Want an understanding of the PPC Market? We’re here to help!
Our PPC Consultant Ali Peacock, who has been with us for just over two years, spills the beans on the PPC market from his managerial perspective. He will get you all clued up on all things PPC and offer you some great market tips.
Ali, in your time working for Xcede, how has the PPC market developed?
Having recruited Paid Search since July 2011, I have spent the 2 years fully immersed in the PPC world; I think it safe to say PPC has been riding a wave of success. In line with most of digital marketing, the PPC market has been consistently buoyant despite fluctuations in the stability of the economy. PPC is an essential part of a marketing strategy for SME and Blue Chip Giants alike and as companies rely more on PPC as a major source of income for their business, the market can only increase in stature and stability.
As you would expect the majority of roles out there are agency side and that’s not likely to change any time soon. That being said, there are some really strong in-house teams developing, especially in the Travel and Price Comparison sectors.
At the end of the day, the demand for PPC professionals is rife. I am currently working on over 40 live requirements and this level has been pretty consistent over my period at Xcede.
So, what are you and possible hiring managers looking for in a candidate?
This clearly differs depending on employer preference and the level of the role; however there are a number of themes that regularly occur no matter who I am speaking to. The days of ‘handle turning’ PPC professionals are numbered! In a data heavy industry like PPC, junior level roles are always going to have an element of certain day-to-day tasks, however more and more, employers are looking for juniors who have/want a deeper understanding of the strategic side of search.
Obviously, each company/client has an opinion on which 3rd party tools should be used, if any. Something I really have noticed though is the more strings you can have to your bow on that front; the more attractive you will appear to many employers. Not only will it mean transition between different accounts or companies will be viewed as easier, you will also be able to provide a more flexible offering on the ones you are currently working on.
That being said, no employer wants to hire someone in their PPC team who relies so heavily on 3rd party tools that their understanding/knowledge of the PPC processes is seriously hampered!
What level are the opportunities mostly available at?
As previously mentioned, I have a wide array of roles that I am currently working on in both client side and agencies. The majority of these are permanent but I do have occasional short(ish) contract roles maxing out at 3-4 months.
I have a wide variety of roles from Head of Search down to Graduates, but the problem level for many employers is that £27,000 - £35,000 range. I have an abundance of clients asking me for individuals with between 18 and 36 months experience. There are two driving factors behind this:
1. People try to diversify too early: they complete a year or so working purely in PPC and decide that they want to ‘expand their skillset’ or ‘broaden their horizons’. This may initially sound attractive, but I say the same things to candidates on a daily basis. ‘Think of your career as a T-shape’ ‘Keep your specialism’. The driving force behind these statements is, EMPLOYERS VALUE SPECIALISTS MORE! It is very easy to think of your career in the short term. But if you diversify your skillset too early, unless very lucky/exceptionally talented, you will likely find yourself putting a ceiling on where you can go in the future. If you look at a lot of the leading agencies or well-known in-house teams, the individual sat at the top of the pile with the great title and big pay check more often than not come from a specialist background where they made their name and then they diversify their career at a much later date. So if you see yourself down the line, sitting on the top of the pile, calling the shots; bear in mind that having a specialism is often the fast track.
2. I touched on this earlier, but strategic knowledge is essential! In a junior level role when an AM or AD or Online Marketing Manager is driving the strategy, it is all too easy to switch off, do the day-to-day and not consider the grander scheme of things. In the short term, this is unlikely to severely hinder your career. In the long run however, this lack of appreciation of the overall process could put the brakes on you making the next step. As I mentioned, the value of strategic knowledge of PPC is an ever increasing commodity at more junior levels. Even if it is just keeping an ear out or asking the odd question, IT WILL DEFINITELY HELP IN THE FUTURE!!!
How would I get an entry level position?
Something I regularly get asked is “how can I get in to PPC?” or, “my friend wants to start a career in PPC, they have the same background and qualifications I do. Why can’t they get a job like I did?” The answer to this used to simple; Send me a CV, take the GAP fundamentals exam and we will be on our way. This has changed somewhat and due to the competitive nature of the market place, I cannot recommend more the partaking in a 3 month internship at a top agency. The majority of them offer these positions on a relatively regular basis and it makes you 100 times more attractive as a candidate compared to someone with no hands on experience. You never know, you could even end up with a permanent job at the end of it!
Why am I being headhunted so regularly? – I just want to get on with my work!
Headhunting is a part of any good recruiter’s daily process – It offers a client a number of passive candidates who are not actively looking for a new role, and this is the added value of using a recruitment consultant.
In the last 6-12 months there has been a noticeable increase in the number of recruiters operating within the PPC space. These vary from PPC specialists (although there are just a few), to Digital Marketing Recruiters who see PPC as part of generic digital marketing, through to more aggressive online recruiters who work on a bulk philosophy.
Recruiters who are new to the market do not have an existing network and cannot rely on referrals and recommendations, and in such a candidate driven marketplace, don’t expect the phone to stop ringing anytime soon!
For more information or for all available PPC roles contact Ali at firstname.lastname@example.org
or search our database for PPC Jobs.