PPC: Hire In-House or Outsource? How Do You Choose?
Not sure whether to do your PPC in-house or to hire an agency to manage it for you? This article analyzes the pros and cons of each option so that you can make the best decision for your business.
As the CMO of a B2B company, you know how important PPC ads are for lead generation and revenue growth. What you may not know is whether you should manage your PPC campaigns in-house or outsource the work to an agency. The question is both common and complex, and it has no definitive answer. To help you make the right decision, we’ve broken down the pros and cons of each option.
The Benefits of Doing Things In-House
There are some indisputable benefits of doing things in-house, and PPC is no exception. Convenience and sense of control are just two on our list. If you have a question or need something done immediately, you can walk over to your employee and ask for assistance. When outsourcing work, your lag time will be longer as the contractor may be busy with other work. No exclusivity here.
For best results, your PPC campaign manager should know the ins and outs of your business. A company employee will be fully committed to your team and have a solid understanding of your offerings and objectives. Company objectives may be less apparent to an outsider or will take them longer to learn. You will ultimately be responsible for bringing your contractor/agency up to speed.
The Advantages of Outsourcing
For best results, PPC for B2B companies requires creative genius and exceptional data analysis. A certified PPC agency offers power in numbers by offering maximum knowledge at a fraction of the cost of maintaining a full PPC team in-house. Bryant Garvin, Director of YouTube, Search & Display Advertising at Purple, recently tweeted about the importance of such creative collaborations:
Take a good look at your current staff to see if you have a diverse team that can build creative, successful campaigns. If not, hire an agency.
Because PPC marketing is constantly evolving, it is critical that any PPC team stays on top of the latest trends and techniques. Famed digital marketer Gary Vaynerchuk said years ago, “You should market in the day you live in because everything is changing so fast.” This is even more accurate today. The good agencies are immersed in the latest news and updates, and they can integrate these updates faster than an in-house team.
Which is Right for You?
Successful PPC campaigns enable businesses to reach their target markets and achieve measurable results quickly. Inefficient campaigns can cost a fortune with no results. Can you handle this task in-house, or will a PPC agency do a better job?
To help answer this question, we’ve simplified the key considerations in the table below.
Did you answer ‘No’ or ‘Somewhat’ to most of the questions above? If so, you should probably outsource your PPC management. Answer mostly ‘yes’? Your in-house team can likely handle your PPC needs. To know for sure, consider the following.
If the goal of your PPC campaign is to generate leads or sales as quickly as possible, a professional can move quickly to research, set up the campaigns and optimize them to maximize ROI. If you’re looking for branding awareness only with a small budget, a member of your team can probably get the job done.
When it comes to budget, consider both your PPC spend and the cost of running the campaign. An agency will charge between 10-15 percent of your PPC spend. Will this exceed the cost of hiring a full-time employee and purchasing the tools needed to run the campaigns? If your PPC spend is high, an agency fee could cost significantly more than hiring someone in-house. Then again, campaigns with a high spend often require rigorous bid monitoring, optimizing and reporting; one employee may not be able to manage it all. Agencies will usually have more than one person managing high budget campaigns.
In short, If you are on a shoestring budget, an agency is probably the wrong choice.
Time is one of the most valuable commodities a CMO has. Ask yourself:
- Do you have time to search for the right candidate/s who will have the most relevant knowledge of your industry and applicable PPC experience?
- Do you have time to manage a PPC employee or team?
- Do you have a good understanding of what needs to be done so that you can supervise an employee and answer questions, or will you have to spend time learning?
If you have the time and knowledge to work with a team in-house, go for it! But if you don’t have time for daily management, outsourcing is the way to go. Likewise, if you don’t have a solid understanding of what needs to be done, hiring an agency with proven experience will save you time and stress.
Tools & Experience
Running PPC campaigns requires the use of many supplemental tools. Though there are dozens of free options, in most cases paid platforms are needed to get the job done. Digital marketing agencies have constant access to these tools which can save your company hundreds of dollars each month. More importantly, an agency will know how to use these tools efficiently and will continually introduce new resources to its arsenal. This can be advantageous when you need to optimize campaigns to increase ROI or to hit new KPIs.
Our Rule of Thumb - Outsource Your Weakness
To make the “right decision” for you, go back to your core business assumptions. Large businesses and enterprises have a lot to gain from a PPC agency running their campaigns. Online businesses should also go ‘down the agency route’ to get the operations up and running – to run multiple campaigns in different markets effectively. Although down the line, you will more than likely need to hire your own full-time PPC person/team.
The key to successful PPC campaigns is the team running them, and you know your team best. Trust your gut. If you have the right resources, keep your PPC in-house. If you’re asking too many questions or don’t have the time to manage the daily tasks, outsource it. If you’re still unsure, hire an agency to get started while you decide. The rule here is to outsource your weakness.