How to Manage Enterprise PPC without Going Crazy

Manage enterprise PPC without going crazyWe can all admit it. PPC is hard enough for the average advertiser. But what happens when you manage PPC for large enterprise? Well, unique challenges arise. You may have points of contact distributed around the U.S., Canada, the world, etc. Each branch (location, affiliate, call it what you will) may come to the table with differing budgets/goals or even branch-specific promotions/activities. But centralizing management of PPC at the enterprise level has many advantages – consistent brand messaging, guarantee of quality of management and even the distribution of “shared knowledge” across all branches.

How do you do you manage all of this without going CRAZY? Simple! You have to break the project into convenient pieces and create protocols for each to streamline or even automate the process. It is necessary to look at three distinct areas of the PPC management experience: Communication, Account Management and Reporting. Communication Whether you manage enterprise PPC in-house or agency, one thing is certain: you must centralize communication. Each branch will need to be communicated with, and if they are communicating to various individuals within your search marketing team there is a distinct possibility that details will fall through the cracks. Emails and calls should funnel through an individual or a small dedicated team. This is not to say that one person is responsible for all accounts and PPC management activity, only that the communication funnels through. Centralizing communication is only the first step. What do you do with all of that information? Keep notes, silly! Use whatever method works for you and your search marketing team –documents on a shared server, OneNote, Basecamp, etc. Record budgets, goals, logins and action items for your team to review. Transfer this vital information from your phone and email discussions to an easily accessed location. From those notes, immediately transfer any action items into tasks assigned to individuals with due dates. I’ve learned the hard way that in the hustle and bustle of managing enterprise PPC that if you don’t assign tasks quickly, they can easily be missed and forgotten. Account Management Starting with the physical accounts themselves (AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook, DSPs, etc.), you will have to decide if all branches’ campaigns will exist in shared accounts or in separate accounts. My experience has been that keeping accounts separate and unique to each branch is ideal for billing and record keeping. At that point, you have a large number of logins and additional details to keep track of. First of all, refer to the previous section re: communication. Keep notes! On a more practical note, a PPC management platform like Acquisio comes in quite handy for enterprise PPC. Login once and access all of your accounts for reporting, analyzing and making physical changes. So the accounts themselves have been considered. Now let’s discuss the campaigns. One of the biggest advantages of consolidating PPC management at the enterprise level is the idea of “shared knowledge.” In other words, take what you have learned in account A and apply it to account B, etc. To do this, you have maintain the same (or similar) campaign/ad group structures across all accounts. This way when learn something, or simply need to make enterprise-wide changes, you can easily scale from the unified campaign structure. Find a new keyword? Negative keyword? Discover a new call-to-action for your ad copy? Take that knowledge and share it with all of your accounts. Automation is also important to consider. Working with enterprise PPC means there is a lot of labor to go around. Depending on the size of your team, doing everything manually may take too much time. Take the time to understand what tasks or processes can be automated. Bid rules? Automated reporting? Put it in place and thank me later! Of course, automate with caution. Review your rules to ensure they are doing what you desire. And how do you decide what changes to make and when to make them? Try creating an account management schedule for analysis and campaign changes. Consider assigning accounts/campaigns to a designated day/week. You can also schedule by task, as well. Search query analysis on this day. Placement performance reporting on that day. Ads on Friday. Etc., etc. No matter what the schedule looks like, you can rest assured that all of the accounts will get proper attention each and every month. Reporting KISS. Keep it Simple Stupid. OK, maybe you aren’t stupid. But the simple part stands. With so many accounts to keep track of and report on, doing everything on a case-by-case basis just won’t work. Try creating a report template that can be used across all branches of the enterprise. PPC management platforms are ideally suited for this task, but if that is not an option – create an Excel report template, Access database, etc. With every report also comes the written summary for context. Stick to the idea of a template. Write one summary that acts as a central framework from which you can plug-and-play specific data or details. This simple idea has probably saved me more time than anything else when managing enterprise PPC. The job of managing enterprise PPC is never easy, but if you prepare and have a plan you can absolutely streamline the process. Do you have any tips for enterprise PPC management? Leave a comment!

John Lee

John Lee

John is an internet marketing jack-of-all-trades with expertise in PPC, SEO, and social media marketing. Working in the search marketing industry since 2006, John spent time at Hanapin Marketing, Wordstream and Clix Marketing before joining Microsoft / Bing Ads in late 2016.

John is also an avid blogger, and has been featured on Search Engine Watch, The SEM Post, ClickZ, Clix Marketing blog, Wordstream blog and PPC Hero. He is also a speaker for SMX, SocialPro, ClickZ Live, HeroConf, Ticket Summit, MN Search Summit, Zenith and State of Search.

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