Getting Cannected

Our Digital Marketing Account Manager, Emily Smith, recently attended ‘Cannected’ by Facebook. The event was a celebration of the creativity of the UK’s digital marketing industry. Cannected was aptly timed to coincide with the Cannes Lions Festival.  

Marketing for broadcast

Alice Tonge from 4Creative gave a great spotlight on how to make the most out of your creative journey. Top tips were ‘do the obvious, then do the opposite’, she also spoke about how making mistakes was super important for the learning process and how sometimes, the best ideas come from having no brief at all! Alice put a massive focus on trusting your intuition when it comes to creativity, rather than being dictated by the ‘right way’ or the ‘familiar way’. Alice spoke about the fantastic ‘Gay Mountain’ video created by her team, which aired across all of Channel 4’s television channels on the day of the official opening of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, 7 February 2014 and was designed to provoke conversation surrounding sexuality and discrimination in sport. Gay Mountain drew a hugely positive response, with ‘ ‘likes’ outnumbering ‘dislikes’ on YouTube by 10:1 after two months following its release!

Facebook to reach a younger audience

Another fantastic speaker was Heidi Ellis. Heidi is the Head of Media Strategy for the BBC and spoke about how she and her team overcame the challenge of appealing to a ‘new’ younger audience with the new series of Doctor Who. She explained the creative process, how her and her team brainstormed about ‘what was missing’ and how the decision to introduce a female doctor, was reached. The media team ran several experiments on Facebook with small trailer extracts in areas such as: comedy, action and so, on. The target audience was 18-24 and they used learnings from the reactions to all trailers to help them create the perfect dynamic video for broadcast.

Influencing politics

Gemma Bardsley, Consulting Director of Ogilvy also attended the event. If you haven’t heard of Ogilvy, they are the amazing agency who worked alongside Greenpeace to launch the David Attenborough campaign to get plastic out of the ocean! Gemma talked through how Sir David Attenborough delivered The People’s Seat Address to World Leaders at #COP24, as well as the planning and design for the campaign – which aimed to put the people’s voice into the United Nations and using a majorly respected national treasure, seemed to do the trick. The impactful film, created for Greenpeace, called on supermarkets to dramatically reduce their plastic footprint, which has already been signed by more than 1,234,782 to date.

AR and sensory marketing

Another interesting speaker was James Bennett – Brand Development Lead at Instagram. James presented some super inspirational slides on how Facebook and Instagram are looking to bring AR into marketing with interactive ads and filters, designed to give the user a more personal experience. Vlari MacLennan (Strategy lead) and Vick Daltrey (Creative lead), from Mother London, also presented some interesting campaign ideas for KFC – which linked mindfulness to the satisfaction gained by indulging in a purchase from the brand. The two spoke about how they noticed the sound of crackling fried chicken sounded similar to raindrops and they incorporated this onto their Instagram stories campaigns to add depth to the ad and emote a feeling of calm, to keep the user’s attention.

The event was nicely rounded off with networking and entertainment – Emily enjoyed meeting other digital marketing professionals from the industry and sharing her Facebook expertise with a wider audience.

Want to find out more about how you can use Facebook to help your company grow? Call us today on: 020 7993 9853

What is Shopping Feed Optimisation?

What are Shopping Ads?

If you are a retailer, you can use shopping campaigns and ads to promote your online business. Shopping ads feature detailed information about specific products that a business sells. There are three types of shopping ads. ‘Product’ shopping ads which feature just one product. On the other hand, you can feature several products that are similar to each other with the ‘Showcase’ shopping ads. Shopping ads use your existing Merchant Center product data instead of keywords. Or use feed data provided from local inventory ads to engage users with ‘Local Catalog Ads’.

What is Shopping feed optimisation?

Feed optimisation is the process of improving and optimising the data within your product feeds in order to serve product ads for highly relevant search terms.

Why should I optimise my feed?

Optimising your feed can help to improve reach, relevancy and segmentation. Often, feeds are created with many attributes missing. They only include the mandatory fields; if you’re missing the colour attribute, you can’t bid on products based on their colour. If you’re missing the size attribute, you can’t bid on products by their size. Missing attributes in your product feed can have a huge impact on performance.

How can I optimise my feed?

The potential for feed optimisation with Google Merchant Centre is often overlooked. Manipulate your feed for free using the Rules function. Using the information already provided within your feed. Below are some examples of how you can use Google Merchant Centre’s feed rules to optimise your feed.

1.Product titles are the single most important area that can be optimised in your feed. If your title doesn’t contain key information such as size, colour or brand, then you could be missing out on a huge volume of impressions, clicks and conversions

2. Product_Types have huge potential in improving your results from Google Shopping. By being granular with your product types, it will help to set your products apart from the rest. Granular product types will help Google to understand your product better.

3. Product Description: The text that appears below your product title and to the right of your product image in Google’s shopping tab. A common misconception is that you can use your product description to be more descriptive, using colloquial language, similar to that used on their social media. In reality, Google crawls a product’s description for relevant keywords. Using the merchant centre’s feed rules, you can ensure that all of your product descriptions contain at least the very basic keywords. For example, {Product Title} by {Brand}, available in {Colour}, size {Size}.

For example, if your product does not have the term ‘Summer Dress’ within the title, but the Product_Type is set as ‘Clothing> Womens > Dresses > Summer Dresses’, it will be much more likely to appear for terms including ‘summer dresses’.

Feed Rules

Using Feed Rules in Google Merchant Centre, you can extract key attributes from your feed, and insert them into the product title.

For example, {Product Title} by {Brand} in {Colour}. Using a rule in Merchant Centre can allow you to inject the Brand and Colour from the attributes in your feed, into the product title – this will help to expand your reach on shopping to searches that contain the brand name and the colour.

There are also rules available to help with restructuring your product titles. For example, if your product title is structured as follows: {Brand – Product}. You can use feed rules to split the title, and reverse the order so that it reads {Product – Brand}.

In addition to improving your performance, granular product types can help to improve the management of your shopping campaigns. The additional product types will allow you to further segment your products into sub categories. By adding a ‘Summer Dresses’ segmentation, you can increase bids during the Summer season for this sub category in shopping.

This rule ensures that all your product descriptions have the basic keywords in place, improving your reach, relevancy and potential traffic.

These three simple examples can have a huge impact on the performance of your shopping campaigns. So what are you waiting for? For more advice on shopping optimisation, contact us today on: 020 7993 9853 


Microsoft Advertising Reaches New Markets

Broadplace Advertising has been awarded the Elite Channel Partner status by Microsoft Advertising – we are now one of only three elite partners in the United Kingdom! As a Microsoft Advertising Partner in this group, we have high capabilities and passion to drive success. Elite Channel Partners like us get superior access to new Microsoft products and services, through exclusive access to: training, marketing and technology.

Speaking of the Elite Channel Partnership, Ajay Syal said,

“We are delighted to have been accredited with Bing Elite Channel Partner status which demonstrates our belief and commitment to Bing Ads. We are confident that with the additional support from Microsoft we will be able to further fuel this growth. The initial signs from Q1 2019 are definitely telling us we are heading in the right direction.”

April 2019

In April 2019, one of our team leads, Michal Wielechowski, visited Microsoft’s ‘Bing Discover Days’ event in Dublin, with our Managing Director, Ajay Syal. The two day conference offered a unique opportunity to network and meet senior Microsoft leaders.

Later in April, we discovered that Bing Ads was changing to Microsoft Advertising. Rik van der Kooi, corporate vice-president for Microsoft Advertising said:

“In the next year, we’re introducing more advertising products with built-in AI, more connected to your data and your business”. (Search Engine Land)

We are excited about how the brand is further developing it’s access to wider networks – such as Outlook and LinkedIn! As a result of these changes, we will be able to offer our paid search clients additional benefits.

May 2019

In May, our Managing Director, Ajay Syal, and Chief Executive Officer, Rohit Chugh, visited the Microsoft Advertising summit in Seattle. Ajay and Rohit came away with an award for top EMEA growth partner! The award represented the substantial growth of our Bing Ads spend and product adoption in 2018. In November 2018, Microsoft was given the title of the world’s most valuable company.

“Microsoft had overtaken Apple to become the world’s most valuable company, a stunning climax in a year that also saw it pass Amazon and Google’s Alphabet Inc.” (Bloomberg)

Consequently, we have recently noticed Bing catching up with our Google accounts! Our customers are beginning to see the value of Bing’s search audience.

“According to Bing, half of the users on their audience network are married or living with a domestic partner” and “40% of the network is between 35-54 years old.”(AdEspresso)

The above demographic is a group that our clients are keen to tap into and we’re happy to support them in that journey! Want to find out more about how you can make use of the Microsoft Advertising network? Call us today on:  020 7993 9853

Broadplace visits Google Marketing Live


This May, Broadplace was one of a select number of Google Premier Partner agencies to visit California for Google Marketing Live. Our Chief Executive Officer, Rohit Chugh and Managing Director, Ajay Syal represented Broadplace at this invitation-only, annual gathering. The two leaders, joined the world’s most-prominent digital marketers to help our industry’s future.

Simon Joseph, Ajay Syal and Rohit Chugh
Simon Joseph, Ajay Syal and Rohit Chugh

The event gave exclusive access to the latest product innovations from the  relevant teams and leaders at Google. Through 100+ sessions over 3 days, Ajay and Rohit learnt about some really exciting products – believe us when we say ‘watch this space’! Our senior management team found themselves feeling truly inspired by all of the surrounding aspects that affect our wider lives. A key focal point for the event was diversity and inclusion. As an agency, we were also fortunate enough to have a voice on the Partner Executive Council with the senior partners and leadership team at Google.

You can view the keynote and public content from the sessions, here.

Katy Perry at Google Marketing Live
Katy Perry at Google Marketing Live


Despite the hectic but exciting content, it wasn’t all work…! Google even managed to top and tail the event with a welcome reception on-board the Cabernet Sauvignon and luxurious cruise across San Francisco Bay, followed by an exclusive evening party and special performance by…Katy Perry! The performance was specifically for the attendees of Google Marketing Live! Our friends at Google really know how to throw a party…

You can find a good round-up on the key announcements from Google Marketing Live, here.

15 traits of a highly successful PPC Manager and how to develop them {Easily}

Why do some people prosper and others struggle in this industry? What is it about those people that makes them so successful in PPC Account Management? And is it something you can learn or practice to get better? We really believe you have what it takes already, and the traits that don’t come naturally can be developed. Take a look at what we believe are the most important aspects you need to have, or to work on in order to become really good at what you do.

What You ‘Officially’ Need To Become A Digital Account Manager:

  • Strong analytical and numerical skills
  • Time management skills
  • Data driven, with a good understanding of the importance of ROI
  • Attention to detail
  • Fast and hard working
  • Quick to respond to opportunities and threats to campaigns
  • Ability to learn new technologies
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Degree or higher education preferable but not essential

So far so boring. But what sets apart the really good account managers?


1. Successful Account Managers Get To Know Their Clients

You know you’ve developed a good working relationship with your client when you have the confidence to be truthful, when you feel able to honestly say when something will work and when it won’t. Without knowing your client, you won’t be able to anticipate their needs and be able to communicate well with them.

How to Get To Know Your Customer

Research them to begin with – garner as much info as you can from their LinkedIn account or news snippets. Make a list of questions to ask them at your first meeting. Ask lots of open ended questions such as how and why – so you can work out what they want and how they want to achieve that. What are their toughest challenges? Where do they see the business in a year’s time, in five year’s time?

Find out about their team – who do they have to support them and what are their roles. Are there people who can resolve issues in their absence, what is their seniority?

Don’t make assumptions about your client –

“Assumptions with regard to the customer’s preferences and beliefs must be discarded as it is not considered as a smart marketing strategy. Any tactic that might have been successful one year may not be as successful the next.”  Arvind Rongala, CustomerThink

You could think about having a questionnaire that you send out to new clients. It may seem a little formal or impersonal, so only use it as a basis for asking further more personal questions.

The Marketing Agency Growth Report 2018 revealed that acquiring new clients has been one of the big pain points for almost 60% of the agencies and 16% of them face client retention problems. While 79% of agency owners are confident about closing new deals and clients, 23% of them fail to meet client goals and expectations. Hubspot have put together a massive list of 90 questions you could consider asking clients. They are segmented into Previous Marketing Goals & Performance, Understanding Client’s Business Strategy, Identifying Brand’s Audience & Industry, Digging into Client-Agency Relationship.

Questions to help you get to know your client better include things like:

  • Why did you change agencies?
  • What made you want to hire our agency?
  • What worked/didn’t work with your previous marketing partner?
  • Who are the decision makers in your department?
  • What type of communication works best for you?
  • Do you have crisis communication plan in place?
  • What services do you wish our agency offered?

Above all, the more communication you have with your client, the better you’ll get to know them. Relationships take time to develop, and as with most things in life, the more you put in, the more you’ll get out.

Get To Know Your Client


2. Successful Account Managers Get To Know Their Clients’ Business

They understand the business and they treat it like their own – right down to the budget. Take the time to learn about the business, its competitors and the industry. It’s not always easy, and if you’re having to be a jack of all trades, it might not seem worth the time, but it really is. It shows the client that you’re committed and it’ll make it easier to spot threats and opportunities.

Setting Google Alerts for your clients’ industry news will help you to keep on top of this. Just looking at the headlines will help you to understand what they’re dealing with.

Understanding your client’s specific business is easy when you follow the money… 

“In any industry there is a natural flow of money, and understanding that flow helps you know what the business drivers are. Knowing where a customer’s business fits into this flow and how their revenue model works is crucial. This knowledge allows us to bring new ideas to the table that will complement the customer’s own approach.” JC Grubbs

Understanding your client’s customers will help you to understand them too. Ask questions about their end user – who is their ideal customer, why would they choose this product or service over that of their competitors? Again, that list of questions from HubSpot is a great starting point for getting to know your client’s business better:

Previous Marketing Goals & Performance

  • What are your monthly marketing goals?
  • What happens if you don’t achieve quarterly/yearly sales goals?
  • What percentage of customer deals are created by marketing currently?
  • What is the lifetime value of a customer?
  • What tactics brought the highest ROI for your business last year?
  • Have you launched any campaigns that you would consider risky and what were the results?

Understanding Client’s Business Strategy

  • What values and beliefs define your brand?
  • What are your biggest sales challenges?
  • What are the pain points you solve for your customers?
  • How long is the average sales cycle?
  • Who isn’t a competitor now, but could be in the future?
  • What marketing done by a competitor made you jealous?
  • What technological advance or product could disrupt your business in the next 5/10 years?

Identifying Brand’s Audience & Industry

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What makes buying your product or service necessary? What makes a customer buy right now?
  • Are there seasonal buying patterns that affect your sales?
  • What are the top reasons a lead doesn’t close?
  • What types of prospects aren’t a good fit for your company?
  • What misconceptions do prospects have about your brand?

Try and have a chat with frontline employees:

“Gather data from those who deal with customer experience on a daily basis — employees on the front lines. They hold valuable insight into common questions and issues, and they also have the inside scoop on the unique areas that get swept under the rug.” William Craig, Forbes


3. Successful Account Managers Are Cool In A Crisis

Let’s say you completely and utterly balls something up – we’ve all done it. What do you do? Panic? Sure, have a little panic, it’s human nature. But after a little scream, successful managers immediately work out what happened and figure out how to fix it or at least find a solution that will get them back on track. Then they’re super brave and ring the client to tell them what’s happened, why, and what they’re doing to solve it.

Successful PPC Account Managers Stay Cool In A Crisis

So how can you prepare for future crises?

Jacqueline Whitmore, Business Etiquette Expert, suggests doing these 8 things:

  1. Slow Down – try not to react immediately, gather information before making any rash decisions. Remember you are a representative of your company and step back from things a little.
  2. Stay Positive – try to let go of negative thoughts and imagining the worse before it even happens, it won’t help you.
  3. Never Ask ‘What If?’ – again, this isn’t going to help. Hindsight is lovely, but it isn’t going to find you a solution to the current problem.
  4. Take Care Of Your Body – if you keep yourself healthy your body will be able to cope with stresses far easier. Exercise reduces the stress hormone, meaning you are less likely to panic. In an ongoing crisis, you should keep up your exercise regimen.
  5. Limit Caffeine – that coffee break is nice in the short-term but it’s only going to add to your anxiety level. Take a break, by all means, but try and drink and eat healthily.
  6. Call A Trusted Friend or Mentor – asking for help, sounding out ideas, or even just venting will help you control your stress and anxiety. Reach out to someone you trust for support and guidance or just a friendly ear.
  7. Disconnect – taking yourself out of the stressful situation for a break will help to ground you and take a step back. You might start to see things clearer when you do this.
  8. Develop A Coping Strategy – if you do find it difficult to cope with stressful situations or suffer from any form of anxiety, it would be useful to find a way of helping you to relax. This could be listening to soothing or upbeat music, calling a loved one, or simply going for a walk.

We would add to that having a crisis communication plan in place with clients. It was one of the questions suggested earlier. That way you know who to call and what the process will be from their perspective. You’ll know what they need to know and when. Preparing for solutions in advance will help you when things do go wrong.


4. Successful Account Managers Are Responsive

What does responsiveness mean?  Andy Paul in Brand Quarterly, defines it thus:

“Responsiveness has a specific definition in sales.  It’s the combination of two inseparable elements: value and speed – take away one of those two elements and you’re no longer responsive.”

This applies to dealing with accounts and also clients. Clients need to know that when they get in touch, they will be replied to. Even if it’s just a quick ‘Can’t talk right now, but will look into this and give you a call back in 30 mins’.

William Vanderbloemen of Vanderbloemen Search Group, suggests putting together a “Communication Code”, that is a rule of thumb for the maximum amount of time to respond to communications. His team works to the following:

  • An email means I expect a response within 24 hours
  • A text means I need a response as soon as is convenient for you
  • A phone call means I need you now or as soon as you can call me back

He goes on to say,

“This internal code sets expectations and boundaries for our team which overflow into responsiveness to our clients. Once you have an internal communication code, you can set expectations for your employees’ interactions with clients and leads. Your expectation for client response might be different from team to team. For example, as the data states above, you would be wise to institute a 5-minute or less response time to your incoming sales inquiries, whereas your client emails might need more time for a helpful and thorough response.”

It’s Down To You

Andy Paul suggests that “Every individual, from top level management to each salesperson, is in complete control of their own ability to be responsive.  It doesn’t take any prep work.  It doesn’t require support from anyone else – just a personal commitment to do it.”

He also goes on to say,

“Here is a key point to remember: responsiveness requires a personal response.  Don’t fool yourself into believing that an auto-generated email to a customer request is responsive. It isn’t (because it only contains one of the two required elements of responsiveness). Create sustainable sales-based differentiation by incorporating personal responsiveness into every step of your selling process.”


5. Successful Account Managers Look At The Big Picture

Yes, being responsive is important – but being proactive as well as reactive is important in any job, not least account management. You need to constantly be looking at the bigger picture. Are the actions of today helping towards the yearly goals – not just in terms of quick monetary gains, but also looking at the client’s long term aims and strategies? If you want to keep a client successful and on board for a number of years, think ahead! It’ll help you to keep on track with your daily activities too.

To illustrate the importance of taking time out to look at the big picture, it’s worth remembering the story of the three stonecutters:

One day a traveler, walking along a lane, came across 3 stonecutters working in a quarry. Each was busy cutting a block of stone. Interested to find out what they were working on, he asked the first stonecutter what he was doing. “I am cutting a stone!” Still no wiser the traveler turned to the second stonecutter and asked him what he was doing. “I am cutting this block of stone to make sure that it’s square, and its dimensions are uniform, so that it will fit exactly in its place in a wall.” A bit closer to finding out what the stonecutters were working on but still unclear, the traveler turned to the third stonecutter. He seemed to be the happiest of the three and when asked what he was doing replied: “I am building a cathedral.”

Peter Drucker had a slightly different take on the story:

When asked what they were doing, the first stonecutter replied: “I am making a living”.

The second kept on hammering while he said: “I am doing the best job of stone cutting in the entire country.”

The third stonecutter, when asked the same question said: “I am building a cathedral.”

If you’re a details sort of person, it can be difficult to take a step back and look at the big picture. But there are suggested strategies to help you develop this skill. One great idea we came across was from a forum on Guild that asked this very question. One respondent, Barry Zweibel, a leadership coach/mentor said:

“A good way to differentiate the “forest” from the “trees” is to think in terms of the precedence or implications of a decision or recommendation.

“Trees” (more tactical decisions/recommendations) are typically one-and-done — good for the particular circumstance/situation, but not much more. “Forests” (more strategic decisions/recommendations) are more “one-and-some,” meaning they address both the current circumstance/situation AND future choices relevant to it or that may arise as a result of it.

To get a better feel for the difference, look at a decision one of your more strategic coworkers recently made. Consider its depth and breadth. Why THAT decision? What sort of precedence does it establish or work within? Buy them a cup of coffee and ask them about it, how they approached the matter, identified possible options, vetted those options, and ultimately came to a conclusion. Ask them to explain their thinking in as much detail as is helpful to you.

Now look at one of your more tree-like decisions and ask yourself the same questions. Compare and contrast the two and notice the differences in approach and methodology. Now ask another coworker. And another — until you start to recognize some patterns behind big-picture skills and how you can incorporate them into your own decision-making.”


6. Successful Account Managers Get Organised

You might start off your PPC career only managing one or two accounts, and that allows for plenty of time to set up, review, optimise and report for each of the accounts. With a larger portfolio you have an opportunity to work with different verticals, different sized clients and various budgets. More things to change, improve, analyse, review, more opportunities to make the clients happy. In a nutshell – more fun.

The challenge is limited time resources. With the same number of hours available each week, you have to cope with the bigger number of tasks to deal with – and in order to be successful you need to be dealing with them efficiently and effectively.

How To Get Organised

There are plenty of time management apps and resources out there. But if you want to get down to the nitty gritty of exactly how much time you can afford to spend on each client, you could try this neat trick as advised by Broadplace’s very own Michal…

Create a spreadsheet with a list of all your clients, their budgets, management fees, reporting days. Sort the list by the client size by budget, fee – whatever is more relevant to you as the account manager. Add all the days of the week (Monday to Friday) and I was pretty much there. Then allocate how many minutes I could allocate per client. And, this could be spread across the whole week, just added to one day only.

At the bottom I applied the total minutes per day (Google Account Manager Tip: If you divide it by 1440, it will give you the total in hours:minutes). This allows me to see straight away if I have enough spare time on that day to deal with the client.

Michal says, “It’s all on one page, everything to see at a glance, filters easy to apply and sort by – I love it. I know, this solution is very basic, but it works surprisingly well for me. Better than other popular systems! Sometimes going back to basics works better than over-complicating things.


7. Successful Account Managers Use Checklists

Why do checklists work? Well, the psychology behind them is pretty simple – when you achieve something, your brain releases dopamine which is a delicious hormone that links pleasure, learning and motivation. It’s quite addictive and helps with something called self-directed learning

How To Use Checklists To Improve Your Performance

Checkists should use SMART goals (that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-Bound). Smaller, bite size goals work best for short-term accomplishments. This helps with your motivation.

Bethany Hay, shared her PPC Task Checklist which is a great starting point to really narrowing down your daily, weekly, monthly tasks. She suggests the following tasks:

How Checklists can help you improve your success in PPC

Weekly Tasks

  • Project Performance – Bethany focuses on spend and conversions.
  • Display Network Review –
  • Bid Changes
  • Check Budgets
  • Pause Underperforming Keywords


Bi-Weekly PPC Tasks

  • Negative Keyword Additions
  • Keyword Expansion
  • Ad Review
  • Impression Share Report


Monthly Tasks

  • Check Campaign Settings
  • Landing Page Review
  • Monthly Keyword Comparison


Bi-Monthly Tasks

  • Geotargeting
  • Time of Day/Day Parting
  • Historical Performance Review


8. Successful Account Managers Listen To Praise

Remember the phrase “the carrot or the stick”? Most people would choose the carrot over the stick, right? Well, yes and now there’s proof that it does increase productivity. So when you’re given praise, listen to it. We’re so caught up with what we’re doing wrong that we forget to take in what we’re doing right. So, whatever praise you receive, take it on board. Don’t just take note of the negative but really appreciate the positive.

Credit: Wikipedia Commons

A study by Harvard Business School found that implementing a tool called ‘reflected best self exercise‘ (developed by the University of Michigan. Dr. Jooa Julia Lee, one of the co-authors said,


This narrative-based exercise allows employees to learn about their positive impact and contribution to others through the eyes of their social network (family, friends, colleagues, etc). Our study found that activating one’s best self concepts via reflections (which was done as part of corporate onboarding) can predict better performance outcomes and reduced emotional exhaustion and turnover, one year after the onboarding.


How To Get More Constructive Praise

If you don’t have any reflected best self exercises in place at your company (and let’s face it, most won’t), there are some simple things that you can put forward for management to implement. One of them is to place more emphasis on effective criticism in performance reviews. The ideal balance would be praise and recognition as well as corrective feedback. In a Harvard Business Review survey, respondents said they would actually prefer corrective feedback (57%) over praise/recognition (43%). It’s still a pretty tight contest between the two though and having both will help you to know where you’re going right and what to change to correct things that are falling behind.

Failing that, you can get help from your own social circle, colleagues or family. Following the steps in the diagram below you can ask for direct feedback. It’s positive so you should receive responses without anyone feeling awkward.




9. Successful Account Managers Continue their Professional Development

In this industry things are always changing. Resting on your laurels won’t work in the long run. Google, Bing, Facebook and the others all provide training and resources for you to be able to get to know new product launches. There’s no reason to get left behind. But really successful Account Managers are the ones that stay ahead of the game and know which advances are coming up.


How You Can Continue To Develop

There are various training courses you can go on to get started in PPC and they can be a good way to refresh your skills. In this every changing industry, what you learnt when you first trained probably needs updating now. Your company should provide on the job training and want to develop your skills further. Google, for instance, has a range of online training courses for developing your career, mindset and well-being, in addition to all the usual Google certification. These include “Conflict Transformation“, “Business Writing“, “Improving Communication Skills“, “Work Smarter, Not Harder” and various others that will help you to develop the skills mentioned in this article.

It’s important to get involved at work too. Sign up to be a ‘champion’ or point of contact for particular suppliers (Facebook, Google, Bing etc.) this will give you the inside track on latest developments and you can carve out a niche for yourself. Volunteer for client pitches, networking opportunities, events and more. This skillset is valued by senior management and could propel your career forward. June Gil, PPC Manager at McCann Connected suggests that you should:

“Consider the skill set you’ll need with each promotion – if you’re fairly junior, learning as much as possible about the technical side should be your priority. When you get to manager level, skills like knowing how to manage clients, pitch to new leads or manage junior members of the team become increasingly important, so focus on those via internal/external training and by asking for more responsibility – those who go the extra mile usually have the advantage.”

Have an idea about what you want to do in the future. Easier said than done, but it will give you focus. Knowing where you want to go will help management to know where you want to progress to. 


10. Successful Account Managers Have Great Communications Skills

What’s the point of a great idea or strategy if you can’t articulate it to your managers or your clients? This is where communication skills are so vital. It’s having the confidence, the great relationship, the skills and being able to persuade people that you have what it takes to make an idea take off. 


What sort of communication skills are vital to PPC?

Verbal – you’re going to be in face-to-face as well as telephone meetings with clients, so you’ll need to be able to speak with them.

Written – it’s important to remember that emotions don’t always come across in the intended meaning in emails and letters. Sarcasm has no place here!

Curiosity – asking lots of questions

Listening – hearing the answers to those questions

And finally, acting upon what’s been said.


How Can You Improve Your Communication Skills?

1.  Listen, listen, and listen.

People can tell when you’re truly listening – not just working out what you’re going to say next. Equally, when you’re on the phone, don’t write an email at the same time. Ask questions that show that you are listening.

2.  Who you are talking to matters.

Stop and think before using informal language. Clients and the boss will expect professional written communications. But even things like acronyms can be a minefield. The best bet is never to use them, or use explain the meaning the first time you use it in an email or conversation (e.g. “PPC” – Pay Per Click). Tailor the way you speak depending on who you are speaking to.

3.  Body language matters. If you have face-to-face or video conferencing meetings with your clients, make sure you have open body language. That’s no crossing your arms, or facing your body away from them, maintaining eye contact and an interested expression on your face.

4.  Check your message before you hit send. If you have difficulties with written communications – spelling and grammar checks are good, but with the really important stuff, get a colleague to look things over for you.

5.  Be brief, yet specific. Get to the point – no-one wants to read a rambling email, they want to know the information you are relaying.

6.  Write things down. Take notes while you are talking to another person or when you are in a meeting, and do not rely on your memory. Send a follow-up email to make sure that you understand what was being said during the conversation.

7.  Sometimes it’s better to pick up the phone. If you’ve got something that really needs a conversation, don’t get into a lengthy email exchange – get on the phone and talk things through. It’ll allow for a more natural flow of conversation and bouncing ideas around quickly and efficiently.

8.  Think before you speak. Always pause before you speak, not saying the first thing that comes to mind. Take a moment and pay close attention to what you say and how you say it. This one habit will allow you to avoid embarrassments.

9.  Treat everyone equally. This is especially relevant for PPC account managers – avoid using jargon, but don’t speak down to customers just because their grasp on internet marketing isn’t as good as yours. Imagine you’re explaining it to your grandparent or mother in law.

10.  Maintain a positive attitude and smile. A smile changes the way your voice sounds even on the telephone, so portray an approachable, upbeat manner even when you’re having an off day and you feel like you could just throw your computer out of the window.



11. Successful Account Managers Are Great Storytellers

As a bonus, if you can tell a story with your words, even better. Storytelling is such a big part of marketing these days. Whether that is in your ad writing or trying to use persuasive writing to upsell products to clients.

When you tell a story, people are better able to remember what you’ve told them. Fast Company sum it up really well:


What grabs your attention more: a list full of ingredients like acacia gum, oligiosaccharide, and glutemate or a story about one company’s mission to bring the tangy sweetness of a blueberry and the warming power of a bowl of oatmeal to kitchen tables around the world? Fast Company


If you’re just reading cold, hard facts, it’s just the language parts of our brains working to decipher the meaning of the words. When you read a story, however, parts of your brain start working that would as if you were experiencing what you’re reading.


What this means is that it’s far easier for us to remember stories than the cold hard facts because our brains make little distinction between an experience we are reading about and one that is actually happening.

In addition to this, our brains are insanely greedy for stories. We spend about a third of our lives daydreaming–our minds are constantly looking for distractions–and the only time we stop flitting from daydream to daydream is when we have a good story in front of us. Fast Company

According to the infographic below, from One Spot, 92% of consumers want brands to make ads that feel like a story. The science behind storytelling applies to many aspects of work, including how you talk to customers.


How To Become a Great Storyteller

Here’s that video we mentioned earlier. Warning, there’s some swearing, but we’re all grown ups here…



How To Use Storytelling in PPC

You can use it to improve your reporting. It’s part of the problem solving process. When you follow the diagram below, you can see the flow of the ‘story’ is really just resolving a problem. This can be applied to reporting. By explaining in this way, rather than trotting off some numbers and showing a graph, you’ll be able to better explain the PPC process to your clients.

You can increase the impact of successes and reassure about failures. In his article for PPCHero, Kevin Klein describes it thus

Show not tell is the mantra of good storytelling. And indeed, instead of telling you what it means, I’ll show you.


The woman’s knees creaked as she knelt to pick up her cane.


The woman was old.


He goes on to explain that you already have everything you need to tell your story – you have the performance of your PPC account and a captive audience (the client).

“Showing instead of telling can be the difference between comprehension and confusion in your client. Comprehension in your client can be the difference in understanding the impact you, the PPC account manager, are making. Be appreciated. Show, don’t tell.”


12. Successful Account Managers Pay Attention To Detail

This seems so obvious. A decimal point can mean the difference between a £2.56 bid and a £256.00 one. Earlier we talked about looking at the bigger picture, but it’s also vital to be able to look at things microscopically at times. The ‘devil is in the detail’, as they say.


How To Improve Your Attention to Detail

For you to successfully become better at noticing the details, you’re going to have to form a habit. It’s said that habits take 66 days to form. But what can you do to kickstart your improved attention to detail. Chris at Attention to Detail has these 3 quick suggestions:



Mariliza Karrera suggests 10 ways that you can improve your attention to detail:

  1. Get Organised. Sounds simple, but when things are chaotic it’s easy to let things slip and errors will be made.
  2. Make Lists. It’s been suggested before, and can really help if you’re finding it a struggle to keep on top of things.
  3. Limit Distractions. A few quick tips include switching phone notifications off, listening to classical music on your headphones and asking colleagues to give you an hour of solitude.
  4. Take Regular Breaks. Chris in the video above suggests this too, and there’s ample evidence to show that we concentrate harder when we take regular breaks. Consider it a ‘refresh’ for your brain.
  5. Play Focus Enhancing Games. When you’re taking those regular breaks, you can use it to sharpen your mind with games that target your attention. Card games, brain exercise apps can all help.
  6. Be Present. This is difficult with distractions because you need to be focused on the task in hand. I’ll refer you back to point 3 for help with this!
  7. Embrace Your Routine. When you establish a routine, you get better at noticing things that are out of the ordinary. So if you dedicate a certain amount of time per day/week for a client, you’ll get better at seeing the development of their account and when things are going well/wrong.
  8. Prioritise Quality. Speed seems to be everything in the workplace, but if your workload is so heavy that you are finding it hard to deliver quality work, you need to speak up. After all, if the client suffers, you will lose them. And no manager who wants to make money from their business can afford to lose clients.
  9. Come Up With A Personal Rewards System. Gamify your workload with treats. That could be a break for every hour of focused work or a treat for every ten to twenty mistakes that you notice that otherwise could’ve landed you in trouble. Whatever works for you.
  10. Be An Active Participant In Meetings. These are where decisions are made and important nuggets of information can come up. So be active, ask questions, speak up and you’ll get a lot more out of them.

Successful PPC AMs have great attention to detail


13. Successful Account Managers Understand The Art of Analysis

As a PPC Account Manager, you’ll be faced with data all day every day. But what does it all mean? Are you someone who has a naturally analytic mind? Or do you sometimes find yourself overwhelmed with the sheer volume of numbers in front of you? Being able to think analytically is crucial in all sorts of jobs. It helps you problem solve, manage crises, make rational decisions and summarise data. All stuff that you’ll come across in PPC. 

What Is Analytical Thinking?

It’s the ability to apply logical thinking to break down complex problems into smaller components in order to solve a problem. Analytical skills allow you to solve complex problems by filtering through to the relevant information and identifying patterns or trends. In fact, it’s an important skill for people of all ages in order to achieve success at school, in the workplace, and throughout life more generally. MentalUp

What Analysing Do You Already Do in Your PPC Role?

You might not even realise that you are practising analytical thinking in your daily life already. 

  • Account reviews
  • Forecasting
  • Understanding the data in Google Analytics and how it applies to your client’s campaign performance
  • Using spreadsheets
  • Budgeting
  • Spotting trends
  • Optimising campaigns


How To Improve Your Analytical Skills

Learn how PPC works, don’t just go through the motions. 

Ask questions. A curious mind is able to get to grips with how things work and being interested in problem-solving means you’ll practice it more and improve. Another way of doing this it to regularly play brain training games, as we mentioned before. Try chess, su doku, scrabble, any games that involve maths and having to think about possible next steps.

Practice reviewing your decisions. This will help you to start weighing up pros and cons before taking a decision in the future. 

Make a habit of learning one new thing a day. Research a topic – it doesn’t have to be work- or PPC-related but something that interests you. Ever find yourself Googling something completely random and ending up reading more about it on Wikipedia? That is helping your analytical thinking skills.

Read. Just read. Anything and everything. Books, fiction, historical events, anything! Better still, join a book club. Because it involves delving deeper into something and analysing it, you’ll pick up some great habits through this exercise.

You can always take an online course to improve your analytical skills. 


14. Successful PPC Account Managers Stay Ahead of the Client

There’s nothing worse than a client ringing up with a crisis that you didn’t predict. Or telling you about the latest Google product before you’d even heard of it. This is what sets apart the great AMs from the run-of-the-mill ones. Part of marketing is the art of anticipation. You need to anticipate your clients needs before they even realise they need them. You need to be more up-to-date on your accounts than the clients. But how can you do that without being focused on all your accounts at once?


How To Stay Ahead of Your Client

First of all, you need to take a look at the client’s account and what would affect it. Whether that’s

  • industry news impacting on traffic
  • ad disapproval
  • budget running low
  • natural disasters

What can help you to know about this before the client? Easy – notifications. Get yours in order today to be a winner tomorrow. You can set up email notifications from Google News for your client’s industry and Google Ads Custom Alerts (you can learn how to set these up here).

10 Specific Alerts you should set up, according to Sasha Freidkin:

  1. Check Ad Copy – e.g. Alert me if an ad has greater than 100 impressions and less than 1 click
  2. Monitor CPA – e.g. Alert me if impressions are greater than 1,000 and CPA is greater than X
  3. Ads Not Converting – e.g. Alert me if I’ve spent more than £500 and conversion rate is less than 10%
  4. Getting Close To Spending Cap – e.g. Alert me if total spend > £470 (where spend cap is £500)
  5. Search: Average Position Is Dropping – e.g. Alert me if the average position is greater than 4
  6. Check Landing Page Performance – e.g. Alert me if CTR> 8% and conversions are less than 1
  7. Account-Level Spend Pacing – e.g. Alert me if total spend is greater than £2,500
  8. Search: Chcek Keywords – e.g. Alert me if CTR is less than 2% for selected keywords
  9. Check Facebook Relevance Score – e.g. Alert me if my ads’ latest relevance score is greater than 0 but less than 8
  10. Facebook: Check Video Ad Creative – e.g. Alert me when my video views are less than 5


15 . Successful PPC Account Managers Ask For Help

You are surrounded by a team, whether that’s other PPC Account Managers, Client Services, Creatives, Copywriters, Managers etc etc. You have access to a wealth of knowledge. AMs who get ahead in this game tap into that wealth and use it to their advantage. If you try and go it alone all the time you won’t get very far. This relates to many of the previous points, about professional development, analytical thinking and building relationships. It’s all inter-connected and that’s why to achieve great things in PPC, you should aim to be doing all 15 things on this list.

What Sort of Help Should You Be Asking For?

It depends on what you need. What are your weaknesses? Is it difficulty with spelling which is affecting your ad copy?

If you’re not sure what your weaknesses are, make this part of your reflected best-self exercise – ask for those positives but also areas that people think you need to improve. You might not be aware that people don’t rate your public speaking and meeting style. Perhaps they think you could improve on 

How Do I Ask For Help?

Most of the time, you’ll find that people are happy to help you. As long as they don’t feel like you’re offloading your work onto them. You can but ask, and they can say now. But you’re no worse than off than you started and can always ask someone else. Dominique Rogers, writing for Monster, suggests these ways to ask for help without being annoying:


Help Others

A good rule of thumb is to say yes to others’ requests for help and they’ll be more likely to help you in the future. A good team should work this way anyway. You’re all working towards a common goal, to grow your clients’ businesses and your agency’s and enjoy the rewards that success brings.

Try to Solve the Problem Yourself

In a few different ways. Then if you still need help, tell your helper that you’ve tried these ways so they don’t waste their own time on them. You won’t come across as lazy, either.

Stay Engaged With Your Helper

Don’t just ask for help and then leave them to get on with it and come and find you when they’ve finished solving your problem! Stick around – you might learn something (i.e. how to do it yourself next time!) Ask if there’s anything you can do to help.

Be Precise

If you ask your co-worker a broad or vague question, it may appear you’re dumping the entire project at their feet. If there are 27 steps in your project and you’re stuck on step 14, tell your colleague you need help with that one item, not the whole thing. Asking specific questions about your problem helps show your colleague that you’re totally engaged and actively trying to resolve the issue alongside them. Once you get the precise help you need, be ready to take back over immediately—it’s your project and your colleague has other things on their plate. Geoff Scott, a career adviser and resume expert.

Ask For Help Quietly, But Praise Loudly

Be discreet in asking for help, you don’t want to publicise that you are stuck. However, once you get the help you need, go ahead and share praise for your co-worker with their supervisor. Your colleague will get credit for their teamwork and you’ll look confident enough in your ability to praise others for helping you.




5 Digital Marketing Essentials for StartUps

We’ve had experience in helping start-ups achieve growth at a sustainable rate. We want to look at what makes a successful digital marketing strategy for start-ups. Don’t underestimate the power of digital marketing. It’s one of your greatest tools in building your business from scratch and a direct route to market that will yield results quickly. Establishing your brand name and getting sales is the aim, and digital marketing is the game.

1. Firstly, you need to look at your investment

We would recommend a £3,000 pcm digital spend – social, PPC and SEO. 58% of startups assign more than 75% of their yearly marketing budget to Digital. This is a great rule of thumb. Remember the old adage “you’ve got to speculate to accumulate”? Well, this is never truer than when you’re starting out.

StartUps Digital Marketing
Did you know that startup small Businesses earn $3 in revenue for every $1.60 they spend on Google AdWords?


2. We would look at where your prospects search

…and build campaigns based on their search habits. Simply put, you need to know your audience and where to find them. Great content and adverts are all very well, but you need to get them in front of your audience when they’re online and in the places they trust and rely on to find what interests them.
”71% of startups do not have a documented digital strategy”

StartUps Digital Marketing

3. Advertise on relevant social media platforms

You need to build your online following in order to raise awareness and sales. Having a larger organic following saves money down the line. Will you focus on Snapchat or Instagram? Facebook or Twitter? Or perhaps more niche social media platforms will be more relevant to your brand? Use this communication to engage your customer with powerful content and drive customers towards your website for sales.

StartUps Digital Marketing

4. Growing your business should be at the heart of your online activities

Brand awareness is important of course, people need to see your brand and interact with it personally to build trust. However, the ultimate aim is to drive sales. The focus of each campaign should be to channel customers into the sales funnel. They may not buy today, but you can capture their information and be ready to be there when they are ready to buy – through remarketing for instance.

StartUps Digital Marketing

5. Focus on what will work for you.

Whilst we love to try new things, a good marketing strategy takes into account where your customers are, not a scatter-gun approach. Master your key channels, then move on to others.

Expanding the business is often cited as one of the toughest challenges a start up faces, but Broadplace has a plan for that.

For true sustainable growth, invest in a digital marketing strategy that is tailor made for your business, with a dedicated account manager and the power of Google behind you. Get in touch with us today to discuss how we can help you to build your brand. 

Mobile Advertising Trends for 2018

Mobile is becoming the platform for a variety of digital marketing strategies to reach your customer.

To keep up with your competitors, it is important to utilise this channel to ensure you have covered all bases and are reaching your maximum target audience. Mobile advertising comes with many benefits, one being that it can reach your customer base any time, anywhere. This makes it a vital tool for any promotional campaign.

With a few new trends in mobile advertising in 2018, you’ll be on your way to maximising potential with this marketing channel.

1. Mobile Video
Predicted figures for people watching videos on their mobile devices in 2018 are 36 minutes per day, or 18.5 minutes per day on non-mobile devices. There are many different formats available for mobile video ads to engage your audience and get them to click through to your website. Videos under 2 minutes are the most successful, so keep them short and sweet.

2. Mobile Search
Make sure your website is mobile friendly in terms of search, as many searches with intent to buy occur on mobile devices. Use keywords to attract local customers and think about long-tail ones that include the specific area you are looking to target. Voice search is also increasing in popularity with the rise of Siri, Google Home and Amazon Echo. Consider factoring this into your SEO as well.

3. Mobile SEO
As well as having a responsive website, SEO should be implemented in the right way for mobile devices. This will include core ranking, plus indexing and leveraging keywords for mobiles. Your site should download quickly, and focus on relevancy, authority and usefulness. Fix any errors to make it more mobile friendly, create a mobile index and implement mobile keyword research and content creation. This year, Google will also rank search results based on the mobile friendliness of websites, so this should be a key focus in your mind.

4. Mobile Apps
Mobile apps are still very popular, especially for restaurants, fashion, health and fitness, and software. Ensure your app has purpose and will benefit your customers. Don’t invest unless it will really make a difference to your business and customer base. In-app mobile content is also important. Make sure the content is top notch as well as being mobile friendly. Keep it valuable and up to date so you attract more users.

5. Mobile Gamification
Mobile gamification is also becoming a popular tool amongst various businesses. If you want to boost your mobile app, you could consider getting people to redeem coupons or share content on social media. Challenge your audience and get them involved. Come up with competitions or give away coupons for content shares on social media as these will become a valuable part of your mobile marketing campaign.

6. Mobile Ads
Pay-per-click also helps connect you with millions of smartphone users searching for businesses on their phones, with a focus on local ones in particular. Google shopping ads are becoming more popular as they show up on Google search results even if the user has an ad block in place.
Facebook ads can assist with boosting engagement, and these can be very valuable as more than two thirds of Facebook traffic comes from mobiles. Also consider banner ads, display ads and retargeting ads.

How To Get Through Blue Monday in Digital Marketing

How To Get Through Blue Monday In Digital Marketing
Quite simply, it’s the most depressing day of the year. But let’s not dwell on Blue Monday too much and look forward to all the exciting developments that we have to expect in 2017. Let’s indulge in some inspirational (but not at all vomit-inducing, promise) quotes from experts in digital marketing.

Don’t Be Afraid To Dive Into Projects This Year…

Digital Marketing Blue Monday

Remember That What You’re Doing Counts…

You Could Really Make Someone Think With What You’re Doing Today…

A Quick Rethink On The Way You’re Working Could Mean A Great Deal Of Success…

But Before You Embark On Your Big Project Today, Stop And Think….

Get More From Your Video Content…

Predictions For The Hottest Trends in 2017…

And above all remember, you’re in a growth industry…

Digital Marketing Blue Monday

Want to know how well your PPC is doing? Why not try our free, no-strings attached, comprehensive PPC audit to find out where you might be wasting ad spend, how to optimise conversions and make sparkling ad copy…
Free PPC Audit 2017

Paul Completes SquaredOnline Qualification

This month, Senior Account Manager, Paul Harraby has completed his SquaredOnline training – the award-winning global digital marketing leadership qualification developed with Google. We wanted to share this with you because we are all celebrating but also because of the direct benefits it brings the rest of the team and for our clients.
Digital Marketing Qualification
SquaredOnline was developed with Google to give marketing managers and executives a more rounded view of digital marketing.

Google has had individual certifications and courses in its products before, but Squared represents a significant development beyond that; one that has the potential to transform an entire industry.” Mark Howe Managing Director, EMEA Agencies, Google

SquaredOnline is taught online over the course of 4 months. Students are encouraged to have practical experiences and learn on the job, just like in real life. The course incorporates different learning styles including:

  • Group Work
  • Hands-On Projects
  • Live Online Classes
  • A Virtual Campus
  • Expert Speakers
  • Online Activities
  • Accredited CPD Provider

While we’re sure you’re pleased for Paul, you’re probably also wondering how this will benefit you? Well, we’re glad you asked, because this course has given Paul the following insights:

  1. Understanding of the end user and the impact of rapid technological development on the way organisations interact with their audiences.
  2. The benefit of digital tools, technologies and platforms from the consumers’ point of view.
  3. How to optimise and evolve an organisation’s digital presence in a constructive and data-driven way.
  4. How organisations can use different digital touchpoints – such as search, display and content – across the customer journey to deliver a successful integrated marketing strategy that drives awareness, sales and advocacy.
  5. How to analyse and present recommendations for change.

Furthermore, Paul has already begun to share his learnings with the rest of the team. As part of our continued commitment to people development, we invite team members to train the rest of the company (everyone!) on their specialist area or recent learnings. This collaborative approach to the constant improvement of our skills is one of the main reasons we come in on a Friday.
Paul says of the qualification:

Squared Online has helped me understand how different marketing channel integrate as well as refine my approach towards analysing data, goal-setting, and delivering strategies that achieve the maximum return on investment for our clients.”

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