Navigating the Job Market: Essential Skills for Landing a Job at a PPC Agency

Exploring the Job Market: How to Land a Position in a PPC Agency

This month, the pressing matter at hand is an inquiry from an aspiring PPC professional, which assumes exceptional significance due to the current volatile condition of the job market.

“As someone with only in-house experience, how can one secure a job within a PPC agency? What kind of experience might they be in search of?” – Karl Toronto

It comes as no surprise that people keen on pursuing careers in PPC are interested in learning what skillsets potential employers might be on the lookout for. A prevalent issue, however, is the possible inconsistency between job seekers’ perceived necessary skills and the actual merits employers expect from their recruits.

Understanding the Market’s Demands

To shed light on these desirable traits and why they are highly valued in the job market, we will dive into a detailed analysis and insightful commentary. It is vital to comprehend that ideal candidates should possess flexibility, coupled with an aptitude for various areas of digital marketing. However, excelling in every aspect remains an unachievable feat, making it imperative to grasp and play on one’s unique strengths. This approach will ensure that one is finding the right job matching their skillset, while the hiring company benefits from securing the best fit for their team.

Indispensable Skills for Aspiring Applicants

  • Analytical Skills
  • Creativity
  • Knowledge of Ad Networks
  • Eagerness to Experiment and Learn
  • Cultural Compatibility

Assessing the Gap between Market Expectations and Perceived Requirements

An in-depth poll on LinkedIn was undertaken to measure the extent of skillsets craved by prospective employers and current practitioners. The results were insightful; analytical abilities are incredibly sought-after. Employers are constantly in search of professionals capable of deciphering data and unravelling the narrative it conceals. However, the exclusive reliance on analytical expertise tends to sideline the requirement of creativity.

Creative competence holds significant importance in today’s ad networks, particularly those emphasizing visual content such as videos and distinct campaign types necessitating visual content. Overlooking creativity can be detrimental to an organization’s branding initiatives. Also, it appeared that skills related to ad network knowledge and cultural fit rank lower in importance compared to analytical skills. Despite this, the prioritization of team coherence is crucial for ensuring long-term triumphs, even if it is often tremendously underrated.

The discord between job descriptions and actual skill prerequisites adds to the struggles in the job market. If agencies seek recruits based on old PPC practices, they will soon find themselves lacking. On the other hand, practitioners focusing solely on popular skills rather than the necessary ones risk becoming obsolete, particularly in the age of data-obscuring privacy-first practices and AI-powered creativity.

A Closer Look at the Essential Skills

Analytical Abilities

Analytical abilities extend beyond just deciphering data; it involves knowing where to locate pertinent data and comprehending how they contribute to the achievement of overarching goals. Historically, PPC relied on measurable results; however, as the field evolves, so does the necessity for adaptable data analysis skills. The command of various data sources and a strategic understanding of technical proficiency are essential.

The following sources are integral:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems
  • Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  • E-commerce platforms
  • Content Management Platforms (CMS)

Furthermore, empathy for a variety of ad channels augments the strength of an applicant’s candidacy; possessing expertise in post-click data interpretation can provide one with an edge over those restricted to using ad platform data. While there is no stringent requirement for technological dexterity, a nuanced understanding of coding and script can better equip candidates to stay abreast with evolving data mechanics. Considering the rise of APIs and their increased importance for accessing data shielded by privacy-first regulations, this becomes even more crucial.


Creativity is indispensable to fabricate appealing ad content, but many PPC agencies fall short in this area. The burden of providing creative input is often shifted to clients due to cost or complexity constraints. However, candidates possessing the following skills will likely gain a competitive advantage:

  • Video Editing: With the popularity of PMax and the extensive use of Connected TV by various ad networks, video editing becomes a valuable tool. AI tools like Descript serve as viable alternatives for those uncomfortable with conventional editing tools.
  • Graphic Design: Regardless of the ad network the employer utilises, a potential employee would need some design capabilities. The era of strictly text-based advertisements is behind us, hence the need for designing static images. Tools like Canva can help bridge the gap for less tech-savvy designers, but one cannot underestimate the value of ad network AI.
  • Content Creation: Despite the growing emphasis on visual content, written content remains of significance. Understanding how to communicate with diverse audiences, adhering to the unique restrictions of each format, is an invaluable ability to develop.

Ad Network Knowledge

While the knowledge of ad networks is undoubtedly of importance, the rapidly evolving platforms make adaptability even more paramount. Some agencies prefer specialists, whereas others hire professionals they anticipate will be competent across every network they service. Therefore, applicants should identify workflows conducive to their success.

If one is content working with all platforms, there’s no reason to shy away from it. However, if focus and specialization in one facet of PPC prevail, that is equally valid, albeit potentially limiting when applying for smaller, family-like agencies.

Understanding auction dynamics and bidding strategies is vital. Those who entered the industry during the popularity of manual bidding have a unexpected advantage over newer entrants from the era of Smart Bidding. The former entailed understanding the ad platform’s auction mechanics and leveraging it for account structure development.

Knowing what to track and how to allocate budgets are crucial considerations. Awareness of potential drawbacks, for example, false positives or negatives, boosts campaign effectivity. For instance, knowing how to check if auto-application of recommendations is on and what tasks it covers is vital information. Interestingly, in my survey, none of the contributing experts advocated strongly for ad network knowledge.

Willingness to Test and Learn

A key aspect of success in PPC management is an open mindset towards testing new ideas and a willingness to change existing practices. Embracing failure as a pathway to growth instead of a setback is an invaluable trait that hiring experts look for. While analytical skills aid in designing an effective test, empathy and creativity are equally essential contributors.

Cultural Compatibility

Cultural synchronization with an agency is a huge contributor to productivity and job satisfaction. However, it can be achieved only when you are sincere with yourself about what you want and how you are most efficient at work. Agencies require intense dedication and collaboration, hence making synergy with colleagues and the general culture of the agency extremely crucial.

Any individual gearing up for transition from an in-house role to an agency should be prepared for a fast-paced work environment and a considerable increase in agency. Open channels of communication with management about preferred leadership and learning styles will ensure a positive professional experience. Mutual respect amongst peers and fostering a supportive atmosphere are key elements of an enriching work environment.

Concluding Observations

Navigating the waters of the current job market is a complex task, but gaining an understanding of industry expectations and refining relevant skills can substantially increase one’s chances of success. A balance of technical proficiency, creativity, and cultural fit is necessary for flourishing in a PPC role. By aligning with market trends and effectively showcasing unique strengths, one can secure fruitful opportunities in the dynamic field of PPC.

If there are any questions or topics that have left you curious or in need of clarity, do not hesitate to reach out to us, and we will gladly address your concerns in our next discussions.

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