One of the easiest problems to solve, yet a problem that continues to persist with account managers and paid media folks was that clients' budgets generally aren't managed properly. It seems very simple, yet far too often while working at big agencies account managers would discover that 1. a client's credit card was declined and their ads weren't running, 2. budget was blown out, or 3. budget was underspent.
As the person ultimately responsible for breaking the news to the client, those three things creased me to no end. The other problem was assigning responsibility for these errors. Is it the client manager's fault for not knowing how their client is performing? Is it the paid search manager's fault for not actively checking budgets? Truth is, it's both their faults. But, let's not focus on that, let's focus on a fix.
Leaving the larger agency world behind, but not leaving the larger clients behind, meant that my team had to become a lot more efficient in managing campaigns. In addition, leaving the larger agency behind, meant leaving siloed mindset behind. My focus and goal on reimagining a digital agency where the clients actually benefit, meant building a team of digital marketers who can do everything really well. Hiring people that are focused on one area of marketing is not cost effective, slows down the execution process and loses the focus on the overall goals (another blog post for another time).
The reality is, we have paid search ads running in AdWords and Bing ads, Facebook PPC ads, retargeting ads, behavioral ads, direct placements, LinkedIn Ads and so forth. We're writing press releases, managing SEO, social media, blogger and media outreach. We and the client understands that we can't touch the account every single day. Ideally.
The fix to this was simple, and I'm ashamed I didn't think of it sooner. What I did was create a simple excel pacing sheet that allowed me to keep track of client's spend against their budget as the month progresses. Each day I go in, put in the previous day's spend, set pacing goals throughout the month and scale budget up or down depending on where we're at for the month. Der.
Budgets have hit 100% each month, and the couple of client cards that have gotten declined, or campaigns that needed to be restarted, were picked up the next day, instead of the next month. Campaigns that might not be pacing properly get adjusted on the fly, and it forces digital marketers to look at their client's account every day. Everyone is happy.
Since I believe everyone can benefit from the simplicity of it, here's the link to download it: http://cl.ly/1m3p3F2M1b3V/download/Pacing%20Sheet.xlsx
I hope you use it, and become even more awesome at your jobs. You can thank me with a drink next time we see each other.