PPC Onboarding Done Right: Step-by-Step Guide for a Successful Agency Kickoff

Building a strong foundation for any agency partnership starts with a successful kickoff meeting. Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure yours is an absolute win.

Ready to launch a new PPC campaign? You’ve chosen a PPC agency to manage your PPC and paid media activities for a long-term engagement. Now it’s time to ensure a smooth onboarding process that sets the stage for success. 

This guide will help you get the most out of those initial meetings and establish a strong foundation for your PPC campaigns.

Here’s what you can expect and how to prepare:

  • Kickoff Meeting: Schedule a meeting with the agency where they get to know your brand better. Come prepared to discuss your goals, target audience, industry specifics, and any existing marketing efforts.
  • Information Exchange: The agency will need details about your target audience, location focus, and desired PPC services. Sharing this information beforehand can expedite the process.
  • Transparent Communication: Open communication is crucial. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and share any concerns you may have. A good agency will actively listen and address your needs.

By actively participating in the onboarding process, you’ll be well on your way to a successful PPC campaign.

4 Steps To Nail The First Kickoff Meeting

Ready to set the stage for a productive client partnership from the very first meeting? Here are four steps to take control and drive results.

1. You’re the Boss: Make a Great First Impression

The kickoff meeting with an agency is more than just an introduction. 

It is a critical first impression that lays the groundwork for your entire working relationship. A strong start can lead to a successful partnership that delivers real results. Take charge, spend some time thoroughly researching the agency, and any PPC campaigns they might have run in the past. 

Here’s how to ensure it’s a smooth and successful experience:

  1. Guest List & Agenda: Craft a clear agenda outlining the meeting’s objectives, key discussion points, and expected outcomes. Distribute this agenda beforehand to allow for pre-meeting review and preparation.
  1. Prep a Winning Agenda: Collaborate with your team to research the agency before the meeting. Look beyond the agency’s website. Check out their case studies, client testimonials, and even awards they’ve won. This demonstrates your commitment and shows you’re a client who comes prepared.
  1. Deep Dive into the Project: Research specific PPC campaigns the agency has run in the past, particularly those relevant to your industry. Analyse their approach and results. Share your expectations with them and review the contract to define the scope of services – paid media channels, organic search needs, and analytics projects. 

Team up for success. Don’t just meet with the business development team but also request to meet the founders, and the marketing team to understand their expertise. 

This isn’t just about hearing a sales pitch. It’s about getting a holistic view of the agency. Talking to the founders gives you a sense of their vision and company culture. Meeting the creative minds helps gauge their style and how well it aligns with your brand voice.

Remember, you’re building a team. By meeting with different departments and sharing your vision, you can assess if this agency is the right fit to achieve your marketing goals.

2. Beyond the Contract: Build Trust-Based Relationships

Work hand-in-hand with your agency to build a clear roadmap for the project by jointly defining key discussion points, strategies, and next steps. A collaborative approach ensures everyone is aligned with your goals to make the project a success. 

Here are some steps you can take to nurture a culture of trust right from the beginning:

  1. Building Trust from the Start: It’s tempting to dive straight into business, but remember – agency teams are people too! Taking a few minutes to build rapport can make a world of difference. By taking the time to connect on a human level, you’ll establish trust and lay the groundwork for a successful journey.
  1. The Power of ‘Pre-Work’: The opening moments set the tone for the entire relationship – for both you and the agency. Greet everyone warmly and facilitate introductions if necessary. A round-robin introduction with a fun fact or icebreaker question is a great way to break the ice.
  1. Positive Body Language: Maintain eye contact, smile, and project a confident yet approachable demeanour. Don’t underestimate the power of small talk. Do you share a love for a particular sport? Are you both dog owners? These shared experiences can become the foundation of a stronger partnership. 

Remember, building rapport isn’t just about chit-chat. It’s about establishing trust and laying the groundwork for a collaborative partnership. By taking the time to connect on a personal level, you’ll be well on your way to achieving exceptional results together.

3. The Game Changer: Powerful Questions, Powerful Results

Once the introductions are done, it’s time to delve deeper. Outline a picture of your ideal customer for the agency. Share the demographics, interests, and online behaviour patterns that you wish to target. 

The more details you provide, the better the agency can tailor the campaign messaging.

Here’s how to answer insightful questions that can move the project forward:

  1. Articulate Your Business Goals: What are your big business goals? Are you looking for brand awareness, lead generation, or increased sales? Tell the agency what you’re ultimately trying to achieve with your business, and how PPC advertising can help you get there. Provide access to any relevant marketing data you have, such as website analytics or existing customer information. 
  1. Ask Clarifying Questions: Don’t hesitate to ask clarifying questions throughout the meeting. Make sure you agree with the proposed strategy, including the types of PPC campaigns being recommended, the target platforms, and the bidding approach.
  1. Transparency on Budget: Be upfront about your PPC budget. This allows the agency to develop a realistic campaign strategy and set clear expectations on deliverables. 

Reveal your true aspirations, and be ready to answer the most asked question: “What kind of results would make you happy with your paid media campaigns?” The more your agency grasps your vision of success, the more effectively they can collaborate with you to achieve your goals.

4. Solidify the Win: Follow Up After Your Kickoff Meeting

The successful kickoff meeting is behind you, but there’s one more step to ensure a smooth and productive agency-client relationship: the follow-up email.

  1. Express Gratitude & Recap Key Points: Start by expressing sincere appreciation for the agency’s willingness to share their insights. A simple “Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today” goes a long way.
  1. Commitment to Transparency: Assess that the agency prioritises clear communication and regular reporting. They should be able to explain their decisions and keep you informed on campaign progress. Let them showcase their expertise in PPC best practices and the nuances of various platforms like Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising.
  1. Data-Driven Approach: The right PPC agency will prioritise data analysis to optimise campaigns. They should be able to articulate how they’ll use data insights to refine targeting, adjust bids, and improve campaign performance.

And finally, make sure the action points are communicated clearly. Go the extra mile by mentioning next steps you’ll be taking based on the discussion. Set realistic deadlines for your deliverables. Transparency regarding timelines builds trust and demonstrates your commitment to reinforce the agency as your PPC partner.

These simple steps will help you transform your kickoff meeting into the springboard for a successful and long-lasting client relationship.

Need a fresh perspective? Let’s talk.

At 360 OM, we specialise in helping businesses take their marketing efforts to the next level. Our team stays on top of industry trends, uses data-informed decisions to maximise your ROI, and provides full transparency through comprehensive reports.

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