Today, I’m thrilled to share part 2 of my exclusive interview with David Rodnitzky, CEO of PPC Associates. PPC Associates is Silicon Valley’s SEM Agency. Before reading this post, I encourage you to first read Part 1 of my David Rodnitzky Interview. Part 1 of the interview is totally awesome and is not to be missed. Without further ado, let’s jump into part 2 of this amazing interview…
Is PPC Associates hiring? If yes, how can candidates get in touch with you?
To some degree, we are always hiring, though it depends on the level of experience. For candidates with 3+ years of SEM experience, good quantitative skills, and a client-focused attitude, we hire 365 days a year. Moreover, for the right candidate, we offer 100% telecommuting and to date have hired senior folks in Portland, North Carolina, San Diego, and Ottawa.
In general, we’ve grown pretty fast so regardless of your experience, it’s probably worthwhile to submit a resume, because if we aren’t hiring today, there’s a good chance we’ll be hiring in 30 to 60 days. I think the best way to submit a resume is to send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any advice for entrepreneurs starting their own business?
Well, to some degree I don’t consider myself a true entrepreneur, so I have to tread carefully here. I tell people in Silicon Valley you either mine for gold or sell Levis to the miners, and I’m the latter!
For a service business, I think the two pieces of advice I have are to 1) remember it’s a small world and 2) pay for the right people. Regarding the first point, the vast majority of our new business comes from existing or former customers. So by treating clients right and trying to build lifetime relationships instead of short-term profit, you have a greater chance of succeeding long-term.
Regarding the second point, I’ve learned the hard way that you get what you pay for when it comes to building a team. Initially, we tried to build our business with recent college grads and overseas remote employees, but the amount we saved in salaries was offset by the extra management we had to apply to these team members. We probably didn’t overwhelm our clients with amazing service and results either, which is simply unacceptable.
So we now live by Malcom Gladwell’s notion that you need 10,000 hours of experience to be a true expert. To hammer this point home to potential clients, I always ask them to imagine that they’ve been accused of a horrendous crime that they did not commit (yes, I know, I scare potential clients). In such a circumstance, would they hire a recent law school grad for $25/hr or a criminal attorney with 10 years of experience at $250/hr? They then understand why we are so picky about who we hire, and how we can get the results we can get for clients!
Any campaign management tips for PPC professionals?
Test, test, test. Oh, and keywords are a fictional concept invented by Google (or maybe GoTo). Queries are what you need to optimize against, not keywords. We’ve written a lot of great whitepapers on our Web site that are all free – check these out and you can learn a lot about my philosophy around campaign management.
How do you see the SEM industry evolving?
I believe that traditional SEM is dead. Buying keywords and creating text ads is just one part of what SEM is today. Today you need to have expertise in search, social PPC, YouTube, mobile, display, landing page optimization, analytics, and attribution, to name just a few. To be great at SEM today, you have to understand the entire conversion funnel and touch every part of that funnel.
The SEM industry is evolving in the same way that many other professional fields have evolved historically – specialization and sub-specialization. In 1860, if you had a headache, you’d go to your local doctor and he’d try to diagnose your problem. Today, you might go to your general practitioner, who would refer you to a neurologist, who might send you to a movement disorders specialist, who might further refer you to a Parkinson’s Disease expert. The same thing is happening in SEM. We have Facebook PPC experts, YouTube pros, GDN gurus – it’s impossible to expect one person to be an expert at all facets of SEM anymore.
Any closing thoughts for PPC Ian readers?
Keep absorbing everything you can about SEM – the deeper you dig into it, the more you realize how much more you have to learn. I’ve been doing this for 12 years now and I feel like I learn something new every day!
Thank You, David!
David, on behalf of all PPC Ian readers, I want to sincerely thank you for the amazing interview. I’m certainly inspired and truly enjoyed the interview. PPC Ian readers, make sure to check out Part 1 of My David Rodnitzky Interview (if you have not already) and also don’t forget to stop by PPC Associates, Silicon Valley’s SEM Agency.
Images in this article © PPC Associates.