Beat the Machines, Do Better at PPC Reporting
When it comes to monthly PPC reporting, it’s easy to fall into the trap of putting together some KPIs and fancy graphs and getting back to the “real account work.” However, if you are in the habit of doing this you may find yourself increasingly devaluing your contribution to the account as our roles become more about managing machine learning and less about direct bid oversight. Instead, use your human skills of reason and strategic thinking to make yourself more valuable at reporting time. Go beyond just simply sending automated monthly reports. Reporting is a chance for you to provide insightful details and tactical account analysis, so you are not only reporting on what you have done and the metrics that accompanied this month, you are reporting on what outside influences and considerations may have also contributed to the way the account performed and how your actions will change in account management in the coming months because of those influences.
We’ve been hearing it again and again. Digital Marketing is becoming increasingly automated. The robots taking over. Machine learning, it’s kind of a big thing.
In some ways, there are reasons to be nervous. Smart Bidding strategies have shown to be more effective than manual bidding and Google seems to introduce a new “smart” campaign nearly every week. However, I don’t believe that means our jobs are going away entirely. It does mean we have to rethink how we do our jobs. One of the ways that we, as actual humans, can still beat AI, is in the area of reporting.
By “reporting” I don’t just mean pulling data into spreadsheets, or into some sort of reporting matrix, and shooting an email to a client to show them, “Hey, this is what happened last month in your PPC campaigns.” Even robots can do that and that sort of mentality will quickly turn into “Oh, no, I no longer have a job.”
Well, this is where I would encourage you (and this is what we do at ZATO) to go beyond just simply mashing KPI’s and showing data points. I would encourage you in your reporting, to go beyond the KPIs and focus on the why. “This is what happened. This is how we got these results.”
You can leverage the fact that you are a human. You are more important than that machine or that automated email, by the fact that you can go beyond KPI’s and metrics. You’ll go beyond the data, and you will develop something from that. You’ll find the story, you’ll create the story – whatever it might be. The client doesn’t just want a list of KPIs. They want the why about the data. They want the bigger story. “Here’s the why about this data and here’s what needs to happen next.”
I think as we think through reporting: Really the key, that we as humans can offer as value in reporting, is the strategy of it, the explanation of it.
And, by that line of thinking then, if you’re not providing the strategy, and the why, and the analysis of it in your reporting. Then, you probably should be scared for your reporting job. At ZATO what that looks like practically is, we’ll pull our reports – we use systems to do that, so that we’re not spending our time actually getting all these reporting metrics, but then, we’re taking that and we’re saying, “Okay, here’s the story of what happened this last month. Here are the things that you should know. Here are the changes that we made, trying to push towards that objective. Here’s the objective, and here’s how we hit it (or didn’t hit it), and here’s how we’re going to get better next time.”
I have found that the analysis itself is incredibly valuable in helping us go beyond the KPI’s and actually being better PPC Managers.
When you have that reporting, whether it be monthly, weekly, whatever it might be – you’ve got to show your client, your boss, whoever you are presenting that information to, that you, as a human, are more valuable than the machine.
Put into practice, this will make your expertise more valuable. You will be more valuable for the future of your company because you can take that data – those KPIs, and you can identify smart, strategic things. Things that dictate the future of the account and how you should be managing it, and you’re not just sending out this automated report and going along your merry way.
So, if there’s one thing you take away from this, it is to start providing more strategic analysis on your reports and become more valuable as a human to your clients, your boss – whoever that might be.
And, you can beat those machines, ’cause come on, you are smarter than them.