Managing PPC: Carry the Ball Myself or Punt to an Agency Near Me?

We’re solidly entrenched in the 2017 football season, and you probably have a good idea of where your team is going. Playoffs… or try again next year. For online marketers – and particularly your PPC manager – there is no off-season. You’ve got to be on your game all the time. You’ve got to get the most from your budget just like coaches need to get the most from their players.

Whether your PPC budget is large or small, you have two basic options:

  • Hire an in-house PPC specialist
  • Outsource to a PPC advertising agency

In this article, we’ll explore the options and consider the various factors that should become part of your PPC Management Playbook. Only then can you make it “first and goal.”

Hiring an In-House PPC Specialist: Home Field Advantage?

Let’s tick off some advantages of an in-house PPC Manager.

  • Dedicated and focused on the task at hand
  • Understanding of the goals, expectations and corporate view of digital marketing
  • Familiarity with audience(s) and competitors
  • Grasp of the nuances of the business (e.g. seasonality)
  • Agility to correct/redirect campaigns and straight-line access to company decision makers

Of course, there are inherent disadvantages with this key hire. The first is the skill set of the individual managing your campaign. Can s/he be strategic, write great ads, design and/or program landing pages, analyze and optimize campaign results – or would they need to outsource some or most of these responsibilities? The second challenge is largely due to the cost of a full-time hire(s). According to an MIT study, the costs of hiring an employee are 25% to 40% higher than the base salary range. So hiring a PPC Manager at a $50K yearly salary is actually more like $62K-$70K, when you consider the following:

  • Payroll taxes
  • Health and dental insurance
  • Workers compensation
  • Long-term disability insurance
  • Retirement plans

Then there’s the whole hiring process. Even if you are experienced in hiring or you have a dedicated HR person in your company, hiring for PPC management is a whole other ballgame. Candidates may talk a good game, but when it comes to PPC management experience, they need technical knowledge of different platforms (e.g., Google, Facebook, Bing), bidding and campaign management strategies, copywriting, analytics and reporting, etc. Improper vetting could hurt the efforts of your whole marketing team.

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Outsourcing to a PPC Agency: Punting Can Be a Great Play

In football terms, punting may sound like falling short. But when properly used, it can also be a strategic play that puts a team in a winning position. The same can be said for hiring a PPC advertising agency. The key benefits are as follows:

  • Save time by outsourcing the majority of the day-to-day management
  • Get the depth and breath of knowledge from a team that manage several campaigns across different industries
  • You get access to a team of media strategists, designers, copywriters, and data analysts to setup and run your campaign
  • Save money by avoiding all the obvious and hidden full-time costs that comes with the previously mentioned

Sure, there are some challenges, too, including:

  • Establishing clear expectations in terms of hours, commitment, agency personnel and deliverables (It’s a two-way street!)
  • Making sure they can work with/educate your marketing generalists
  • Complementing your existing team’s skills
  • Ensuring accessibility and buy-in from all stakeholders

Read on to learn about the basic minimal requirements for effective outsourcing.

Level Playing Field? Not Necessarily.

Fact is, most PPC advertising agencies require a five figure annual budget to do the work required to optimize the marketing investment. Less of expenditure simply does not allow time needed to deliver the results most clients need or expect.

Businesses with larger budgets can either hire a full-time PPC specialist or work with a PPC advertising agency that can augment other marketing initiatives – without an additional hire. Either way, working with an agency is a collaborative effort that requires a seamless integration of teammates.

Carry the ball? Punt? Make a Commitment.

As you’ve read, there are many options for you, depending on the size of your organization, your budget and your commitment to PPC management. Even with Google AdWords and the automation of many PPC campaign tasks, there may be too much for one executive or marketing generalist to handle. The important thing: if your PPC campaigns are starting to drive growth, get on your game face and commit to one strategy.

Improve Your Game: Take the Simply180 PPC Management Challenge

Up for a little head-to-head competition? Take our 90-day PPC Challenge. It’s a low risk, high reward opportunity to improve your PPC results.

Here’s how it works.  Let us manage your Google AdWords or Facebook Ads accounts for 90-days. If we don’t improve your results, we’ll refund you 100% of our monthly media management fees. No tricks, gimmicks or small print. We simply believe we’re better than your PPC manager. Let us prove it.

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