Cut back on keywords, cut smartphone spend, and make sure you have your engine mix right if you want to please the bean counters and avoid a slice in your PPC budget.
Just like U.S. government agencies, you may find yourself with a sudden unexpected budget cut; a "sequestration," if you want to use a topical reference.
However, before I get into the strategic and tactical response to an arbitrary PPC budget cut, I think it's important to say that as digital marketers we must understand the increasing role that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will be playing in regulating the digital marketing ecosystem. I'm referring not only to "online" as we define it now, but also to apps, mobile, interactive TV, digital radio, online video, and social media. Just this past week, the FTC voiced its concern that marketing messages on social media and mobile devices are not properly disclosed to consumers. Retrofitting social media platforms to conform to the FTC's recommendations may be quite challenging and it will be interesting to see how the industry handles placement of "disclosure on all devices that consumers may use to view the ad." It's likely that search will be revisited at some point in the future as well.
Now back to PPC budget cuts. Sometimes the boss wants to cut your PPC budget even though you feel like your budget should actually be going up. As search marketers it's not unusual for us to have data that proves that we are buying revenues and profit at a positive cash flow (after some lifetime value calculation or even immediately). That data should be a shield against budget cuts because you are essentially buying revenue and customers for the company profitably. However, despite the data, the "bean counters" may not agree with you about increased budgets and instead reduce your PPC search budget.
Below are six ways that you can survive a PPC budget sequestration.
The above tactics and strategies work just as well in reverse and apply quite well when you get additional budget instead of a budget cut, allowing you to properly evaluate new opportunities. Let's hope the economic recovery stays strong, decreasing the likelihood that you'll have to weather a PPC budget sequestration.
Budget Cuts image on home page via Shutterstock.
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