It appears the personal relationships between European agencies that run large scale Adwords spends and their dedicated Google reps is just not that important anymore. Effective January 1, European ad agencies will have to use the online support resources and a call center, Accuracast reported.
Whether this is a smart move - Google obviously saves money - or one that in the long term sees agencies decrease their spends because they no longer test new products their reps recommend or work their campaigns as hard - deciding to leave the accounts run as is once they have reached an acceptable conversion percentage.
The details Accuracast report seem to be draconian in comparison to what they had previously.
"An Agency Help Center has also been created to provide agency-specific self-service. Educational materials to help agencies manage their client accounts have also been devised. A Google Agencies programme will also be launched soon. Those who sign up for it will receive educational information and newsletters in this context.
From January onwards, most agencies will have to visit the Contact Us page in the AdWords Help Center. The technical support team will provide responses in due course. As in the past, this could mean waiting for days before getting any sort of response back from Google. The support numbers will also remain active, except that instead of dialling an account manager's extension, the caller will only have the option to enter their MCC (My Client Centre) account number,."
In the US, Adwords reps have accounts - usually at the industry level (automotive, finance etc) - but there are agency rep as well. These reps are also responsible for bringing in new business - either through new clients or increasing the spends of existing clients. Did the European counterparts not meet quotas?
Google apparently has 'invested heavily' in building out the online agency support resources. What they may not understand is - even though it is an online service company - decisions are made in the real world and personal contact and relationships are a big part of how that works.
If I were Bing and Yahoo I would be worked to fill this void and taking a few of the unhappy agencies to a few dinners. How many of the agencies had previously not used them because they had their hands full with Google is a question I would be looking to answer if I worked for Bing.