Greetings Readers! In light of all of the tech layoffs announced in the last week or two, host Julie F Bacchini discussed PPCers concerns on all of the layoffs happening in the tech space and at ad platforms, are their clients and stakeholders concerned, do clients and marketers have any plan in place and more during this week’s PPCChat session.

Q1: Are you concerned about all of the layoffs happening in the tech space in general and at ad platforms specifically? If so, what are you concerned about the most? If not, why not?

Yes. it seems like a cascade. I’m worried about support levels particularly in Canada, and effects on the housing market given the numbers. What I don’t hate is some of the smartest people we have focusing on other pursuits than getting ppl to click ads. @JuliaVyse

My concerns are about the economy in general, BUT the perception must be dealt with that tech is being particularly hard hit. I view my job now to be a steady voice of calm for my clients. Keep them from being reactive. @NeptuneMoon

I am! From a human perspective – that must suck!! Having the rug pulled from beneath you like that. From a professional perspective – yes as well. Which departments were affected? Will it affect the support we’ll receive? @TheMarketingAnu

Yes. It’s contagious, one company starts and suddenly there are firings left and right. Potential ripple effects…advertisers pulling budgets etc @BorisBeceric

Yes, but mostly for the folks involved who have lost their jobs and probably in most cases very high-paying jobs. The economy always comes back and it is just a rough patch. My concern is really just about the people because it sucks. @lchasse

We have been on a shaky ride since Covid. I think the big platforms got overoptimistic and wanted to come out top on the talent battle. We are now going through a readjustment but it doesn’t change the baseline for growth in digital advertising. This is temporary. @soanders

Been concerned since last summer since our B2B clients were already feeling it then and lots of layoffs since July, but last week- brutal! Think people should take notice now. #ppcchat (see Im out of practice!) @ynotweb

Yes, tech is full of opportunity and when you have this volume of highly qualified people out of work there is a shift, however, I also see job loss as opportunity for creation and new ideas sometimes people feel free to explore passions or start a business. @runnerkik

I find it unfortunate but I am not concerned too much on how it will impact me personally. “Support” can’t get worse (I know knock on wood but I actually believe this). I’m not sure these layoffs necessarily signal a further economic downturn either. @selley2134

The layoffs suck for the people involved. Hard stop. I also don’t like how it signals from the platforms that they’re focusing more on the bottom line. There area lot of levers they can pull in their algos to generate revenue at advertisers’ expense. @robert_brady

This is sad news but not that worrying to me in and of itself. They grew too fast and “corrected” (heartless word in this context) @mikeryanretail

And I feel like reps will be even more insistent on pushing features that help the platform and not advertisers. @robert_brady

Not necessarily if only because sometimes it felt like their growth was hard to justify from a business case in the first place. I feel bad for the people laid off, especially because the businesses hired them based on assumption that nothing would change. @MichealGumbert

What’s worrying are the knock-on effects… For example, it helps justify managers conducting layoffs of their own, perhaps frivolously “Even Google had to make cuts” It could also create a labour surplus in some categories. @mikeryanretail

Yes, 1 concern is that support teams for ad platforms could be cut back. I also think that companies tend to be more reactive when they see others doing layoffs, so (similar to what others have said) my goal is to help clients keep a level head & maintain stability.  @adclarke10

I think my issue seems to be around the ethics of many of these layoffs. Many people have been at these firms for a long time and the way in which some of the Google people in particular have been let go has been beyond poor. @PPC_Fraser

Overall I am concerned about two parts of the business. 1. About the quality of CS and the rough hiring done after these layoffs. We saw overhiring during the bull market where support people were just hired in the haste. Post recent layoff, Google Ads was down. @1tagupta

I am concerned about its effect on normal people, advertisers and businesses. If I might be in a full-time role as such, constant layoffs might burn me out with frequent job hunting. However, I saw that current layoffs are happening in tech giants. @1tagupta

And not so many SMBs. I was on a call with recruiting firm from the US and the Biz Owner mentioned that we are set with the constant demand of PPC/ Performance guys from all the industries, mostly Series A and B. So, it was also insightful to know. @1tagupta

Every single day in this industry I am concerned. My biggest concern on the platform side is, service to advertisers is already lacking, how much worse can it get with fewer resources? @JonKagan

Q2: Is there any platform you are most concerned about, to the point where you are reevaluating strategy? What about the platform(s) is most concerning?

Well I am always concerned about the lack of support from the platforms, not just the big G, Meta is an issue as well, that being said I don’t see other options for moving money at this time or shifting to a strategy that doesn’t involve big G. @runnerkik

Knowing where companies tend to lay off I would say support with any/all of our platforms. Customer support is almost always seen as a “cost centre” for companies and that generally gets hit the hardest. This can impact us if we have issues w/accounts. @lchasse

Not because of Layoffs – but as budgets get tighter for certain clients we are having to rethink bing – It’s a bummer but the performance there has tanked over the past year with all the crazy changes they have made. It used to be so reliable. @selley2134

No, still Twitter. Layoffs basically indicate where my team needs to invest time. More and more self-serve buys vs managed buys coming up.  @JuliaVyse

Not actually concerned about the ad platforms- actually seeing potential opportunity there for a couple of reasons. So we are reevaluating strategies in a different way. @ynotweb

Trying to bring our marketing strategy back to basics, we want to be on the platforms that have been shown to work and not chasing a fad. @MichealGumbert

No platform in particular. If you never need support, you’re probably fine. But IF you need support…oooh boy.  @BorisBeceric

Do we think when these platforms saw Twitter cut and not disintegrate they looked down at themselves? Also, post cut stock prices increased which unfortunately means this won’t be the end..@runnerkik

Twitter for sure, genuinely go beyond recommending it now as I’m so conscious of brand safety. @PPC_Fraser

It is hard to imagine support getting worse, but it always could… And outages are a concern, as we saw with G Ads yesterday. Not that we know that was tied to layoffs, but any outage is problematic. @NeptuneMoon

Yes but not because of the economy Regulation HUGE this year. TikTok could implode depending on how Washington decides. Meta at-risk of losing personalization in the EU. Google under fresh DOJ scrutiny. @mikeryanretail

Google PPC Ad Spend Budgets. Moving half of a budget over to BING PPC as their demographics are fitting for the business I’m marketing to. @BRAVOMedia1

Not to the point that we’re re-evaluating strategy but yeah, Google is a concern. As I said to answer 1 – which department got affected. will support improve or worsen? time will tell. @TheMarketingAnu

Not really tbh. The support teams at Reddit & LinkedIn have been great, so from a human perspective it would be a shame to lose them, but overall it wouldn’t really impact our strategy. We’re also not running ads on Twitter & already ignore Google support reps. @adclarke10

You can only struggle against broken or convoluted CS &/or UIs for so long before you go, “I’m done, let’s spend our energy on a platform that wants our ad dollars” Yes changed platforms multiple times this yr. for this reason. Fintech, healthcare, SaaS, recruiting @timmhalloran

Not anything in general related to the platform side in PPC. Our strategies are tight & we are executing it strongly. I don’t think these layoffs are currently gonna affecting my processes. However, to tackle this, I am getting active at communities. @1tagupta

Communities where I can find the owners and decision-makers of the majority of the tools and tech I use. @1tagupta

Only Twitter…for obvious reasons. @JonKagan

Q3: Are you doing anything proactively to help clients or stakeholders understand and contextualize what is happening in tech and at ad platforms?

Yes and no. We’re not pivoting any particular strategies, but we have been encouraging more partnerships and diversifying spends. That activity was already important, and now makes more sense than ever. Get those eggs in various baskets! @JuliaVyse

Yep. We are double-checking ALL accounts with thorough audits to look for abnormalities so we can catch anything early. With questionable support, it’s on us to protect our client’s budgets. @ynotweb

Not enough! I have made a point of sharing internally the need to liaise more with Google but PURELY down to the concern that if we don’t they’ll contact clients directly. Collaboration by fear isn’t really the most conducive way of working though. @PPC_Fraser

My go-to is to be as proactive as I can with my clients and keep them up to date on what they need to know, in a way that is appropriate. They feel more comfortable when they know that I am paying attention to what is happening and looking out for their interests. @NeptuneMoon

Haven’t tackled the layoffs yet but I’m constantly working to inform clients about macro trends. It’s so important and awareness can be surprisingly low. @mikeryanretail

It is serving as a reminder that ad platforms are rented spaces, they can help get people into our ecosystem but then it is on us to keep them there. As a large advertiser where we spend our budgets makes a difference us pulling back has real-world outcomes. @MichealGumbert

Costant communication. But most of my clients are pretty dialled in, so they get what all of this means for them. @BorisBeceric

Yeah, I keep saying we are seeing the door to AI and automation open. It will change the way we work and the way their campaigns will pan out. Connection to the layoffs (?): The Microsoft 10 – 10 was spectacular: sack 10k staff, invest 10B in OpenAI @soanders

I will say that we’re having conversations about misinformation. With fewer people minding the shop, and all content being user generated, there’s an opportunity here for mischief and dangerous nonsense. @JuliaVyse

Haven’t tackled the layoffs yet but I’m constantly working to inform clients about macro trends. It’s so important and awareness can be surprisingly low. @mikeryanretail

Clients are seeing the platform ‘perks’ degrade and in terms of guiding the client though that is much of what we do as an agency is help navigate in their best interest by not blanket applying every platform solution and prioritizing efficient accounts overgrowth. @runnerkik

Going to reiterate yet again that support that reaches out is a sales team & their incentives are not aligned with biz goals. Other than that working with mostly small biz I am not sure they are too concerned with Layoffs at giant tech companies. @selley2134

This is tricky since none of us really knows. But if it comes up, it is important to be able to discuss the issue. Personally, I’d rather not talk about it. But would love to perform more PPC Audits! @BRAVOMedia1

This is the part I enjoy tbh. I’ve taught myself the scale back the “ad-tactic-nerd talk” and focus on bottom-line metrics/strategies as I’ve grown into a co. facing role (less background). But teaching or adding context is something I would do more of if I could. @timmhalloran

Somewhat. We’re transparent about the fact that Google reps don’t help us, we don’t trust the Recommendations tab, & we’re leaning into automation more (and communicating the learning periods associated with it). But layoffs haven’t been part of many discussions yet. @adclarke10

Constantly evaluating our strategies and performance has helped a lot to be updated with what is going in the market and economy. However, with clients tightening their budgets, I try to find opportunities with better results. @1tagupta

Also, some of my clients love to know what is working in the granular level. So, it’s rather fun and interesting how much we learn from each other while discussing topics like these. @1tagupta

As much industry information as possible, because I may have to become my client’s dedicated platform rep @JonKagan

Q4: Are clients or stakeholders concerned about the state of tech? Have they brought the topic up to you? If so, what are they focused on?

Not that I am aware of but will definitely be leaving time and space in meetings to address any concerns. @selley2134

They haven’t yet– but they will now! It takes a while for this news to trickle down to non-tech industries (as it appears that this issue seems to also take a while to trickle down from financial industry which started making these moves months ago) @ynotweb

I have not gotten any questions on the layoffs yet, but clients are definitely concerned about the economy in general. I have one client in the tech education field who is impacted by tech layoffs more directly. Fewer people want to pay for training when layoffs. @NeptuneMoon

Yes, not much, and most of the focus has been about support and our overall plans. Now is the time of year to start executing the strategy. And I can say that when partners have gotten in touch, it’s for support staff news, and or to grow spend on the platform. @JuliaVyse

Main concern is around privacy & what it means for targeting. Literally, this week had discussions with a client on the importance of first-party data and nurturing those leads, so much of my work has been ensuring any shifts are translated into what it means for them. @PPC_Fraser

They’re more concerned about macroeconomic trends. How do we prep, protect budgets, double down on what’s working and prevent any CRO leaks? @BorisBeceric

Clients bring up the concern for rising CPCs and dropping conversion. Sometimes they worry about less impressions too. I try to entertain them with stories from the real world about bots, AI and the End of work. And the occasional cookie story from time to time. @soanders

I haven’t had any clients bring it up yet. We’re also very transparent about changes in the actual ad platforms, which helps ease any anxiety about updates/announcements & lets them know that we’re staying up to date on the trends. @adclarke10

No, but it’s very fresh tbh the ad platforms are facing minimal risk. The layoffs reduced overhead, increased profitability, and lowered risk The risk they face is if a consumer recession occurs and is strong enough to trigger an advertiser recession. @mikeryanretail

Surprisingly no. They pay to do that worrying. @JonKagan

Nothing in specific they are concerned with related to layoffs. But in case they wish to talk about these, I try to be updated with the nitty-gritty and boring economic stuff and try to find answers to their queries. @1tagupta

Q5: Do you have any plan in place for yourself or your agency for the coming part of the business cycle where brands will tend to let in-house staff go and look to outsource? Same Q for in-house folks.

We plan on doubling down – hiring another specialist if we need to – and being available to soak up the work which will inevitably come our way! @gilgildner

Yes. we’re constantly looking at clients who want to go in-house to reduce fees and those who want agency support to make use of our discounts on media. Both are going to be in flux this year. @JuliaVyse

Not that I know of especially since finding talent is hard. @runnerkik

It feels kind of icky to look for opportunities when others are being downsized, BUT there will be brands looking for outside help. The “why are we paying salary & benefits when we could just pay for work” part of the cycle is here. @NeptuneMoon

No plans in relation with the layoffs, except perhaps that this is the first time we have a chance to have some solid evidence on “Google is not always right, look what they just did” towards clients. Increase your optimization score, anyone? @soanders

No particular plan in place for this although it seems like the pool of qualified job seekers may be increasing so will be keeping eyes on this. @selley2134

Be visible! Already seeing an uptick in leads. 1: Outsourcing. 2: Brands are beginning to move away from big agencies, so if you’re an established freelancer or micro agency, work is going to come your way. @BorisBeceric

Been making plans since November. @ynotweb

It would be an interesting reversal if this occurs. Not unthinkable. I fear that it will be a lean year for marketers of all stripes. No, I don’t really have a plan. @mikeryanretail

Wow! I haven’t been thinking about it too much. Although when budgets are really tight – I’m really grateful that I have been doing Google Adwords since its inception. When we’re super busy – I’ll bring on PPC help. When it’s tighter I’ll do it myself. @BRAVOMedia1

This is also a time when you can do consulting work on the side. There will be a % of brands that want to work with a freelancer or consultant because the perception is less expensive and that is appealing in this type of market. @NeptuneMoon

Yup. I am tightening the outbound and acquisition process for myself (check my daily update thread) & will soon be working on the inbound side of acquisition to capture these demands. I am also talking with a lot of recruiting agencies & trying to collab with them. @1tagupta

Some of our agency’s exec team has pivoted to focusing almost exclusively on sales/business development. While they do that, others are stepping in to fill those people’s “vacant” roles, particularly in areas where responsibilities have overlapped in the past. @adclarke10

Anecdotally it’s to refresh the clients on goals and have actionable and attributable KPIs to be held to. It can make it a lot more difficult for clients to let you go if you’re consistently hitting targets and meeting their needs. @PPC_Fraser

In-house we aren’t looking to outsource we’re actually looking to continue to bring things in-house. The reasoning is pretty simple in-house teams respond to what is happening within the org. an outside partner is as impacted as we are. @MichealGumbert

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