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In this week’s PPCChat session, Julie F Bacchini discussed various topics such as the impact of ‘digital services tax’ on campaign strategy, preparing for iOS14 launch, RSA as default ad type, and more.

Here is the screencap of the session

Q1: News broke about Google Ads testing Responsive Search Ads (RSA) becoming the default ad type this week – thoughts?

This is going to complicate legal reviews and larger complex orgs with lots of marketers who don’t understand search or RSAs. Pinned lines will be mentioned a lot – @nateknox

We spoke to our Google rep, and he said he’s finding out more, but he has not heard anything about ETAs going. BUT we all know they are going away at some point. I’ve said repeatedly, I have no inherent problem with RSAs except they don’t give us any data on what works which is unacceptable and no dynamic insertions is not good. If they move to RSAs, I’m, goin to use less headlines and/or pin them to force them back – @360vardi

Our Google rep told us it was a glitch that they are correcting and there are no plans to phase out ETAs at this time. Let’s hope! – @owlflurry

I’m ok with it. just give us more stats (Impressions, Clicks, etc) on each asset and I think it makes the job easier. – @PPCGreg

Much much better reporting needed! Just grouping headlines/descriptions into Bad/Average/Good is not nearly good enough – @Greg_Asquith

Not pleased tbh. it’s already hard enough getting clients to understand what they are using a blend of approved ads. I forsee lots of ‘show me all the possible variations before I approve’ requests – @JuliaVyse

We need ad customizers and DKI before they even consider it. We use dynamic ad text for a ton of stuff. – @scottclark

I am glad that text ads are not being phased out or removed at this time. Not thrilled that RSA will be where ad creation defaults to… both for me (I don’t love RSAs) and for more novice advertisers. – @NeptuneMoon

Not super excited. They still do bad combinations and until I can pin an option to more than one place, it’s gonna be bad. I should be able to pin stuff to either 2 or 3, for example. – @CJSlattery

Hate it! This would cause huge problems with legal for some clients. Pinning three headlines will not be uncommon! – @shepzirnheld

Ultimately I think it depends on how much backlash they get. ETAs are easier to create but so we’re old text ads. I would have a problem if they disabled position locking more. Since I use that to basically copy ETAs – @AskYisrael

It’s an opportunity to really rethink how we make ads. I got a lot of the discussion in @siliconvallaeys book on this subject and in general see it as a way to better copy testing It’ll take a lot to shift mindset and create the right processes, but will be worth it – @ferkungamaboobo

I think RSAs are, by and large, garbage. If I’m forced to use them, it’ll be with very minimal variation & fewest possible combos. – @stevegibsonppc

The robots are taking our jobs… – @JonKagan

Q2: Are you currently using RSAs in your Google Ads campaigns? Have you found success with them?

Yes, but not everywhere and not in every instance. e.g. Brand campaigns do better with ETAs for the most part. Thing is, when we started Google said we should not look at performance of RSAs on their own, but combined as an ad group. So now they are saying it’s fine? – @360vardi

In a few campaigns, with mixed results. Some majorly out perform ETA’s others aren’t even close – they suck up all of the impressions through even when the campaign is set to rotate evenly which makes comparing them more difficult – @PPCGreg

Yes, I’ve used them to much success when I make them predictable like locking in positions as I do with normal etas. I found that Google ads will always prefer rsas and that QS on the expected click usually increases – @AskYisrael

Yes! I use them and they work quite well. But building them is a real back and forth, so I take approved copy from ETAs and use them in my RSAs. Conversions are pretty good, particularly for my restaurant clients. – @JuliaVyse

I’ve started making them a standard part of the account build process, in a very lazy way. If I was to take my own advice, it’d require a very different account build process but one that would lead to better copy insights than we currently have. –@ferkungamaboobo

I rarely use them. The lack of data on what is working is a deal breaker for me. I use that information for more than just ad copy. Like landing page tweaks as one example. I mean competitively in the auction it should not have much impact. If the overall cost is up 2% that could certainly be a big deal for the client’s ad budget. – @NeptuneMoon

Use them but not always. Sometimes they just get absolutely destroyed by ETAs in terms of performance. Truthfully, I could be better about building them. – @CJSlattery

I was hesitant at first, but I have seen higher conversion rates and more conversions with RSAs. I think they have gotten better since the initial roll out. I do see some ETAs with higher CTR, but conv. are more important. – @NathanK_TX

Yes, all search campaigns with text ads also have RSAs. I’d say all of but a tiny few perform better than the other types of ads in our search campaigns. – @ynotweb

Mixed bag. i hate the lack of transparency – @JonKagan

Q3: The UK has a 2% “digital services tax” that is applicable for revenue from 4/1/20 onward. Both Google Ads and Amazon have announced they will be passing this tax on to advertisers. Thoughts? Will/are other platforms doing the same?

Not very educated on this particular topic. but I can’t say I’m surprised the amount is just being passed through. I wonder if that’s what the legislators had in mind. we need to step up and have major platforms pay their fair share. hear hear, let’s give our…selves…a…tax – @JuliaVyse

Google and Amazon make so much money and they are always looking for ways to pass the bill to someone else at the middle income. Capitalism at its worst – @360vardi

I posted about this on linkedin. I think 2% will make no difference. – @stevegibsonppc

I expect other platforms to do the same, even if they have not announced anything yet. In theory, it should be applied equally to all advertisers, so it should not have a huge impact? Though if everything is 2% more expensive could hit lower end advertisers more? – @NeptuneMoon

I smell a digital boston tea party arising – @JonKagan

Q4: Will this new tax change your strategy in any way for campaigns running in the UK?

Luckily i’m part of a giant strexcorp, so my counterparts over there have to deal with it. I just need to handle CASL and the CCPA – @JuliaVyse

Waiting to see what clients have to say about this. Might have to account for it in total ad budgets – @timothyjjensen

No. IMO, if 2%’s a problem, your problem isn’t 2%. – @stevegibsonppc

Google wants to pass DST on to advertisers? Fine. That’s their prerogative. Then they should ALSO add it into the performance columns so we can adjust performance based on the 2% or 5% differences. Only fair. Can’t have your cake and eat it too. – @timmhalloran

Will likely vary by client. If they are concerned about it, may have to make small adjustments, like lowering daily budget limits by 2 or 3% for example? I expect them to be kind of pissed about it, but probably not want much in actions I might take in their acct. – @NeptuneMoon

I need to put incremental aside and treat it as adserving –@JonKagan

Q5: iOS 14 is coming from Apple and is set to disrupt at least part of Facebook’s business – are you concerned about this? Impacted by this?

Not directly, but my app engagement campaigns are about to get weird. I think they’ve done enough messaging on this for us to be prepared. – @JuliaVyse

I am still more concerned/focused on Chrome’s move in 2021 – @JonKagan

I’m cheering it on, from Apple’s side. Anything to get out of the Analytics rat race, arguing about last-click conversion attribution. Burn it all to the ground, teach us advertisers how to do data analysis and teach clients empirically that 1+1 can = 3 – @ferkungamaboobo

It looks to be primarily an app ad impact at this point and I don’t have any app clients, so this is not a big concern for me, now. But, targeting is going to take a bigger hit more generally soon from iOS and Chrome and that will be an issue across the board. – @NeptuneMoon

Q6: Any other topics on your mind that you want to discuss with the group?

Has anyone tried connected TV platforms like Hulu? Any thoughts on those? – @360vardi

Working on a campaign now – the reporting is super-thin, and I’d suggest finding a KPI reporting strategy before you launch, but I can only assume that it “works” in the sense that the ads run. Like, you need to measure something other than clicks, which means your KPI isn’t gonna be direct sales. And that’s OK! But you’ll need to hash that out with the client otherwise they’re gonna just see the loss and no return. – @ferkungamaboobo·

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