Outsource PPC campaign management, versus manage PPC campaigns in-house?

Let’s rephrase the question as “can we manage our PPC campaigns in-house at some point after launch, or should we have them managed?”. Here’s a key aspect thing to understand when considering the question: Accumulating the understanding to operate PPC campaigns is not a matter of learning how to operate the controls in response to what you see. In a car, you turn the steering wheel left and the car goes left; you apply the brakes and the car begins to stop. There is a cause, and an and effect. With digital ad campaigns, on the other hand, the relationship between cause and effect can often be a bit murky. Changing a setting or configuration may have an unanticipated impact on another aspect of a campaign or group of campaigns. Making an adjustment based on a single assumption that turns out to be false, can lead to confusing setbacks. Much of what seems intuitive, turns out to be in opposition to what should be done to achieve a better result. If you lack a clear understanding of one aspect of a campaign or account, most likely you will make changes that lead to unexpected or frustrating outcomes. Experienced paid search managers learn different ways of thinking and acting with campaigns, taking advantage of the ability in campaigns to measure the impact of any adjustment or change. Almost every assumption can and should be tested, before assuming it to be true. Many times, “the obvious” will be shown to be untrue.  This is more difficult to learn and consistently do in practice than it might first appear.

What to do, have someone manage our PPC campaigns forever?

No, of course not.  We advise reframing the question.  It becomes:

“What is the most profitable and time-efficient way to ensure these campaigns are operating at peak efficiency, making the best use of my ad spend, considering alternative uses of our time”?

Having veterans watch over your campaigns doesn’t need to be expensive. In fact, it should deliver a return on the modest cost. PPC campaign management, for many accounts, is a specialized skill that requires a lot of time and experience to become proficient with.  That is unlikely to be the best use of a business person’s time.

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