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Welcome Readers! During this week’s PPCChat session, host Julie F Bacchini and guest co-host Martha Pierce discussed ways to measure experts’ PPC efforts, how PPCers are using data from outside of PPC to influence their paid search or paid social efforts, is there any tool/resource to help have the most holistic view and more.

Q1: Let’s get an idea of who is participating today! Are you an agency, a consultant, a freelancer or in-house PPC? If you’re agency or in-house, what level are you in the organization?

I am a consultant. @NeptuneMoon

Agency. I’m a director now, focused on digital & performance excellence for the west coast team. @JuliaVyse

I own my agency. Right now, I manage accounts for clients. @adwordsgirl

I am in between an agency and freelancer I guess. I have some folks who help me, but I try to keep things small still. I am the owner though and practitioner. @lchasse

Agency – Started my own little agency almost two years ago now – Time flies @selley2134

Head of Paid Media for an agency! Have worked both in-house and agency side though. @marketingsoph

Agency – director level. Been agency side since 2007. @beyondthepaid

Hi everyone! I’m an agency owner and a social media advertising consultant. @AkvileDeFazio

Agency & Consultant. @DigitalSamIAm

Little bit of column A, little bit of column B. Recently started a new position at a global agency as a search strategist. One client. Prior to this I was at a smaller agency and was managing ~25 clients. @rory_mg

Agency! I’m currently the Paid Media Team Lead, and work on a little bit of everything for our clients (communication/project management, strategy, execution, etc.) @adclarke10

Hi everyone. I’m an in-house PPC and a private PPC consultant. Cheers! @nlonski21

I know it’s been a minute. I have freelanced, been in-house, and at agencies. @StephsNextPage

Agency. Founder & Head of Strategy. Been seeing more founders slap strategy in their job title the last couple years. @duanebrown

Agency and consultant…gotta pay those bills. @JonKagan

Consultant specializing in omnichannel customer acquisition and revenue generation. @1tagupta

Q2: How are you measuring the success of your PPC efforts these days? Are you also privy to metrics for other marketing channels? If so, which channels do you have insight into?

We try to measure the same way the client is, whether it’s leads, MQLs, SQLs, etc. We do a lot of importing from Salesforce or Hubspot. @beyondthepaid

We try to work closely with clients to figure out what success really looks like to them. So when it comes to measurement, it depends on what success looks like for them it could be leads, sales etc. @adwordsgirl

We focus on-site actions. For some clients that’s easy (like with live event reg) and for some that’s a little harder. We work with clients to determine what the most valuable online action is. We don’t tend to get insight on other tactics outside of what is in GA. @AllyQuilty_MKTG

You have to decide on your source(s) of truth and go with it. These days we don’t get complete or even terribly accurate info from platforms. And Analytics has its own issues… I love to get as much info as I can about the entire marketing program. @NeptuneMoon

If we are hitting our clients goals (e.g. for ecomm, revenue and ROAS) and for my agency, if we’re hitting our revenue and profitability goals. I am often privy to other marketing channel metrics as it’s informative to our paid social efforts, too. @AkvileDeFazio

We measure based on client success. In a lot of cases for us, that’s website actions or foot traffic, not so much ecom goals. We do a lot of safety and persuasion campaigns, so sometimes we can’t measure irl success until the following year! @JuliaVyse

“Success” changes by platform, campaign strategy & client. Could be impressions/clicks, CPA, ROAS, MER, etc. I would say the 2 biggest we use are ROAS & CPA. @selley2134

Nearly everyone wants to see ROI metrics – leads, cost per lead, sales, revenue, ROAS, etc. Even TOF needs to contribute to these. Beginners need to quickly focus on these, and not get lost in 20 other KPIs as the main focus (CTR, QS, Optimization Score, etc.) @onlineadacademy

That is a big question and it depends on the brand. Besides our typical data. With larger brands, we have loads of data and you can use BI software to pull everything from cost of acquisition, lifetime value, payback periods, etc… It is so brand specific. @lchasse

A big focus for me (B2B lead gen) is on lead-to-sale rate. A lot of the accounts I take on are moving from the idea of how many leads they get to how many QUALITY leads they get. @marketingsoph

Being primarily in lead gen, CPA & conversions are the main metrics we optimize for. We don’t get too much insight into other channels, but we do try to ask clients about pain points/initiatives/etc. outside of our project scope so that we’re somewhat in the loop. @adclarke10

Knowing what promotions are going on outside of PPC is important too – especially if you’re running brand campaigns! I follow client accounts and subscribe to their emails (as well as their competitors!) so I can see what they are doing directly. @NeptuneMoon

Looking at Google Analytics. Also, client’s ecom back end. If they are not on Shopify, we talk about how the business and marketplaces (usually Amazon) is doing on our team calls. @duanebrown

Depends on the client, but in (almost) all cases, there’s have a single source of truth + core KPI set (usually: volume target, efficiency target + benchmark) For Lead Gen, it’s usually SQLs + Deal Value + Cost Per SQL acquired. Ecomm – Profitability Target. @DigitalSamIAm

To be super clear on eCommerce, it’s usually a *contribution margin* target (i.e. Gross Revenue – COGS – Returns Allowance – Incentives/Discounts – Transaction Fees – Delivery + Insurance – CAC) Plus a baseline/benchmark + a total contribution margin goal. @DigitalSamIAm

Success is based on the number of times I decrease in curled up in the fetal position under my desk while cursing GA4 and Pmax. @JonKagan

Tbh it’s lucrative to see immediate ROI but I see at the LTV and revenue retention metrics. I’m going heavy on cross-channel Omni. Working heavily on native in December like Outbrain, Taboola, Zemanta, etc. Apart from this, I’m looking into b2b ABMs as well. @1tagupta

To give it a better term, full-funnel marketing and full-cycle sales. Hanging out in a huge group of biz owners so getting new insights daily. Contrary to PPC, I am super influenced by text-based outreach and converting leads to deals. @1tagupta

Q3: If you have access to data from outside of PPC, how are you using it to influence your paid search and/or paid social efforts?

Forgot to add looking at Google Search Console for A2. Data is good to spot gaps in the market. E.g Site search data can give you keywords to bid on or products customers want to buy,… but you don’t sell. @duanebrown

We are using imported conversions for smart bidding. That way we can optimize for what’s most important to the client. @beyondthepaid

Always looking at post-purchase surveys like @KnoCommerce to make determinations on what other levers we can pull in our core channels. That and looking at the reverse as well – using creative learnings in one place and transferring them to others. @andrewfoxwell

We have access to all traditional media, partnerships, and event data. So we use an Omni approach for promos, sales, and education. Plus, I’m on a big team. more brains are a big resource! @JuliaVyse

Data outside PPC is really important. It guides our planning and budgets. Very industry specific as I try and think how to say it well. Medical, Industrial, Entertainment, Ecom, all have different things we would want to look at in the back end. @lchasse

I love this question. There are so many options. Recently a brand had increased its Revenue/Subscriber by 40% and wasn’t acquiring enough emails. So, paid strategy shifted to support even more email acq, which generated +30% more revenue MoM in 2 months for less $. @marthapierce

My favourite kind of data is feedback from the client. I do mainly lead gen and talking about the quality of the leads and any trends they are seeing in the leads helps shape what I want to test in my PPC efforts. @NeptuneMoon

We also look at how other channels impact PPC. For example, a client recently paused TOFU channels. We saw a decrease in search conversions as a result. Need all stages of the funnel for optimal performance. @beyondthepaid

For some clients, we get lead quality data & lead conversion rates (lead to customer) that we can use to project revenue (especially for long buying cycles) that allows us to get more real-time data to make. @selley2134

The easiest option is always conversion imports (i.e. enhanced conversions in FB; conversion import in Google Ads) – but I’m always surprised at how infrequently it’s used. But can also be super helpful in determining incrementality + cannibalization. @DigitalSamIAm

I use it a lot of different ways chiefly to first make sure we aren’t working against one another and then to try to apply where I am able. @MichealGumbert

For larger clients (i.e. those that sell into traditional retail), D2C data + Consumer data can be used to generate synthetic data sets, in order to better model what’s happening in retail (since the time lag there is terrible). @DigitalSamIAm

If we can access content/resources that other channels are using, we try to incorporate messaging from them into our ads as well. We build this into our initial ad copy anyways, but double-checking with the client helps ensure we’re aligned across all channels. @adclarke10

Also, if we see certain pages performing better than others in Google Analytics, we may add it as a sitelink or landing page for higher-funnel campaigns. Our agency has an SEO team too, so we’ll work with them to fill in any gaps in each other’s strategies as well. @adclarke10

If that’s not your thing, overlaying additional public datasets (i.e. back to school, weather patterns, major events + holidays, etc.) can often reveal interesting patterns in buying behaviour, that can inform future campaigns/efforts. @DigitalSamIAm

Feedback from the client is invaluable for me. I like to know how the direct report is feeling about performance but also the wider team and especially sales. @marketingsoph

I have more access than I ever wanted to have. @JonKagan

Yeah, I do have multiple data sources but the idea is how to analyze and deduce actionable steps from it. I’m working on a streamline process to crunch down different data points to be used. I divide the data points into different variables at each step. @1tagupta

Q4: Are you stuck in a PPC silo? If so, what is your biggest frustration with being siloed?

While not completely siloed… a lot of places don’t measure incrementality between channels. Very frustrating. @Galliguez

Not so much now, but I really didn’t like that my expertise had a ceiling. and while I could recommend other things, it was ultimately budget that went to another team. Not a great experience. it didn’t last. @JuliaVyse

No, I work as a marketing partner vs. just a PPC partner for most of my clients. I get asked about everything from emails to catalogs depending on the brands. Thankfully I get to look at the whole picture, which is very helpful. @lchasse

Case by case, but now I am in making more holistic…often by violent force. @JonKagan

Personally, I’m not. I stepped away from media buying because I realized my passion and greatest skill came from different, softer techniques. I think silo-ing can stem from lack of communication across an org. @marthapierce

Kind of, I only work in PPC. That being said I interact frequently with counterparts across the spectrum of marketing activities and am asked frequently for strategic viewpoints. @MichealGumbert

Somewhat but we do our best to report on complete numbers & not just PPC as well as explain how each channel works together. But clients will can get stuck on ROAS or CPA and as we are often times the biggest expenditure we have to have answers. @selley2134

To give context, I help (primarily) women scale their businesses or start from scratch and generate revenue quickly without a lot of overhead. Sometimes, they’re not even spending on paid in the first few months while they align strategy – which is a good thing. @marthapierce

For most of our clients we provide services outside of PPC as well. But for the clients where we just work on PPC, coordinating efforts (especially on something time sensitive) can be frustrating. There is value left on the table when all elements aren’t talking. @AllyQuilty_MKTG

I started off as a generalist and fell into PPC. I know I’m not someone who can be really good at lots of different things, so I’ve ‘self-siloed’ @marketingsoph

Somewhat, yes. Biggest frustration is knowing that we can do a lot of cool things working with other teams, but we can’t really do so for reasons out of our control (ex: client isn’t contracted for SEO or the client isn’t willing/able to bring others into the project) @adclarke10

No. Ask better questions and challenge ideas thoughtfully and you will never be siloed. @duanebrown

A little. A lot of clients get stuck on the numbers PPC produced vs looking at the overall picture which can make it frustrating. We’re constantly answering why XYZ did this and that. @adwordsgirl

Thankfully we’re not siloed here. We have regular internal and client status calls with all channels. @beyondthepaid

Not in silo but I’m in both sales and marketing. And the biggest frustration I have is when they debate, I can’t pick sides 🥲. But, it helps me to understand all the rev gen processes and operations. I like it. @1tagupta

Q5: What channels do you wish you had access to? What would you do with data from these other channels that would make your PPC efforts stronger?

For B2B. PHONE CALLS…. hands down. It does point out a whole host of weaknesses in sales organizations… but they rarely like it. @scottclark

Oof. Getting back pre-iOS 14/15 data would be nice, of course. I wish there was a great way to integrate all customer feedback (Facebook groups, comments, etc) in one place and consolidate the themes. I have yet to find that though. @marthapierce

Linear TV…to see what it is like to set it, forget it, not care, and then take all the credit. @JonKagan

99% of clients give us access to everything we ask for. We run paid social for 50% of our clients and the rest do it in-house. Getting faster feedback on what creative is working in-house could help with PMax and Discovery creative. @duanebrown

I’m grateful to not feel this question. Thinking back to when I was just PPC or only paid search I really wanted access to TV/OLV plans. It gets people searching and tells a story. @JuliaVyse

I’d use it to create better messaging and share with team leads. So many brands think their messaging isn’t confusing or their offers are straightforward when they’re just not. @marthapierce

I usually have access to all of them, but here are some you want if you don’t have: – Customer Service Calls – Customer/Client Surveys – B2B Client Calls – Service/category data – Company Goals – A lot more/different ones depending on your market. @lchasse

For B2B. PHONE CALLS…. hands down. It points out a whole host of issues/opportunities in sales organizations and helps us understand what really is happening to MQLs and where training is needed. @scottclark

I wish I had easier access to my clients sales data. Sometimes it can difficult to get the type of information I need from them. That is one thing I miss about working in-house! @marketingsoph

CRM Data. For lead gen clients, especially those like car dealerships that have been around forever & don’t necessarily have lead scoring systems we have to do our best to show them why those systems are necessary & do a lot of work to set those up. @selley2134

I’d love to have more internal data from my clients’ sales teams, with insights into customer pain points (like call transcripts/recording), lead quality, etc. across all channels. We ask frequently & clients deliver when they can, but it’s not always doable or easy. @adclarke10

Having access to Customer Match and Exclusion lists across all ad platforms is nice. <Philly Agency> would take weak converting display targets – and use that info to inform the other ad platforms and other clients of crappy sites not to display programmatically. @Galliguez

I wished I had opportunity which let me experiment and learn. We are always exposed to data. What we don’t have is the time to analyze each and take conscious decisions for each without fearing about the bad outcomes. I want to get into a startup accelerator. @1tagupta

Q6: Are there any resources and/or tools that you use to help have the most holistic view and strategy you can in your PPC efforts? Do you find that third-party tools are more or less necessary these days?

Tools: – Northbeam – TripleWhale Strategies + Tactics: – Post-Purchase Surveys – Customer Interviews 1:1 over Zoom – Actually talking to customers via Ad comments or in FB Groups I don’t use a lot of 3rd party tooling. @marthapierce

If the company has a good BI tool that pulls data from end to end, that is gold. This can give you great insights that can drive solid decision-making for our marketing efforts. @lchasse

Google Analytics. Especially playing with different attribution models, assisted conversion reports, time lag, etc. are huge for us to try to show the bigger picture. @selley2134

We’re mostly using Google Analytics to get that larger view. Excited to see what everyone else is using, as we haven’t considered tools in this area!  @AllyQuilty_MKTG

We just started using @peelinsights. If you love strategic work, you will love Peel at $50/month for the starter package. Most DTC brands should stay away from tools like Triple Whale that make up their own attribution model. They are not solving iOS 14.5. @duanebrown

Call me a simpleton but a GA dashboard is still a favourite. @JonKagan

PPCChat Participants

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