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31 Important Questions to Ask Your PPC Agency for 2022

Choosing the agency that will manage your Amazon PPC campaigns for you is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make for your business.

So whether you’re looking for a new agency or you want to get to know your current agency’s game plan, you must be ready to ask them the right questions. 

Every Amazon PPC Agency will vary in terms of goals, operations, problem-solving strategies, bidding techniques, work schedules, and many other aspects. It’s a known fact that all Amazon PPC agencies are not mirrored images of the other.

Each agency will have a different view, a select type of niches they handle well, and a list of tried and true strategies that other agencies will choose to either copy or avoid.

Given the number of Amazon PPC agencies, every agency will bring something new to the table, some will look like the right fit but won’t match your budget and some will suit your finances but will not have enough in their portfolio to help you move up in your chosen niche.

And then there are the Amazon PPC agencies that raise too many red flags in a way that they refuse to tell their potential clients about the software they’re using and they even keep their Account Managers from talking directly to their clients, making them suspicious and seemingly uncommunicative for when issues arise. 

After a lengthy search using your own agency-hunting tactics, you’ll probably start to wonder, “How much effort does it take to find the best Amazon PPC agency this 2022?”

For us here at AMZ Pathfinder, it takes about 31 questions to determine whether an agency is fit for your needs or not. People might ask, “But, why so many questions?”

And our response: “Why not?”

We urge sellers to question agencies first and to not seal the deal with the first one that captures their eye. 

But how do you go about getting to know them?

What questions do you need to ask to make sure you’re on the same road to success?

To help you select the best, we’re giving you a list of the 31 important questions to ask your Amazon PPC agency for 2022…

31 Important Questions to Ask Your PPC Agency for 2022

31 Important Questions to Ask Your PPC Agency for 2022

Questions for your potential PPC Agency this 2022

Are you looking for a new Amazon PPC Agency to jumpstart your awesome ad campaigns? Ask them these questions over a conference call or an email.

Agency know-hows

Do you conduct a brand audit? 

Why ask this question: Before any ad creative is created, it’s important that your new PPC Agency knows how to conduct a comprehensive brand review that will build your brand’s reputation and relationship with your customers.

The agency needs to be aware of your brand’s history, brand identity assets, voice, ideologies, and tone. Without this knowledge, the agency might lose track of your brand’s goals and misinform your customers.

 

Do you have experience advertising my type of product? How do you handle working with 2 clients selling the same product types?

Why ask this question: While this may seem like a counter-intuitive question, we believe that you shouldn’t partner with an agency that’s working with a different client who sells the exact same product as you. 

How does AMZ Pathfinder respond to this? We will let you know if we have relevant experience advertising in your particular market segment. 

If there’s too much product overlap between your catalog and an existing client’s or if you’re direct competitors, we may recuse ourselves from working with the account entirely. To us, it doesn’t matter how big the accounts are or how much potential revenue they will generate.

We only accept clients who are in a similar sub-category or sub-market with very little overlap. It’s important to us that between partnered brands that sell the same products, their concerns, competition, and conflicts are minimized. 

 

How do you determine if a product of mine is fit for advertising? 

Why ask this question: By asking this question, you’ll be able to spot the differences between a professional agency and a rookie agency. If the agency you’re talking to goes on to give you a list of advice on how to optimize and improve your product listings for advertising, then it may be best to reconsider working with them. 

How does AMZ Pathfinder respond to this? We believe in the saying, “Amateurs give advice. Professionals diagnose problems.” You wouldn’t trust a car mechanic telling you to replace your radiator when they haven’t even looked under your hood yet.

Don’t make the same mistakes with your Amazon PPC Advertising. Instead of giving our clients advice, we diagnose your products by running it through our Pathfinder Retail Readiness Assessment. This assessment is our own internal method that helps assess whether the client’s products are retail-ready.

Among the many signals for retail unreadiness that we look for are low advertising conversion rates and the clickthrough rate. We base our checks using the relevant keywords and data/benchmarks we’ve cataloged from past and present clients.

 

Does your agency have data handling safeguards in place and how are they enforced?

Why ask this question: Trusting an agency is one thing, giving them complete access and control of your Amazon Ads account is another. To create a harmonious relationship with your Amazon PPC Ads agency, you need to ask them how they can secure the data you’ll be entrusting them with.

In great detail, your agency will need to disclose its security strategies and present a detailed list of policies that all team members handling your ads account will be following in order to protect your data from any breaches.

It will also help if their team is updated with Amazon Ads’ Advertising, Data Protection, and Privacy policies which will show you that they align their values, processes, and data security policies with Amazon Ads itself.

How does AMZ Pathfinder respond to this? Our team of professional Amazon Ads Managers takes our clients’ data security, trust, and privacy very seriously. For that matter, we make sure that our clients are aware of every data management and security procedure we conduct as well as the critical steps we take to ensure that their campaign data remains secure and private.

 

May I see your most recent case studies?

Why ask this question: Similar to an interview that leads to hiring, you need to ask your prospective agency about the latest work they’ve done and the successes they’ve accomplished with their clients.

Most agencies won’t be as open as to tell you who they’ve specifically worked with, but most of them would be happy to tell you which niche their clients; products are categorized under. Agencies will also gladly show you the results they’ve made for their clients during case study presentations. 

How does AMZ Pathfinder respond to this? We take great pride in the work that our team does, thus allowing us to become more open about the accomplishments we’ve helped our clients make through strategically-optimized Amazon Ads. 

Here are some sample case studies we’ve created that we are allowed to talk about…

 

Do you work with any of my competitors?

Why ask this question: Unfortunately, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll meet an agency that will make it a point to not work with any of your competitors.

However, the best prospect agency for you would be one that prioritizes transparency about how they protect your data and who they’re working with within your niche.

Data protection should be one of their top priorities especially if your competitor is working with them as well. You need to be assured that your data is protected and cannot be used to give other brands in your niche more competitive advantage. 

 

What paid search strategies do you implement with competitors?

Why ask this question: One of the most important questions to ask your prospective agencies is about the paid search strategies they use to compete with other brands in your niche. Most agencies would use brand competitor targeting as a common PPC marketing strategy.

This will allow you to place your brand’s ads in front of your competitor’s audience, helping you build brand awareness and gain impressions.

PPC agencies also make use of keyword targeting strategies to help your brand gain a competitive edge against your competitors, helping you gain access to new audiences and different markets.

 

What types of Amazon Ads can your company work on?

Why ask this question: The perfect agency for your brand would be one that has several tried and proven skills in working with several Amazon ad types.

They should be able to work with ad types such as Amazon Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, Amazon Sponsored Display Ads.

Based on your brand’s needs, the agency must know how to work with the different campaign types in order to contribute to reaching your companies’ goals. 

How does AMZ Pathfinder respond to this? We work on all campaign and targeting types found in the Amazon Advertising Console and for clients wherever it’s suitable such as Amazon DSP.  

 

What is your adtech stack and how would you handle a client’s pre-existing ad tech stack? 

Why ask this question: Most agencies will make use of several adtech tools and technologies that can help them optimize their clients’ ads whether it’s through keywords, analytics, content creation, automation, reporting, campaign ad scheduling, inventory forecasting, bid adjustment, and many others.

While not all of them will reveal the pieces of software or technologies that they use on a daily basis, it still makes sense to ask them and see if you’re using the same tools.

It’s also important to reveal what you use for your Amazon PPC campaigns as well and compare them with the ones they currently use. Doing this will give you the chance to suggest a software solution that’s already working for you. 

 

Can you guarantee an ROI?

Why ask this question: An experienced Amazon PPC Ads agency will always make sure that their clients can get what they paid for. One of the ways they can assure that is by being accountable, communicative about progress, and is honest and up-to-date with your company’s monthly revenue reports.

These reports must show the results of the agency’s combined efforts for marketing campaigns, ad campaigns, and the automation they’ve deployed to guarantee a monthly increase in ROI.

How does AMZ Pathfinder respond to this? We do not guarantee outcomes. We can only guarantee amazing results and lasting impressions for every brand we partner with.

 

How does your team handle your clients’ campaigns?

Why ask this question: A good agency will be able to plan around any opportunities that may come along. Most agencies will promise to provide you with content and campaign plans for weeks and months, but when there’s less flexibility, efficiency and the ability to seize short-term opportunities can be difficult to achieve due to lack of allowable reaction time. You want to make sure that the agency you’ll be working with has enough time to be flexible for your campaigns’ sake. 

How does AMZ Pathfinder respond to this? We maintain a list of campaign types in a hierarchy. We start with those that will most likely work well or have a strong ROI or impact. Then, we start building those strong campaigns in our clients’ accounts and evaluate them afterward. 

 

Can you describe the size of your company?

Why ask this question: Most great companies have started small with small to remote offices to a few employees. There’s no shame in partnering with start-ups or small Amazon PPC agencies.

But given that you’ll be spending a significant amount of time, effort, and money on an Amazon PPC Ads agency, you want to make sure that the company you’re working with is legitimate and isn’t dishonest about their team’s setup.

You need to make sure that the agency’s team has a system that works and is trained, skilled enough to handle your needs, and won’t eventually lose their luster when it comes to the quality of work they provide. 

 

Does your company have safeguards for data protection in place?

Why ask this question: Like any property, you should protect the data that your Amazon Brand carries. Your ad campaigns depend highly on the data that your ads account is able to gather, so it’s no question that whatever data-related aspect of your business that you have, you need to safeguard them as best as you can.

The Amazon PPC agency you’ll choose must also have safety measures in place to make sure your data is inaccessible to the public and is confidential. You need to ask questions to make sure your prospective agency will never use, sell, download, or rent out your data for other clients.

Eventually, this and many other data protection rules must be included in your contract with the agency once you decide to sign with them. 

Ad Spend / Budgeting

How do you determine the amount of spend for each of my products?

Why ask this question: One of the many things you don’t want to discover later on about the Amazon PPC agency you’ve hired is their inability to create complicated thought processes and how basic their systems are compared to others. Having these negative characteristics may reflect on the company’s inexperience, making them the less attractive choice.

How does AMZ Pathfinder respond to this? Before we get started on working with a client, we try to see if they know their own numbers. We try our best to determine if the products are profitable, stable, newly trending, if they’ve been phased out entirely, or if they can actually convert.

This way, we’ll be able to vet them better. Knowing how to calculate your breakeven ACoS% (Advertising Cost of Sale), TACoS% (Total Advertising Cost of Sale), margins, and profitability will help us determine and agree on your short and long-term goals. We calculate your amount of spend by dividing your total sell-through rate and determining the top sellers.

 

How do you determine what budget is appropriate for my account(s)?

Why ask this question: Every month, you should be able to conduct a budget determination meeting with your chosen Amazon PPC agency.

Your agency will be responsible for making your brand competitive in the Amazon marketplace each day, so you’ll need to have full knowledge of the strategies they’ll be implementing for your campaigns. 

How does AMZ Pathfinder respond to this? As part of our discussion with our clients, we work together to determine monthly, quarterly, and yearly business goals. Ad Spend allocation will also be discussed with our clients based on their chosen sales channels.

“That’s a conversation we have with you as the client because cash flow is a huge constraint in the physical product business. Generally, most of your money is tied up in inventory so you don’t have infinite money to spend on ads.” – Brent Z., CEO of AMZ Pathfinder

 

How do you minimize the occurrences of wasted ad spend?

Why ask this question: You need to be able to ask your agency about their specific approach to wasted ad spend such as their techniques for automation, bid adjustments, targeting, and other ways they can help you preserve your ad budget. 

With every PPC ad campaign, the goal is to always maximize the returns on your budget. It’s quite common for most PPC strategies to have wasted ad spend.

To remedy this, your chosen agency needs to be able to minimize ad spend by making good decisions when it comes to negative keyword rules, goal completions, target selection, good campaign optimization and structure, segmentation, and setting budgets. 

 

Have you experienced overlaying PPC data with external data?

Why ask this question: With the use of other platforms to handle your ad campaigns, PPC agencies are able to acquire several external data about your market.

The default settings in Amazon may help you understand a bit more about your target audience, but platforms like Google Ads can help you discover more in-depth information about them.

Many third-party platforms can provide you with information that’s not readily available on the Amazon Ads platform, making it a must to ask your prospective PPC agency if they’re using other platforms to help provide extra data about your target audience, too. 

 

What automation software do you use?

Why ask this question: While it’s not possible to have someone handle your ads account 24/7, Amazon PPC agencies make use of different software to automate their tasks for them.

Many tasks will be repetitive, so using third-party software can replicate those tasks without allowing human error to interfere with their tasks.

Not only does doing this make sure your campaigns are being handled correctly, but it also guarantees that they’re being optimized throughout the day.

While most of the campaign management features would be in the Google Ads automation settings, most agencies would rely on other software to perform tasks in the reporting, bidding, and analysis nature. 

How does AMZ Pathfinder respond to this? Our team makes use of a robust tool called, Intentwise. This data platform helps our team with advertising management by pulling in important pieces of information that touch the advertising side of things. It also provides us with automation, recommendations, and simplified reporting tools for Amazon. 

 

How would you resolve ad campaigns with decreasing ROAS?

Why ask this question: Decreasing RoAS (Return on Ad Spend) is one of the most critical things that Amazon Ad agencies are highly concerned about.

When RoAS is decreasing, agencies need to have solutions prepared to help resolve it. These solutions may be in the place of Google Ads that can help you greatly if you’re in the business of online retail. 

Responsibilities / Reporting

Who is/are actually doing the work on my account? 

Why ask this question: Although this question may seem like a tough one for some agencies with too few or too many PPC Account Managers, it’s also quite essential.

Many agencies will struggle to answer this question, but those who know exactly what they’re doing will be able to provide you with a quick answer. Agencies need to designate ad management work based on the needs and experience of their Account Managers. 

How does AMZ Pathfinder respond to this? Our clients benefit from our team of expert Amazon PPC Managers who deliver what other agencies promise.

Our clients’ accounts are managed by either an Account Manager or a Senior Account Manager who are all full-time team members in AMZ Pathfinder.

Most of our client accounts will have multiple people involved from the team in order to build redundancy and a “second pair of eyes” for examining things.

Each of our PPC Account Managers is assigned to their clients’ marketplaces, allowing them to carry out their PPC work through their accounts. Communication is also easy as they can communicate directly with our clients or through our Communications Manager. 

 

How often will my account be worked on each week?

Why ask this question: When asked about the work being done in accounts weekly, your chosen PPC agency should talk about optimization schedules and check-ins.

Consider it a red flag if none of their answers include any of those. This is because your agency should be working within your budget range and they must be flexible enough to work on your account each week. 

How does AMZ Pathfinder respond to this? Our Amazon PPC Account Managers always make sure they monitor their account assignments throughout the week, carrying out a full optimization for each account at a minimum of 2 to 4 times a week.

Account health checks will also be done to ensure any changes made during optimization are working and to spot any instances where new changes need to be made.

Some of those sessions include deep analysis and work while other times are for KPI checks and monitoring of ongoing tests or troubleshooting tasks for trouble spots that we are trying to resolve.

Our philosophy, “As the needs of the business dictates” is applied to every brand we’re working with. During special events like nationwide sales and holiday sales, our Account Managers make certain that they assist, monitor, and optimize for product launches as well as assure that popular products are advertised based on seasonalities.

 

How often can I meet with my Account Manager?

Why ask this question: Remember that you’ll be trusting an Amazon PPC Account Manager with handling your ad responsibilities that fit your brand’s goals and visions.

Since you’re relying on their experience and expertise to gain an advertising advantage, you should be able to know when and how often you can get in touch with your Account Manager.

Most agencies will allow clients to contact their Account Managers on their own and would suggest that they meet with them at least once each month. 

 

Do you outsource the work to a different team or third-party services?

Why ask this question: An Amazon PPC Ad agency must always be honest when it comes to their team members, most especially, the Account Manager/s who will be handling your ad account.

If from the beginning, the agency you’re speaking to is vague or secretive about their team’s details, you should consider this as a big red flag.

You don’t want to work with an agency that makes use of third-party service providers to handle their clients’ accounts as this poses several cybersecurity risks from every angle.

It shouldn’t be a problem if the agency mentions that their Account Managers are located in different parts of the globe. eCommerce, especially Amazon, is a universal industry, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if some of the staff would be located in different countries.

The most important part is that you like and trust the Account Manager assigned to your account and that they’re an actual expert in the world of Amazon Ads Management. 

How does AMZ Pathfinder respond to this? None of our advertising management, storefront building, and optimization, or Google Ads work are outsourced or done by other agencies. We do work with our sister agency, SellerPlex. We also don’t provide white-label services to other companies.

Our friendly and professional Amazon PPC Account Managers are experts in their respective fields and have been in the industry for several years.

We practice radical honesty, direct communication, simplicity in growth strategies, accountability for our work, and most especially, result-based decision-making techniques that drive growth and are based on our clients’ needs. 

Get to know our high-skilled Amazon Account Managers here!

What are your general plans during big seasonal holidays and how do you think you differentiate from other agencies/brands competing for bids?

Why ask this question: Upcoming seasonal holidays usually mean that everyone, even your Account Manager, is either going on a break or spending time with family.

This question is important as this will help you feel confident about your ad account being managed even if you yourself take some time off during the holidays.

No agency should slack when it comes to managing their clients’ accounts on holidays, so it’s important that you get to know their game plan before you sign with them. 

How does AMZ Pathfinder respond to this? Before seasonal holidays, our Account Managers use a combination of account changes that are triggered through software rules, bulk sheet uploads, and manual adjustments to help with the overwhelming advertising demands of the holiday season.

Among the responses that our Account Managers take into account are YoY (Year-over-Year) data, recent data, and account objectives.

YoY data measures and compares two or more events per annum, creating a result that expresses rates of change throughout the years being compared. 

 

Do you work over the weekends?

Why ask this question: Sometimes work over the weekends is inevitable especially when there are sales events involved or long holidays when running and optimizing ads will be beneficial.

Asking your PPC agency this question will allow you to get the most out of your money and can guarantee that your Account Manager can help you out on the weekends.

How does AMZ Pathfinder respond to this? During times when demand is at its absolute peak, our team organizes what we call “Weekend Work Shifts” to ensure that we have account coverage on accounts that will be impacted by the demand.

Among those high-peak times are the times leading up to Black Friday weekend, Prime Day, and more specific holidays such as Valentine’s Day.

 

Do your reports highlight actionable insights?

Why ask this question: Several Amazon PPC Ad agencies will offer you weekly or monthly reports, but what you actually need is a report that includes actionable insights.

Simple reports that only tell you what has been done and what results from the campaigns have achieved are not good enough.

Outside of the monthly or weekly calls with your Account Manager, you want to have a detailed list of objectives and actionable tasks to help you gain a better understanding of what’s to come and how the campaign results can translate to actual solutions or strategies the agency can implement to their upcoming campaigns. 

 

How do you handle poor performance like products with high ACoS or zero conversions?

Why ask this question: This question is aimed at addressing the situation wherein the ad performance and strategies aren’t going their way.

Asking about their strategies can help you find out about their standard practices and the consultation they will or won’t provide for problem management purposes.

To make this question even more specific to your brand, expand the question by using examples of specific problems that are unique to your market. Their answers can help you decide whether they’re fit for your brand’s needs or not.

How does AMZ Pathfinder respond to this? Our team addresses poor performance questions in two ways: One, our willingness to advertise the product in general (we oftentimes do), and secondly, the reasons why the product is performing poorly.

On the subject of poor performance, our Account Managers observe the product listing’s quality, retail readiness, price, and their efforts in advertising, targeting the right things, and bidding.

When it comes to retail readiness issues, we refer our clients to our retail readiness assessment guide or refer them to a company that can help optimize their product listing better.

We do these steps for retail readiness simply because doing a good job in generating impressions and getting clickthrough rates doesn’t guarantee more acquisition.

Simple changes in content such as better images, highlighting better content (e.g. showcasing benefits), and adding

simple product videos can help increase the conversion rate within a few weeks. Sometimes the issue might also be that the product we’re advertising is not appropriate and it simply needs to be re-evaluated by following Amazon’s Ad principles.

Questions for your current PPC Agency this 2022

Align your goals with your current PPC Agency by asking them these questions.

What would you do when a competitor is advertising on our listing?

Why ask this question: When competitors have riddled your listings with ads for their own products, it can be a struggle to keep their attention as well as create a sale from that impression.

Because of this, you need to ask your Amazon PPC agency about the ways they can make your listings more competitive by defeating your competitor’s ad invasion techniques. 

How does AMZ Pathfinder respond to this? When competitors are targeting our customer’s listings with ads, we set up strategic campaigns that can help push them off the listing.

We do this by making it too expensive for competitors to continue stealing sales through their conquest approach.

One of the ways we do this is by bidding high on PATA campaigns where were cross-target ASINS with the listing’s own ASINs.

This entails a higher ACoS, which although is more expensive, helps keep the sales with the client instead of their competition and promotes a healthy return on investment in the end. 

Sometimes, we would also perform a conquest approach, similar to what your competitor is doing to conquer your listing and steal your sales. This is usually done on ASINs that have a higher price point and/or fewer review points.

We take this approach carefully by considering your competitor’s revenue potential as well as their listings where this will likely create the best result. 

 

Where and why would you allocate search terms in backend, description, title, and bullet points?

Why ask this question: You need to know how your current Amazon PPC Agency will be handling your search terms throughout your listings. 

How does AMZ Pathfinder respond to this? We make sure that not only are we compliant with Amazon’s Ad policies, but we also make sure that the ads we create fit the relevancy factor that Amazon considers for servings ads.

As for search trends, our Account Managers compile the converting search terms reports (which we issue every 60 days) or CSTR in order to keep our clients on track with the trends and other external factors which may affect their listings’ ranking.

Our CSTR uses a criterion of 2 or more conversions and is sorted by the number of orders per search term. 

To help our clients further understand how we handle the elements in their listings, we’ve prepared a Retail Readiness Guidance document that covers all that and more.

 

How do you handle product/campaign disapproval? What are the reasons behind it and what happens when you don’t comply with policies?

Why ask this question: Amazon has created a detailed list of guidelines and acceptance policies for Sponsored Ads. The list includes content requirements, ad format, and functionality, as well as product acceptability requirements which highlights prohibited and restricted products, content, images, and videos. 

How does AMZ Pathfinder respond to this? To make sure all of our clients are compliant with Amazon’s product and campaign guidelines, we always stick to their Prohibited Content and Claims requirements.

Most of the time, the products with packaging that includes the claim or additional substantiation that don’t fit these standards are those products that are involved in politics, products that affect tobacco use, weight loss products, weaponry, or items that are flagged as being sexual.

We would usually remove any content that highlights that messaging in certain products or else they will not be eligible for ad campaign creation. 

 

What creative services do you offer?

Why ask this question: Some Amazon PPC agencies will offer services for creating content for your listings, while other agencies will simply provide Ad Management instead.

But if your current PPC agency offers creative services and you’ve subscribed to it, then it will be good to ask them about Amazon Ads’ Video Policy Guidelines to see if the custom images and videos they’ve created for you are complying with Amazon’s requirements. 

How does AMZ Pathfinder respond to this? In relation to creative services for ads, while we don’t technically offer services for creating Amazon Ad videos or images, we currently offer an Amazon Storefront Upgrade service that can help you build an attractive and customer-enticing Amazon Brand Store in just 15-20 business days!

This Amazon Storefront creation service has helped our clients see an increase in visits and conversion rates with the help of our dedicated team of expert eCommerce designers who religiously follow Amazon Storefront best practices when creating their beautiful, immersive Storefronts. 

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