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Fishing for the Right B2B PPC Management Company?

I like to go deep sea fishing. Here in New England there are more than a few available ocean fairing charters. I spend many summer weekends in Newport Rhode Island, so I naturally go out from that area. My friends and I are very fortunate because we found, in my humble opinion, one of the best, small deep-sea operations in existence. We always catch fish on this boat. Big fish. In fact three summers ago I hooked the largest catch of my life, a 48 inch, 40 pound striped bass. (See the evidence below. By the way, I am the one with the hat and sunglasses.)

I started to think about why this particular Captain is so successful. He is very experienced; he owns a nice, very sea-worthy boat which contains all of the latest fish finding equipment. He blasts Irish music from speakers mounted on the deck as we set up our lines. All of this is good, but I suppose aside from the Gaelic tunes, that description fits just about any small deep fishing charter anywhere. One thing I noticed about this Captain is his utterly complete knowledge about every aspect of fishing in this region. He knows all of the nuances of currents, the right baits (based on conditions and the type of available fish) and even why black sea bass taste so much better than most fish (they are scavengers and feed on tasty shrimp). When he helps us to land a “ledge monster”, he knows exactly where the hook was set in the fish and usually has a notion of what type of fish you have on the line long before it comes to the surface. In fact he is usually more excited than we are when we appear to have a big one on the line.

During one of our trips as we waited to get to the next fishing spot, we discussed our various hobbies. We turned to the Captain and his first mate and asked, “hey what do you guys like to do for fun?” They both looked at us laughed, and said, “well, when we are not officially working, we go fishing”.

What does this have to do with choosing a search marketing vendor? Creating and managing B2B PPC campaigns is a bit like virtual fishing. There are a fair number of agencies that have the right tools, good experience and enough basic skills to run an adequate campaign. But there is one intangible item that separates companies who claim excellence from those who will really go the extra mile to receive outstanding results on your behalf. Passion. Planning and implementing a successful Pay-Per-Click search advertising effort is challenging and complicated. Exceptional results (you know, the ones you can’t wait to email to your CFO) will be achieved by a vendor who can stay on top of the dynamic search environment and at the same time will be not weighed down by the endless details. In short, really superior programs will not be generated by people who describe their job as a 9 to 5 means to pay the bills.

When you are searching for your next PPC management company, ask your prospective partner one last question as part of your interview process:

“Why did you get involved in search advertising?”

The answer should reveal a real love of the work. If not, keep fishing for another vendor.

PS, if you do like deep sea fishing and will be in Newport RI in the summertime, here is a link to Captain Flaherty’s Charter.

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