Truly Automated PPC Management Solutions
I wrote a couple controversial posts a year or two ago. Then, like scumbag Steve, I didn’t tell you what I recommended for truly automated solutions in the bid management space even though I promised I would.
A lot has changed since I wrote those blog posts. One thing that hasn’t is my opinion that certain things should be largely automated by machines. We just aren’t as smart or as fast as machines can be when managing thousands of keywords…there’s no way around that. Your argument is already invalid.
A few of the changes that occurred since I promised to write but didn’t write, in no particular order:
- Marin Software raises a lot of money and is the indisputable leader as far as annual ad spend managed by their software
- Acquisio acquires ClickEquations from, and a partnership with, Channel Intelligence who originally acquired Click Equations months before selling
You get the idea that this is an active space for some reason. Could it be the billions in ad spend flowing all over the place online?
I know I’m missing a lot of influential and relevant players in my list…but these are the ones I have tried to keep up with and seem to recommend to agencies, advertisers and others more than any others. If I’m missing some, it is largely because I don’t know about them or haven’t experienced their products or don’t know who’s behind them like I do the companies listed above.
Without further ado, here are my personal recommendations to any advertiser or agency looking at automating or scaling bid management:
(Enterprise) If you’re looking for more of an agency style partnership and expert service, then I highly recommend RKG for their in-house custom engineering, attribution technology and raw truly-automated bidding power. If I had a budget when I was shopping for a truly automated solution, I would have picked RKG. As soon as I have the budget, I’m going to pick RKG.
(Enterprise) If you’re looking for supplemental software to handle bid automation, then I highly recommend Optimine or Marin Software (has a “Pro” solution in addition to Enterprise). I’m a subscriber at Marin and if it weren’t for them providing such stellar service through a few rough down trends, I would probably hop over to Optimine pretty quickly to give them a shot because the guys behind Optimine are undoubtedly just as caring as the people at Marin Software. The bottom line is that the technology at each are above par, I have no doubt about it. I have also been a subscriber to Acquisio (also has a Pro side to them in addition to Enterprise) and their team is amazing & caring, their technology is great too and I would stand behind their product as well. I have not experienced, nor do I know much about, SearchForce but an agency filled with people I trust and respect recommends or uses SearchForce on several of their clients and that’s good enough for me to put them in this recommendation list.
(Non-Enterprise mostly) If the above options are out of your budget at the moment, then take a good look at Trada for agency-like crowd-sourced manual ppc management ($3k/mo minimum ad spend required last time I checked), WordWatch for supplemental bid help, and Clickable (maybe…I thought their pricing was public a while ago, now it appears to be hidden.)
(Non-Enterprise and/or Enterprise) If you manage everything in-house, then you should take a look at these supplemental tools for analyzing a variety of aspects of any account no matter the software you currently use: CertifiedKnowledge (I’m a subscriber), WordStream, Gazel (Excel Plugin), AdWords Editor, Microsoft adCenter Desktop, Microsoft Advertising Intelligence (Excel Plugin), and so many more.
I know I’m forgetting a lot of highly valuable services in this list…
What do you recommend? Please tell us who the solution is for too…Enterprise, Pro, Small biz, Agency, etc.