Google’s Aggresso Reps at it Again

I have written about this subject before, but due to recent events, I feel like it’s important to once again discuss my negative experiences with Google. Coincidentally, one of my highly-regarded industry peers, Melissa MacKey also recently wrote a blog post about Google’s recent pushing of suggested ad rotations.

Recently, I received one of many cold calls from Google AdWord. At Netvantage, we receive about two calls per week from reps who want to call us and give us their suggestions on the accounts we manage. Generally, these recommendations are basic and rarely carry any value. I normally thank the reps for their time and send them on their way; however, this call was different.

This rep had called out office three times during the week. Unfortunately, I was unable to answer the phone each time due to meetings. The team member taking the call offered to take a message, but this Google rep was very insistent that she know when I will be back in into the office. On the third call, they became extremely annoyed and curt with our team member, raising their voice and accusing the team member of purposefully not relaying the message of the rep’s previous calls.

When I was told of this experience, I initially blew it off. As I thought about it, however, I got more and more upset. Whether it is a small business or a large company, one simply does not treat people rudely on the phone. Their behavior was completely inappropriate and deeply upsetting. When the rep finally got me on the phone, I saw why there were so many issues. This rep was very curt and forceful with her recommendations.

While all of this is troubling, the most concerning part of the phone call was her recommendation. As was mentioned in the Beyond the Paid post above, Google is really starting to push their ad rotation settings. In fact, the rep told me that our settings for our client were incorrect and not optimized properly. I disagreed with her, explaining we purposefully have these set up to do proper A/B testing in our ad groups to test various ad copy elements, such as service attributes and keyword saturation. This upset her and she proceeded to tell me that we were doing this wrong and said we were missing clicks. After two go-arounds with her on why we wanted to keep the rotation, I simply hung up. I had enough.

One week later, I get another call. This rep was more cordial, though still firm. His concern that one of our accounts was not linked to Google Analytics. I am still unsure why he believed this was the case. We have all of our accounts linked and view campaign performance through it regularly. I kept trying to explain that we could see data in Google Analytics. He could not articulate why there was an issue and became argumentative with me. I just didn’t have time for it anymore. I hung up yet again.

This is all very concerning to me. Google’s recent behavior forces me to wonder at what point Google AdWords reps will simply go into our accounts and make these changes despite our wishes and urges against it? Given the aggressiveness at which they are pushing there “recommendations to help us manage our campaigns,” I can see a day where we will login and find these changes made for us in Google AdWords. Eventurally, making campaign managers unable to properly manage ads and their settings.

AdWords is a great advertising solution. I understand that it needs to make revenue for Google. However, this aggressive sales and consulting strategy is clearly meant to prey on account managers who will be easily intimidated. Their reps do not contact us to help our campaign run more efficiently. They do so in hopes of generating more money for Google at others’ expense. In my case, their “help” is unwanted and I do not appreciate or want aggressive reps calling our offices and trying to bully my team members when they answer the phone. Google needs to take a hard look at their rep training and protocol as well as their moral guidelines and ethical standards.

Joseph Ford

Joe Ford is a Managing Partner at Netvantage Marketing. In addition to overseeing day to day business operations of Netvantage, he directs paid search strategy and management. Ford is on the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Board of Directors, the Marketing Committee for Impression 5 Science Museum, and the Executive Board of the Capital Area IT Council. Additionally, Ford is an adjunct faculty member in the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University.

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