In preparation for the new year, PerformanceIN continues its annual tradition of connecting with performance marketing experts to get their single biggest prediction for the industry in 2017. 

In this piece, Rob Watson, head of digital advertising at Supplyant, explains why he believes the need for technical expertise will result in a new PPC role.

In the best PPC teams, 2017 will see the arrival of a new role – one for a more technically-minded individual. Someone who will take advantage of the coding behind PPC, to get maximum performance for their clients.

In much the same way the best SEO teams have a role for a technical SEO, I believe there will be an ever-growing need for PPC developers.

There’s three key areas within PPC that really play to the strengths of a developer:

Product feeds

Within AdWords, product feeds are nothing new.

But what is becoming clear, is the best performing Google Shopping campaigns are those where bespoke work has been done to the feed.

Either by merging various database attributes to create custom product titles, or taking sales data and including it within custom labels. These are just some of the techniques that a PPC developer can use to create superior product groups for far more effective bidding.

But product feeds don’t end with AdWords. Both Bing and Facebook have ad formats that require product feeds. Bing’s Shopping campaigns may still be in their infancy, and impressions may be low, but there is money to be made, and growth is certain to come. Facebook’s product feed ads are proving to be highly effective, especially when combined with remarketing audiences.


AdWords scripts are truly a wonderful thing.

Either used to build campaigns and ad groups incredibly quickly and at scale, automate certain repetitive actions with the account, or build bespoke reports – scripts unlock a whole world of opportunity for a PPC manager whose goal is efficiency.

Sure, pretty much anyone can take one of the many free scripts available and with little or no scripting experience – run it. But without the confidence of a developer, to learn and adapt and explore, you’re never going to fully understand the value scripts can bring to your accounts.

Dynamic campaigns and extensions

Google’s Dynamic Search Ad campaigns have recently become a regular part of our PPC toolkit.

They can be very effective and are, at the very least, well worth testing.

As they scrape the code of your website, to understand what keywords to bid on, what words to include in your ads and which landing pages to use, they are very dependant on the “quality” of the coding of your website.

For the PPC manager setting up these campaigns, you will be at a huge advantage if you understand how web pages are built and what markup Google “sees.”

This increase in PPC automation is truly exciting and only set to increase. The stage is set for the PPC developer to make their mark.