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TPE #89: how to stay relevant & thrive in the Age of AI

Apr 15, 2024

Read time: 7 minutes

GM, Miles here with an important issue of The PPC Edge.

Lots of people have asked me if we will have a job in the future of PPC…

Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, recently predicted that our jobs will be replaced by AI in a few years.

He said:

 

 

In other words: “AI will take your job”.

I believe it’s a bit more nuanced than that…

You will always be needed, but you have to keep evolving if you want to stay relevant and thrive as a Google Ads Specialist. Or else, you will fall behind and become a commodity.

(A commodity is a product/service that can be easily replaced and has no differentiating factors).

Simply being a ‘Google Ads button pusher’ is not enough anymore.

In today’s issue, I’ll show you the simple 3-step framework you can follow to evolve and make sure you stay relevant (and thrive) in the Age of AI.

But first, let’s look at how our industry has changed.

Let’s dive in!

 

We are officially in the “Age of AI” and people are worried.

AI is a hot topic in the world — and also in our fast-changing PPC industry.

It’s all over the news, and AI is embedded in every new Google Ads product release:

 

Because of AI, Google now controls:

  1. Your ads (what they look like).
  2. Your targeting (where your ads show).
  3. Your bids (how much you pay for a click).

This worries PPCers, as we’ve seen in PPCsurvey’s recently released “State of PPC Global Report of 2024”.

They surveyed the biggest challenges, goals, and concerns in our industry:

 

 

It doesn’t surprise me at all to see AI & Automation as the top challenge because it’s such a hot topic…

Because of AI, we can now create entire campaigns, ad groups, keywords, and ads with a simple prompt.

As a result:

  • The playing field is completely level.
  • The barrier to entry is lower than ever.
  • Many accounts will have similar setups.

 

Campaign creation is no longer an edge.

So the question then is: “how do you create a competitive edge and stay out, when everyone uses the same tech?”

Well… The increased adoption of AI is a huge opportunity, and it has nothing to do with how you use AI yourself.

I’ll show you what I mean.

 

The downside of AI and why low-level Google Ads Specialists will suffer the most.

Here’s a harsh but true reality: AI will turn noobs into bigger noobs.

AI is going to decrease the overall level of average Google Ads Specialists (giving you a chance to stand out).

 

 

Here’s what will happen:

  • They create a prompt-based campaign.
  • They create a few AI-generated assets.
  • They set up a by Google recommended budget.
  • They set up a bid strategy and blindly guess what targets they need.

Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy: campaigns have been created within a few minutes.

 

But when shit hits the fan, they have no clue what to do to repair their campaigns…

So they blame bad results on Google’s algorithm or “increased competitor activity”.

Here’s the problem: using AI without a deep specialization is very dangerous.

We’re gonna see a lot more low-quality ads like this:

 

(source: Amalia Fowler, follow her she’s great)

 

What do you notice?

  • The image is for a Father’s Day gift.
  • Ad copy reads “Mother’s Day Gift”.
  • Ad copy reads “Black Father’s Day”.

 

 

You need to deeply master Google Ads to gauge whether or not the quality (output) generated by AI is actually good. Otherwise, you’re gonna see a lot of costly errors that will damage your brand and performance.

Now is it all doom & gloom?

Only if you’re a noob ;-).

But I know you’re a pro — so you’re good.

For you, these developments are actually a great opportunity.

Let me explain.

 

How you provide value as a Google Ads Specialist has changed.

With AI and all these automations, your value as a Google Ads Specialists shifts from inside Google Ads to outside Google Ads:

  • 30% of your time is spent inside Google Ads.
  • 70% of your time is spent outside of Google Ads.

But just because you do less WITHIN Google Ads, doesn’t mean you become less valuable.

It’s the opposite — you actually become MORE valuable (if you plan your next moves wisely).

Spending less time in Google Ads is actually a huge opportunity, because you can now spend more time on business strategy and helping your clients get to the next level.

 

But how do you do that?

 

How do you stay ahead in the Age of AI?

With all these changes, it’s more important than ever to be a student of the game:

  • You must DEEPLY master Google Ads.
  • You need to become a business partner for your clients.
  • And you need to find a way to future-proof yourself and gain an edge outside of Google Ads.

 

Many people think you must become a generalist, but I disagree.

A generalist is competent in many things, but not an expert in anything… 

 

The alternative would be to become a specialist: an expert in 1 specific topic.

That’s close, but not enough…

 

If you want to stay relevant and thrive in the Age of AI, I think you must become a “T-Shaped Google Ads Specialist”.

T-Shaped Specialists have 1 core expertise and are competent in many other things.

 

Evolve into a T-Shaped Google Ads Specialist.

Evolving into a T-Shaped Google Ads Specialist is the best way to stay relevant and thrive in the Age of AI.

It’s the fastest way to de-commoditize yourself.

You will have 1 core expertise: Google Ads.

On top of that, you’ll be competent in many other things that will stack on top of your existing Google Ads skillset, making you extremely powerful and relevant.

 

Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Deeply master Google Ads.

Step 2: Become a business partner for your clients by developing essential business skills.

Step 3: Future-proof yourself with a complementary skill that stacks on top of Google Ads.

Let’s dive into each step!

 

 

Step 1: Deeply master Google Ads.

Remember: we are Google Ads Specialists first and foremost!

Your job is to DEEPLY understand how the Google Ads platform works.

Just because you only spend 30% of your time inside Google Ads, doesn’t mean you can neglect deepening your skillset.

❌ Mastering Google Ads is not about finding the right buttons or reading news updates…

❌ And it’s also not about using advanced tactics…

 

βœ… Mastering Google Ads is about DEEPLY understanding the platform…

βœ… It’s about doing the fundamentals well, over and over and over and over…

So you ALWAYS have a plan for what to do (especially when the results aren’t great).

 

Here’s a huge mistake most Google Ads Specialists are making: they only chase shiny objects (aka advanced tactics).

But it’s the “boring” fundamentals that drive 80% of your results.

 

 

Listen, I love advanced tactics. But only for advanced accounts. You’re always better off sticking to the fundamentals first, before you even think about advanced tactics!

Here’s an example from Ramial Aqeel (member of The PPC Hub), who significantly improved his results, simply by sticking to the fundamentals:

  • +52% conversions.
  • +40% ROAS.
  • -27% CPA.

 

 

What he did:

  • Improved his tracking with Server-Side Tagging.
  • Consolidated his campaign structure.
  • Leveraged Broad Match keywords.
  • Optimized his product feed.

It can be as simple as that — but still, most of us like to chase shiny objects, aka advanced tactics…

 

You generate great results by deeply mastering Google Ads, and it all starts with the fundamentals.

This newsletter will become too long if I list out all the fundamentals, so I’ll do that in a future issue.

For now, just make sure you deeply master:

  • Conversion Tracking & Data Input.
  • Goals & KPIs.
  • Campaign Structure.
  • Targeting.
  • Creatives.
  • Bids & Budgets.
  • Landing Pages.

 

 

Do those things well and you’re on your way to great results with Google Ads, over and over.

Deeply mastering Google Ads is the most important step in becoming a T-Shaped Google Ads Specialist.

Once you’ve done that, it’s time to move on to the next step.

 

Step 2: Become a business partner for your clients by developing essential business skills.

You will take your value to the next level by becoming a business partner for your clients.

You do that by developing essential business skills, like:

  • Marketing fundamentals.
  • Human psychology.
  • Offer optimization.
  • Sales.
  • Soft skills.
  • Persuasive copywriting.

 

 

When you do that, you’ll be able to help your clients better by:

  • Spotting new opportunities they may not see themselves
  • Increasing AOV/CVR/LTV.
  • Optimizing their offers, pricing, funnels, and positioning.
  • Optimizing their sales processes (to increase lead-to-sale ratios).
  • Challenging them on the inefficiencies in their business.

 

Side note: the fastest way to develop your business skills is by actually building your own business.

This doesn’t have to be a unicorn — you’ll learn a lot from even a small side hustle.

It will teach you about profit margins, attribution, sourcing products, dealing with manufacturers, lead generation, positioning, human psychology and so much more.

It’s a truly underrated way to relate more to your clients, and ultimately give them the feeling you UNDERSTAND their business.

Once that happens, you become a true business partner, instantly de-commoditizing you in the market.

 

Step 3: Future-proof yourself with a complementary skill that stacks on top of Google Ads.

The last step in becoming a T-Shaped Google Ads Specialist is to future-proof yourself by picking a complementary skill that stacks on top of Google Ads.

This could be SEO, Meta Ads, AI, Data & Analytics, Creative Strategy, CRO, or anything else you like.

 

 

Just pick 1 skill you like and stack it on top of your current Google Ads skillset.

At the intersection of these complementary skills is where you’ll be most valuable.

 

 

  • PPC + SEO = The Search Specialist.
    enhance your PPC and SEO data, and become the bridge between both platforms.
  • PPC + Meta Ads = The Media Buyer.
    help your clients with full-funnel advertising strategies.
  • PPC + Data & Analytics = The Machine Feeder.
    help your clients feed more high-quality (1P) data into the system.
  • PPC + AI = The Automator.
    build kickass automations (scripts, custom GPTs, creatives).
  • PPC + Creative Strategy = The Creative Strategist.
    help your clients with conversion-focused creatives (video).
  • PPC + CRO = The Conversion Booster.
    help your clients generate more conversions without extra ad spend.

 

Layer one of these skills on top of your existing skill set, and you’ll be unstoppable!

But this is only the last step in your development. First, deeply master Google Ads.

 

And that’s how you future-proof yourself and thrive in the Age of AI!

To recap, here’s how you stay relevant and thrive in the Age of AI by becoming a T-Shaped Google Ads Specialist:

Step 1: Deeply master Google Ads.

Step 2: Become a business partner for your clients by developing essential business skills.

Step 3: Future-proof yourself with a complementary skill that stacks on top of Google Ads.

Just because you only spend 30% of your time inside Google Ads, doesn’t mean you can neglect deepening your skillset.

For now, step 1 is the most important.

Lay the foundation: go deep on Google Ads.

Then, future-proof yourself and broaden your skillset.

 

 

That is how you thrive. And if you don’t, you will be out of business soon.

The future belongs to T-Shaped Google Ads Specialists!

I’d like to finish this issue with issue with one of my favorite quotes from Charles Darwin:

 

 

Don’t become a commodity — keep evolving, adapting, and growing.

Deeply master Google Ads, stay up to date, future-proof your skillset and become a true business partner for your clients.

That is how you’ll stay relevant and thrive in the Age of AI.

Thanks for reading and have an awesome week!

See you soon :).

Cheers,

Miles (& Bob)

 

Final note: want our help mastering Google Ads?

Ultimately, our goal is to help you on all 3 steps of the T-Shaped Google Ads Specialist framework.

But we can’t get there without nailing step 1: deeply mastering Google Ads (because there is no T-Shape without a DEEP specialization first).

We created The PPC Hub to help you master Google Ads:

 

  • It’s our membership exclusively for experienced Google Ads Specialists who want to be on the cutting edge of PPC.
  • Upgrade your skills, stay up to date with all the latest developments, and join a global community of world-class Google Ads Specialists who all learn and grow together.
  • Learn what it takes to master Google Ads and confidently drive results for your clients, over and over.

 

Results are important, but there is more than just ROAS.

We are passionate about helping you excel in your career.

Upgrade your skills so you open yourself up to better opportunities:

  • Land a new job.
  • Get promoted.
  • Start freelancing (aka more freedom).
  • Make more money.
  • Improve results and serve your clients better.
  • Upgrade your team’s knowledge and hire better talent.
  • Feel more relaxed, joyful, and confident.
  • Have more fun in your work as a PPCer.

 

You will get access to exclusive courses, resources, and a community forum to help you master Google Ads.

Learn and grow together with 800+ like-minded Google Ads Specialists.

Here’s everything you’ll get (we’re launching new products in The PPC Hub every month):

 

 

If that sounds interesting, click here to check out all the info and join 800+ experienced Google Ads Specialists.

I hope to see you inside!

​



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