It’s a fact: it is no longer possible to efficiently reach your target market with a couple of generic PPC ads. Search engine users are more demanding than ever and expect the ads to be both personalized and highly relevant. They are also viewing your content on many devices and under many different formats. These technologies are creating new opportunities, but also mean that managing a PPC campaign is becoming increasingly complex. In a word, planning PPC simply as another marketing initiative is not an option.
There is a certain discrepancy between the traditional marketing vision and the reality of PPC advertising. PPC is still considered by many as an additional source of global visibility for the brand. Therefore, we see many campaigns with very little segmentation and generic ads. The performance of these campaigns is often disappointing: low click-through rates and high cost per click are common.
These generic campaigns do not leverage the powerful segmentation capabilities of PPC. The possibility to target specific consumers with unique messaging has become the norm, and is now expected by search engine users, who are looking for a quick answer to specific questions.
Personalization according to the device used is also important. Users don’t display the same behavior on a desktop and a mobile: ads are not shown in the same format and 25% of researches are different in nature (Econsultancy). Mobile PPC investments have increased by 23% for Q4 2013, and by 55% compared to the same period in 2012. (Source: Covario Q4 2014 Global Paid Search Spend Analysis) Competition is more intense, with only 3 positions available on the first page of mobile results (compared to 10 results on a classic desktop). Creating custom mobile ads, with specific call-to-actions and custom extensions, will soon become mandatory.
Moreover, using generic ads leaves the door open to competitors to seduce your potential buyers. It also increases the cost per click and diminishes ROI.
One major opportunity of PPC is to test ads in real time, rather than having to wait for the marketing campaign to end, excruciatingly watching to budget decrease without being able to make changes.
However, many companies manage PPC ads as they would do with a billboard, patiently waiting for the campaign to end to change the ads. This results in many missed opportunities… business opportunities.
Testing ads in real time allows marketers to identify the best messages for each target segments. You can test all the elements of the ads, from the call-to-action to the first line to the promotion, in order to find the best combination to maximize profit.
The multi-dislay topic was a very popular one in 2013, and will remain relevant in 2014. This trend clearly shows the importance of no longer treating digital and traditional marketing initiatives in distinct silos.
A recent Nielsen study recently showed that 43% of tablet owners use their device while watching TV. Therefore, multiple screens are used together and are not really competing for the attention of their owners.The opportunity for marketers is of course to get a direct response to their TV ads, engaging customers beyond the commercial.
Multiple screens, real-time data, personalization… all great tools to deliver a targeted and relevant message. You are closer to digital performance than you think!
This article was originally written by Thibault Costet.