As a marketer, you are the guardian of one of your business’s most valuable assets: user data. The problem is that many businesses don’t have a great process for dealing with all that data.
When setting up marketing platforms and analytics, we often forget that they are more than just tools. They are complex systems that provide insight, historical data, real-time user interactions, and personal data. Properly creating, managing, and owning all your marketing platforms is not a “good to have,” it’s a “must have” for any individual marketer or company. Neglecting proper account management and setup can lead to lost ownership of data and deprive your organization of valuable information.
Improper account management can cause months of headaches at best or complete loss of data at worst. After helping many clients solve these problems, and to help others avoid them, we wanted to lay out the pitfalls and benefits of having a structure in place for building, managing, and maintaining your marketing accounts.
How to Build a Proper Account Management Structure
As a business, you’ll need to create login information for plenty of platforms. You may think that setting up new accounts for basic tools like Google Analytics, Social Media pages, or a new CRM is easy – just use your personal or work email and you’re all set! Well, you’d be wrong.
This approach is one of the most common mistakes individuals make when setting up accounts. While using your personal or work email might be the easiest option, there’s a major problem – that email is tied to a single person. Consider what happens if the person tied to all your accounts leaves the organization and doesn’t pass over ownership. You could be stuck with numerous inaccessible accounts for which the retrieval process is often long and complicated.
Another common account structure problem happens when you have an agency set up new accounts. Agencies will often set up accounts on your behalf to help save time and simplify the account creation process but end up retaining ownership. If you leave the agency, there are situations where you may lose your data, which is something to be mindful of when working with any partner.
Our recommendation is to create a generic email like [email protected] to use as an admin on all your marketing accounts. You can manage and monitor who has access to this email – if an employee leaves, you can simply change the password and keep the account.
Of course, there are some instances when you must use a personal account (i.e. anything Meta). When you can’t use a generic email, always have at least three employees at your organization designated as managers on the account. This policy gives you a safety net in case an employee leaves so that your account ownership and access are never lost.
How to Manage and Maintain Your Accounts
With any good process, there is the creation phase and the maintenance phase. Once you have successfully set up your accounts to use a generic email, and have multiple managers to provide backup access, the next step is to consider how you maintain this organization. We suggest taking the following steps:
- Complete an annual review to evaluate account ownership for all your platforms, tools, etc.
- Add a step to your employee offboarding process to remove them from all accounts either immediately after dismissal or during their final two weeks at your organization.
- Update and change account passwords when prompted or after an employee with account access leaves the company (and store that password in a secure space).
- Keep a record of each account and who or what email has access to them.
How to Regain Access to Lost Accounts
By now, you may be thinking of a few accounts your organization no longer owns or are unsure about. Regaining control of accounts can be very challenging, and sometimes impossible without help and persistent effort – but that doesn’t mean you can’t reclaim what was yours.
If you find yourself in this situation, start by contacting the support arm of the organization. Be prepared to provide proof of who you are to the business through documentation and communication, but above all, have patience. It can take months to prove and transfer ownership of an account. If you find yourself short on time, or an angry former employee owns your accounts, consider submitting a support request to the organization to have the account terminated and starting over. Sometimes the best option is to simply move forward.
The Many Benefits of Owning Your Data
While it might seem like a lot of work to manage and maintain all your different accounts, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. Just a few of the main benefits include:
- Security: Ensure your accounts cannot be hacked, abused, or mismanaged by employees and other bad actors.
- Ownership: Rest assured that your organization owns control of your assets, user data, messaging, and brand identity.
- Inheritance: Have a plan in place to account for the inevitable of an employee or agency moving on.
- Analytics: Own all your data! Feel empowered that all your company data has the ability to be gathered, analyzed, and used to make better business decisions. No black holes or missing information.
Take Control of Your Marketing Data and Accounts
At the end of day, account ownership and access is all about having a process in place that focuses on proper ownership, management, and maintenance. It takes the pressure off any one person and provides the ability to take the most valuable information a marketer has, data, and ensure its safety and proper use. There is power in understanding this data and knowing how to use it and protect it.
Whether you are just getting started in your marketing journey or considering a digital marketing partner, Aztek’s first priority is setting your organization, and your data, up for success. If you have questions or need assistance understanding your account structure and data, we are here to help. Reach out to us today to see if we’re a good fit for your digital marketing needs.