As the economic crisis continues, the paid search market is becoming increasingly competitive. Despite the outlook for search marketing looking relatively positive during 2009, managing – and extracting value from – campaigns will become more and more challenging.

Econsultancy’s first PPC Bid Management Technology Buyer’s Guide provides a valuable insight into both the suppliers and the tools that currently exist to help marketers manage paid search more effectively. 

The digital industry continues to flourish because of its ability to drive return on investment, especially in the face of a recession. For many advertisers, their most efficient channel is paid search, and the technology for managing this is typically a crucial component for maximising the success of any campaign.

The advantages afforded to advertisers using such management tools are numerous. Certainly we’ve found that marketers can operate more aggressively online, stretch budgets further and increase conversion rates. This is about working smarter, not harder, and is incredibly important for those clients managing hundreds of thousands of keyphrases a month. 

The strengths that bid management technology can provide include:

-) 24-hour functionality (by using an automated system which requires minimum human contact)

-) Operation in real-time (eliminating time-lags)

-) Allowing thousands of keywords to be monitored and optimised at enormous speeds

-) Giving any campaign an extra level of security

-) Providing a rapid-response solution if any urgent changes are needed

Profiling 16 leading suppliers and their products, our guide details the issues and trends surrounding bid management tools, as well as discussing the on-going industry question of whether or not technology may eventually replace PPC account managers/handlers.

Of course, paid search campaigns will always require the human touch: no matter how intelligent the software, somebody will need to set the rules. But we can see that bid management technology is undoubtedly a market which will continue to prosper as savvy marketers increasingly adopt this kind of technology to improve their search strategies (and their ROI).

With marketers currently facing the issues surrounding intensifying competition – such as CPC inflation caused by competition and search engines attempting to maximise their profits – it seems that management technology could provide a welcome solution to some of the problems.

The report contains profiles of the following vendors: Ad Director (WebTrends), AdLearn (Platform-A), Atlas (Microsoft Advertiser Suite), Coremetrics, DART Search (DoubleClick), DC Storm, Efficient Frontier, Kenshoo, MakeMeTop, Marin, Quant (Greenlight), SearchAdvisor (ChannelAdvisor), SearchCenter (Omniture), SearchForce, Searchware (TradeDoubler), VCCP.