opportunities + challenges – there is a tendency to focus on the positive but sometimes there aren’t many (& that’s OK). Here’s what things are going boom, this is what we did about it, here’s what we want to see as a result. @DigitalSamIAm

Plus We are giving more brainstorm-like ideas when they come up- framing them as just possibilities rather than recommendations. To help them get into creative problem-solving space. @ynotweb

 

Q6: How have things changed with internal conversations for you? With employees, stakeholders, other vendors, even other #ppcchat friends?

 

We gave one of our colleagues a long paid maternity leave, she just got back yesterday and we were like “thanks for leaving us when we needed you most, here’s a bunch of new campaigns and welcome back to the asylum”. @gilgildner

Conversations are much more personal. More emphasis on how people are doing personally. For my team, there has also been a real discussion about company finances. Cashflow is a real issue with invoices going unpaid. @CJSlattery

For employees, a big part of it is reassuring everyone that we will get through it. For a lot of junior team members, this is their first “recession” in the workforce, so it’s new (and usually pretty scary for them). Gotta remembers that. @DigitalSamIAm

I have LOVED connecting with the #ppcchat community at this time. We’ll be Zooming again this Friday – so if you want the link, DM me. It has been really nice to gut check with other experiences and have a collective safe space to talk shop (and get to know each other!) @amaliaefowler

I’m also connecting more with my boss, which is nice and something we didn’t’ have as much of a chance to do before. @amaliaefowler

I work alone and from home already, so that hasn’t been different, but everything else has. Having this community helps a lot, so thank you all! @NeptuneMoon

Reaching out to my team for one-on-one. We are used to being in the office together, so just connecting, staying in touch. We’re going to Zoom on Thursday and play Drawful together, just for something fun to do and connect. @nikkijumpfly

More frequent connection, leeway with scheduling…but overall grateful to work for a company that already functions well remotely and puts people first! @timothyjjensen

My company had plans to start accepting direct clients before all of this happened, but it seems those plans have been accelerated after seeing how limited our ability to provide damage control is with our white label partners. @LeSeigfried

I think internally it’s just making sure we check in on each other regularly. My company are being g8 with their trust of allowing us to work remotely – me especially as i am a contractor. Also contract has been extended for 6months which I am v grateful for. @mindswanppc

We compare to see has the most infected county of the day…on every call @JonKagan

 

Q7: Anything funny comms wise to share? Anything your partner/kids/dog/parents/clients have done or said that you’ve found particularly hilarious?

 

My mom has discovered Zoom and I taught her how to use it for her book club. She is also now simply having wine chats with her friends and referring to my Dad as her sommelier. Which amuses me to no end. @amaliaefowler

My insurance agent cracked dad jokes about my emails being “quarantined” and I was pretty confused until I realized he was talking about his spam folder. @gilgildner

One of my dogs snores and groans in her sleep. A lot. Never really noticed it before because usually there’s a tv on or something else making noise. (And she doesn’t sleep in our room.) @nikkijumpfly

My energetic Labrador wants to play and eat more now that I’m home more. He’s become more vocal, whining at me. Funny, endearing, and kind of annoying at the same time. @JasonAKrause

My dog is over the moon thrilled with people being home all day and spends a lot more time chasing/playing with our cat…the cat is noticeably grumpier. @jennifer_lash

Yeah – now that I’m at home a lot more often my cat is using that as an opportunity to whine at me more than usual to let her out in the garden. I would but she loves jumping over to our neighbors garden too…so need to be watchful of that. @mindswanppc

We’ve been playing the “my coworker” game with the clients that have pets (whatever your pet is doing is what your “coworker” is doing at that moment) @ynotweb

 

Q8: How can the PPCchat community support you during this time? How are you able to offer support, if you don’t need it yourself?

 

One of my team is heading into emergency surgery for appendicitis, right now. Got to doubly support her!! @nikkijumpfly

I have loved the #ppcchat Zoom meetings, open to you all just DM me for the link! Additionally, my DMs are open if anybody needs to talk about this situation and works alone/doesn’t have someone to chat with. You’ve all helped me so often! @amaliaefowler

My DMs are open if you have a question about anything. I’m putting together a blog post on how to manage your business – because some of my standard advice isn’t that workable right now…@NeptuneMoon

Keep joining #ppcchat and sharing your knowledge! If you think you’re too small to make a difference try sleeping with a mosquito! @FindingAmanda

My DMs are definitely open too! For chat, for script ideas, for free consultancy. @mindswanppc

Love the #ppcchat Zoom calls on Friday (missed last week due to a MICROSOFT call and will miss this week to talk to Google PM to complain about GAds Smart Display). I’m here to help/chat if anyone needs it – been doing PPC for 18 years. Been thru it all. @nikkijumpfly

Ask questions & give answers (if you can). Be candid about what you’re seeing. No need to self-filter when it comes to ad performance questions right now. @timmhalloran

We are mostly “good”, but I am always open to lend support, a second opinion, “this is what we’ve seen”..@ynotweb

Absolutely — DMs are open for any questions or just to talk. Happy to help out in any way I can. @DigitalSamIAm

 

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