What is your general preference for managing PPC - in the AdWords interface or using a bid management tool?
My automation strategy has always been "do everything manually, and automate the biggest pain in the ass first." It's served me well for years. I recommend you do the same. You'll learn about all the ins and outs of your account, campaigns, and performance. This will arm you to be better equipped to either automate your process, or evaluate third party providers. The worst thing would be to hire someone, and just take their word for it. Never let a third party tell you how well they're doing--measure everything independently, and that's something you'll need to learn how to do. There are three layers of options for doing it yourself. First, manually. Second, AdWords Scripts, for automating most of the things you were doing by hand. Third, the API--it's more complicated than either of the first options, but has a lot fewer limitations. Still, due to Pareto's Law, I do almost everything with the first two.
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