I recently stepped back into the fray that is in-house PPC management, and I’m loving it!
There is more freedom (and lack of cost) associated with effective in-house management, but it always surprises me as to how this type of move is met by the engine reps and other folks still using agencies.
In-house you’re after the lowest possible CPA, and the best possible ROAS. You’re also looking at overall profit for the business – but that can’t be done on a short term basis in a big brand, so I’ll stick with ROAS for now. (CPA is slightly different and affected by more than one variable or campaign depending on your analytics.)
My budget was cut dramatically in my first month of in-house for external reasons I won’t go into. And yet we managed to optimize until we dropped, and we maintained expectations on year to index levels for conversions, sales and unit volumes while falling drastically short of expected traffic levels. Makes you think, no?
My “in-house” Point
When PPC is in-house, and your deliverable is to provide great ROAS and minimal CPA, as a search marketer you are unaffected by the (often valid) claims that pure exposure on the long (generic) tail is worth the investment. You are also less affected by the need to maintain or increase spend for %age remuneration purposes. Obviously agencies have to deliver, it’s their job to do so, and there are many that do a great job including the agency we recently moved from. However, when you are told to cut-to-the-chase and give it maximum return on the dollar, it’s nice to have it in-house.
It’s also much faster, more cost effective and efficient to make changes to everything; from new campaigns, to revamped adcopy; from redirecting to new landing pages to bid-management… In a very small nutshell – it’s faster, easier and has more immediate visibility for your stakeholders when you have the opportunity of doing it cost-free and quickly with the ability to pull and repurpose reports at will as you manage the campaigns hands-on.
My “Personal Development” Point
If you are interested in growing as a business in the PPC realm and can afford to hire a PPC specialist in-house, you’ll likely save money – assuming they ARE pro. It’s easy to check; are they AdWords Qualified? Were/are they an affiliate? Who did they do PPC for previously?… They should be able to give you general data without betraying confidence. And it is data you should be able to check in general.
But if you can get a good PPC pro in-house and help them grow – they will likely give you results at a fraction of the cost, and you can help them achieve their own career objectives by facilitating their learning curve, or contributing to it.