Navigate the Transition to New PPC Reporting Software Like a Pro

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Define your PPC Reporting Use Case

You know your company needs new reporting software–your existing solution is error-prone, buggy, or a major time-waster–and it’s time to convince the leadership of the same.

Defining your PPC reporting use case is important to solidify why new reporting software is needed and provide solid evidence to support your request. What do your current reporting processes look like? How often is reporting run? How long does it take? How many employees are generating reports? These are all useful questions to help build your use case.

Similarly, think deeply about what tasks and processes you can consolidate with a reporting solution. You may be evaluating software for PPC reporting purposes initially, but the marketing reporting software you consider may be useful for reporting on SEO, Email Marketing, Call Tracking, and more. Likewise, will reporting software meet your needs, or do you need additional PPC campaign optimization and tracking, such as PPC budgeting software?

Do Your Due Diligence

Failing to do your due diligence before purchasing a new PPC software will lead to disaster. It’s easy to fall prey to a sales team’s promise that shiny new reporting software will solve all your problems in a snap. It’s your job to see through the fluff and flattery to get a software solution that truly does everything you need.

Triple-check that the reporting software has the functionality you expect, the data sources and metrics you need, and a pricing structure that won’t break the bank. Similarly, if you have complex integration or reporting requirements, it’s a great idea to have a technical resource from your team consult with the software’s sales engineers (at a minimum).

We created this questionnaire to help agencies purchase new PPC management software, but many of the questions work for reporting software too!

Audit Existing Reports & Dashboards

Man evaluating his PPC reports

Whether your agency has a singular report template or a unique dashboard for every client, auditing your reports and templates before you start onboarding a new PPC reporting software is important.

You switched to a new solution for a reason (most likely to increase efficiency or capitalize on new-to-you reporting features). Rebuilding the same reports on a new platform won’t save you time or headaches.

Will the new software automatically aggregate and normalize data into templates? Can you consolidate the number of reports or dashboards you generate using common reporting elements? Is your branding unified across every report?

Auditing your existing reports should also factor into due diligence, as it will be vital to know if your new solution supports all the data and reporting elements you need.

Assign a Point Person

Your new PPC reporting software may generate so much excitement (and sighs of relief that help is finally coming) that your entire team will want to jump in on day one. More likely, your team may take a little extra prodding to help them switch from their old reporting ways to the new software. Assigning a point person to drive the transition helps ease onboarding woes and ensures the software is onboarded promptly.

Your company should enable the point person to:

  • Complete software onboarding requirements (ex: adding data source credentials)
  • Create report and dashboard templates and set reporting cadences
  • Motivate the team to get comfortable with the new software
  • Create and communicate an internal/external launch plan

Be Engaged in Onboarding & Get Building

Digital advertisers building PPC reports

It should go without saying, but make sure your digital advertising team is included in the onboarding process! Team members should utilize training resources, whether instructor-led or self-guided. Your point person should help motivate team members, connect them with support (as needed), and provide feedback to the software provider.

This may also look like having a little “homework” to get up to speed. Take advantage of the software team’s expertise to get your first reports and dashboards built. Their team has likely helped hundreds of agencies build reports and dashboards. They’ll have PPC reporting best practices to help you build the perfect data story for your clients.

Update Operational & Technical Systems

Your current reporting solution may be embedded more deeply into your operational or technical systems than you know. Similar to step two (auditing your existing report and dashboard templates), you’ll need to identify what policies and systems need to be updated and assign someone to do so before switching reporting providers.

Operational: Is your existing software provider, reporting cadence, etc., written into your contracts or your customers’ existing statements of work? Who is responsible for updating those and communicating that with clients? Is finance aware they’ve got a new bill to pay (and an old one to stop paying)?

Technical: Will access points to reports or dashboards change for customers? Does the new reporting solution meet all existing privacy and security requirements? If additional development resources are needed to onboard the new reporting solution, are they available?

Close the Relationship with your Current Provider

Two hands shaking

Once you’ve onboarded your new PPC reporting software, updated your internal systems, tested the new reports and dashboards thoroughly, and you’ve got the thumbs up to move on, it’s time to have a tough conversation with your current reporting provider.

If you have a contract with your existing reporting provider, ensure that you understand any termination clauses. If you need to give your existing provider a set number of days of advance notice, do so in writing. Optimally, you will have planned it so that directly after your contract with your existing provider ends, the contract with your new reporting software provider begins.

Communicate Internally

Excitement about new reporting software may be infectious across your PPC team, but you must communicate that you’re launching a new reporting solution with your entire company.

At a minimum, your sales and customer success teams should be aware that reports and dashboards are changing so they can prepare prospects and clients.

Ask for the opportunity to present the new reporting solution (at a high level) to your company or agency to build excitement and provide resources about any changes the organization needs to know.

Communicate Externally

One of the primary reasons you may have switched to a new PPC reporting software is to provide better, more efficient reporting for your clients. Why wouldn’t you celebrate this big win with them?

If reports and dashboards are changing dramatically (either visually or how they are accessed), make sure you have a solid client communication plan. This may necessitate emails, help documentation, product sheets, and client calls.

It may feel like overkill, but over communicating can help clients adjust faster to these changes and get excited about the awesome insights and benefits the new reports/dashboards bring.

Get Reporting!

Woman evaluating a PPC report

You’ve worked hard to ensure a successful transition to your new reporting software. By this time, you should be sharing new reporting insights with your clients and celebrating with high fives.

You could sit back and relax with all that newfound time on your hands. Or, you could start building additional reports that uncover business-changing PPC optimizations for your clients and help you crush your competition. The choice is yours.

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