Why Robots Will Never Run PPC Agencies

Outsourcing and automating are two of the easiest ways for companies to cut costs and save time these days. Commonwealth Bank of Australia started minimizing their cyber security teams this year in favor of outsourcing the function (angering many…), and research shows that 230,000 jobs in the financial sector could disappear by 2025, filled by “artificial intelligence agents.”

Outsourcing is said to be “good for business,” and even “leads to happiness,” according to Harvard research.

Are robots and outsourced teams taking over?

ppc automation Source: Smartsheet

For PPC Agencies, some automation like setting optimization rules or flighting ads, truly do save time and money, a benefit that directly impacts clients.

When it comes to the partners you work with, are automating and outsourcing good or bad, or is their individual impact situational?

But no matter how rigorous the vetting, or how smart the AI, there are some functions you’d never want your PPC agency to give to the robots or send out of house.

Here are four things PPC agencies will never automate or outsource:

Client Relations

Sure, some customer-facing services make sense to automate or outsource, like ATMs for example, but the power of an agency is its people. If a client isn’t happy, the agency shouldn’t be happy, and it would be impossible for a robot or third party to pick up on the emotional nuances that make people, people.

There are many synonymous words and phrases for client relations—customer service, customer success, client happiness—but every single one puts the focus on you, the customer. This relationship is crucial to the agency’s success in business, and offers room for the most opportunity.

That means prioritizing and emphasizing the importance of meetings to interpret and review results, talk about KPIs, discuss new internal developments, and anything else that might affect a client’s results. A good agency will also have a strong sense of what clients prefer and will tailor reports (see some examples in our post Make Clients Happy By Presenting PPC Reports Like This, conversations, campaigns, and anything else that can possibly personalized in order to make sure everyone is happy.

Collective Knowledge

An agency’s collective and historical knowledge simply cannot be replicated, automated, or outsourced. Like its ability to successfully manage client relationships, its experience is an inherent quality that sets it apart from other agencies, and from what a robot or third party could offer.

The years of training that come with team members at all levels and positions create the foundation for an agency’s performance. This collective knowledge is what’s used to make recommendations, shape campaigns, adjust creative, etc. and what differentiates a successful agency from one who’s not exactly sure how to help clients.

Agencies also have the advantage of being able to look across all client accounts, which encompasses different industries, marketing plans, budgets, and so forth. Valuable insight such as that isn’t something you’d ever get through automating or outsourcing.

Ad Creative

Could computers eventually outperform the millions of designers and copywriters who come up with the creative we see today? Persado, a “marketing language cloud” doesn’t exactly write copy—yet—but instead uses math to optimize sentences that drive action. Persado’s CMO calls it “algorithmic copywriting.”

Interesting, but no reason copywriters need to start looking into a career change. Even IBM, maker of Watson, a supercomputer that combines AI and analytical software to form a “question answering” machine says robots will never replace the human soul of creativity.”

Developing effective and compelling creative is an intricate task, and that’s why jobs like copywriter and designer exist. Creative development also requires tons of collaboration across teams and departments, which would be halted if any part of it was automated or outsourced.

Intelligently displaying content can be automated with ad rotations, but the actual creation and revision of creative cannot. And when it comes to custom creative, it takes an experienced human to come up with messaging that feels specifically tailored to a certain group.

Bamboo Marketing has a great case study for Ink Cards showing how they hit the right customers at the right time focusing on milestones and holidays. They used tools like Facebook’s “Life Events” targeting to identify their audiences, but their creative team then came up with specific content to resonate with each audience.


Whether it’s platforms introducing new technologies or customer trends changing directions, PPC, and digital marketing as a whole moves quickly. PPC agencies live and breathe this world, meaning they’re on top of relevant news as soon as it’s available, and applying that information to see how they can use it to clients’ advantage.

Again, with the added benefit of being able to see across multiple accounts, PPC agencies can move quickly to test innovations and revise for best results. You can’t automate or outsource a true passion for being on the cutting edge of industry practices.

As technology improves, there may be a stronger argument to automate or outsource more of an agency’s functions. If a job is monotonous, it will soon be gone, freeing time for those that require a human element.


AdStage Team