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PPC Agency Outsourcing Failure

When does outsourcing PPC to an agency fail?

Looking to build a bulletproof outsourced PPC project? Then, you need to look out for possible failures! Stay tuned!...

When, as a brand/agency owner, you envision greater conversions, brand awareness, and, most importantly, increased revenue, you are often suggested to make the most of paid advertising as well as organic efforts. 

Well-strategized and neatly executed, Pay–per–click or PPC campaigns can often be the make or break factor when it comes to achieving those paid marketing goals. 

But if you already have a lot on your plate, with core business activities and other pressing demands taking up most of your work day, you might consider outsourcing your PPC requirements to an agency. 

However, you might have burnt your fingers in a former PPC outsourcing endeavor and are now wary of buying a lemon.

With a team of 120+ professional PPC experts and 50+ dedicated resources deployed over the past 12+ years, we at Mavlers have catered to the PPC needs of 7000+ global clients. To be honest, we have had our hits and misses. We’ve encountered situations in the early days where we felt we could have handled things better. Needless to say, we have learned from our mistakes and are eager to pass on what we have learned to you! 

The following blog will address the common problems of outsourcing your firm’s PPC requirements to a digital marketing agency and their solutions.

  • Potential risks & pitfalls 
    • Lack of control
    • Quality of work
    • Data security and privacy concerns
  • Mitigation strategies
    • Clear communication channels
    • Robust contracts and agreements
    • Selecting the right PPC partners

By the end of this blog, you will be able to identify and enlist factors that might negatively affect the outcome of your outsourced PPC campaign and, therefore, implement the requisite measures to alleviate those possible issues.

Potential risks & pitfalls of outsourcing PPC to an agency

Let’s examine the common reasons your outsourced PPC project might be underperforming!

Lack of Control

As an agency/brand owner, you might not have the level of control that you’d like to have when outsourcing your PPC campaigns to an agency. This may result in communication gaps, misalignment of goals, limited oversight, ineffective strategy implementation, and budget mismanagement. 

Let’s break down all such possible outcomes.

  1. Communication gaps

When there is a mismatch in expectations resulting from ineffective communication between your company and the PPC agency, there can be a disconnect in understanding PPC goals, conveying the brand tone, vision, and target audiences. 

This can result in ineffective PPC campaigns and unachieved paid advertising KPIs. 

2. Ineffective strategy implementation

Suppose you cannot effectively relay specific strategies or brand guidelines to the partner PPC agency, or they cannot understand and implement them correctly. In that case, the end result might fall short of expectations!

3. Misalignment of goals

When you outsource PPC to an agency, there might be a lack of alignment between your goals and the agency’s understanding. Without clear communication and understanding of your business objectives, the agency may not prioritize the right metrics or strategies, leading to suboptimal results.

4. Limited oversight

If you don’t maintain sufficient oversight or control over the PPC campaigns, the agency might deviate from your brand voice, target audience, or overall marketing strategy. This lack of control can result in campaigns that don’t resonate with your audience or fail to generate the desired outcomes.

5. Budget mismanagement

Lack of control over budget allocation and spending can lead to missed KPIs. You need to ensure that the media spend is being used wisely across the right channels and that it aligns with your overall marketing and business goals.

Quality of Work

The quality of work that a PPC agency puts into your campaigns can be a major factor behind the success/failure of your outsourced paid advertising endeavors. 

  1. Inadequate keyword research

If your chosen PPC agency falls short of identifying and bidding on the right keywords, it might result in less-than-optimal results. Targeting irrelevant or low-performing keywords can lead to a significant waste of budget and failure to reach the intended audience.


Yup, it’s pretty much akin to sounding the death knell for your PPC campaigns!

2. Improper conversion tracking

Without proper conversion tracking by the agency, measuring the actual impact of PPC campaigns on business objectives becomes challenging. If the agency fails to track conversions accurately, the client may not have clear insights into the campaign’s success or failure.

3. Poor ad copywriting

Alluring, compelling, relevant ad copy can be essential in getting those clicks and conversions. If the agency cannot deliver on that, it can negatively impact the click-through rate (CTR) and overall campaign performance.

4. Lack of landing page optimization

A well-optimized and relevant landing page reels in the conversions, clicks, actual leads, or sales. If the agency does not prioritize landing page optimization, visitors may have a poor experience after clicking on an ad, leading to a high bounce rate and low conversion rates.

5. Inaccurate targeting

The idea behind running an effective PPC campaign is to get those ads to the right eyeballs!  If the agency fails to target demographics, locations, or interests accurately, the campaign may attract irrelevant clicks, resulting in wasted ad spend.

6. Not optimizing or ignoring ad extensions

Now, well-optimized ad extensions deliver additional relevant information and encourage visitors to perform the intended action. If your partner PPC agency neglects to utilize ad extensions or doesn’t optimize them effectively, it can limit the overall impact of the PPC ads.

Other factors, like the agency’s failure to adopt algorithm changes for PPC platforms and insufficient campaign testing, optimization, monitoring, and reporting, can cause your outsourced PPC venture to fail. 

Data security and privacy concerns

Suppose the PPC agency that you are considering outsourcing your PPC is not very forthcoming with the processes and documentation in place, such as an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement), NSA (Non-Solicitation Agreement), as well as conforming to data regulation compliance measures such as GDPR norms. In that case, you might be in for a rude shock later!

  1. Incomplete privacy compliance

As mentioned earlier, incomplete documentation before beginning the association may result in a lack of clarity regarding privacy regulations and compliance requirements. PPC campaigns often involve the collection and processing of user data. Suppose the agency is not well-documented in terms of privacy laws (such as GDPR General Data Protection Regulation, CCPA Central Consumer Protection Authority ) or does not conform to these norms. In that case, there’s a risk of unintentional non-compliance, leading to legal issues and potential fines.

2. Inadequate vendor management

The lack of documentation on vendor management practices, including selecting, monitoring, and auditing third-party tools and services used in PPC campaigns, can introduce vulnerabilities. Inadequate oversight can result in the use of insecure tools, which might expose your data to potential threats.

3. Risk of data leakage

Incomplete or insufficient documentation may lead to oversight in securing data transfer and communication channels. This can result in data leakage during the transmission of information between you and your partner PPC agency, exposing sensitive details to potential threats.

4. Lack of clarity on data retention policies

Without clear documentation on data retention policies, you risk the agency retaining your data longer than necessary. This not only poses privacy concerns but may also incur increased storage costs and potential legal issues.

Mitigation Strategies

Now that you know the possible risks and pitfalls of outsourcing your paid advertising needs to a PPC agency let’s explore how you can minimize the shortcomings and ensure your campaign’s success!

Clear communication channels

In our blog titled “Why does digital marketing offshoring fail?” we emphasized the importance of the three Cs, namely Clarity, Collaboration, and Communication, for ensuring the success of every outsourcing venture. 

Effective communication between the client (you) and the PPC agency ensures seamless collaboration that ultimately yields the desired results. 

Invest in the right communication channels and ensure that your partner is on the same page as you regarding the communication modes, documentation, timings, and feedback schedule. 

Any delays (on either end) should be proactively brought up to avoid any inconvenience.

There should be clarity on the scope of work and the frequency of feedback to avoid any miscommunication and confusion. 

Your partner agency should run the campaign for at least 30-40 days to offer realistic KPIs (number of expected leads, forms filled, etc) based on industry standards. 

Robust contracts and agreements

As highlighted in the above sections, ensuring that your partner agency has proper processes and documentation in place is extremely important. You could check for the following agreements before partnering with your agency.

  • Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA)
  • Master Service Agreements (MSA)
  • Scope of Work (SOW)
  • Insurances such as ~ Commercial General Liability (CGL), Excess General Liability (Umbrella for CGL), Professional Liability, Workmen Compensation
  • GDPR Compliance

Selecting the right PPC partner

Before signing across the dotted line with a prospective PPC partner, ensure you know their experience and expertise in executing successful PPC campaigns in your industry’s niche. 

Checking for honest and unbiased reviews on platforms like Clutch is always a good practice. 

Here’s a list of questions you should pose to your potential PPC partner agency.

  • How long have you been doing PPC? Do you have Google Partner or Microsoft Ads credentials?
  • Who will manage my account? How many points of contact will I have to communicate with?
  • How many other accounts will my account manager be handling?
  • Do you offer other digital marketing services as well?
  • What are your PPC management fees? What makes it go up or down?
  • Which ad platforms will you be targeting?
  • Why do I need to pay one-time set-up fees?
  • Do you carry out an audit for my existing campaigns? Is that chargeable?
  • Can I pause the contract at any time?
  • What if I am not happy with the service? Do I still have to pay the full price?
  • How often will you provide reports?
  • Do you have industry-specific PPC knowledge?
  • Can I change my monthly advertising budget?

You can also read our blog “11 Factors To Consider When Choosing An Offshore Digital Marketing Company” to gain better clarity on how to select the right outsourcing partner. 

The Road Ahead

Now that you are familiar with the possible outsourcing PPC fails and their solutions, you might also want to consider outsourcing for other digital marketing activities. 

Our blog titled “Should I Outsource Or Insource My Digital Marketing Activities?” can help you make a better, more informed outsourcing decision. 🙂

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Harshit Kapasi

The epitome of a data-driven performance marketer with over 7 years of experience in analyzing, strategizing, executing, and managing a number of campaigns associated with various platforms, Harshit manages a team of highly skilled professionals. He is currently leading the Search department for Paid campaigns in Mavlers. Adept at communicating with clients, he ensures excellent customer satisfaction and reports on advertisements' status to internal and external stakeholders.

Naina Sandhir

A content writer at Mavlers, Naina pens quirky, inimitable, and damn relatable content after an in-depth and critical dissection of the topic in question. When not hiking across the Himalayas, she can be found buried in a book with spectacles dangling off her nose!

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