AI vs. Human PPC Management

Marketing PPC

Published Jul 10, 2018, 11:42 AM
Approx. read time 4 mins

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has come to the forefront in Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) over the last few months with both providers and agencies bringing out new tools and systems in order to make use of it. Some of them are even promising to outperform humans.

So can this new technology actually keep up with human PPC managers? Or even manage to better them? Is there still room for a human PPC manager in your marketing strategy? These are some of the questions we'll aim to answer in his post.

What can AI currently do?

Currently, AI is mainly being used in order to adjust bidding algorithms and get the best value out of the cost per click (CPC) for the account. In other words, it's trying to get better and better outcomes for a specific dataset. What this currently means is the system is changing the bids in order to try and get in to a profitable position (where it's more likely someone will see the Ad, click on it and ultimately convert into a sale).

There is a smaller amount of AI that can be used in order to portfolio bid. This is where you have groups of relevant keywords which based on common attributes (e.g. single beds, small beds, buy single beds) and the algorithm moves these keywords towards a defined goal.

Overall AI hasn't changed much over the last decade in terms of PPC capability and the need for a human account manager will probably still be there for a few years at least.

So how can advertisers and agencies make PPC more effective?

The shifting role of the PPC manager

When you look at the day to day tasks of a PPC manager, most of the time will be spent tweaking at bids and budgets, trying to decide whether the budget is being spent wisely and if the current bidding strategy is generating the expected results. But as we've just seen, this can now be done by AI. So what can you expect a PPC manager to bring to the table?

The main area of focus is writing new Ad content. Making sure the headlines are relevant and in line with the aim of the campaign. Also making sure the overall Ad is consistent with any other branding that is in place. This is currently outside of the capabilities of AI.

PPC managers can also gauge how well the new ads are performing in comparison to the old ones. Tweaking the wording here and there in order to try and get the best performance out of the ad.

This can also be said in regard to setting up and testing new and different campaigns. AI can look at the raw data and see how well it's performing but it can't dig a little deeping into the why. A human PPC manager will be able to look at the data and see that the weekends are poorer performing than the week days and so limit when the ads are shown over the weekends rather than just writing off the entire campaign as a failure.

As you can see, AI can manage the bids and budgets, but you still need human intervention in order to write Ad copy that someone will want to click on.

Summing up

Some agencies may claim that their PPC management is AI driven, but it may be the case that they still have some human intervention in place. This is because the technology in place currently can't outperform humans. No one can know what it will hold for the future and whether eventually AI will be able to replace the human element entirely. But for now, it's best if the human stays in place, for the most part.