Explaining The Value Of PPC To The C-Suite:
“There Isn’t Really A Traditional Funnel Anymore…It’s all about the micro moments.” – Jeff Allen
If there’s one drum beat I see our industry hammering this year, it’s that competition is just going to increase so getting creative and opening up your marketing scope will be the surest way to profitable campaigns. Each year there are more advertisers in the space, which drives up costs for the competition and then on top of that – the engines themselves change things fairly frequently (see: sidebar ad removal) and not always in a way that works out well for brands.
To complicate things further, as the search & digital landscapes continue to evolve, the consumers on the other side of the screen are maturing, as well. They know to research in more detail to make sure they’re getting the best deal and so on. The buying cycle is longer and starts earlier than it ever has before so the key is to solidify your position in every segment of the sales cycle, from consideration to purchase. This is a fact, and you can see it in the number of platforms, engines and technologies at the digital marketing industry’s fingertips. And they are all massively important to achieving continued and increasing profitability.
Digital marketing has matured by leaps in bounds in the past few years. We now have a plethora of options – both in networks and targeting. However, the biggest shortcoming of our industry remains to be cross-channel tracking. That is folks who interact with ads on several different networks before making their buying decision. From each network’s reporting tools you can see only parts of the conversion path. But no reporting tool gives you the entire picture. Meanwhile, conversion paths are getting more and more complex. The temptation is to base advertising decisions based solely on what can be tracked (via Google Analytics or the like). But although the data doesn’t show the whole picture, we know these complex funnels are happening – both through buyer behavior studies and our own personal behaviors. We often see clients who want to limit their advertising to what is directly trackable, thereby neglecting the rest of the sales funnel and likely limiting their account’s true potential.
This is the biggest ‘miss’ in digital advertising today. And with most major search engines moving increasingly towards privacy (and rightfully so), it is unlikely that this type of tracking will be available anytime soon. In the meantime, smart marketers will need to rely a little more on intuition than raw data, if they want to fulfill their digital marketing potential.