?Staying Ahead with Strategy Industry consolidations, shrinking margins and complex supply chains have industries across the board clamoring to impact efficiency and effectiveness. No stone is left unturned - most especially Internet-related expenses, still seen by many businesses as having "unverifiable" return-on-investment figures. With the right bid-management software, a company can turn that notion on its ear. Tracking and adjusting pay-per-click strategies and expenses to maximize sales result is a cutting-edge direction many successful businesses are buying into. When these number-crunching executives demand hard data to justify sales-and-marketing budgets, they turn to their trusted Internet-marketing partners, firms specializing in strategic pay-per-click and search-engine optimization, to collect the information. These days, any qualified, competent search-marketing firm already has a strong idea of what the client might want and can manipulate a bid-management tool to make it happen. Versatile and comprehensive, these tools can address universal Internet-advertising issues, including: conversion-data confidentiality to ensure the client knows its click-through rate, but the competition does not; return-on-investment-based bidding, which ties a sales- or lead-conversion code back into the bid-management software and adjusts bid prices based on historical conversion data; time savings through enhanced keyword tracking and adjustment capabilities; reduced cost when software spots, and automatically adjusts, bid-pricing gaps; double counting of sales, which can lead to inaccurate ROI figures and faulty bid adjustments, and bid adjustments during non-peak hours to extend budgets and improve competitiveness during peak times. Justifying the investment into bid-management software becomes simple when decision-makers see how accurately they can gauge and alter advertising strategy. Bid-management software provides insight into the entire process, spotting trends that may need to be addressed and costs that may be out of line before budget damage is done. It's the essential internal information clients need to make fast, but informed decisions that keep them one step ahead of the competition. Many of these software packages are proprietary, meaning they are customized and administered by the host provider. They provide opportunities for companies of all sizes to track their participation in search-engine PPC advertising. When coupled with intelligent keyword selection, thoughtful ad copy and optimized landing pages, these management tools arguably become one of the most-important elements of the effective Internet-advertising campaign. Accurate internal information is a company's most-valuable external competitive resource. The right bid-management software to support an aggressive Web presence can put any company in the driver's seat.