Wall Street economists, stock watchers, and the Federal Reserve System seem convinced we're headed for a recession. With an impending Yahoo layoff reported this week, even the Internet advertising industry is getting concerned. Doomsday predictors may or may not be right, and you might be tempted, given the economic climate, to focus on PPC (define) campaign efficiency. But if you focus purely on efficiency (perhaps because the campaign algorithms used by your technology provider are all about efficiency), you miss a huge opportunity in search, regardless of whether the economy recovers after a mere blip or slides into a major slowdown.
In PPC search, many people see efficiency as the process of maximizing the yield of a paid-placement campaign by adjusting all the variables the engine provides, either through the API (define) or through a Web-based interface. Don't get me wrong, efficiency is good. But to thrive in any economic climate, one must combine efficiency with strategic testing to obtain effectiveness. Efficiency-focused tactics eliminate waste in a campaign based on the data and analytics available. However, it's impossible to find new opportunities given only historical data. The PPC market is dynamic, with price elasticity and keyword volatility. Throw in algorithmic changes (or, in the case of Google's minimum price for top position, simple meddling with the bid landscape), and you can't win by focusing purely on efficiency.
Unfortunately, many initiatives and strategies that take your campaign beyond efficiency to increased effectiveness (as measured by sales, profit, lead volume, or whatever your success metric) require a combination of tactics and strategy that's human-resources-intensive. This is one reason using technology alone often results in a stagnant campaign. Analysts need to make recommendations based on prior experience with respect to breaking out of the performance plateau.
Moving Toward Effectiveness
There are many more things to test and change to improve a campaign and leverage into higher potential bids. To maximize the opportunity in search and auction media, take your mindset beyond campaign efficiency within the status quo. Change the rules of the game by manipulating other variables under your control and never stop testing.
Want more search information? ClickZ SEM Archives contain all our search columns, organized by topic.
Know your Ambiguous Customer: Effective Multi-Channel Tracking
Wednesday, June 5 at 1pm ET - Learn why a move from the "batch and blast" email approach enables better conversations with your customers.
Register today - don't miss this free webinar!
Kevin Lee, Didit cofounder and executive chairman, has been an acknowledged search engine marketing expert since 1995. His years of SEM expertise provide the foundation for Didit's proprietary Maestro search campaign technology. The company's unparalleled results, custom strategies, and client growth have earned it recognition not only among marketers but also as part of the 2007 Inc 500 (No. 137) as well as three-time Deloitte's Fast 500 placement. Kevin's latest book, "Search Engine Advertising" has been widely praised.
Industry leadership includes being a founding board member of SEMPO and its first elected chairman. "The Wall St. Journal," "BusinessWeek," "The New York Times," Bloomberg, CNET, "USA Today," "San Jose Mercury News," and other press quote Kevin regularly. Kevin lectures at leading industry conferences, plus New York, Columbia, Fordham, and Pace universities. Kevin earned his MBA from the Yale School of Management in 1992 and lives in Manhattan with his wife, a New York psychologist and children.
June 5, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT
June 20, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT