📢 Here are the current speakers we have for this event. We will also hear from you – the event is all about taking part.

How Can You Manage Unrealistic Paid Media Expectations?

In PPC, managing client expectations is a gruelling task. The glory days of paid media being cheap and easy are over, and agencies are struggling to keep up with the constant platform and legislation changes. 

But clients don’t seem to be getting the gist.

“A lot of clients still have that old-school mentality of PPC being quick, cheap and easy – so when they compare performance to what it was 10 years ago, they can’t understand how it’s so different now,” says Sophie Logan, head of paid media at Victress Digital

“Different features, platform changes, privacy guidelines – there’s so much that goes on behind the scenes. It’s now much harder, and typically more expensive, to achieve great results.”

Years ago, it was a fairly easy job for businesses to run their own PPC, but so much has changed since then. How can you make your clients understand that?

“You’ve got to prove it to them, not just tell them. Statistical evidence usually does the trick,” Sophie says. “For example, looking at Google Trends and showing them how the interest has changed over the years or how the cost per click has changed or how many competitors there are now.”

Fortunately, there is one silver lining: as everything becomes more expensive, clients are spending more too. 

“In terms of the actual ad spend, we have found that our clients have had to increase their budgets a little bit more – reluctantly. Even just cost per click, it keeps going up.”

“If they want the same level of engagement that they’ve been having for years, they are going to have to spend more money, spend it properly and spend effectively as everything’s more expensive.”

👉 At PPC Leaders, hear more from Sophie on how her agency is navigating the constant changes in the sector and managing unrealistic client expectations while staying ahead in the game.

Why Is Paid Media Recruitment So Hard Right Now?

“It’s such a challenging market to find really great digital marketing talent. And if you’re urgent to find it, you might have to make a bit of a compromise,” says Rob Sherwood, commercial and operations director at Repeat Digital.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to hire successfully in the PPC and SEO space right now, and it can also be hard to figure out the right recruitment approach.

Repeat Digital has gone down both the junior route and the top-level talent route – but neither has been the perfect solution to the problem.

“In the past, we’ve hired juniors with the intention of training them up. But as a small agency, when you’re bringing someone new on who doesn’t have the experience, you’ve got to allocate a lot of resources to train them, which we don’t always have,” says Rob.

“We eventually changed our approach and instead paid a lot more money to find top market talent. But it’s risky, as you can spend all that money on someone with experience, but it won’t guarantee they’ll have the right attitude.”

“When we’ve gone down this route, they’ve been slow with clients, their communication hasn’t been good enough, and it’s almost felt like they don’t care enough. One of our values is being collaborative, so if they’re not, they’re not the right fit for us.”

What Rob has come to realise is there has to be some compromise, and it’s impossible to find that ‘perfect’ person every single time. Instead, the agency has got stricter on probation periods and also made its interview process more value-based.

“It’s always better to compromise on skillset than attitude if it comes to that, as their attitude isn’t something that’s going to change as easily,” he says.

 “Our values are collaborative, results-driven, agile, and progressive. We hire, fire, reward and review based on these values and behaviours, and we ask value-based questions in our interviews. But you also have to accept you might get it wrong again.”

“It’s about finding someone with the right attitude, and the right person to really help the agency develop – but it’s been a battle we’re having to meet in the middle.”

👉 At PPC Leaders, Rob will be talking more about his recruitment obstacles, and shining a light on how tricky it is to find the best talent within the PPC and SEO space right now.

What Value Can Offshore Teams Offer PPC Agencies?

“You can create meaningful, interested teams who like the work that they do, without being in a fancy London office with graffiti on the wall,” says Vicki Jakes, managing director of The Social Ads Squad.

Vicki has over 15 years worth of experience working with offshore teams, and has figured out how agencies can use this model to their advantage.

“The opportunities you get when working with people overseas are really exciting,” she says. “And when I went out on my own a couple of years ago, while I did hire UK resources, it was just more cost-effective to look overseas.”

So, how much work is it to build and manage an offshore team?

“On one hand, you have to make sure everything is clear. You should have a central hub, clear written communication, project management, and collaboration tools to make sure everyone is well versed on what needs doing – and also how to get the best out of them.”

“The other half of the puzzle is creating a culture where people actually do the work when you’re not sitting next to them.”

For Vicki, the relaxed approach is key.

“Some of the decisions businesses have made about how they manage their remote workers, with key-logging software and cameras checking you out all day… it’s insane.”

“Also, the timezone factor. I can’t expect someone in the Phillippines to match my working hours. It’s been interesting to watch these businesses go through that initial ‘control’ phase, and now realising they have to let go a bit. Your people will do the work.”

👉 Hear from Vicki at PPC Leaders, where she’ll be discussing how and why offshore teams are the backbone of her PPC agency, what opportunities you’re missing out on, and how you can approach process and training across different time zones.

Should PPC Agencies Be Worrying About AI?

Every single agency, no matter their field, is grappling with the rapid evolution of AI this year. Should PPC agencies be concerned too?

“AI is nothing new,” says Will Levitt, group head of paid media at Connective3. “It’s just a buzzword, similar to how we used ‘technology’ 10 years ago.”

For Will, AI isn’t a threat or a problem within the paid media space. In fact, it can make things easier – if combined with a bit of human touch.

“There’s a quote from IBM, that a computer can never be held accountable. A computer has never made a business decision. And if you think about that in terms of PPC, we can’t hold AI responsible for what we do – because we’re telling it what to do.”

“When it comes to humans versus machines, it’s garbage in, garbage out. But only you understand what’s important to a client. Things are changing so much, so fast, and people aren’t making things easier for themselves. You can use AI tools and technology to make those things work harder for them.”

It’s also not good enough to just implement AI within your work, and let it do all the heavy lifting. Instead, Will says you need to be using it as a tool to elevate the work you’re doing.

“Everything’s different now in PPC. All accounts are different, all clients are different. There isn’t a copy-and-paste strategy anymore,” says Will. “If everyone is doing the same thing, what’s the point? What makes you different to the next agency?”

“AI can fill in the gaps, but as humans, we know what’s important for business.”

👉 Will is joining us at PPC Leaders to dispel the myths surrounding AI within the PPC space, as well as discuss why all these tools are important to enhance the work you’re already doing.