We’re in an era of great change within the performance marketing landscape as more and more of what a performance marketing manager would do on a day-to-day basis is becoming more automated by Google and Facebook.

To stay relevant performance marketing managers are going to need to evolve their skillset to adapt to a changing world.

In the future there are two main skills that I believe performance marketing managers will need:

  1. To be able to code to develop their own automation
  2. To develop cohesive and intelligent strategy

Learn to code

In an automated world being able to code, or at least having a basic understanding of coding, so that you can work alongside a developer is a must.

In fact Dan Gilbert has been arguing for a while now that you can’t do paid search if you can’t code.

Using Google Ads scripts and the Google Ads API, we have found that it is possible to automate around 80% of what you would do manually on a day-to-day basis with Google Ads.

We would suggest starting with learning JavaScript so that you can work with Google Ads scripts, which are the easiest way to start making programmatic changes.

As the scripts sit within the Google Ads interface you don’t have to set up your own server and applications that integrate with Google Ads’ REST API. That means you can get started with just a few lines of code.

Google Ads scripts allow you to automate a lot of the mundane tasks that you do on a day-to-day basis, from adding converted search terms as keywords, or tracking when split tests are done, to bidding and reporting.

The best performance marketers will provide value in the future by using automation to create solutions that platforms like Google and Facebook don’t already offer.

A good example would be using Google Ads scripts API to bid based on external factors that affect supply and demand like weather patterns, foreign exchange rates and hotel availability that are changing in real time and effect if a customer will make a purchase or not.

AI

Focus on strategy

Although it may seem like everything will be automated in the future at the current rate of improvement, in reality fully automated media buying is likely decades away.

Automation will replace a lot of the work in the future that humans used to do on a day-to-day basis, there will still be a lot of work that requires the higher cognition that only humans can perform.

The performance marketer of the future will focus on creative and audience strategy.

In terms of creative, humans are still better than machines, and will be for the foreseeable future, at making creatives that connect with other humans.

Although humans are likely going to be assisted by machines in determining when a split test is finished, a human will still hypothesis and test towards the best creatives.

Humans are also likely to be involved in the audience strategy to get the creative in front of the right people.

Although Facebook’s automation effectively creates audiences for you based on sets of data with it’s lookalike audiences.

There is still a human strategy piece in mirroring the customer journey and ensuring that the right creatives are shown to the right people at the right time to push them further down the customer journey.

Conclusions

Overall it’s not all doom and gloom.

In fact the job of a performance marketing manager in the future is likely to be more enjoyable, with less time spent doing mundane manual tasks like reading search query reports and working out when an ad test is finished.

That is, as long as you future-proof your career by staying relevant through evolving your skillset and focusing on these two key areas.

Firstly focus on learning to code. Start with JavaScript and Google Ads scripts as this will allow you quickly to learn how to make programmatic changes within Google Ads before dabbling in working with the Google Ads REST API.

Secondly, focus on strategy. AI is decades away from automating tasks that require higher cognition such as writing compelling ad copy and correlating trends in your Google Ads account with trends in the wider business world.

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