Staying Ahead of the PPC Curve

CurveballThe other day there was a lively discussion on #ppcchat about strengths & weaknesses (it sounded a little bit like a job interview), but the question that really jumped out to me was this, “Q5: What do you believe is the biggest threat to your status as a PPC professional? In other words, why might you be replaceable?”

This really got me thinking. What is the biggest threat? What am I doing to stay ahead of the curve? What am I NOT doing? These are the ideas I had about how anyone can stay at the top of their PPC game, and ahead of the pack.

Learn Fast

Online marketing, whether that’s PPC, SEO, CRO, LPO, Analytics, Display, or any other acronym, is a fast-moving industry. Tectonic shifts can happen overnight with a platform update (cough, Enhanced Campaigns, cough) and are happening at a rapid rate. With each change the scoreboard gets set to 0-0 and the fastest learners win!

Don’t Sit On Your Laurels

This is the flip side to the point above, but it deserves mention. Even if you’re the “expert” right now, you can’t ride that wave forever or you’ll end up crashing into the shore. Ever heard of Smith Corona? Probably not because they used to make the best typewriters and we know what happened to that industry.

Widen Your Vision

In highly technical fields it’s very easy to dive deep…and deeper…and deeper. You become amazingly knowledgeable, but your knowledge is increasingly focused. PPC doesn’t operate in a silo. PPC traffic goes to the website to convert, so your CRO and LPO is critical to YOUR success. If you’re generating leads, those leads are being handled by the sales team before they turn into closed business. For those of you keeping score that’s PPC > LPO > Sales and that’s probably oversimplified.

Widening your vision allows you to see how PPC fits in with other parts of the organization. This ensures that you get credit for your efforts (attribution) as well as optimize for the end goal. Holistic marketers with broad vision stay ahead of the curve.


Learning is fun. It allows us to learn new things and to improve our results. These are just 3 ways to stay ahead of the curve. How are you staying ahead of the curve? Drop a comment below.

Photo courtesy of John Morgan