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The 16 SEM Managers You’ll Meet During Your Career

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Throughout your career as a SEM manager you will most likely connect with many other marketers. Through social media, meet-ups, or conferences you’ll meet some interesting characters. Here's a look at the 16 SEM managers you will come in contact with during your career.

1. Oversharer

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You may know the Oversharer from such tweets as ‘Just updated over 100 versions of ad text… thank god for Adwords Editor’ or such Facebook status updates as ‘OMG client just approved an extra $10K of budget for next month! So Pumped!’.

The Oversharer will let you, and all of their social circle know everything that is going on with their accounts and every menial task they accomplish. They’ll also keep you up to date with pictures of their lunch on instagram.

2. The Master

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The Master is old school. He or she has been around the block, can perform an account audit with their eyes closed, and is willing to share their knowledge with a small circle.

The Master may not be the biggest name on the block, but is respected by everyone. They have been running the PPC game since ‘98.

3. Set It and Forget It

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This may be a small business owner or they just have way too many accounts to work on. But once they set up their campaigns and set them live, they feel your work is done.

Need client reporting? They’ve got automated reports from AdWords sent via email each Monday morning.

4. The Prodigy

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This person just gets it. They see performance data like Neo dominates the Matrix.

They’re young, talented, and an up-and-comer in your organization. Their PPC campaign generates just as much revenue as all other marketing channels combined, and they have only been at the company for a few months.

5. Mr. Optimizer

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The more granular the account structure the better…right? Mr. Optimizer’s ad groups contain one keyword and two versions of ad text and nothing else.

You may recognize him as the one with his head down at their desk diligently working. Although great at managing your SEM account, Mr. Optimizer may not be the best client-facing option.

6. Over-Reactor

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The Over-Reactor may be considered "high strung" and tend to over-react if there are no conversions in the account by the time they get into the office. The Over-Reactor is quick to hit the panic button and get upper management to freak out over pretty much nothing.

You will likely hear a lot of cursing and signs coming from their cubicle.

7. Google Disciple

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The Disciple has a great relationship with their Google reps. They use the Content Network, always test the latest betas, and have all of their broad match keywords set with higher bids than their exact and phrase match variations.

These people are Google’s cash cows.

8. The Organizer

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This person has every piece of paper on their desk neatly filed and in color-coded folders. Their desktop has no stray files.

The account structure of The Organizer is impeccable and they create reports in Excel that make your creative team jealous. This person is essential to a great SEM team.

9. The Ego

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The only metric The Ego cares about is how many "hits" their website is getting. They want that top spot for all of their head terms so their competitors know who is the boss.

During the pitch you may here ‘how much does it cost to be at the top for (enter keyword)’.

10. Mad Scientist

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This type of PPC manager comes up with some of the best ideas and tests you may ever hear of. Some work out extremely well and others go down in a blaze of glory.

Give the Mad Scientist a pile of data and he will find great opportunities to improve your account.

11. The Blogger

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The Blogger is kind of a big deal on the Internet. His goal is to become Internet famous and pumps out at least three blog posts a week.

No one knows if he actually does any work or manages any accounts, but The Blogger sure does have a lot of Twitter followers.

12. The Novice

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The Novice works at a small company and is the only one under the age of 60.

The Novice was handed the keys to an AdWords account with no prior experience. After creating one campaign with two ad groups with 85+ keywords each, he sets it, forgets it, and goes to Facebook.

13. The SEO

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This happens more than it should. The senior management heads to Google, sees a competitor advertising via paid search and says, "Why are we not showing up there?"

The next thing you know orders are sent down from above and a search engine optimizer is handed the keys to a large monthly budget.

14. The Small Business Owner

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The Small Business Owner knows he needs to be appearing where his customer searches, thinks he is pretty tech savvy because he has the newest iPhone, and heads out to set up his own AdWords account.

With limited budget, he can’t afford an agency, and a few hundred dollars later he has a bunch of unqualified traffic and no new leads.

15. The Seasoned Veteran

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The Seasoned Veteran has been around the block. From account management to branding, they know the agency world inside and out.

Due to budget cutbacks or a lost account, they were moved over to manage SEM campaigns. They take the bull by the horns and run it.

16. Quality Score Maven

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Every move made is measured by how it affects quality score. Click-through rate is examined 20 times a day and ad text and account structure is a key to their success.

They believe they know the exact algorithm that calculates quality score and won’t share it with anyone.

Have you met any of these SEM managers? Which one are you?


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