When It Makes Sense to Switch From an In-House Team to PPC Agency

Many brands start off managing PPC campaigns in-house but eventually reach a point where working with an external agency makes more strategic sense. Rapid business growth, increased account complexity, the need for expanded capabilities, and lack of internal bandwidth are common reasons companies make the switch.

Here are signs it may be time to hand off PPC management from your in-house team to a full-service agency partner:

Campaign Volumes Have Grown Too Large

If your accounts have grown to hundreds or thousands of campaigns and ad groups, your current staff may be overwhelmed. An agency with dedicated personnel can take on that workload more efficiently. Their larger team also allows for specialist roles like bid managers and analysts. Scaled resources can improve quality as volumes balloon.

You are Expanding into New Markets

Entering new geographies often necessitates launching and managing additional PPC accounts customized to local audiences. A ppc agency with international experience can help you expand smoothly. They provide on-the-ground knowledge of languages, regulations, and cultural nuances in your target markets to inform strategy.

Increased Spend Requires Greater Expertise

As your PPC budgets expand into the millions, an agency can help you allocate and manage that spending more smartly. Their full-time focus on search gives them advanced optimization skills. They can also leverage superior analytics resources and technology. Bigger budgets warrant bigger capabilities.

You Lack Specialists

Agencies maintain dedicated specialists like bid managers, analysts, creatives, and technologists. An in-house generalist tackling every function may miss optimization opportunities. Specialized agency talent and tools can amplify performance, especially as accounts grow more complex.

You Have New Growth Initiatives

If you are undertaking new efforts like entering e-commerce or launching a sub-brand, an agency can guide strategy from the start. They efficiently establish the required new accounts, objectives, campaign frameworks, and assets tailored to each initiative. Their experience with other clients’ campaigns informs best practices.

Reporting and Analysis Needs Improvement

Sophisticated analysis and insightful reporting tend to be weaknesses of in-house teams. Agencies invest heavily in analytics talent and technologies to surface key insights and guide decisions. Their comprehensive reporting suites provide visibility that traditional platforms like Google Ads lack.

You Need a Fresh Perspective

Even the best in-house teams get stuck in ruts over time. An agency provides an outside point of view of your accounts and ideas for optimization. Their breadth of experience also brings new strategies to the table your team may have never considered. A fresh look can reenergize performance.

Cross-Channel Management is Critical

Agencies typically specialize in unified cross-channel advertising management encompassing PPC, display, social, and more. They optimize budgets and messaging across platforms. In-house PPC teams often operate in silos. Cross-channel coordination grows more essential.

Transitioning to a PPC Agency – Case Example

Situation: Adventure Outfitters is a mid-sized online retailer selling camping, hiking and outdoor gear. They manage about $5 million in PPC spend annually across 500,000 keywords. Their in-house PPC coordinator handled the initial setup and ongoing optimization of their Google and Bing Shopping campaigns.

Problem: As the company grew, its PPC spending and campaign volumes expanded rapidly. Their lone in-house coordinator became overwhelmed trying to manage such large, complex accounts while also handling other marketing responsibilities. Campaign performance and reporting suffered due to the overloaded workload.

Approach: Adventure Outfitters decided to transition PPC management to Acme Media – a PPC agency specializing in the outdoor retail vertical. Acme took over day-to-day campaign operations and optimization. They also provided:

  • 4 dedicated account managers to share the workload
  • Advanced reporting and analytics capabilities
  • Cross-channel management including display and remarketing
  • Testing of new ad formats like responsive search ads
  • Expanded call tracking and conversion tracking

Results: In the first 6 months after switching to Acme Media, Adventure Outfitters saw:

  • Clicks increase 22%
  • Conversions improve 18%
  • 12% lower cost-per-acquisition
  • Faster response times and issue resolution
  • Higher team morale as workload reduced

The expanded expertise, resources, and technology capabilities the agency provided improved Adventure Outfitters’ PPC performance significantly. The switch to a PPC agency matched their evolving needs.

This example highlights a common scenario where transitioning from in-house management to an agency helped a growing brand optimize and scale their PPC more effectively. The depth an agency provides became critical as the company and account volumes grew larger and more complex over time.


Knowing the right time to graduate from in-house ppc management to an agency partner is critical. Seek an agency with proven expertise in your vertical, top talent, and passion for driving your success. With the right partner, your PPC can scale new heights.

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