If you have ever managed a Google AdWords account, you are likely well aware of a problem that, until recently, we had chalked up as Google just trying to make a few extra bucks: the constant phone calls and emails from Google representatives looking to optimize our underperforming AdWords accounts.
Beyond the nuisance of multiple calls and emails per day, they go as far as reaching out to our clients and frightening them with statements about how their account is underperforming and that Google offers this free, short-term service to optimize their account for better results. The client begins to question all the work we’ve done for them and assume our inadequacy and carelessness. Why would they pay us for our services when they can get even better results directly from Google for free? The situation must be drastic for Google to contact them directly, right?
With a little bit of Googling, ironically, we found that these reps don’t actually work for Google at all. It was this story on Medium, “Why Do Google Reps Keep Calling & Scaring My AdWords Clients?” by digital marketer, Rob Bettis, that really helped us get to the bottom of this mystery. Behind the claims of being Google employees, and their Google email addresses, is an independent agency with offices in Tempe, Arizona and Ann Arbor, Michigan (which is where the calls would always come from). This agency has a few Google employees on-site which allows them to pretend that they are the tech giant, but that’s where the “partnership” ends. The employees are paid based on how much additional ad spend and new accounts they generate, which means the “optimizing” they’re doing to your account almost purely revolves around increased spend.
Our research didn’t just lead us to the discovery of this operation, but also to the fact that nobody has any idea why Google is doing this. Cold-calling to find new AdWords business is understandable, but purposely setting up high-spend accounts with poor results completely undermines their efforts to create rewarding and beneficial relationships with the agencies that are certified Google Partners.
We’re sharing this information because it’s the best preventative measure we can take to keep one phone call from an agency hundreds of miles away from damaging the great relationships we’ve built with our clients. One of the reasons I came to work at FortyFour and love being here is the relationships we build with our clients are success-driven. We stay focused on helping our clients be successful as a whole, and it trickles down to campaign success and individual ad success.
We still pick up the phone when a Tempe or Ann Arbor number calls us because not all of their optimization suggestions are bad. We’re open to any and all recommendations to improve our account’s success. But now that we’re aware of the incentives, we hope both other agencies and clients alike can beware as well when those calls and emails come in, because they will-over and over again.
Pierce Wilford is a Marketing Manager at FortyFour.