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Don’t forget the lessons
GOTTA love post-lunch speaker duties, right? I pulled Keith right before this and asked if we could hook everyone up with some Red Bull main lines, but I was told no. So…I tried. The good news is I tend to talk REALLY fast and move around so it’s likely I’ll accidentally throw something in to the crowd and that should wake everyone up!I also want to extend a thank you to Payton and the Q&A’ers from the pre-lunch session…set me up quite nicely for my topic. We’re going to be talking a lot today about change, exploration, and adaptation…specifically when it comes to paid search.
So what am I talking about with this idea of a PPC Odyssey? Lots of people talk about the future of PPC, but I think to do that you have to go back a bit to truly appreciate where we are. Transition from traditional methods to predominantly digital/onlineHow did this trend start?Will the trend continue? Learning from the past to feed the futureWhat’s coming next?!Essentially what I want to talk about is adapting paid search. How to see where we’ve been, where we’re heading and how to be ready for it.
So that explains the topic itself, but why the 2001 Space Odyssey reference?Nerdy imgur nightYes this movie is as old as my mom and nearly twice as old as me. We actually have a hashtag at Hanapin that started as a joke but unfortunately took off slightly. It’s #thingsolderthankayla. This goes on the list. What got me was the tag line at the top. “Epic drama of adventure and exploration” If that doesn’t directly explain working in the search industry…I don’t know what does! And then it made me start thinking about how I got here. Not literally HERE in Charlotte, but at the point in my career where I’m being asked my opinions and thoughts on a world I’ve existed in for not necessarily a HUGE amount of time. So to explain that…you get to hear a fun story about Kayla!
So back to why 2015. Tell the story. I ADAPTED.Florida after graduating. Came back to bartend. ADAPTED. Found job on Craigslist. Call back. Got the job. Holy cow. They aren’t kidding this is happening. So I get to Hanapin and there is a vision for what we’ll be in 2015.
Explain about when I started at Hanapin in 2011 and we put together our 2015 planEven then we thought we knew what we were in for…Can’t tell you how many times we’ve come up with version 2.whatever and additional iterations and alterations to that plan so we still hit it! (given all the industry changes, etc.)So that’s how I chose 2015. It’s where our now somewhat short term focus is as an agency and I’m excited to continue seeing how things are moving from that first day in 2011 to now and where they’ll be when get to those mile markers in 2015.WE ADAPTED.
Ok before we go any further, let’s see a show of hands for a few things. I still can’t decide if those are people with their hands up or zombies…Moving on…
In-house versus agencyHow many started in traditional or at a traditional agency then transitioned to digital side?Well depending on how many of you are familiar with traditional marketing, this part could be boring for you, but bear with us. Anyone not in marketing directly and just here to hang out?
OK so we have to start with what traditional marketing consisted of. Lots of print, radio and tv. Somewhat sedated, but doing so by driving home this ‘clean’ benefit of the CoverGirl brand. And this entire paragraph about what makes their makeup the best. Really investing in getting you to sit down and take some time getting to know them. Marketers knew they had a little time to get their point across.
I don’t have a porch, but for some reason lately I’ve been really obsessed with looking at outdoor furniture online. In this example of a more vintage advertisement, Lawnlite is throwing benefit after benefit of their product to the customer. Guaranteed by Good Housekeeping, won’t deteriorate in bad weather conditions. We also see these print ads showing very direct competitor call outs or comparisons…or non-comparisons in Atari’s case.Both of these still REALLY weighing on the fact that you’re going to have a few minutes to learn about why THEY are the choice you should be making.
Another thing I love about old school tv commercials in particular, was the introduction of more humorous case studies. This one is from American Tourister…Show video.They gave a funny side to a serious problem and sold a ton of luggage. They also still took this full spot time to spread things out and drive home how sturdy and useful their brand is. These are just some of the things that started becoming more prominent in traditional advertising that all marketers were doing.
So something started happening…People stopped sitting at home watchingtv,Or picking up magazines,Or making all their life decisions based on friendly referrals, what they saw on that tv only, etc. They started scrolling around on the new fangled internet. So marketers had to adjust how they reached their target audiences. Marketers had to adapt.
Here comes the internet and the age of digital marketing. As home computers and dial up internet (yea – that was a COOL thing once…jeez) turned in to the norm in American homes, digital and internet marketing became critical to brand continuity. Marketers had to adapt.
Similar aspects (branding, repetition, competitive messages). You can see in these two ads, I searched for ‘buy lawn furniture and these two ads come up one on top of the other. Both with their brand name in the headline, they repeat their brand in the description lines, and the competitive stances are very interesting. One promoting free shipping and paying less, the other obviously focused on luxury and white glove service. We’re using a lot of words, but in shorter spurts than huge paragraphs of explanation. We’re still seeing branding, reptition, competition…but in a somewhat adapted and different way.Of course that got too boring and couldn’t keep their attention long-term like a commercial. So….
Color! Pictures! Video! This is still more of a print ad, of course…but the change in vibrancy is absolutely still there, and a lot of this delivery is translated in to flash video display ads and the like, as well. Certainly some stark adaptations from their earlier ads. Repetition (twin sophiavergaras to match the dual color sticks), preaching benefits (two colors in one?! – LOVE!)…but they also know they have to get your ATTENTION if they want you buying CoverGirl over Maybelline. We’re driving these incredibly interactive and bright experiences when it comes to marketing for our customers…
So…Are we overwhelming potential customers?Are we driving them away by giving too much too soon?
Remember that ‘new coke’ debacle in ’85? I don’t… yet another #thingsolderthankayla but I still hear about it! I’m also reminded of how searchers and internet users reacted to Facebook advertising at first. I find myself having the same discussions now about LinkedIn that I had about Facebook when it first rolled out PPC ads. No, of course no one is clicking. Of course they’re ignoring you. They aren’t USED to seeing you there yet. People weren’t used to this New Coke idea, and while from what I hear it did indeed taste just a little different (much like Facebook does now)…it wasn’t a seriously drastic change. However, the general public is paranoid and addicted to what they’re used to. If you can give it time, they’ll come around, and in the case of digital marketing/PPC…
The users catch on and start learning what they like and don’t like and start….GASP! IGNORING US AGAIN! So we have to stick with it. We have to keep adapting.
You have to be in front of these searchers in all potential places they could be searching if you want to win, these days. This means devices, networks, engines, and all of the ancillary different synonyms of those words I can’t think of right now. I also think this necessity to keep on top of the target audience is a challenge that keeps PPC interesting, and one we’ll all gladly accept.
Mostly because marketing is never going to become static or copy/pastable across all industries, etc. and internet marketing/PPC even moreso. Flexibility and adaptation are the name of the game. Just since last summer we’ve seen some of the following changes take place in paid search…
I think we’ve talked about Enhanced campaigns enoughWhere we contract (geotargets) and where we expand (display segments get their own – contextual, ICM, topic, etc.)
Bing isn’t just sitting around anymoreScripts!Manual vs. automated bidding
No more Google TV – emphasis on YouTube advertising afterwardsIf you ask me…Video is the new mobile?!
Wait…what did she just say? We discussed during Payton’s presentation whether there is more to come with Enhanced Campaigns, and there is certainly an understanding that Google isn’t done yet. I tend to think video is going to start rolling in to that mix sooner rather than later. However, I also think that as PPCers, digital marketers…we have the ability to control how they roll in.
You can be more proactive about what changes are going to come down.We didn’t all jump on the mobile bandwagon like we were politely requested to do…once a week for a yearSo they forced it! These same calls we’re getting now asking us to talk in more detail about devices…video…remarketing…display…Which one is next? Which one of those segments are going to become non-optional in our campaigns? I tend to think it may be this video/YouTube ads thing. And here is why…
In 2008, we were looking at projections for video advertising similar to the ones here from eMarketer. Probably around 4.3million in 2011.
Then in 2012 they released new numbers, that showed 2011 had already hit the billions, and was continuing to push through the market and will be growing long in the future. Sound familiar to some mobile device ad spend numbers we saw before? Anyone? So that’s why I say keep an eye on video…the more we hear about it and don’t do our best to make it work…the more likely it is that it gets rolled in and we don’t have a “choice”
But where else? Continuation of multi-device relianceImpression-based metrics (revenue per impression, etc.)More automated platforms for the stuff that’s “less creative”Lead generation = lead follow through (you can’t just fill the funnel anymore)You can’t PPC without CRO
What ideas do you have about what’s going to change?Our team is also working on a lot of our own tools, scripts, formulas, etc. to help us more effectively manage client accounts. We’re pretty sure from an agency perspective, those are the things that are going to make us stand out.
So how can we keep up?Accept that we’re in an incredibly dynamic field and the only way to stay on top is to keep your skills sharp and be ready to learn the next thing. Whenever it happens.
What we can never forget is that those basics of traditional marketing will always be there – branding, consumer-benefit value statements, and the like. We can’t forget what those things taught us along the way. Some of that “old” stuff still works, in fact most of it does, just in different ways. The PPC market will continue to change, transition, flex, and throw us for loops that make us seriously consider throwing our macs in to highway traffic…but it also keeps us fresh and on our game…which I think is what keeps us all coming back to conference after conference, just like this one, to keep ourselves at the level we need to be.