What makes a great SEM? I’ve heard a lot of answers to that question since starting at PPC Associates in August, and I think the most common ones are, in some order: dedication to the client; a balance of attention to detail with a strong prioritization system; the ability/desire to learn quickly; math/statistics skills; and creativity.
Here’s the one I rarely hear but that permeates every minute of an SEM’s career: competitiveness.
It’s wanting not to just meet goals but to beat the crap out of them (which has the fundamental effect of delighting the client). It’s the thrill of watching your ads creep (profitably) up the ranks. It’s the satisfaction of seeing CTR improve thanks to new ads you just created. It’s even in the complexity of attribution (that click did work!) and in the hunt of retargeting.
Yup, we’re in it for our clients, and that will always be the primary driving force. But the fire in the belly to do a job well, to claw past competitors and beat targets — that’s not far behind. Which, since some clients come and go, has to be the backbone of great SEM. It keeps us fresh and it keeps things fun (even our company’s fun stuff, like the very heavily used ping-pong room and fantasy football leagues and the Fitbit ROI Challenge, are all about competition). It’s also evidenced by the fact that we have a decent proportion of former college athletes in our ranks.
And, I think, it’s why Monday mornings aren’t mopey around here. There’s adrenaline in the air, a little sizzle of buckling back in for the week (don’t worry, clients — we do plenty of weekend work) and taking the controls.
While I don’t do much SEM work in my job, I can say the energy is contagious. It makes me want to come in on Mondays, to figure out what we’re doing this week that’s cool and worthy of trumpeting (and tweeting) to the masses. What kind of stature our clients are getting that leads to a series of behind-the-scenes high fives.
As our CEO, David Rodnitzky, likes to say, TGIM. And have a great week, everyone!
- Hillary Read, Marketing Manager