If You Hear Something Ten Times, It Must Be True
This morning as I spoke with a search affiliate arbitrageur who spends $1M+/mo on Google & Yahoo, I heard something I've heard at least ten times now:
Arbitrageur: Chris, I know Efficient Frontier has a great solution for improving performance of PPC campaigns, but what we really have our mind set on is finding a good self-service bid management tool.
Chris: I can't fault you for wanting to continue to manage your campaigns in-house, but the reality is we both know that there *aren't* any self-service bid management tools that will set you apart from your competition. So until that product comes along (note: I can give you several reasons why that'll never happen BTW), give up tactical control over your PPC campaigns to us in order to get the strategic control of knowing you're getting the most ROI possible from your campaign, and certainly much more than your competition.
I'm as biased as they come, but for good reason - all self-service bid management tools suffer from the same problems:
1)They don't automate much of the work the SEM staffer has to do
2)They tend to work horribly, if at all, on Google. Google's 60-70% of the market, so that's bad
3)They are only as capable of providing lift as the user is in doing gargantuan amounts of ROI calculations. I'm no math expert, but I know that if you have 1000 keywords with 5 bid positions of meaningful volume, that's 5 to the 1000th power calculations you have to do to be aware of all yield scenarios for that keyword.