In 2014, Daniel Bean was making magazine ads for Move Ahead Media, a Thailand-based agency with its hands in all kinds of advertising and content creation. An avid reader, Daniel formed opinions on areas outside his specialty, often conversing with clients and supervisors alike on the topic of Facebook ads and new trends in marketing media.
What he didn’t realize is that those conversations would lead him to be charged with running Move Ahead Media’s first in-house PPC campaigns.
To do so, he had to learn PPC from the ground up—all while delivering results to clients.
Now, he’s Head of Digital Marketing for both the Bangkok, Thailand and Sydney, Australia locations of Move Ahead Media. He has a thriving team of six who work on paid performance marketing and social media management. Most of his early hires had no agency experience and little to no experience in PPC, but were already placed in the company.
Here’s how he trained himself—and his team—to make the kind of PPC agency his clients love to work with. Included is his list of top digital marketing training resources.
Daniel’s Jumpstart: Bringing Outsourced Work In-House
Before Daniel built his team, he had to get himself up to speed. Move Ahead Media had already acquired several clients who wanted PPC campaigns. Their campaigns were being managed by outside help.
When Daniel took over the accounts, he studied in depth everything that those contractors had been doing.
When he didn’t understand something, he Googled the answer. And when that wasn’t enough, he talked to experts from Google’s help center. In the meantime, he read all the online guides and thought-leadership pieces he could find in the industry.
“I felt like I had to be obsessed with learning because the guys selling for us have to have faith in someone to make it work. We’re close-knit as a company, because here in Thailand, the social circles that you might have if you were in your hometown are more restricted. The guys that you work with are the ones you drink with or play football with on the weekends. I knew that everything was on me; there was no one else to blame if things didn’t work out,” he said.
The result? Not only did he learn enough to do what needed doing, but he also found mistakes that the outside help had made when setting up PPC campaigns. By fixing those mistakes, he was able to get even better results for Move Ahead Media’s clients.
And that led to more work than he could handle himself. His first hire was Stuart, a man who was working for Move Ahead Media doing SEO. He didn’t have enough on his plate, so Daniel trained him in PPC. A little while later, Daniel convinced one of their IT guys to learn PPC. And after that, he hired a college grad to run Facebook ads and create content.
Eventually, he had the resources to hire people who ‘fit’ the company culture while also having experience in PPC. But until then, he had to find the right resources to keep himself and his team learning.
How Daniel Trained Inexperienced New Hires
In our conversation, Daniel ran down a list of tools and techniques he uses to train new recruits. The following section covers the specific methods he listed (and what they’re best for learning).
Favorite Resource for Adwords? Google Academy for Ads
Back when Daniel started, Google Academy wasn’t an option. But now, it’s his favorite resource for anyone doing PPC.
“It’s really, really easy to put somebody on Google Academy and say, ‘There you go, you’ve got everything you ever wanted in terms of training,’” he laughed.
Even better, Google Academy for Ads is completely free. It covers AdWords and DoubleClick products, along with some insight on general digital advertising concepts. While completing the course doesn’t result in Adwords certification, it does cover much of the material needed to get certified.
Want to Supplement? Use Lynda
Lynda is a learning platform that covers many disciplines, digital marketing included. Courses are taught by individual subject matter experts. They offer a one-month free trial, and then membership starts at $29.99/month (although they do offer special plans for team learning).
Note: Lynda was acquired by LinkedIn Learning and will soon be branded under that name.
Want to Do Facebook Marketing? Try Facebook IQ
Not everyone on Daniel’s team liked the format of Facebook IQ. But for those who enjoyed the format, it was a great learning resource.
Facebook IQ is a portal with access to “studies, tools, and resources” to help marketers better understand how their target audience uses communication technology. It hosts a variety of original research, including insights into user behavior and how those insights change across borders.
Daniel noted that some of his team members found Facebook Blueprint to be a good starting place for understanding which tools are available to marketers on Facebook.
Want Test Taking Practice? Try iPassExam
If you’re planning to get marketing certifications and you want to practice taking tests, Daniel recommends iPassExam. He found it particularly helpful for scoring your answers and showing you where your weaknesses are. Plus, the training he chose was under $100.
It offers practice questions on multiple subjects, including Facebook advertising, Google Analytics, Google Adwords, and Adobe products. It’s not a stand-alone resource, but Daniel found it to be a good study aid.
Observation: A Tried-and-True Approach
In addition to online resources and courses, Daniel made sure to train his team members by letting them watch over his shoulder as he managed campaigns.
In addition, they would have weekly meetings where he and his new hires would sit around the table and discuss all the questions they had.
While the online training programs were an important element in their successful training, Daniel believes there’s no replacement for face-to-face learning.
Training Inexperienced Hires. Is It Worth It?
At first, training up teammates was the only thing Daniel had in his budget. And it worked well when he was a one-man team looking to take on additional clients.
But now that he has a larger budget and more experience, he thinks that hiring someone with more experience who can get started immediately is less expensive overall than hiring someone who is starting from zero.
As he continues to grow his team, he has his eyes on his next goal: moving up from the Google Partner designation to the Google Premier Partner designation.