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Tales from the Click Part 2 - Uncover 6 More PPC Myths



Another day and even more myths. We can probably do a series on the myths that are rampant in the industry but we'll just give you 6 more.


1. You can learn PPC after selling PPC to a Client


Ah, the classic tale of overenthusiastic ambition: “Sell now, learn later.” On the surface, it sounds like a go-getter approach, but when applied to PPC, it’s a bit like pledging to run a marathon before you've mastered the art of tying your shoelaces. Let's delve deeper into this topsy-turvy approach, shall we?


The Temptation of the Sales Pitch


Picture the scene: A potential client is in front of you, excitedly discussing their brand. The words "I need to get into online advertising" waft into the air. Seizing the moment, you nod sagely and say, "PPC is the answer!" even if your understanding of PPC at that moment is that it's some sort of internet thingamajig.


The Aftermath: Navigating the Pilot’s Seat blindfolded

Having sold a service you barely grasp, you’re now at the helm, attempting to steer the ship. It's a tad like being thrust into the cockpit of an aircraft with passengers eagerly waiting for takeoff, and your sum total experience is having once played a flight simulator game. Gulp.


The Potential Pitfalls (or, The Series of “Oops” Moments)

  • Unrealistic Promises: Without an in-depth understanding, it's easy to overpromise and underdeliver. Akin to assuring a smooth transatlantic flight and then realizing mid-air you've only got fuel for a short haul.

  • Budget Blunders: With no grasp of how bidding, keywords, or targeting works, you're in danger of burning through your client's budget quicker than a kettle boils.

  • Misaligned Strategies: PPC isn’t a standalone tactic. Without knowing how it fits into the larger digital ecosystem, you risk crafting campaigns that are as out of place as a penguin in the Sahara.


Doing Right by your Client: The Ethical Angle


Selling a service you're unfamiliar with isn't just impractical; it reads into murky ethical waters. After all, your client is investing not just money but also trust in you. Learning on the fly with their resources is a bit like using someone else’s money for a bet at the races – thrilling, perhaps, but not exactly above board.


The right foot forward:


Learn, then earn - The prudent approach? Flip the script. Invest time in understanding the intricacies of PPC:

  • Courses & Certifications: Plenty of platforms offer detailed courses, many of them free. Get certified!

  • Networking: Connect with seasoned PPC professionals. Learn from their experiences and insights.

  • Trial runs: Before diving into client campaigns, set up some trial ones. Get a feel for the tools, platforms, and strategies.

While the enthusiasm of "sell first, learn later" has a certain audacious charm, in the realm of PPC, it's a strategy fraught with pitfalls. Remember, in the world of digital marketing, credibility is currency. Before selling a dream flight to others, ensure you’ve at least taken a few test runs down the runway yourself.



2. AI will take our jobs


“Skynet is upon us!” – Ah, that classic fear from countless sci-fi films. As AI continues to blossom in the PPC landscape, many PPC manager's knickers get twisted with the dreaded thought, “Will I be replaced by a machine?” Fear not, dear reader, for while AI might have the binary brain, we humans possess the magic of creativity, intuition, and a good ol' gut feeling.


Understanding AI’s Role in PPC


Before we get our knickers in any more of a twist, let's clarify AI's role in PPC:

  • Automating mundane Tasks: From bid adjustments to data analysis, AI can handle the nitty-gritty, repetitive tasks at lightning speed. It's a bit like having a hyper-efficient assistant who never needs a tea break.

  • Predictive Analysis: AI uses historical data to forecast trends. But remember, it's like a seasoned weatherman predicting rain based on patterns – accurate, but not always perfect.

  • Personalisation at Scale: AI can help tailor ad experiences for individual users based on their behaviors. Think of it as crafting a custom brew for each visitor.

The Irreplaceable Human Touch - Now, for the star of the show – you, the human:

  • Creativity & Strategy: An AI can churn out a hundred ad copies, but can it create a campaign that tugs at the heartstrings or tickles the funny bone? That's where your creative genius shines.

  • Intuition: Sometimes, decisions in PPC are based on more than just data. It's about reading between the lines, understanding nuances, and that intuitive "feel" for what might work. AI, as clever as it is, isn't about to join you for a pint and a heart-to-heart chat about its feelings.

  • Client Relations: Building relationships, understanding specific business nuances, and communicating strategy is an art. Machines can process data, but you're the one who brings empathy, understanding, and human connection.

  • The Symphony of Synergy - Instead of viewing AI as the scary monster under the bed, think of it as a valuable teammate. The combination of AI's efficiency with your unique human touch creates a symphony that neither could achieve solo. It’s akin to pairing a fine wine with the perfect cheese – individually delightful, but together? A masterpiece.


Future-Proofing Your Role to harmonize with AI:

  • Embrace Learning: Understand how AI tools work in your field. Harness them to your advantage.

  • Hone Soft Skills: Skills like strategy formulation, relationship-building, and creative thinking will always be in demand.

  • Collaborate: Work with AI, using it to elevate the quality and efficiency of your campaigns.

Dear PPC managers, fret not - AI is here to be an ally, not an adversary. As long as there's a need for strategy, creativity, and that human touch, your seat at the PPC table is reserved. So, chin up, embrace the tech, and remember – while AI can crunch numbers, you bring the magic.



3. Broad Match will work for any Industry (example Healthcare)


Imagine stepping into a gargantuan supermarket, shouting out, “Medicine!” and hoping you'd get the exact cough syrup you wanted. That's essentially the audacity of broad matches in the intricate world of PPC, especially for industries as nuanced as healthcare. Let's dissect why the 'one-size-fits-all' of broad match might not always be the snuggest fit for everyone, particularly for those in the health sector.


The allure of Broad Match


Broad match in PPC is essentially advertising’s answer to casting the widest net possible. It displays your ad to a broad spectrum of search queries that may only be tangentially related to your keywords.


Pros:

  • Volume: The sheer reach can be massive. Think of it as broadcasting your message to a packed stadium.

  • Discoverability: Useful for new brands or services wanting to find their audience.


The Pitfalls of a wide net in example Healthcare


Healthcare isn't a straightforward sector; it's a complex web of specialties, conditions, treatments, and jargon. Using broad match here can lead to:

  • Irrelevant Traffic: A clinic specializing in orthopedics might end up attracting searches for orthodontic braces. Not quite the match one hopes for.

  • Budget Drain: Every irrelevant click costs. In a field like healthcare, where specific treatments can be pricey, budget wastage on non-qualified leads is a grave concern.

  • Sensitive Topics: Health searches can often be deeply personal. Broad matches might inadvertently display ads to users looking for related, but different, medical support, causing potential distress or confusion.


The nuanced Nature of Healthcare here's where the health sector's uniqueness plays a role:


  • Specialized Services: Unlike selling a universal product like a smartphone, health services are highly specialized. A cardiology clinic doesn't want traffic seeking floral card designs.

  • Regulations & Compliance: Healthcare advertising is a minefield of regulations. A broad match could lead to unintentional breaches.

  • Trust Factors: Trust is paramount. An irrelevant ad can dilute a healthcare provider's credibility.


The Middle Path: Other Strategies to harness the reach of broad match without its pitfalls, consider:

  • Negative Keywords: Regularly update and maintain a list of terms for which you DON'T want your ads to appear.

  • Audience Segmentation: Divide your audience based on conditions, treatments, or demographics to deliver more tailored ads.


While the vast embrace of broad match has its appeal, in sectors like healthcare, precision often trumps sheer volume. It's about reaching the right patient at the right time with the right message. After all, you wouldn’t use a sledgehammer for a procedure that requires a scalpel. So, when planning your PPC strategy, ensure your tools and approach are fit for purpose.



4. ROAS isn't as simple as People make it out to be


Ah, ROAS. The shining star of the PPC world, revered by many, and, at times, misunderstood by even the best of us. ROAS, or Return on Advertising Spend, seems like a straightforward chap: for every pound spent on advertising, how many pounds are returned? But scratch beneath the surface, and you'll find that, much like a tip of an iceberg, there's a lot more lurking below. Let's embark on a journey to truly appreciate the depth and intricacies of this metric, especially in the ever-evolving world of digital advertising.


  • ROAS: It's transparent, it's direct, and it delivers a number that makes boardroom presentations shine. Spend £1, get £5 back. It's the sort of ROI dream made of. But wait...

  • ROAS: A Piece, Not the whole Pie - Relying solely on ROAS can be like judging an opera based on a single note. It's a part of the grand symphony, but there's so much more to consider.

  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): A customer may bring £20 in immediate sales, contributing to a good ROAS. But if they stick around, repurchase, and perhaps spend £500 over two years, that initial ad spend looks even more appealing.

  • Brand Loyalty: A campaign might break even or even run at a slight loss initially. However, if it imprints your brand into consumers' minds and fosters loyalty, the long-term gain can far surpass the immediate ROAS.

  • Intangible Returns: Not every interaction leads directly to a sale. Engagements, brand awareness, social shares, positive reviews – they don’t always factor into ROAS but hold significant value.


The Tricky Terrain of ROAS in different industries:


What’s a good ROAS? Well, it’s a bit like asking the length of a piece of string. It depends.

  • High Margin vs. low margin Products: A high ROAS might be fabulous for a digital product with little overheads. The same ROAS for a low-margin physical product? Not so rosy.

  • Competitive Industries: Breaking into or maintaining a position in highly competitive sectors might require more aggressive advertising spends, tempering immediate ROAS expectations.

  • The Layered Landscape of Digital Marketing - Remember, consumers don't always follow a linear path.

  • Multi-Touch Attribution: Often, a customer interacts with multiple ads before converting. Crediting only the last touchpoint can distort ROAS perceptions.

  • Delayed Gratification: Some campaigns plant seeds, leading to conversions down the line, especially in sectors with longer consideration phases.


The Balanced Approach while ROAS is a worthy metric:

  • Diversify Your Metrics: Besides ROAS, keep an eye on metrics like Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), Average Order Value (AOV), and Customer Retention Rate.

  • Long-Term Vision: ROAS shines a light on the now. Balance it with forecasts and a longer-term view.


While ROAS is undeniably a rockstar, it shouldn’t solo the entire concert. It's an integral part of the metrics ensemble, but remember to tune into the full orchestra for a holistic performance. So, the next time someone simplifies ROAS, give them a knowing smile and share the symphony of the story behind the numbers.


5. You can guarantee Results


"Step right up! Guaranteed success for all!" Ah, if only the realm of advertising were as predictable as a well-worn path. But, in reality, it's more akin to navigating the unpredictable waves of the vast ocean. As enticing as guarantees sound, promising certain results in advertising is not just a risky venture; it's often a fast track to dashed hopes and eroded trust. Let's set sail and explore why.


The Siren call of guarantees:

On the surface, guaranteeing results seems like the ultimate confidence booster. It's the elixir advertisers dream of: instilling faith, securing deals, and promising a serene journey. But dig deeper, and you'll unearth the quagmires.


The Variables of the Voyage:

Advertising isn't math, where two plus two always equals four. It's more like a complex recipe with myriad ingredients.


Changing Market Dynamics:

Economic downturns, competitor actions, or unforeseen global events (hello, pandemics!) can turn forecasts topsy-turvy.


Consumer Whims:

The human psyche is intricate. Trends can change overnight, rendering yesterday's sure-fire strategies suddenly ineffective.


Platform Algorithms:

Ah, the mysteries of Google and Meta's ever-evolving algorithms. One update can significantly impact campaign outcomes.


Trust the precious Cargo:

While a dazzling promise might win a client today, what happens when the winds don't blow in the desired direction?


Eroded Credibility:

Falling short of 'guaranteed' results isn’t just a missed target; it's a dent in your reputation. In the long run, reputation is the currency that counts.


Strained Partnerships:

Overpromising and under delivering can strain client relationships. Honest dialogues foster trust, and a realistic outlook creates a solid foundation for growth and adaptability.


The True North honesty & transparency:

Navigators of the advertising seas understand that while they can't control the waves, they can certainly steer the ship with skill.


Educate and Set Expectations:

It's vital to guide clients through the complexities of advertising. Lay out the potential risks, rewards, and uncertainties.


Regular Check-ins:

Instead of promises, offer regular insights, updates, and tweaks. This demonstrates commitment and agility.


Celebrate the Wins, learn from the Dips:

Every campaign brings insights. Whether it's a roaring success or offers lessons for refinement, there’s always value to be extracted.


The old adage remains true: it's better to underpromise and overdeliver. In the unpredictable seas of advertising, guarantees can be like mirages: alluring but elusive. However, navigating with honesty, skill, and transparent communication ensures that even if you can't promise calm seas, you can certainly promise a steadfast and adept hand at the helm. So, the next time someone asks for guaranteed results, offer them something even more valuable: unwavering commitment and a journey rooted in trust.


6. Platforms have the Advertiser's best interest at Heart


It's a sunny day, and you, a PPC Manager, set out on the grand ship of online advertising. As you navigate through the waters, you find yourself amidst behemoth platforms like Google and Meta, resembling colossal lighthouses guiding your way. But remember, while these lighthouses offer guidance, they also have their own purposes to serve.


So, how do you ensure that you don't just follow their light blindly and steer your advertising ship safely to the desired shores? Let's dive deeper.


Understanding the Lighthouse's Purpose:

At their core, platforms like Google and Facebook are businesses. Their primary objective? Revenue. Every feature, tool, or suggestion they offer, while potentially helpful, is ultimately designed to enhance their bottom line.


Beware of the alluring Sirens:

These platforms often introduce new features or ad formats that promise higher visibility or engagement.


Do your Homework:

Before jumping aboard, assess if these new offerings align with your specific goals or if they merely serve to increase your spend.


Test and measure:

If you do decide to try them out, always A/B test to gauge their effectiveness against your tried-and-true strategies


Autopilot vs Captain's Control:

Platforms often suggest automated settings or strategies aimed at maximizing results.

  • Stay informed: While automation can be a boon, blindly trusting it can sometimes lead to wasteful spending. Understand the mechanics behind any automated suggestion.

  • Manual checks: Periodically review and adjust automated bids, placements, and targeting to ensure alignment with your campaign objectives.


Data the treasure map

Platforms offer a wealth of data. However, they might highlight metrics that serve their narrative best.


  • Custom Dashboards: Set up custom reporting that focuses on your key performance indicators, not just the metrics the platforms promote.

  • Cross-reference: Use third-party tools or analytics to validate platform data and gain a holistic view.


Seek the Council of Fellow Navigators the PPC community is vast and knowledgeable

  • Stay updated: Join communities, attend webinars, and read up on independent research. These can offer insights that aren’t platform-centric.

  • Peer Reviews: Before adopting a platform's new feature or strategy, check reviews or case studies by peers who've tried them.


Continuous Learning the North Star

  • Education: Invest in continuous learning. Platforms might offer training, but also seek independent courses to get an unbiased view.

  • Stay Agile: Be ready to adapt and change your strategies based on real-world results, not just platform suggestions.


Conclusion


The digital world doesn't stand still. With every algorithm change, platform update, or evolving user behavior, there's a pressing need for self-development and continuous education. The most accomplished PPC professionals are those who treat learning as an ongoing quest, forever seeking to enhance their knowledge and hone their craft. Whether it's through courses, webinars, workshops, or simply staying connected with a community of peers, education becomes the compass that ensures you navigate the PPC seas effectively.


And don’t ever be afraid to show your clients, bosses, partners that you are the PPC expert by busting these myths.

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