Top PPC Skills and Platforms for 2019

The PPC industry is extremely dynamic. New jobs, as well as requirements for existing jobs, are appearing at a rapid pace. Whether you are looking to jumpstart your career in PPC or learn new skills to be sought-after as an expert, it is important to understand what platforms and techniques will be trending in this niche in nearest future.

To help look ahead, we have turned to 6 PPC experts from different countries to get insight into what changes we should expect in the coming year.

In addition to this, SEMrush Academy conducted a comprehensive study on current PPC job requirements. It reveals the most requested skills globally and broken down by region. In brief, the study reveals that experts are primarily looking for experts in the following areas:

  • Analytics – Google Analytics is listed as a requirement in virtually one out of three (31%) job postings worldwide.
  • Google Ads (formerly AdWords) as well as search engine marketing come in at a virtual tie. They are both requirements listed in 31% of job posts.
  • PPC can’t be effective without using Excel which is why it is a requirement for 30% of job posts.

Top skill for 2019: passion for PPC

“In 2019 and beyond I think that PPC Specialists need to really start to display their passion for the role; to be good at the job they need to get great results for the business they are marketing but to be great at the job they need to fully immerse themselves in the PPC space and keep up to date with the very frequent changes and launches to the ad platforms; this is what sets apart a good PPC specialist with a great one.

Additionally, it is becoming more vital that they have a strategic and tactical mindset; understanding how PPC fits in with the whole digital mix is going to become more important so, keeping up with important updates across digital is also key.”

Top skill for 2019: Facebook / Instagram mastery

“If I have someone that is an expert in SEM and someone that is an expert in Facebook/IG, give me the latter because they are more likely able to move a person down the funnel as they actively work in the space of the end to end user experience (from awareness to evaluation to conversion).

What you need to learn to be sought after is to have strong foundational skills; understand the dynamics of delivering an ad to the right person, at the right place, at the right time, with the right product, with the right message – all in different contexts, whether a user is engaging with an ad on SEM, Facebook, Bing etc.”

Top skill for 2019: audience targeting

“A good PPC specialist should be more focused on audiences in the future, not on keywords like before. Audience engagement metrics will continue to be more and more important, which is expected and absolutely normal. We make campaigns for people, it’s understandable to evaluate them according to the engagement metrics in priority.

Automation – that’s not coming, it’s here, but not many specialists use it yet. I think it will become an important trend in the near future, because the automation saves a lot of time, giving the specialist the chance to take into account some tasks in his work with much higher priority like tweaking the strategy making it better and better according to the analytics data.

It’s also about getting better with Attribution & Cross-Channel Advertising Experiences. Many people already use it, but we need to see some more involvement here and continuous work on attribution and cross-channel model work for finding the best model for every business.”

Top skill for 2019: analytics and numbers

“I personally think that a PPC specialist should be master of numbers crunching and analytics, so along with understanding some the tools like Adwords, Google Analytics, Excel etc., this person should be really good at analytical skills. As I love automation, I would also target to master some automation tools related to PPC to save my time on stuff which is monotonous in nature, reporting for example.

My advice would be to start with Excel and number crunching to get familiar with numbers, charts etc., which would play a vital role as PPC experts.”

Top skill for 2019: client relationship management

“The world of Machine Learning and automation in Google Ads is evolving at a rapid pace. Google is making it easier for advertisers with zero experience to show up online. This makes the job of a digital marketing manager easier and harder at the same time. Automation makes the job easier, but then harder to sell to an end client if the perception is a client can “self manage” on their own. So ultimately this means there is another skill required that’s not really on the list mentioned, and that is: “people and relationship” skills.

I believe that the future (the next 5-10 years) of PPC management will be weighted more to this skill rather than hands-on tactical management of the account. There will always be a human factor to the management of PPC accounts, but ultimately the management of the client relationship is what’s going to keep clients paying for expert advice.”

Top skill for 2019: coding

“I guess that we will see a growing trend of using machine learning algorithms to accurately buy proper target audiences for businesses. That is why the importance of programming in digital marketing will increase significantly.

With the increasing role of automation and AI in Google advertising products, it is easy to fall into a trap thinking that machine learning will do all the donkey work and a PPC manager will just present good-looking reports to clients. But to me, it’s a naive hope. I think the coding skills is something a PPC specialist will definitely need in the future, as well as a solid background in data analysis and data science.”

Final thoughts

The year 2019 is bringing us to a point where many are starting to wonder what relevance internet marketers have in this new world of AI, tech, and automation.

My opinion is that these people are forgetting one point: ad creatives are a critical component that will make or break campaigns. It doesn’t matter how good campaign targeting, or sophisticated bidding is, and no matter how amazing a product and the sales funnel that guides users to buy it is. At the end of the day, it is the ad and it’s creative that needs to appeal to the small segment of the more than 1 billion internet users that will take internet users off their current path and onto your sales funnel.

Automation will never write ads to sell to people that are ready to take action and buy. Automation will never produce a creative that is specially designed to trigger an interest, desire or action. Only internet marketers who understand the tools to target people with different intent that can write ads to appeal to them can do this.

Looking at 2019 and beyond, I can only stress this point — people buy from people, not machines. Automation and AI do not replace the online marketer; it supplements them. The best PPC campaign managers in 2019 will understand how to use the advanced technology we are given to communicate our sales message like never before.

Predicting future trends is difficult with any industry.The hyper-dynamic nature of online marketing makes this near impossible. We have given our thoughts on the skills and expertise that PPC campaign managers need to embrace in the near future.

Also read: Last-Minute Tips For Improving Your Holiday PPC Campaign


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