Posted by & filed under PPCChat.

During this week’s PPCChat session, host Julie F Bacchini discussed how the current economic situation is affecting PPC business. Experts expressed their views on the biggest impact they are seeing, are they doing anything differently due to the economic condition, are they seeing any bright spot or opportunity for their business or clients, and more.

Q1: Is the current economic upheaval impacting either your PPC business and/or advertising for your clients or brand?

We are already seeing slightly lower sales compared to what would have seen in Q1 overall. Not even looking at year over year. Those who might have considered something a splurge are holding back to save for a recession, which then triggers a recession. @duanebrown

So far, the impact for my business and that of my clients has not been huge. BUT, I can feel the concern starting to build about where things are headed economically and supply chains, etc. again. @NeptuneMoon

We’ve seen inflation issues affect several clients. They’re having to increase prices and they’ve seen less disposable income affect their sales. For our agency, so far we’ve continued to grow revenue, but we’ve also been doubling down on client onboarding. @gilgildner

We are seeing some impact on clients. Having to raise prices b/c supply costs or unable to keep top sellers in stock. @selley2134

It’s affecting some clients/prospects. I’m getting a number of people contacting me with “My sales are way down since last year. Can you help?” enquiries. @stevegibsonppc

Yes. we’re having trouble hiring ourselves, and our clients are adjusting their budgets, leaning into sales/value messaging. at the moment, VERY pleased to have a liquor retailer program to run. @JuliaVyse

As of right now, we haven’t seen it affect our clients or the agency much. @adwordsgirl

3 clients are doing better year over year and in general. Not seeing anything impact their business yet. We are working with each client to counter the coming change in buying habit. Agency business is good. Leads have even picked up oddly. Ride it out. @duanebrown

Yes, in B2C specifically. Prices have had to be increased and disposable income has decreased, so seeing less volume vs. last year and even Q1 this year. @lchasse

Not yet, but it’s only a matter of time for us to feel the effects of a chain reaction. People have less money > companies make less money > companies cut marketing budgets > marketers have less money. @TheCopyTrail

To varying degrees, it has reduced conversion rate, but also driven out small competitors making traffic cheaper. @JonKagan

Q2: If your business is being impacted, what is the biggest impact you’re seeing?

Thankfully it hasn’t affected our revenue since we’ve been aggressively going upmarket (low volume, high touch) but we are seeing smaller leads struggling with keeping PPC going & finding fees too high. I feel for them, but we also have to raise OUR prices as well! @gilgildner

It is leading to more investment in media, as everyone fights for what little consumers are left. @JonKagan

With my public sector clients, it’s a lot of comments asking for help – tax relief, grants, lower costs on ins and utilities. w my retail partners, it’s HIGH volumes on clearance and sale items, whether or not a sale is on. @JuliaVyse

In my experience (23 years doing my own thing in July), the impact on our businesses tends to lag behind the impact on client businesses. But, I am paying close attention. @NeptuneMoon

Clients have increased costs in containers, material, manufacturing, shipping, and packaging. One client did turn raising prices into a “sales event”. People bought more before prices went up. Time to get creative. Agency focuses on retentions + profitability. @duanebrown

My B2B clients are still doing well, but B2C where disposable income is more of an issue, it is a little tougher. For me, the work is still there, but I think Julie mentioned how we would lag a little vs. the market for our freelance/agency impact. @lchasse

Echoing the comments about lower discretionary income in B2C situations. Especially where the product is more toward the “luxury” end of the spectrum. @robert_brady

Q3: If your clients or brand’s advertising is being impacted, what is the biggest impact you’re seeing?

Sales being down. Their prices going up. Shopping feeds with many out-of-stock products. Also not sure if directly related or not but rising CPCs for ecom – still digging into this but seems like Amazon could be a big reason. @selley2134

Declining ROAS which is messing with bid strats. @JonKagan

It varies among my clients right now. B2B is pretty steady, not seeing major impact just yet. Have an education client & the other competitor advertisers have been all over the place w/ dumping in big spend one month and then pulling out the next. It’s wild. @NeptuneMoon

We’re seeing smaller/weaker advertisers scale back on top of funnel/awareness spend. It’s a classic issue that happens in every time of economic turmoil. It gives heavier advertisers a leg up, and they come through on top every time. @gilgildner

So far sales aren’t directly down, but then I deal with a lot of restaurant and education campaigns. so it’s more the cost of doing the same is going up. @JuliaVyse

More tire kickers and search volumes being down for things that are less needed. It really depends on the market segment. Is your customer on fixed income? Is it a luxury brand? So many considerations. @lchasse

A few clients normally pull back on Facebook this time of year as Q1 is slow. We pulled back more than normal. Otherwise, all other clients are holding steady. Research shows those advertising in a recession. Grow faster when an economy comes out of a recession. @duanebrown

Q4: What is your biggest concern with regard to the general world economy relative to PPC?

Macro issues as a whole. Economy has been going downhill and it seems to have accelerated within the past 6-9 months or so. There is a market crash ahead and that is going to affect every single PPC agency out there who doesn’t have positive cash flow. @gilgildner

People can’t afford the things they need. That’s it. That’s the tweet. It’s not just about business, or Google or effing facebook or us. this is a major issue, the third one Millenials have lived through. People need a floor to stand on, or these days, rest on. @JuliaVyse

Economical turmoil leads to predatory verticals inundating the industry. @JonKagan

I’m concerned small businesses will cut this portion of the budget or try to bring in house and just throw it on Pmax. Not for my own Revenue reasons but because I don’t think it will turn out well for them. @selley2134

As part of an agency, my concern is clients deciding to bring PPC in-house to save money, without the resources or skills to do so properly. “Why pay someone else to do it, surely it’s not that hard?” @marketingsoph

It is difficult not to be concerned. The world economy has taken a pretty big hit and that will eventually impact all of us marketers. @lchasse

The first thing to go when it comes to budgeting is marketing so my concern is that budgets will get smaller or will be removed from the budget entirely. @adwordsgirl

Either was to young or Canada did not see the same recession as USA in 2008/09. Unsure what to expect. Told someone on the team to focus on what we can control: ad accounts, client relationships, and the rest will take care of itself. @duanebrown

Everything is already costing more and has been for a while. That hurts consumer purchases and the longer it persists, the more it hurts. As individuals are hurting, that starts rolling into larger business thinking and it grows as an issue. @NeptuneMoon

Maybe some brands will also be looking for smaller agencies and teams who don’t charge whatever the holding co agencies charge for work. Good, be a good opportunity to win business. Someone is always hiring in a recession. @duanebrown

Altruistic answer: Seeing a lot of people that I admire and respect have to simultaneously contend with a difficult economy as well as an often-insensitive gatekeeper of advertising (big G) Selfish answer: Smaller raise than I would like/need, job security. @TheCopyTrail

Q5: Are you doing anything differently and/or do you plan to do anything differently in the coming months due to economic conditions? If so, what? If not, why not?

Ironically, I’m buying fewer things I don’t need. Also saving more and getting back into freelancing to make sure I’m not without an income overnight (learned my lesson from the last recession). @TheCopyTrail

No plans for any major shifts. Continue to do our best to drive results and make sure we are checking in with clients on the state of their business. @selley2134

We’re making sure our margins are healthy, that we’ve got at least 12 months of salary reserves for the whole team, lowering costs, and trying to keep doing a dang good job with clients to retain them as long as possible! @gilgildner

Think about your Plan B. Don’t have to initiate it, but what if all of your clients wanted to end their contracts next month? What would you do? Make sure you’re paying attention to little clues from clients about their anxieties. It can really help keep them. @NeptuneMoon

Nothing is changing right now. Been tracking our profits since day one. Double down on retentions and going after the right type of clients. Time is limited even in a recession. Also, thanks to @devbasu I look at employee utilization now too. @duanebrown

Not so far, but that doesn’t mean we won’t. @JuliaVyse

We try and live simply anyway here, but just being mindful of purchases. We always try and think as if we lost our jobs tomorrow, not that it would happen, but just to be safe. The military always taught me to have contingency plans in place. @lchasse

I think over-communicating with clients is going to be more of a focus in the coming months. Figure out what their biggest worries are and finding solutions to them etc. @adwordsgirl

Q6: Are there any bright spots or opportunities you’re seeing with the current economic conditions for either your business and/or your client or brand’s advertising?

First, less competition for our clients. Already seeing less in certain B2C verticals. Second, a “sorting of the chaff” always happens in downturns like we’re about to have. Clears the air. @gilgildner

Marketing is a lot like the financial markets. If you can invest in the tough times, you will be in a much better place once things get better and historically they always do get better. Keeping brands from panicking and continuing to invest is an opportunity. @lchasse

Great opportunity to reaffirm why people should buy from a brand. Great time for clients to stop doing things that are not working and focus on what is working. Agency wise, just helping strategically and also doing more audits & consulting in various forms. @duanebrown

Yes actually. My public sector clients are likely to need to do a LOT of public education and misinformation battling. In times like these, people get real antsy real fast. Sharing true info, having meaningful convos, and offering support are very needed right now. @JuliaVyse

We have worked hard to build client relationships & been choosy about which clients we work with. we have continued to test manual vs automated everything & hoping this will help us avoid some of the pitfalls if conversions lower & machines go bonkers. @selley2134

I am very good at being the calming voice or perspective for clients because I have been through so many business cycles. There really is a chance to gain market share if you’re willing to stay the course or even better, invest more in advertising! @NeptuneMoon

A great opportunity for brand investment. as I said on @heyglenns podcast – partnerships with local websites, local tv, local radio, local podcasts are investments in smbs and investments in your community. build those relationships! @JuliaVyse

This is a great time to connect with customers and seek their feedback too. You can see a lot in data, but not what you’d get if you ask customers how they are feeling if they will still buy, and why/why not. @NeptuneMoon

PPCChat Participants

Related Links

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.