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					Are PPCers a Dying Breed?

I realized in the past few weeks that I am having a hard time keeping up with the new releases in
Google AdWords. They are innovating faster than I can test the new features. I love it. But I also
start to question, is this all going to be the end of PPC managers? Are Google, Yahoo, and Bing
innovating so much that the PPC role will diminish?

Think about it. No, I am not giving my thoughts just yet, you have to wait for those. :P

First Point: Google and Yahoo Assisted Setup
Google offers new advertisers help in getting their account going for free. They are only testing
it in the US and Canada right now but I can see how this would be an awesome service for
people worldwide once Google has the staff to assist different languages. In fact, I used
something like this when we built an account for a large news agency in December. Due to the
size of the spend, Google not only helped get things set up, I had a dedicated team for my
account for a few months longer than the account was open. Very nice to have around.

Yahoo offers assisted setup but for account of a certain size and they charge a fee, or so says
their Q&A. The difference here is that they are not assisting setup, Yahoo is setting up the
accounts. Keyword research, organization and everything included. This service is a little up in
the air it seems right now, as two parts of their site are in disagreement. One states that the
minimum monthly spend is $1k, and their landing page states $5k. Perhaps there is no fee for
accounts over $5k per month? Would love clarification from Yahoo if possible.

From FAQs:

“With Assisted Set-Up, Yahoo! Search Marketing can help create a Sponsored Search campaign
for you customized to your business goals and budget. We will help choose relevant keywords,
write ads and suggest maximum bid amounts that work within your budget. You can expect to
receive your proposed campaign within 2 to 5 business days, and we will contact you to discuss
it in detail. This is a one-time set-up service to provide you with a strong foundation from which
to manage your account and from which to model future campaigns. There is a fee of $199
associated with this service, and a minimum budget of $1,000/month to qualify.

To get started with assisted setup, call (866) 310-6837. Our hours of operation are Mon-Fri 6am-
6pm (PT).”

From Landing Page:

I am unaware of a AdCenter assisted setup, but with the merging of Yahoo and Microsoft (Bing,
Live, AdCenter, whatever), I can see this being picked up soon over there.

Second Point: Tools for Competitive Analysis
The Opportunities section of AdWords now includes an “analyze competition” section (see
below). This is going to be just the tip of the iceberg. Google nor AdCenter will ever allow
advertisers to see into someone else’s campaign (long gone are the days of seeing someone else’s
bid and position, exactly), but this section of PPC platforms can only grow. As PPC people, we
know where to get some of this data, make it into a nice report and make decisions from it, but
Google is starting to do that as well. Clients are getting recommendations from Google, who
hold more data than we could ever dream of having access to.
Third Point: Automatic bidding
The final point is in the automatic bidding tools that are popping up all over the place.
Conversion Optimizer has been around since 2007, but now Google allows target CPA bidding
as well. Advertisers on the content network can bid based on demographic. And now day parting
and geographic bidding is more focused than ever. With the right settings, the time between
required optimization for smaller accounts is getting longer.

So Should PPC People Start Packing?
No. Of course not. As I have always said, automation HELPS but it doesn’t run an account. A
Google Account Rep isn’t the best manager either, sorry guys. But most of them have less
experience than the greenback fresh on the auto lot (I once taught a Ford salesman the difference
in Mustang models). They are getting better, but just like some of the bad agencies out there, the
“research” they do are automatic lists from a computer. Any real search engine marketer can take
those lists and save a client thousands by reviewing them for validity. Not all of those words are
relevant after all.

For the PPC Managers out there, a few tips to ensure your professional survival.

   1. Don’t Just Do PPC – This goes for everyone in Search Engine Marketing, no one part is
      more important than the others. You need to know and understand social and organic, as
      well as email marketing and others. The more well rounded you are, the better you will
      be able to see the trends of the future. Alerting clients to changes across the board is a
      competitive differentiator. Go that next step for them.
   2. Focus on Relevance – We can pull lists just like a computer, and slower. Show your
      clients what they are paying for by giving them recommendations from the data you pull.
      Think outside the box and give them reasons for the decisions you make. The trends you
      see could impact their business elsewhere. If you add value, I guarantee they will keep
      you around.
   3. Market Reflective Pricing – Remember when we charged thousands for setup? Yeah,
      guess what, that is free now. And I guarantee that clients will start picking that up.
      Instead, think outside the box. Offer something else that will give them value they can’t
      get elsewhere. What is that? That’s up to you, but I am sure you catch my drift.

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