Let me paint a picture for you. It's the year 2000. You're the CEO of a marketing firm. You receive a knock at the door. You let the bright-eyed, optimistic Google AdWords salesperson into your office. You listen skeptically as he explains the value of "keyword-rich content" and advises you regarding which specific keywords you should purchase.
You don't really believe him, but it all sounds really nice and futuristic, so you ante up and hope for the best. At this point, the market hasn't caught on, so you can only base your decisions on the promise of delivery—not on consistent, industry-wide results.
A month later, you receive an all-too-familiar knock. This time, the AdWords salesperson has shown up with fancy graphs and charts displaying your search results, and you sit and listen (slightly less incredulously) about the ROI that has already been generated. You decide to choose a few more keywords.
The salesperson shows up again the next month with updated graphs and charts to show you.
Rinse and repeat, month after month. Chart after chart.
The game has changed
Sweet relief came when Google rolled out the AdWords self-service program, which gave any marketer with a credit card the power to choose his or her own keywords and receive real-time analytics.
Today, marketers can hardly fathom having to wait a whole month for Google campaign results.