Will Performance Max Campaigns Make PPC Specialists Redundant?
Google is gradually enabling Performance Max campaigns to all advertisers. Performance Max campaigns allow the advertisers to reach their audience across all Google owned and operated inventories. This has several implications (some leading to job loss).
Blast from the Past
Let's rewind the clocks back to 2016 when Google came out with Smart Bidding campaigns. When you asked about PPC managers' attitude towards that new feature, you got answers along the lines of "I wouldn't use it if Google paid me to." Most PPC professionals cited issues regarding lack of transparency and lack of full control over the campaigns.
Cut to the present.
Smart Bidding has been widely adopted and now serves as a backbone of most Google Ads accounts. That is especially true for retailers and their Shopping campaigns.
As long as the Smart Bidding campaigns manage to deliver the desired ROAS, PPC managers like them. And why shouldn't they? This tool is making their lives easier. Google worked very hard on Smart Bidding. They honed machine learning models near to perfection and worked very hard on persuading PPC managers to adopt this Google Ads feature.
Do those initial concerns regarding transparency and control matter? Not as much as they used to.
These days when I hear "I wouldn't use Performance Max if Google paid me to," I just smile while a thought about an emerging pattern crosses my mind.
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There is no reason why the Smart Bidding scenario shouldn't repeat itself in the case of Performance Max campaigns. Google reps will do their best to motivate the PPC managers to adopt this feature, and engineers from Menlo Park will make it efficient. Narrow marketing context in which most PPC specialists think will do the rest. Yay! Nigh-perfect adoption in less than a decade.
On Time and Complexity
Time spent on managing and maintaining Google Ads campaigns has been steadily decreasing. At the same time, technical complexity of advert platforms has increased considerably. The campaigns are easy to manage, but nobody knows what exactly is going on under the bonnet.
This lack of transparency skews balance of power heavily in Google's favour.
At some point, it will be very easy to manage Google Ads campaigns without knowing how they work. The campaigns will perform well too, so fewer PPC specialists will be needed.
Are We Getting Fired?
No. At least not yet.
Google claims that smart algorithms need human judgment to excel.
Honza Felt is a performance marketing specialist who turned into a marketing consultant after a mysterious accident. He spends his days leading a bunch of misfits at CF Agency. Drinks rum and knows things.