Over the years, many managing Google Ads accounts have noticed a surge in unsolicited contact from individuals claiming to be Google Ads representatives or ‘Google Account Strategists’. These contacts often include recommendations for “improving” Google Ads campaigns.
Once, receiving an email from someone with a ‘google.com’ address might have been deemed important and genuine. However, the reality today is rather different. Many of these so-called reps are not directly employed by Google, but by third-party organisations such as Regalix, Telematics and TTP.
Their primary objective? To promote new features and, inevitably, persuade advertisers to invest more in campaigns.
Notably, increasing your spending on Google Ads isn’t intrinsically negative. The true concern is the type of advice frequently doled out. It’s often misguided and lacks context, seemingly benefitting Google’s interests rather than the advertiser’s genuine needs.
Whilst there are undoubtedly well-informed Google representatives out there who are eager to genuinely enhance your ad campaigns, they seem to be the exception rather than the rule. Most of these reps transition from providing valuable support to a more sales-driven approach. And with the evolution of Google Ads from a keyword-centric platform to an AI-driven environment, advertisers often feel they’re relinquishing control.
The interaction often lacks longevity and depth. You might occasionally cross paths with a competent rep, but their tenure is often short-lived. Shortly thereafter, you’re back navigating the aggressive sales pitches of yet another newbie strategist. More concerning are tactics where, if ignored, these representatives might directly approach your clients, potentially undermining trust.
When diving into the essence of their advice, it often revolves around:
Enabling Broad Match Keywords: Though this extends your reach, it often results in irrelevant clicks and increased ad costs without genuine conversions. Google might benefit from this expansive approach, but advertisers usually bear the cost. Now I’m not saying broad match is always bad, far from it, in cases where smart bidding is used, it can be incredibly good at generating conversions but it has to be managed – it’s not a one click ‘fix’ all.
Shifting to Target CPA (Cost Per Acquisition)/Maximise Conversions: While it sounds appealing, it isn’t always right for every advertiser. For example, Maximise Conversions will ensure your daily budget is 100% spent and without a Target CPA set this can lead to an increase in CPA and a reduction in profitability.
Activating Auto Apply Recommendations: These are AI-led suggestions that can be automatically instated without manual oversight. Though sometimes beneficial, they can wreak havoc on campaign budgets without providing solid ROI. It’s wise to scrutinise these suggestions or avoid them altogether. We’ve seen many examples where “Google” will suggest adding Display Expansion only to generate low quality traffic and an increase in costs.
Advice Moving Forward
For businesses collaborating with an agency or independent account manager: always consult with them before implementing any changes suggested by a Google rep. An agency like ours, dedicated to small businesses, is vested in the success of your campaigns and can discern if a proposed change genuinely serves your interests.
For those managing their accounts: Always approach such recommendations with caution. It’s essential to remember that while Google is an invaluable platform, its advices are not necessarily sacrosanct. If in doubt, consider seeking insights from an independent agency to ensure you’re making the right choices.
Why is Google Using Outsourced Companies as “Reps”?
Google has recently made significant cuts to its workforce as it’s looked to outsource its support to save money and maximise profit – plenty of businesses do.
To maximise the performance of these companies, many reports online suggest they are incentivised not based on results for Google Ads customers but for product adoption, i.e. using the latest features.
Indeed, when viewing the websites of these companies, they often quote success stories on how much money they’ve saved Google and how improved product adoption is.
Let’s take Regalix as an example:
Regalix is a global telesales company that describes itself as a “Customer Success and Acquisition Company” proudly display the following case study for Google on its website.
They proudly state:
“Account management at global scale increases ad revenue for Google.”
It doesn’t say:
“Account management at global scale increases revenue for Google customers”
On clicking into the case study, they claim to have saved Google 50% on their customer service cost.
So let’s summarise this: Saved Google Money and Increased Product Adoption (i.e. adoption of Google Ads features).
So it’s fair to say these companies are incentivised to ensure Google saves money and you adopt more features of Google Ads that while, in aggregate across millions of Google customers, may give a percentage increase in performance, on an individual basis, might not take your unique situation into account.
Google (and their outsourced “partners”) operate at scale. Regalix as an example claim they “support” 2 million (!) Google ads customers. It’s just not feasible for realistic to take an individual approach with each customer and really investigate if their recommendations are likely to deliver the results they expect – they have to take a scalable approach and ensure as many customers adopt as many features as possible.
And if it doesn’t work? They lose nothing.
Your agency on the other hand, wants to keep you as a customer. Your agency (at least in the case of DPOM) doesn’t benefit from you blindly changing your bid strategy, adding display expansion or “upgrading” to broad match: We have to carefully consider the implications of changes like this otherwise, if they backfire, you’re going to quite rightly, hold us accountable.
So while the Google Ads “Rep” can act with a certain amount of impunity and say “this works on 75% of my customers” (A claim we were recently told directly by a rep), they don’t have to consider if you’re going to fall into that 25% whereas, we do.
How to identify if your “Google Rep” is really from Google.
I receive 4-5 emails per day from “Google Reps” on behalf of our clients. Aside from some being incredibly aggressive, most look like the following (senders details redacted):
In the sender’s signature, you’ll see I’ve highlighted “Regalix” in the phrase “Regalix Supporting Google”. There are several companies like Regalix, but they should identify themselves in a similar manner in their email signatures.
This isn’t an attempt to demonise a group or question their professionalism. But, as a digital marketing agency dedicated to championing the interests of small businesses, it’s imperative to remind everyone to trust but verify. Always ensure your Google Ads account is managed by those genuinely committed to its success and always ensure that if you are advised to make changes to your account, ask the person making the suggestion to provide a detailed explanation as to why you should follow their advice.
Google’s latest features can work amazingly well for the advertisers they are suited to, but they don’t work for everyone.