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To keep up with this ever-changing PPC industry, experts need to be alert and updated. How do they keep themselves updated? , Do economic and technical updates or changes affect their strategies? , Do they wish to have a source that can help them to keep up with all this stuff? These questions and more were answered during this week’s PPCChat session which was hosted by Julie F Bacchini.

Q1: Let’s start with the world of PPC directly – how you do you keep up with our ever-changing industry and platforms?

A lot of my keeping up is in this chat with these wonderful people! I still check Twitter and LinkedIn regularly, and I’m lucky enough to get regular check-ins with our vertical teams. @JuliaVyse

The only way I know how is to have a voracious appetite for consuming, retaining, and learning. Keeping an organized catalogue of bookmarks works for me (organized, searchable). It’s repetition of consumption that helps reinforce/disprove certain assumptions and strategies. @teabeeshell

Twitter, LI, this Slack, Search Engine Land and other industry pubs. @beyondthepaid

Well, obviously I keep up with all kinds of stuff so I can share it regularly with you lovely folks! Historically, I follow a lot of different accounts on Twitter as my main/fastest way to see news and announcements. I have a Twitter list that I use a lot: has decent content on PPC as well. And I am a moderator in the Foxwell Founders PPC community as well. And the Marketing O’Clock podcast. @NeptuneMoon

Twitter, this community, PSA newsletter and PPC Live UK community. @TheMarketingAnu

Interestingly in the past, I would have said conferences, but that has not been the case for me since 2020. And I don’t see it being a major player for me any time soon. @NeptuneMoon

Ooh – it’s been a while I checked in on the Marketing O’clock podcast. @TheMarketingAnu

@NeptuneMoon same! tho I do miss conferences for other reasons. @JuliaVyse

@JuliaVyseI miss seeing PPC peeps in real life, for sure. @NeptuneMoon

Huge fan of Marketing O’Clock here! Conferences are great for more in-depth knowledge sharing, as opposed to breaking news which they’re really not designed for.  And I def miss going to confs in person @beyondthepaid

Newsletters are probably my go-to! Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, MarTech, Paid Search Association, WordStream, Seer, SmartBrief, and a number of others have been helpful to stay up to date on PPC/SEO/digital changes (as well as the marketing industry as a whole). Twitter – and this community in particular – is great too. @adclarke10

I tend to keep up with blogs: Search Engine Roundtable, SEL, SEJ, PSA & Wordstream. @adwordsgirl

I too like newsletters @adclarke10 I’ll have to look at the ones I subscribe to and share. I subscribe to many you listed here. Plus Marketing Brew, DPO Privacy, TLDR… will add more when I can scan my inbox! @NeptuneMoon

The SEL newsletter is a must-read. @beyondthepaid

For me, it is Twitter, LinkedIn, Newsletters (SEL, some content creators and also Google’s own content) and the Optmyzr Townhalls. @ch_brauer

Mostly just doing the actual work itself. I’m pretty senior in my career but having clients where I’m in the platforms regularly helps keep me sharp. Things change so fast. I always chat with colleagues to learn from them and what they’re seeing with their clients. @Austin_Dillman

SEL, networking with others in the industry. @KurtHenninger

I second all comments applauding the #PPCchat community. This is an invaluable resource because the info is from so many different perspectives and usually not too heavily influenced by platforms. @robert_brady

LinkedIn… It’s quite information-heavy but I do find that super handy, and also just lurking in convos happening across the Slack/Discord channels help too. @Meriem

Since we’re talking about blogs – PPC Live UK has a great one here – @TheMarketingAnu

Q2: Do you follow economic news as part of your PPC management strategy? If so, how do you keep up on this type of news?

I saw this post this morning which is part of what made me want to do this topic today: @NeptuneMoon

I do! I look at consumer confidence mostly, both with news updates, regular check-ins from journalists on Twitter, and internal corporate reporting. @JuliaVyse

@NeptuneMoon you don’t think there’s a CHANCE that after 2008, we didn’t learn our lesson? and continued to package up untenable, unpayable debt as an investment product do you???? @JuliaVyse

I don’t as much but my Director keeps on eye on everything and relays information lol.  @adwordsgirl

@JuliaVyse Lessons were not learned. At least not the ones that should have been. @NeptuneMoon

I probably don’t keep up on this as much as I should. @beyondthepaid

I also often read The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NY Times. I follow The Economist on Twitter too. I have an added advantage in that my husband is a financial advisor, so the state of the economy is actually something we talk about! He always wants to know what’s going on in the tech sector and I want to know what’s going on elsewhere that I should be aware of. Additionally, I follow industry publications and associations for the industries I work with. @NeptuneMoon

I always use my clients’ data first to inform strategy and make decisions because the economy doesn’t always impact performance. However, I had to teach my clients a lot of lessons about the impact that the pandemic had on their businesses (increased demand/revenue) and to consider that year(s) as an outlier. In particular, most of my clients had huge jumps in revenue during the lockdowns. Their execs tried forecasting growth for the next year at similar rates when they should have been planning for flat or down years as the world opened back up. @Austin_Dillman

@Austin_Dillman same thing with a lot of our clients. They’re frustrated that they haven’t seen the growth rates they saw during the height of the pandemic when that really was a very abnormal period of time economically. @beyondthepaid

@Austin_Dillman Definitely teaching looking at the bigger picture is crucial! And knowing when to remove outlying data. @NeptuneMoon

I know we are all sick of hearing about “unprecedented times” but we are kinda still in it, just a different phase of it too. @NeptuneMoon

@NeptuneMoon @beyondthepaid I tell them to use pre-covid years for comps and that works way better in most cases. @Austin_Dillman

@Austin_Dillman I worked with clients that doubled and doubled with the start of the pandemic… but year 3 – hit the wall like peloton when people started going outside again. @Galliguez

I track, and it’s important to be informed. Unless there is a direct effect on the campaigns I manage or a macro trend that has a material impact, it’s often difficult to take the news as actionable. Most clients are shorter-term oriented (this week, this month, this quarter). Goal should be to look out longer term, but that’s a process. The best (new) tool that forecasts MER projections against the Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) is from Common Thread Collective & KnoCommerce: they describe it:
“A Real-time View Of The Macro Economic Sentiment Of Your Customers”  @teabeeshell

flag that we’re omni-channel. I tend to look at interest rates, but also major datasets. Student loans, mortgages (it’s different in Canada) and overall inflation will directly affect all my clients. Luxury will have fewer people willing to pay more, and fast food will see higher guest counts, but lower cost per purchase. (generally) @JuliaVyse

I’m in the nonprofit space now. Should be interesting to follow how inflation affects people’s ability to donate this Giving Tuesday. @Galliguez

@JuliaVyse The student loan piece is an important one for US merchants – payments started up again in October after a long, long holiday from them during COVID. @NeptuneMoon

@Galliguez I worked in the nonprofit space for years! Definitely need a plan when things are tight to get any Q4 donations. Biggest advice there? Build your case now for why their gift will make an impact. Share stories of what the money donated does, specifically. @NeptuneMoon

@Galliguez Saw much of the same with my clients. Took them a while to finally accept the reality of their business. Luckily they still performed really well in terms of ROAS, but the demand wasn’t remotely as high. Just had to lower expectations a bit. @Austin_Dillman

100%.  WSJ or Google News for business is how I keep up. @KurtHenninger

As a freelancer, I monitor this more than I would have when I was agency side. I think it’s quite important to be aware depending on the type of clients you manage as it supports trends etc. @Meriem

Generally, yes. Gotta keep a pulse on this. @robert_brady

I try to keep up with economic news in general (through Bloomberg, WSJ, Reuters, AP, etc.), so I definitely keep an eye out for any trends that might be affecting a client’s industry. @adclarke10

Q3: Do you follow technical updates, such as changes in tagging for platforms, etc.? If so, how do you keep up on this type of news?

I saw this shared by @BorisBeceric over on Twitter this morning too, which again helped me choose this topic today! @NeptuneMoon

I need to bone up on analytics & tagging news sources. At my previous job, we had teams who handled this so I didn’t need to really worry about it, but now I do. @beyondthepaid

And yes, I very much follow technical updates (which I assume we all do!). Search Engine Land covers platform updates really well, particularly for Google & Microsoft. Social Media Today is great for social platform changes and updates. Following Ginny Marvin on Twitter is a good idea too as she shares announcements about G Ads regularly as well as answering questions directly. @NeptuneMoon

I’ve got a GA4 Resources page on the PPC Chat site: @NeptuneMoon

Yes definitely, but I find it overwhelming. I tend to lean heavily on my vertical teams for updates and training. @JuliaVyse

And Ad Platform Resources too: @NeptuneMoon

It’s fast-paced, but I agree that Search Engine Land is a great first resource for this info. More often than not, though, things break, we research, we implement a fix with a Dev Team, and iterate until we figure things out. Not the most streamlined, but it can be the lowest time investment, as opposed to always “smelling smoke before there’s fire.” @teabeeshell

It would be crazy not to keep track of tagging and other technical changes. I find collaborating with Dev teams is quicker and more efficient than sending a link and hoping for the best. So I try and keep up to date e.g., I’m in the Google Analytics Dev discord just lurking about and seeing people talking about set up, tracking changes etc. and the Google API one too. @Meriem

Q4: Are there any other types of news or issues that you follow to help you in your PPC strategy and management? If so, how do you keep up on this type of news?

I try to stay up to date for Technology News.  For example, AI news.  I follow certain YouTube channels for that. @KurtHenninger

I tend to look at vertical news. What’s happening with fashion, with cruise ships, with QSR, and so forth. and of course, our industry news. what tools are we losing today?  @JuliaVyse

Definitely a rate situation, but mergers or acquisitions in my clients’ space that may impact auction dynamics. @teabeeshell

I sign up for my client’s competitor newsletters and follow them on social channels. I also will follow industrial and trade association-type accounts for industries in which I work on advertising. I have been following all the AI news too. The TLDR AI newsletter is a good one for AI summaries. @NeptuneMoon

My YouTube channel of choice for AI news: @KurtHenninger

Oh, and data and privacy issues! I follow Digital Content Next and subscribe to the DPO newsletter from Iubenda. @NeptuneMoon

Client-side newsletters can be the (last to know) most up-to-date vision of what consumers see/know about a brand, esp. if not brought into the fold in the planning process. Beyond that, setting up Google Alerts can help stay current on industry news and core search phrases for a given client. @teabeeshell

@teabeeshell Yes to good old-fashioned Google Alerts! You can use tools like Sparktoro to track interest in topics too.  @NeptuneMoon

Retail Brew has a good newsletter too. @NeptuneMoon

I monitor browser changes and stuff Apple is up to as they like to change things (e.g. the tracking stuff recently). I also monitor AI and play with it… BUT not at the same level as other things (yet) @Meriem

Q5: Is there a type of news source or resource you wish existed to help you keep up with all this stuff?

I really, REALLY miss Google Reader. it was my JAM for many years.  @NeptuneMoon

@NeptuneMoon – The community you’ve cultivated is becoming an absolute go-to resource for me, so thank you! @teabeeshell

@JuliaVyse Yes!  Miss that as well.  Tech like Feedly never worked for me for whatever reason. @KurtHenninger

Thank you @teabeeshell am asking this question so I can make sure I’m planning for any gaps you all are encountering! @NeptuneMoon

And shameless PPC Chat plug here too – I compile the ICYMI post I share on Fridays all week long with links to PPC stories and economic stories and such too, along with threads (which feels less clear to say now when I mean Twitter content) from people like Ginny Marvin and others who dive into PPC topics and share information and findings. I share the links on all the PPC Chat channels. @NeptuneMoon

I am also trying to share the things I am adding to the ICYMI posts more regularly throughout the week on our channels. @NeptuneMoon

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