Econsultancy’s PPC Bid Management Technology Buyer’s Guide published last week highlights an  increased reliance on automated campaign management tools.

But how necessary is it to use this kind of software?

The inherent competitiveness of the paid search market means it’s easy to see the appeal of part-automation in controlling and managing accounts on a daily basis.

Of the trends highlighted in our new report, three out of four point to the increasingly important role of technology within the search engine marketing industry.

  • Advertisers are turning to technology in order to improve campaign performance and measurement.
  • Technology suppliers are having to adapt, to keep pace with a constant evolution of the search engines.
  • Marketers are beginning to give greater attention to multichannel integration and attribution.

However, some search professionals still appear to be questioning the value of using these tools. This is an issue explored recently by Semvironment in two great articles. 

The first suggests that manual PPC management is very much dead. Or at least, it is if you want to be successful in the paid search environment. Author James Zolman explains how bid management technology allows you to maximise the potential of your campaigns. 

He argues that while your software is working hard to save you time in basic account management and bid control, automated bid management allows you to focus on: 

1. Writing and testing ad copy. 

2. Creating new landing pages to improve conversion rates.

3. Working closely with clients and other relevant parties to developing further paid search strategies.

4. Making changes to any campaign, at any given time, under any circumstances. 

5. Performing “millions (and even BILLIONS) of mini-tests between keywords and ads in every ad group and every campaign at every hour of every single day”. 

Still failing to see the value?

What if it was highlighted that many of the
paid search management tools are self-learning… and use statistical
prediction models which most normal people could never understand or compete
with?

Technology is getting smart – and so are the paid search managers who use it, as it allows a significant competitive edge in an increasingly complex
environment. 

I’m a big advocate of bid management software… and not because it allows me to kick back and browse YouTube when I’m supposed to be working on PPC campaigns.
In reality, the idea that you can just plug in these tools and sit back is a misconception, as they actually create quite a large challenge to those practising paid search marketing.

Although the available technologies are automated, the individuals in charge of campaigns have to think smarter, in order reap success. The technology is only as intelligent as the person running it, meaning that sharp operators will see far greater performance than those who sit back and expect total automation. 

This is something that Zolman also explores in his second article, where he questions the myth that PPC software means total automation. In a nutshell, those who make little effort will not enjoy great returns, despite the promises of the tech providers.

But, it’s also worth highlighting that too much manual interaction can hamper the capabilities of the tool. A fine balance is needed, hence the importance of having someone skilled enough to oversee things. 

This is not to say that organisations should be put off from using PPC bid management tools, as those who do use them are likely to see substantial improvements across their campaigns. Ultimately, the benefits of using such technology can far outweigh the negatives of not doing so. 

[Image credit: meškašiaurėj]