An Inconvenient Truth: What PPC Agencies Don’t Want You to Know


Posted: March 14, 2007 | Search Engine Marketing

I just published a new article, called “The 5 Secrets PPC Agencies Don’t Want You to Know“. This article is part of  Search Engine Land’s new Strictly Business column, which covers topics related to B2B search marketing.

In the article, I argue that success with pay-per-click search marketing requires business expertise and search marketing expertise. You have more business expertise than any outsider could have (especially since most agencies don’t specialize in the unique needs of B2B search marketing). If you do outsource, the need to coordinate with the agency creates latency and information loss, meaning you lose the flexibility and the agility to react quickly. Outsourcing also means losing control over a critical portion of your demand generation strategy to outsiders who may have different incentives than you.

My conclusion: The best path to success with PPC advertising is to manage the program in-house with the aid of pay per click management software. This is because the technology solution can create the best of both worlds: the control and business knowledge of doing it yourself, combined with the SEM best practices and techniques of an expert.

Check out the article: The 5 Secrets PPC Agencies Don’t Want You to Know.

Sponsored by: B2B search marketing software from Marketo, coming soon.

Related Resources

  • Graham Baylis

    This is only half the story, true, no PPC agency knows as much as a business owner about their market place, but the correct research and setting up of a campaign is a skilled job… As for running it, the software you suggest just manages the clicks, it won’t tell you which ones are wasting your money or which pages are not converting. That is the domain on analysis and is just as important as setting the right click cost….

  • PPCblogger

    Thanks for the sales pitch Jon.
    I didn’t realise simply using automated technology would turn the inexperienced into PPC experts.
    I am so glad you don’t have an agenda.

  • Jon Miller

    Graham — As opposed to most PPC tools, Marketo’s software does more than bid optimization. It can also tell you which keywords, ads, and landing pages are driving conversions, which turn into leads, and which actually generate revenue. That information is useful for tuning your content, and can also feed back to the bid optimization.
    PPCblogger – I don’t see any problem with having a viewpoint. It’s no different from you, as an agency, having the viewpoint that outsourcing is best. That said, the article could have made it clearer from the start that Marketo sells B2B search marketing tools. It was never my intent to mislead anyone and I apologize if you were offended by what was perceived as a “sales pitch”.

  • ECWseo

    I think the most relevant thing in the article for me is: Agency business models are focused on the largest spenders.
    I’ve seen some agencies give great treatment in the first month or two, and then slowly the level of service keeps falling and falling.
    Because of the nature of the PPC agency – they need volume, right… there is no concept of “partnership” that I think is more prevalent in search marketing firms.

  • PPC Advice

    I Definately disagree. Some PPC agencies are very very good, at catering to the precise business models and helping the client achieve ROI – if not, they will lose the client in time, sooner than later. They ARE some shabby agencies or client managers out there that may not be as adept at running campaigns. It can be a hit or miss. It’s just a matter of finding the sweet spot with the right agency.

  • jeff paul

    the article is just awesome i just wanna thx to you for sharing it and i am looking forward to see some more stuff like this in future.

Jon (@jonmiller) is a VP and co-founder at Marketo. He is the author of multiple Definitive Guides including Marketing Automation, Engaging Email Marketing, and Marketing Metrics & Analytics. In 2010, The CMO Institute named Jon a Top 10 CMO for companies under $250 million revenue. Jon holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard College and has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Read Jon's Blogs

An Inconvenient Truth: What PPC Agencies Don’t Want You to Know

Follow Us

Most Shared

true colors feat

True Colors: What Your Brand Colors Say About Your Business [Infographic]

Instagram Infographic

What Your Instagram Filter Says About You [Infographic]

Visual Gold 2

Visual Gold! The New Revolution of Content Marketing [Infographic]

Revenue Performance Management Infographic

Revenue Performance Management: Making the Top Line Top Priority [Infographic]


The Evolution of Modern Marketing Automation [Infographic]