Ashwin Balakrishnan was nominated for a PPC Spotlight Profile by Greg Kohler in July of 2022.
How long have you been working in PPC?
Creatives since 2015, strategy and account management since 2020.
How did you get started in PPC?
An integrated marketing agency hired me as a copywriter.
I wrote copy and scripts for campaigns across all channels: television/video, print, search, social, display, etc.
Eventually I became a full creative with an art director which meant I was coming up with campaign ideas in addition to executing them.
If you went to college or university, what did you study? If not college, do you have any other degrees or certifications?
I have a communications degree with focus areas in writing, audio design, and behavioral psychology.
Later on, I did a one-year diploma course in public relations.
That’s a far cry from my first-choice course of study which was pre-law.
What was your first job that involved PPC?
The first time I really got my hands on a PPC account was my first in-house role in 2017/18.
I was doing content marketing for a human resources SaaS company. My co-worker in charge of the account asked me for help structuring and writing a Google search campaign.
That ended up becoming a 7-week project across Facebook, LinkedIn, and other Google channels.
What is your current position and how long have you been in it?
I’m the marketing head at Optmyzr, a software provider making PPC management easier — and proud sponsor of PPC Chat!
What kinds of things do you currently handle or manage in PPC?
Funnily enough for an ad tech company, our own marketing strategy doesn’t use a whole lot of PPC campaigns.
Now that I have that expertise on my team, I spend my time learning about what’s happening in PPC world, working with my team to come up with solutions, and creating content to make our ideas accessible.
So you could say my role in PPC is equal parts education and community.
Has your career path had any hiccups or nontraditional aspects that you’d like to share?
Being an integrated, largely organic marketer has helped me approach a discipline I’m not an expert in (PPC) with confidence. Especially so these days with the ad platform changes requiring a mind-shift from many paid marketers.
What are you most proud of in your PPC career?
In 2021, I took my first shot at hosting and marketing a virtual event designed to help marketers better manage the transition to integrating PPC automation.
This year, we’re doing a second version of the event with more speakers, a greater focus on tactics and executing ideas, and a more accessible training format.
What, if anything, do you wish you could “do over” in your PPC career?
Sometimes I wish I had more hands-on experience running and optimizing campaigns so that I can follow the more advanced technical conversations.
But that would mean less time honing my organic marketing skills, which would make me less effective in my role serving the PPC community.
If you could give advice to someone either considering or just starting out in PPC, what would that be?
Think of paid campaigns from the perspective of a wider marketing strategy. Understand the brand’s audience, positioning, and priorities/goals.
This won’t always be in place, but have the conversation.
Are you interested in speaking opportunities? If so, what topics are your jam?
Yes! I veer more toward organic search marketing topics like SEO and content. In paid search, I love to talk about integrated marketing strategies and change management for teams and leaders.
Anything else you’d like to share?
PPC is an extremely helpful marketing community. Continue being excellent to each other!
Where can people find you to connect (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)?
Find me @TheCopyTrail on Twitter!