Wanted: PPC Director (a/k/a a Unicorn)


Elizabeth Marsten Oct 17 2013

I’m hiring for a Director of Paid Search. Whew. There. I said it. The time has come. I wrote the same old job description that would go up and out on any site to explain duties, responsibilities, and requirements that you’re supposed to but, inwardly, I feel that’s not enough.

See, to me, this is the coolest job ever. And I can’t give it to just anyone. It’s so cool, someone should pay me to get to do it.

(All right, so that’s not going to happen.)

How about I tell you more about why I’m looking for a unicorn.

Once upon a time, Portent used to be located in less than luxurious digs down in Tukwila, by the Southcenter Mall on the Green River. If you know where the abandoned Barnaby’s parking lot is, you know where we were. It was at that location that I got my start in PPC, enjoying things like “window diapers” (when the window leaks and the one maintenance guy for 12 properties comes in and duct tapes a rolled up towel to the corner of a window that’s leaking) a carpet that wasn’t cleaned for over a year, washing coffee mugs in the bathroom sink, and at least half a dozen times when the Internet went out and we were sent home to work.

It was there that I built my team. Literally. Every single person on Portent’s PPC team was hand-picked by me. Tormented, joked with, and mentored by me. Which means that yes, it’s a killer team, but it’s also a Real Team. Each member of the PPC team has a Star Trek: The Next Generation character that relates to them and is represented by a corresponding Pez dispenser on their desk. We argue over which Futurama episode is the best and how BuzzFeed got it all wrong. We determined that if Soul by Ludacris headphone-battled Beats by Dr. Dre, Ludacris would so win. (OK, I might have used my powers as “boss” on that one.)

But we’re also serious PPC nerds. Heavy-hitting, intellectually curious PPC marketers who write haikus about Bing Ads while on hold, trade snide remarks about enhanced campaigns over the microwave, and try to figure out what ad type Facebook rolled out this week.

This means not just anyone makes the cut, and the bar is especially high for a manager. I need someone who can come in and challenge them. Make their lives easier and more interesting at work. Challenge me to be better at PPC. Argue with me about why you’re right about ad groups by match type or the all products target. Figure out what AdWords Scripts should be in our library and go get ‘em. Write about PPC in a way that makes clients weep with joy (really I’d take a sniffle) and makes me trust you implicitly. I want someone who’s running a good game now and wants to run an even better one (and then some). I want someone who wants to learn AND teach.

I also teach kendo, a Japanese martial art, and we have a saying for a good approach in teaching – “My goal is to have my students pass me up.”

This is the same way I feel about PPC. I want all my PPC marketers to pass me up some day. Then I know that Portent is “winning” in talent: they’re getting a fulfilling career and I’m constantly being challenged to keep up.

Now we’re in the Smith Tower in Downtown Seattle, no window diapers, no codes on the bathroom doors – we’ve leveled up. But, I still have a folder from my Tukwila days –when we were about 15 people in total – of things we used to play with. Inside is a “What Would a Unicorn Do?” wheel. Players spin the unicorn and whatever space the horn lands on – that’s what you do. When I was promoted for the first time to Guru (don’t ask) I sent this out:

I couldn’t have done it without the (WWUD) What Would a Unicorn Do? wheel. I spin it every morning and have been grazing on honeysuckle and posing on windy cliffs ever since.


So I know these beautiful legendary creatures are out there or at least the instruction manual on how to act like one is.

Know any unicorns that might be interested to make it so?

tags : paid searchportentppc

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