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Greetings Readers! When it comes to talking PPC with non-PPC people, we need some techniques so they do not misunderstand us. This is what this week’s PPCChat discussion was based on. Host Julie F Bacchini helped experts express their thoughts on the resources used by them to make non-PPC people understand PPC better, How do they try to combat misunderstandings, and more.

Q1: Do you regularly need to talk PPC with non-PPC people? If so, who are you most regularly talking to?

Pretty regularly – they range from “Marketing Specialists” to “CMOs”. @spacetime_0914

YES! in my omni world, I talk to clients, other media teams, account teams, and reporting teams all about how ppc is a different animal than other types of media. @JuliaVyse

99% of the time I talk advertising with marketing professionals. I mostly report to the marketing execs and CEOs, but they understand marketing as well usually. @lchasse

CRO, SEO analysts and CMOs are the most common. First 2 get it. the third is “it depends”. @360vardi

Pretty often, yes! Most of the time it’s account managers who have at least a basic understanding of key metrics. Sometimes it’s the clients directly and I have to make an asserted effort to give key data points in a way that is easy to understand. @alexnicoll93

Yes. Common topics involve last minute promo needs, explaining disconnect between Google PR and IRL examples, feedback loops on creative, profitability trends, budget discussion for new opps, landing page needs, CRO needs, handover to organic if CPA too high. @beyondcontent

I would argue that nearly all of my clients are not “PPC People”. They know about PPC some, but it requires different language to talk with them than it does to talk with you all! @NeptuneMoon

Usually, as a Media buyer or an acquisition consultant, I have to collaborate with the Owners, CMOs and other decision makers from the marketing side. And I have to collaborate with the team, in-house and freelancers, including other marketing (non-ppc), sales, tech. @1tagupta

@beyondcontent made a really good point! Hiring teams and HR folks def don’t have ppc down as a given. @JuliaVyse

Yup, all the time. Mainly clients who are the owners or marketing manager/assistants. Most have little knowledge on PPC but some of them have decent a understanding. @dylanppc

In proposal & kick-off calls, there’s usually someone higher up attending that isn’t as familiar with PPC. Titles usually have a wide range; anything from CEO to Demand Manager (or other roles that are more focused on general marketing/sales). @adclarke10

In house – so interface constantly with our Organic Growth, Analytics, Copy / Creative teams on the regular to make sure everything is in sync. But we also have our support freelancers and agency partners as well. @Galliguez

Most people I talk to are not “PPC People” unless I’m working with an agency, and even then you’re often not working with SMEs. But I talk with business owners and heads of marketing the most. @ferkungamaboobo

So, I have to communicate with both the ends to ensure that we have everyone on the same page with the same goal. Sometimes it can be hard talking to owners and decision makers because they think #ppc is sitting with a desktop and clicking buttons. @1tagupta

I also agree with what others are saying – most clients could be considered non-PPCers. Some understand the value & nuances more than others, but most are in more general marketing roles. @adclarke10

Talking PPC with non PPC people Yes all the time. But first off, it is only called “PPC” in the US. This allows me to distinguish “search” from “display” and “paid” from “organic”. @soanders

Every single god damn day. #1 most common is account team, 2. Analytics team, 3. my 7 year old. @JonKagan

I always try to translate from marketing-speak to normal-people-speak. In my experience, most small business owners don’t understand the technical details and appreciate it when things are explained plainly. @MenachemAni

Yes, all the time. Regular communication with marketing managers, creative team, and analytics team. @arminafareed

Q2: Have you found particular language or techniques to explain PPC to non PPC people in ways they can actually understand it?

I go to the audience. Every point on the customer journey goes to a person speaking into their phone and getting an answer, not a keyword or an abstract ‘search’ I make it a person. @JuliaVyse

I mentioned this last week, but will share again here. I always ask clients what questions do they need to consistently have answers to. Then I figure out what data is needed for those answers. I write narratives in reports in plain language too! @NeptuneMoon

With all the changes we are seeing I have framed what I do as more digital marketing than PPC. We have less button pushing and more strategy these days. I don’t have to discuss day parting, percent bid changes, etc… It is more about the channel and audience. @lchasse

Yes, that makes sense. Talking about people’s behaviour is less abstract. @beyondcontent

I also use the stock portfolio / index fund metaphor to explain to the C-suite. We optimize a portfolio of keywords, ads, landing pages to get results. There will be some losers. They know about money already and can relate. @Galliguez

Usually, I’ll ask what their goals are in the position they’re in; this tells me their level of understand. Most of the time I use metrics they’re accustomed to (i.e. Conversion-to-lead rate, Lead to close rate, Customer acquisition cost etc. @spacetime_0914

Yes. I like to simplify things to very basic. Basically spoon feeding them the jargon breakdown. It starts with asking the right questions to figure out what’s client’s current understanding of the #ppc world. And then I explain the stuff step by step to them. @1tagupta

I came to PPC as a direct marketer, so I tend to speak in those terms. But there are certainly analogies I use – like “keywords are a basket of search terms” to help explain PPC. @stevegibsonppc

Ways to explain PPC to non PPC people 1) Mentioning Google is always useful 2) Talking about search advertising, social media advertising and retail media helps position the discussion 3) Distinguishing “paid” from “organic” is also useful. @soanders

Avoid acronyms unless you know they know what it is. 2. Don’t think something is obvious. 3. Explain everything is simple terms. 4. Be confident when you speak 5. Ask open ended questions 6. Add visuals 7. Short sentences with bullets. @360vardi

Using examples really helps get the person I’m talking to understand a bit better. Besides that, I try explain the concept carefully but I’ve got one or two clients who really struggle to understand most things we refer to. @dylanppc

I used to describe Manual Bidding as being similar to bidding for something on eBay. How someone can beat you by just 1p & how you have to set yourself a limit so you don’t get carried away. @marketingsoph

One technique I have for reporting is making sure to note what each metric/trend actually means. So instead of just saying “We saw a 10% increase in CTR”, I also follow it up with “This means that users are engaging with our ads more often”. @adclarke10

I also pause & ask for questions/feedback throughout calls, especially when talking performance. Can be as simple as: “Any questions on the metrics or trends?” or “Does this line up with what you see on your end?” @adclarke10

I try to make reporting calls a story so that the non-PPCer can understand the “why” of the data points rather than just throwing data points at them. After a while, they start to pick it up a bit themselves and it gets easier for me to share data. @alexnicoll93

Speak in business terms. Avoid PPC jargon. Like a good landing page, speak about what matters to them at the top of the conversation. Delve into the minutia later on. @ppcClickShark

I try to adjust it for the audience I am talking to, but it always ends up like this. @JonKagan

Q3: What aspects of PPC do you find are most often misunderstood by non PPC people? How do you try to combat the misunderstandings?

These days it’s the less experienced people who are VERY keen to ‘get optimizing!’ and want to tinker. They don’t understand learning periods, audiences, search term loss, match types. It’s tricky because these are usually the people who can get more search budget! @JuliaVyse

That NOT doing a thing can be a deliberate, strategic decision and not because we missed it. Google Reps + other agency sales people is why you end up getting random irate calls because chain of command didn’t get the stakeholder comms. @beyondcontent

Marketing teams are behind on all the changes. In some cases there are execs who still think we can just outbid competitors or find misspellings to win big $$$ on. The landscape has changed so much and they need to be caught up. @lchasse

Top-line: strategic use. Why do you want to run ads? What’s the goal? Where are these ads going? What’s your creative? A lot a lot of business owners are frankly just going “we need ads” without thinking about how people buy. @ferkungamaboobo

Pay to win… Bidding on broad level keywords like “cup”… Not investing in Marketing Ops to get clean data. I usually give them my professional opinion and if they disagree then we usually run a test. Let the data do the talking. @spacetime_0914

The most misunderstood aspects of PPC 1) You don’t get to own the keyword just because you bid on it 2) The different channels within the Google Ads universe are fundementally different 3) It isn’t true because Google says it. @soanders

I see non-ppc people have issues in understanding what is affecting what and how in ppc. And it can be like digging into a rabbit hole if you want them to update ui on the landing page, add more keywords and fix tracking and them asking why does it matter? @1tagupta

I think people who really don’t understand PPC are always surprised by how low the CTR can be and still be “good”. Same with conversion rate. Setting expectations is important! Also, like I said before, crafting a story always helps me. @alexnicoll93

Sure, some folks WILL miss stuff and maybe have neglected an account. But if I’ve made a brand literally millions in profit, maybe have some faith that the team knows what the funk they’re doing. C-suite need a scapegoat. @beyondcontent

Fluctuations in performance. Always a difficult one to explain but I try to paint a picture of the wider industry and whole process, instead of just what’s happening in THEIR account. @marketingsoph

That it’s easy. That you can just turn up & compete against advertisers who’ve been running ads (& split-testing) for years. That PPC management can make up for a load of competitive disadvantages. That good PPC management will overcome bad business fundamentals. @stevegibsonppc

That not everything I do is captured in a change log/history. Also, the platforms’ interests and the advertisers’ interests can never be 100% aligned. Just because “Google says” doesn’t mean it is what is actually best for their account or biz. @NeptuneMoon

More money does not always equal more conversions. Another is the nuances in user intent on Search vs Display vs Social. Different platforms/networks can have very different performance benchmarks & we constantly have to set those expectations. @adclarke10

I have to give them the real life examples. Then I show them the customer journey across the funnel and showing why does anything in the #ppc ads dashboard affects the revenue. Learning curve is huge for them in the beginning but eventually they get accustomed. @1tagupta

It has changed, and now the most misunderstood part is how “I let Google do whatever it wants in Local and PMax. How could I be so trusting? Why don’t I just override it? How much does it cost to show in the organic listings? Why are you crying now?” @JonKagan

Attribution is quite common, especially when it comes to FB purchase conversion value vs. Google Analytics revenue. Another one is that increasing budget doesn’t mean more sales and better ROAS. Explaining Google machine learning tends to gets some “????” @dylanppc

Stakeholders want hot MQLs fast but expect a $30 CPA when the lead can convert for half a million! Sharing benchmarks, competitive analysis, long conversion cycle. Explaining ‘why’ helps. Sometimes we also don’t have answers bcoz you know hmm… ‘Google’! @arminafareed

Q4: Do you have resources that you like to point non PPC people to to help them better understand PPC? Have you created any yourself? If so, on what topics?

Yes. Currently I’m focusing on building SOPs, Systems, Documentations, Resource Libraries that I use to point the non-ppc people. It’s gonna take some time but once created, it’ll be easy to replicate and scale any account with the strategies. I’m working on it. @1tagupta

Resources for PPC people 1) PPCChat every Tuesday on Twitter, haha 2) If it is a “how-to” question, Google it 3) I write occasional articles about digital marketing strategy on @soanders

We include a Glossary section in our reports to help understand the general terminology. I’ve mentioned sending them some documents but they’re often too busy to read it. @dylanppc

I tend to have a little library of explainers that I update periodically to be able to send to clients. I have pointed people to the PPC Acronyms page on the PPC Chat site too: @NeptuneMoon

I do not have 1 resource. But I have a swipe file of FAQs and links to resources which provide answers to those questions [blogs, videos, social posts]. Consuming content is good. Making use of it – better. @ppcClickShark

This is a little more general, but I’ve found that referencing industry benchmarks when talking through performance helps people better understand how their account is doing. Usually pull these from sources like WordStream, Merkle, or the platforms themselves.  @adclarke10

Yes, I do! I created a glossary of terms and how they’re calculated a while back. And to help with character limits if the client has feedback related to ad copy, I usually send them here:…. It helps a lot!  @alexnicoll93

Creating a custom funnel visualization of the user journey which auto-updates weekly helped. You can quickly see where the biggest drop-off was that week. Relying solely on visuals from GA or ad platforms of choice means not everyone will understand your point. @beyondcontent

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