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Selling to experts? Sell using experts

As I’m sure you know, here at BMON we have a super-niche business, managing PPC advertising for engineering and scientific companies. Most of our clients have been with us for a long time, and when any do move on, it’s usually because they’ve found themselves with a desire to run the advertising in-house and enough spare time to do it. While we’re sad to see any leave, we always wish them well and remain here to help.

Very occasionally, however, a client falls for a pitch from a big, non-specialist agency (at least one of these is a household name which spends much of your budget on its own site). This is invariably a terrible idea. Their salespeople can be impressive, but the people they use to run the account wouldn’t know what an air compressor, a PCB or a thermocouple was if you hit them on the head with one. As a consequence, the client ends up doing most of the work setting up the adverts, and needs to remain constantly vigilant about what searches the ads may be running alongside. If only they’d asked to see the technical credentials of whoever was going to be running the account – a science GCSE would have been a start.

We do see some very impressive looking progress reports from these big agencies, but using data from the ads side (what was paid for) rather than the site visitor analytics side (what actually happened). Great 3D pie charts, but nothing of substance. Here’s a tip: if you’re approached by such an agency and they show you sample reports which include advert click-through rate – a metric which is totally meaningless without a mass of contextual supporting data – then run for the hills.