PPC management is not easy. It takes a certain level of expertise and time in order to produce results that drive business growth. PPC platforms like Google Ads, Facebook and Bing Ads are constantly evolving. Unless you are consistently staying on top of updates, new features and rules, you will start to fall behind.
The digital marketing space moves quickly. What was relevant a year ago, may not hold much weight today. A cool feature PPC agencies are using for clients today, may not have existed six months ago. To be an effective PPC manager, you have to be a student of the industry. That takes time and a desire to excel in this marketing discipline.
When you are considering whether or not to hire a PPC agency, part of your analysis should involve comparing and contrasting W2 employees versus contractors (the PPC agency). Both have their plus and minuses. Let’s take a closer look.
In-House PPC Pros
More oversight. Having employees who work under the same roof as you makes it easier to monitor and supervise them. If you are the type of person who needs to exercise a high level of control over how your employees work, then you may need to have an in-house team member do your PPC.
Business knowledge. An agency simply is not going to have the in-depth knowledge of your business that you and your employees have. An agency is not apart of the day-to-day operations, so that intimate business knowledge isn’t there. However, a good PPC agency will acquire the necessary business knowledge needed in order to effectively manage your PPC marketing.
In-House PPC Cons
Task overload. Most small businesses who have an in-house person doing PPC, also have them doing other tasks. Sometimes they are tasked with being a general marketing person who does PPC, social media posting, email and anything else marketing-related. With other companies, this PPC person may have to perform non-marketing tasks that the business simply needs to have done.
Level of expertise. The type of employee mentioned above rarely ever has the time necessary to develop expert-level knowledge in any one marketing discipline. They may have the skill level to get your PPC to a certain level, but they can’t get it to that next level you want. They become a jack of all trades and master of none.
Costs – W2 employees can cost more than contractors in the long run. Employees come with all those wonderful federal and state taxes you have to pay. As an employer you have to pay your share of the employee’s Medicare and Social Security taxes. You also have to pay unemployment insurance and worker’s compensation insurance. Do you offer other benefits like health insurance? If so, add that to the list of things you would not have to pay an outside PPC management resource.
Lack of flexibility in staffing. Employees are harder to say “adios” to than PPC agencies. If you are working with an agency and you do NOT have a contract with them, then you can quickly pivot and end the relationship immediately.
Employees have certain employment rights that contractors (PPC agencies) simply do not have. Moving on from an employee is simply not as easy to do as it is with a contractor. Relative to a contractor, it can take more time, energy and resources to move on from an employee. If you have to lay off an employee and do not do so in accordance with employment laws, you may be hearing from attorneys; discussing things that can ultimately cost you money.
PPC Agency Pros
As you read on, you’ll notice that many of the cons of using in-house resources, can be offset with the right PPC management provider.
Singular focus. When you hire a PPC agency to manage your account, their sole job is to do just that. Manage your PPC. They are hired to make your PPC accounts become highly effective marketing magnets that attract and pull in even more sales and customers. They are not getting pulled into other business tasks like doing social media, email and the like, which typically happens with in-house employees who are tasked with running PPC marketing.
Specialized expertise. PPC companies have an incentive to perform at a high level for their clients. If they don’t, they’ll have a tough time staying in business. They are the experts in the field of PPC. In most cases, if you hire the right PPC company, you’ll be getting a higher level of PPC expertise that can provide more value than your in-house employee.
Staffing flexibility. Working with contractors (such as a PPC agency) gives you greater leeway in hiring and firing workers. This can be especially advantageous if your business has fluctuating workloads. You can hire a PPC management company for the sole purpose of managing your PPC marketing. If you decide it is time to move on from them, then you can easily do so. Often times, it’s as simple as making a quick call or sending an email. I say often times because many PPC management companies (including us) do not require contracts. You don’t have to deal with the stress, expense, and potential legal trouble that can come with having to layoff employees.
Increased relative value. When you hire an agency, you don’t have to pay payroll taxes and taxes associated with a W2 employee. Relative to the time your current in-house resources spends on PPC, you might pay more for an agency’s services. Your current in-house resources might have been able to get you sales and new customers. But, how much more could you get if you were using an expert who does nothing but eat, sleep and breath PPC for a living? That can be alot to think about.
So, it may help to think about relative value. With relative value you are comparing the value of one asset versus the value of other, similar assets. Assets in our case would be in-house PPC resources versus outside PPC resources. If you hire the right PPC company, you will get a resource which can provide more value to your PPC marketing than your in-house resource.
We have taken over many PPC accounts that were being done by an in-house person or even the business owner. In some cases, the accounts were very poorly managed. In other cases, they were good but they could be great with the right person managing them. More often than not, a really good PPC agency can provide more value than a business’s current in-house resource.
PPC Agency Cons
Communication. Depending upon the PPC company you hire, communication could be an issue. Unlike having an in-house employee who you can quickly talk with at all times of the day, an outside PPC company may not be as easily accessible. Some PPC companies require their clients to schedule meetings and various types of communication. When vetting a PPC company, make sure you have a clear picture of how you can communicate with them. With us, we regularly communicate with clients using various teamwork software, email, phone, Slack, Zoom and any other forms of communication that works best for our clients.
Contracts. Some agencies require contracts. These contract can range from as short as 30 days all the way to 12 months. Being bound by a contract can become a hindrance if you business needs change. The contract reduces your flexibility. For example, if your business fluctuates and experiences a downturn, you may not be able to reduce your PPC management fees (you’ll want to read this), because you are bound by a contract. Be sure to understand the contract (if required) for any PPC agency you are vetting. Do we do contracts? Thanks so much for asking 🙂 Uh…no. Not even a measly little 30 day contract.
Knowledge of your business. Compared to your employees, a PPC agency simply will not have the same level of knowledge about your business. It will take them some time to get familiar with the aspect so your business that is needed in order to effectively manage your PPC marketing efforts. Fortunately, a PPC agency does not need to know all of the inner-workings of your business in order to be successful.
If You Are Doing The PPC & You Are The Business Owner…Listen Up
Stop. You are an expert in a field that is not PPC. Your passion lies elsewhere. I get that costs can be tight with small business. I know… I run one. We have alot to juggle.
When I first started my company, I did my own taxes. It was okay at first but as my business grew, my taxes became a bit more complicated. I also did not have the necessary time needed to stay on top of them. I realized I could not keep doing them myself. My knowledge for taxes is minimal and my time is better spent doing other things that will grow my business. I pay an expert to do my taxes now.
PPC (and many other business tasks) really do require the expertise of a specialist. You might be able to get your PPC off the ground and generating you some new clients and sales, but you are going to hit a ceiling. And, depending upon how much (or little) time you spend with it and how much you can learn, that ceiling could be low.
I know you wear many hats. More than you should be wearing. If PPC is one of them, then do yourself a favor and find someone else to take this task on. Whether it is an in-house person our outside resource, PPC is one of those tasks best left to an expert.