June 30, 2017
When it comes to evaluating which PPC bid management tool is right for your business, it can be difficult. Most of the tools offer similar features, making it challenging to compare platforms. Even after learning about all the cool features, you still find yourself asking, “Would this task just be easier to manage directly through the interface or editor?” In some cases, yes, it would. In other cases, you’d be crazy to attempt to manage your PPC accounts manually via the UIs.
Since evaluating PPC bid management tools can be a bit overwhelming, I figured we’d help break down the process of how we go about evaluating tools and share some of the findings.
Before starting to evaluate PPC bid management tools, ask yourself the following questions:
- What are your KPI goals?
- What are you looking to achieve by using a PPC bid management tool?
- What are your pain points?
- Are you using third-party tracking?
- What channels are you currently managing and looking to report on?
- What are your long-term PPC goals?
- What features are important to you?
PPC Bid Management Tools
Now that you have a clear idea of your pain points and what you are looking to get out of a PPC bid management tool, next comes selecting which tools to evaluate.
Some tools are great for managing ecommerce accounts that focus heavily on Shopping like Kenshoo or Optmyzer. While other tools may be better suited for SMB lead gen like Acquisio or AdStage for social. Each tool has their pros and cons but most can be used for both ecommerce and lead gen accounts.
There are many PPC bid management tools out there, and I know I’m not even coming close to listing them all, however, below are a few tools to get started.
Large Enterprise – Ecommerce & Lead Gen
SMB – Ecommerce & Lead Gen
Reporting & Dashboards
While Supermetrics and NinjaCat don’t technically fall under the PPC bid management bucket quite as seamlessly as the other tools, since they both really only focus on reporting, they are unique solutions to add into the PPC technology mix. Supermetrics is an inexpensive Google Sheets add-on that allows you to create custom automated reporting dashboards across various channels. The more Google Sheets savvy, the more you can get out of this tool. NinjaCat requires a less tech-savvy approach with easy to use templates.
Both tools would still require a PPC bid management tool or editor to make the actual optimizations in your account but could be a hybrid solution if you are not looking to invest in a robust PPC bid management tool.
The PPC Bid Management Technology Matrix
Now that you’ve selected which tools to evaluate, next we bring you the PPC bid management technology matrix. Trying to wrap your head around how to go about comparing all the features these tools offer can make you feel like you just entered the Matrix. Have no fear! We’ll have you feeling like Keanu Reeves in no time.
First, start by breaking down your analysis into key areas that are important to your PPC goals to help simplify the process. From here, drill down into each category for a more granular comparison on specific features. For example, you may want to break your categories into something like this:
- Bid management
- Conversion tracking/ attribution
It may be helpful to create a scorecard to help clearly sum up the findings in each of the key areas. This can be especially helpful when having to pitch the idea of a bid management tool to decision makers who may not be familiar with PPC tools.
Once the top-level categories have been identified, you may want to rank the priority of the categories to offer more weight when it comes to scoring the features. For example, bid management features may be the most important feature you are looking to evaluate, therefore, you weight the ratings for that section higher than let’s say social.
Once the priority of the categories has been determined, identify specific features to compare and evaluate the tools. Tally up the scores and even provide a grading system to help simplify the evaluation even further.
The SWOT Analysis
After performing a thorough analysis and comparison of the tools using the PPC bid management technology matrix, you’ll want to sum up your findings across each of the tools with a SWOT analysis.
As we discussed in the beginning, selecting or switching bid management technology tools can be a big and costly undertaking. Which is why it’s important to identify each of the tools strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to help round out your findings so you can create a plan for your next steps.
Finding the right PPC bid management technology for your business comes down to what is important to your PPC program. All of these tools have their own pros and cons but those will differ based on each program’s needs. Having a systematic approach to evaluating the tools using a PPC bid management technology matrix and SWOT analysis will help provide a system for a sound and fair analysis of the tools.