Anna Wood, Client Services Manager at Circus PPC talks to Women in Agencies about PPC Strategy, how to stand out as an agency, how technology is keeping us all on our toes and how we can promote inclusion and development in our team.
Find out more about Anna and the team here.
Hi Anna, tell us a bit about you and your role at Circus PPC
I’ve been at Circus almost 5 years now and started off managing accounts, but advanced from PPC Assistant to PPC Team Leader before changing directions and now working as Client Services Manager. My responsibilities are to ensure all of our clients needs are being met and we continue to provide an excellent service.
Tell us about Circus, where are you based?
We’re an agency focused in delivering PPC services to our clients to drive growth and reduce wastage. Currently, we have a team of 11 people with plans to rapidly expand, and hopefully double the workforce, in 2022. To do so, and to answer your question about location, part of our recruitment strategy includes our brand-new offices in Leeds City Centre (we’ll be moving in when we’re back after the Christmas break) – which we hope will attract more talent and put us in the heart of the action.
What makes your agency different – how do you stand out?
I’d say one of our USPs is being a PPC-focused agency, which means that we’re experts in this particular area, and we can concentrate a little more intently on client’s needs from PPC alone, rather than it just being a part of a wider marketing strategy. I’d also say the way we work and communicate as a team makes us unique – we’re constantly chatting, encouraged to ask for help, making sure everyone is doing alright and we truly want the best for our colleagues and our clients. I think practising this kind of communication on a daily basis makes us better all-round, and definitely influences our communication with clients and how we work with them.
What kind of clients do you work with?
We work in a whole range of industries and sectors, though being retail focussed we have a strong history working with ecommerce sites.
One of the best things about the types of clients we work with is having that team-feel, and love when we share drive and ambition so we can really get places with accounts.
What are your most in demand services from clients
There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy, though we tend to find search + shopping campaigns are the bread and butter services. As we specialise in retail, shopping ads tend to be not only preferable for clients but best performing and highest sales-drivers for us.
How is the PPC landscape changing at the moment, in both approach by companies or changes in the technology?
The technology we use day in day out for PPC is an ever-developing world and sometimes hard to keep up with! Automation is definitely one of the biggest movements over the last year; Google Ads specifically has become a lot more sophisticated and streamlined in it’s offering, guiding agencies towards using automated bidding and automated campaigns as a default. As more and more accounts opt-in to automation, it becomes more difficult to compete if your account isn’t automated; Google’s machine learning takes in 100’s of signals per customer, meaning lightning decision making that a manually-operated campaign would struggle to keep up with. As a result, agencies have more time for analysis, deciding strategy, expansion to other platforms and general R&D.
Top 3 tools you use and recommend for PPC planning and analysis?
Google Keyword Planner – Initial keyword strategy starts here. Estimated impressions, clicks and cost help paint a picture of what your campaigns may look like. Search volumes by month are also great for understanding keyword-level seasonality, super useful for deciding when to launch keyword sets.
Google Analytics’ Multi-Channel Funnel reports – We use these to understand the effect our campaigns have across all channels. If you know how individual campaigns operate and where the sit within the customer research/buying process, then you know how much value they add to the overall business and whether or not it’s impactful.
Adthena – One of the best competitor analysis pieces of software I’ve used. You can hook up your Google Ads account which then provides in-depth reports on your chosen market, including share of clicks/cost vs. competitors, live market trends, missing keyword/search term reports and other actionable insights for your advertising strategy.
Women and development
What can agencies do to promote development and inclusion in their teams?
Regular 1 on 1 catch ups – having a dedicated time where each individual is listened to is super important. It’s also a time where a team member can look further into their future to decide where and who they want to be. There should be good support and approachable senior staff who can help put a stepping stone plan together to reach those goals.
Open forums of discussion – we have many channels of both work and non-work related discussion (Slack, Skype, shared Google Drive, weekly team meetings, etc.), where opinions, questions and general thoughts are encouraged. Things like this can help with training, knowledge sharing, problem solving, you name it. No idea is a bad idea!
Why is community and collaboration important for women coming up through technical roles into senior positions?
For me, I’ve found that social media has played a big role in how I came into the industry and how I stay connected. There’s a growing female presence in the digital online space, with groups and individuals posting more content, included more regularly in blogs/articles and hosting seminars and webinars. It’s encouraging to see so many more women working in these higher level positions – they’re role models and they make being a woman in the industry feel less out-of-the-ordinary.
Most of the senior contacts or business owners we work with tend to be male, so breaking through that mould can seem an intimidating prospect. At Circus over 60% of our team are women now so we have a great internal network who empower each other, and offer continual development to encourage each team member’s progression into more senior roles.
What is next for Circus in 2022?
That’s a big question!
We’ve got a super exciting year ahead planned, which includes doubling the size of the Circus team, moving into our new offices, exploring bigger and better things in the PPC landscape, and honestly, just showing everyone who we are, how great we are, and what we can do! It’s been a difficult couple of years, and we still don’t know when things will be truly ‘back to normal,’ so we’re going full speed ahead, shouting about our achievements, and working towards incredible growth in every aspect of the business over the next year.
Thanks to Anna and the team at Circus!
Find them here: