PPC: In House Vs Agency?

In House Pros:

  • Full-time attention on your PPC campaigns. In-house managers are able to devote 100% of their focus to getting the best results possible out of every ad group, text ad and keyword in your campaign.
  • Attention to detail. An in-house PPC manager’s performance review likely is based on account performance. As such, they’ll be focused on accuracy and presentation.
  • You’re the employer – they answer to you. And you’ll see them every day: in the corridor, at staff meetings, and performance reviews. There’s nowhere to hide when you’re in-house.
  • Understanding of your business goals, company culture, and other quirks. If your MD hates the word “low cost,” an in-house PPC manager knows this – and knows not to use it in a PPC text ad.

In House Cons:

  • Learning & training. It’s often hard for an in-house manager to even find out where learning opportunities exist, never mind find the resources to take advantage of them.
  • May not be a part of the SEM community. Although it’s a much larger community than it was in the early days, the SEM community is still out there, and it’s a huge competitive advantage – IF you can break in.
  • Longer learning curve. Your company is the manager’s only “client” – there’s no previous experience with other clients to go on and learn from.
  • Motivation. A less-than-conscientious in-house manager may not be motivated to make the programme succeed – after all, it’s just a job, with a low risk of getting dumped for “someone else.”

Agency Pros:

  • Experience. Chances are they’ve done this before. Lots of times. They’ll be ready to hit the ground running with best practices, instead of spending a lot of budget trying to test & improve.
  • Contacts at the major search engines. Any agency worth their salt has a dedicated account team at Google and possibly at other Search engines too resulting in them having a direct line to help and support.
  • Contacts in the SEM industry. Again, most agencies attend at least one or two search marketing conferences per year. The really good ones not only attend the shows, they even speak at the shows. They’re always aware as to what’s going on in the industry, and your account will benefit greatly from their connections.
  • Multi-channel integration. Many (although certainly not all) digital agencies can manage not only your PPC account, but your SEO, social media, display, email, and sometimes even traditional media. This holistic view gives them a “big-picture” perspective that can get lost when these programmes are siloed across several in-house departments.
  • Accountability. As an outsourced supplier, it’s in the agency’s best interest to manage your PPC budget wisely. If they’re not, it’s pretty easy for you to pick up your ball and go to another agency – or go home and do it in-house.

Agency Cons:

  • Cost. This depends on how you look at it: of course, it costs money to pay a full-time in-house PPC staffer. But an agency is going to charge you to manage their PPC budget, resulting in either a higher PPC budget, or a reduced spend with the search engines. You then need to weigh up whether the experience and know-how of the agency is worth the investment?
  • Communication can be an issue. Good agencies know how to work around this, but sometimes it’s hard for a client to know just what the agency is doing.
  • Depth of expertise. While it’s absolutely not the case at many agencies, sometimes the day-to-day management of your account will be handled by a junior level employee (or even an intern). While junior staff are almost always monitored by senior staff, if it’s important to have your account managed by a seasoned PPC pro, it’s not guaranteed at an agency.

At Search Seven, we only have PPC experts managing your accounts, however it is still very important that you are aware of the pros and cons before committing yourselves to the direction you wish to take. If you have questions relating to your PPC requirements, then do not hesitate to contact us.

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