Perhaps the most important of them all, the accounts. This section of the handover notes needs to be detailed, clear and precise. It will most likely be the most referenced part of the handover notes moving forward. Key things that need to be recorded include the following:
- Account structure
- Account history
- Work in Progress
An overview of how the account is set up, including campaign naming conventions, campaign layout, match types and ad group layouts. I can say from personal experience, I have taken over accounts (from another agency) and the campaign names may as well have been written in Swahili. It will save a lot of time trying to decipher what they all mean. You will want a clear understanding of why the campaigns have been set up the way they are.
A quick rundown on what settings are currently running and the reasons why this is the case. This can include things such as locations targeting, ad scheduling, automatic rules, scripts, etc. There are so many things that you just won’t think to ask during the transition, so to have them written down, with reasoning behind them, will save a lot of confusion in the future.
This is one of the most important. If tracking & analytics details are not in the handover notes, you’re going to have a bad time. As all paid media specialists know, tracking is imperative. There is no point running a campaign if you can’t track the value it brings. You will need to know what you’re tracking, how you’re tracking it and why you’re tracking it. I have witnessed the result of when this is not properly prepared, and it is not pretty. It can lead to confusion, inability to answer client questions, missed optimisation opportunities and reporting mishaps. The more detail, the better.
This section should give a history of the accounts in terms of past strategies, tests and results. It should focus on what worked and what didn’t. This is greatly important as it gives the new account manager some background to what has already been tried and what hasn’t. The last thing you want is to start implementing strategies within an account, only to find out later that they had already been done. That is a waste of everyone’s time and is not a good look to the client.
Work in Progress:
All unfinished work the previous account manager was working on, all work that was in the pipeline that had been organised with the client should be here. Having this information will save a lot of awkward conversations when the client asks you how that piece of work that you had no idea even existed is going.