Are You Ready for PPC on Cruise Control?

Team Google is at it again.  In their unending quest to capture your hard earned advertising dollar, Google is launching AdWords Express, your one-stop shop for local search marketing.  According to the Adwords Blog, “AdWords Express is designed to help local businesses that aren’t already AdWords advertisers create effective campaigns…you can create and run an online campaign from start to finish in just a few clicks”. There’s even a cutesy video to help get users excited about the product:

The service promises to simplify the PPC process for local business by getting their campaigns after just a few clicks. Once the campaigns go live Google even promises to automatically manage and optimize them. Users, it appears, can simply set them and forget them.

This “convenience store” strategy might be just the thing Google needs to make their product attractive to many small business hesitant to take the AdWords plunge. Fill out a few short fields, add your credit card, and Google takes care of the rest. “What about Keywords?”, you ask? AdWords Express will figure out which searches should trigger your ad and automatically display your offer in those results. Welcome to PPC on cruise control.

Still, the lack of control over your campaigns is sure to turn off experienced marketers wary of giving too much power to Google. Experienced marketers across Twitter expressed plenty of concerns:

The jury is still out on this new service from Google. Will AdWords Express prove to be the answer to many small businesses PPC prayers? Or could AdWords Express turn out to be a a moneypit for small business looking for their “piece of the pie?” We look forward to bit of hands-on time with this service in the near future. Until then, however, we welcome feedback from our readers on AdEx. Are any of you using this service for your clients? How has the experience been thus far?