Access to Google Ads, Analytics, Facebook Ads accounts etc. should always be owned by you as a client. Not by your agency or developer. It is the same as with your home-keys – if you just give them to someone else, you might find your house empty and with changed locks.
Over the last weeks, I heard two stories during our workshops:
- “I paid 20,000 dirhams to an agency to manage our Facebook Ads and they never showed me the account. They just sent one simple PDF report. I don’t know how much we spent, how did our campaigns look like. When we changed the agency, they kept the account with them.”
- “Our agency is not able to create new ad accounts in our Business Manager. We already created many accounts for clients and some of them are disabled which is causing us a lot of problems.”
The first time I wrote an article about this topic was in 2015. Five years later, tools got easier to use but many of those shady practices still haven’t changed.
In the past (I wish), there used to be several ways of sharing access to digital accounts:
- Sharing username and password to our accounts – WRONG
- Having an agency or developer to create accounts on our behalf – WRONG
- All credentials are written in a shared document to which everyone in the company (+vendors) have access – WRONG
What is wrong about it?
There are several reasons why you want to have full access to your digital marketing accounts like Google Ads or Facebook Ads Manager. Here are a few:
- To have full control over your accounts. To be able to control what is happening with your accounts, you want to be its owner. Only this way ensures that you don’t lose access to it.
- To control who has access to your data. Go to your Google Analytics and check who has access to it. You might be surprised to see how many people you don’t even know can see your data. Only as an account owner you’ve got full control over users accessing your data.
- To ensure full transparency. When working with an agency, you want to see all your data in Google Ads and similar systems. As long as you’re paying for their work, there is no reason why you shouldn’t see what is the outcome of it. It’s like paying a financial auditor who would not let you read the audit.
- To make sure your assets are not affected by other companies. I’ve seen agencies that used one Facebook ad account for all their clients. I’ve seen agencies who used one Facebook pixel for all their clients. 😱😱😱 If you are not sure why it is wrong, trust me with one thing – it is wrong, it harms your performance, it compromises your data and if that happened to you, you shouldn’t wait for another second and go find another agency (disclaimer: we’re not an agency).
- To not lose your data history. History of data is one of most important things marketers need to see when setting up a new campaign. If you don’t have it, you just lost your advantage.
Learn from every dolar you spend on marketing.
- To not lose your accounts. I’ve seen many cases when a company fired agency – or even their own employee. And because they didn’t do this right, they lost access to their Facebook pages, advertising accounts, etc. It might take months to recover the access – and there’s no guarantee.
How to do it right?
Each platform has their way how to do it right nowadays. It all starts with the same step: a company (ideally its owner, founder, CxO etc.) creates the account.
This is often created by a person/company that created your website. That’s wrong.
- Company creates Google Analytics account
- It generates a code which needs to be implemented on the website
- You can share access with other users like your developers, agency, coworkers etc.
- Ideally, grant “Edit” or lower access level
- Don’t forget to remove them once they don’t need the access
Google Ads account
- Company creates Google Ads account
- Invite your employees as users
- Share your account ID with your agency and they will send a request to connect with their account
Facebook & Instagram: Page, Ad Account, Pixel, Catalog, App etc.
- Company creates Facebook Business Manager
- All company-related assets above should be added to Business Manager – Instagram account, Facebook page, Ad Account
- Invite your employees as users
- Give each user access to relevant assets
- Invite your agency (‘s Business Manager) as a partner
Make sure you’ve got kees to your digital home in your hands. Do not ever share passwords or credentials. Do not let your vendors hold your accounts hostage. Keep it in your hands.
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