Okay, big question, what are the benefits of managing your Adwords account in-house compared with outsourcing to an agency?
One thing I don't want to do is generalise all Adwords agencies. Just like any industry, there are the good guys, those that will go the extra mile for you... and then there's the not so good.
I've worked with agencies and in-house Adwords managers for 12+ years. I've trained agencies to successfully manage campaigns on their behalf. My thoughts are from my own experience... so here goes...
- You know your industry better than anyone. This is crucial. We're talking about one simple ad that sits between you and winning a great new customer. You understand the mindset of your customer and what leads them to search for your products in the first place. Can an agency replicate that awareness? Will they spend their time asking you questions that will help them to build their understanding? A big question.
- Understanding Adwords is crucial to your overall marketing strategy. With little data being extracted from SEO, the data that Adwords can provide your business is a vision of what is really going on within your industry. This data can be used to decide upon products you sell, services you offer and more importantly how you frame your business.
- Agency experience may not impact as much as you think. What I have learned over the years is that there's no one-size-fits-all mentality to managing an Adwords account. The time it may take your agency to get up to speed with your offering could easily be spent on you, or a colleague, learning the ropes of Adwords.
- Agencies or In-House - we all make mistakes. This is an interesting one. You'd expect an agency to hit the ground running for you. It rarely happens. We all have to learn which triggers are the most effective, which landing pages work best.
- You have to be 100% confident in your agency's abilities. If you're not you'll spend more time in your Adwords account trying to understand what's really going on then they will.
- Who's holding the baton? Agency staff change jobs regularly. It's a very competitive salaried market. Just as soon as you have an account manager on your side, listening to your requests, they could easily be swept up by an agency competitor. Then... you have to go through all the hard work again.
- Agency costs. A good agency will charge you around 10-15% of your overall agency costs. Ignore any business that is offering you account management at less than £200 per month. They don't understand your business. If you're spending £15k+ on Adwords, this could easily translate to the costs of hiring somebody in-house. A dedicated Adwords manager. Also, could that extra cost be seen as a buffer zone as you start to manage the campaigns in house? Even £500 of Ad spend can go a long long way. Think about it.
- The training your agency receives is the training you'll receive. We all learn at some stage or another. A lot of that training is on the job rather than text books. Text book means nothing to what really happens when running an account. A lot of the time it's simple tweaks and adjustments rather than wholesale changes that effect the success of your Adwords campaign. With advice on hand you could easily ensure that you have the necessary information to run your campaigns confidently.
- It's really not rocket science. Okay, you can go as granular as you like. You can run 1000s of campaigns and look like you really know what you doing. In 90% of the case, it's not needed. Agencies can have a habit of over complicating the process in order to make themselves look good. No, seriously! Your campaigns grow as your account grows and as your confidence and understanding grows.
- You're in control. This is the most important reason. The Adwords account is in your hands. The data. The understanding. The connection with your prospects and customers. It's all under your control. For me, as a consultant and ex-business owner, this is crucial to the overall success of your digital marketing campaigns.
Each situation is different. If you're concerned about the time and energies that will be taken up running your Adwords account in-house then let's have a chat!