How to Keep Machines From Stealing Your PPC Reporting Job

ppc reporting emarie photography

When it comes to monthly PPC reporting, it’s easy to fall into the trap of pulling some KPIs and getting back to “real account work”. However, if you are in the habit of doing this you may find yourself devalued in an increasingly autonomous age! Instead, use your human skills of reason and strategic thinking to make yourself more valuable at reporting time. In this video I discuss going beyond just simply sending automated monthly reports. Watch below, or read the transcript!

*btw, the featured image is my awesome photography wife and my sweet daughter! Check out the whole session here: 3 Going on 30

Beat the Machines, Do Better at PPC Reporting – Video Transcript


Kirk Williams: Hey, Kirk here. Happy May!

We are right in the middle of reporting here at ZATO. And so, basically I needed an excuse to get away from the desk, and get all the data, and KPI’s, and metrics, blah, blah, blah out of my head. Thought this would be a good chance to talk about reporting a little bit.

So, with digital marketing and across lots of industries, automation, the robots taking over, machine learning, it’s kind of a big thing.

By the way, notice that I didn’t say AI, because I think that actual true AI, like literal intelligence, is we’re like way, way years and years far away from that. Most of the time when people say, “AI,” they just mean machine learning, some sort of automation based on algorithms. “Use this and then this, then if that happens, then we can predict that this will happen.” It’s all based on data that you know. Not true AI.

Anyway, if that’s going to come in and just kind of take away all our jobs and everything, that’s kind of a terrifying thing. We can all panic and, “Oh no, oh my goodness. Digital marketing, what are we going to do? I won’t be able to pay for my house, and my kids are on the street,” and all that.

Well, thankfully although that may happen in the future, I don’t think we’re that close to it. And, one of the ways that we as actual humans I think can still beat AI, is in the area of reporting.

I want to be careful what I mean here, because this is actually a time where machine learning, and algorithms and that can actually potentially hurt humans, and that is in terms of just pulling data into spreadsheets, or into some sort of reporting matrix, and shooting an email to a client and showing them, “Hey, this is what happened last month in your PPC campaigns.” which 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), I would encourage you to go beyond just simply mashing KPI’s and showing data points. I would encourage you in your reporting, whether that be like with us at ZATO in some sort of digital marketing context, “This is what happened, this is how we got these results.” Or, maybe even in your job there’s some level of you having to report to a boss, you having to report to a client, whatever it might be.

You can leverage the fact that you are a human, and are more important than that machine, than that automated email, by the fact that you will 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. And demonstrate, “Here’s the why about this data.” Or, “Here’s what needs to happen next.”

And so, 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, if maybe you’re an agency reporting to clients. And so, like I said, at ZATO what that looks like kind of practically, is we’ll pull our reports, and we use software for that. We use systems to do that, so that we’re not spending our time actually getting all these reporting metrics, and KPI’s, and putting them in somewhere.

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, and even with that. Then, here are the changes that we made, trying to push towards that objective. And, here’s the objective, and here’s how we hit it, and here’s how we’re going to get better next time.”

Or, maybe it was, “Here’s the objective and we did not hit that, even though we were doing these things. And, that’s because, okay, guess what? Now there’s markets, there’s this other side. There’s market B that enters the equation that we need to consider.” That can actually help us too, the analysis itself I’ve found, in prepping monthly reports. I have found that the analysis itself is incredibly valuable in helping us go beyond the KPI’s ourself, and actually being better PPC Managers.

So, the big thing I think to take away from, at least this video but also as you’re doing reporting is: when you have that reporting, that monthly, that weekly, whatever it might be, you’ve got to show your client, your boss, whatever, that you as a human are more valuable than the machine.

And, the way that you do that is by actually bringing an analysis of this. “Here’s the data,” and now not just what we should do, but why.

What is the meaning of this? What does this look like strategically for the company? Use that in the KPI’s, and then you as the human will be more relied upon by your client, by your boss. You will be more relied upon, i.e., valuable for the future of your company because you can take that stuff, and you can identify smart, strategic things. Where this should go, and you’re not just sending this automated report and going along your merry way.

So, if there’s one thing you take away from this, it is start providing more strategic analysis on your reports, 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.

You’re a human, humans are amazing.

Thank you, have a great weekend!