Paid search ad campaigns are working business assets. Ad campaign management will boost the return on the asset while lowering risk. If a campaign is important to your business, then some form of monitoring and campaign management will likely be beneficial.

The question becomes what degree of management, and that varies depending upon the environment the campaign operates in, and the stage of development of the campaign.

Some ad campaigns can be run without active ad campaign management after post-launch optimization, that’s an autonomous or”unmanaged” campaign. It can work in some circumstances but typically it’s not the best approach. That’s because when campaigns run unmanaged, an advertiser is exposed to additional risk and potential downsides. Another significant issue is that the advertiser may miss out on optimization opportunities and shifts in the market.

Many of our ad campaigns are at some point configured with automated bidding, which reduces hands-on management time going forward.  We also monitor campaigns with alert tracking.

So it is not uncommon for us to build (especially, smaller) campaigns, then after a couple of months let them run largely unattended, except for monitoring and occasional adjustments.

Automated bidding will deliver better performance for many campaigns.  It also greatly reduces the amount of time campaign managers need to spend on a low-level repetitive activity: adjusting keyword bids to meet changing market conditions and campaign internals (e.g. Quality Scores).

However, even automated bidding requires some periodic oversight.  Today’s machine-learning-based automated bidding provides campaign managers with a sort of “slow-motion” form of bid control.

Most campaigns will benefit from some degree of active campaign management.  It is a low-intensity activity for us in most cases and allows us to spot and correct issues before they become a problem.

Because of the opportunities we spot to enhance the performance of campaigns over time, active campaign management increases the total value advertisers derive from their campaigns.

So for all but the simplest accounts in slow markets, we consider some form of campaign management a “no brainer”.