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Greetings Readers! Hosted by Julie F Bacchini, this week’s PPCChat session was focused on the recent news of mass layoffs in tech companies like Twitter, Meta etc, what challenges PPC experts are facing, have they seen any impacts on platforms on which they are managing advertising and more.

Q1: With all the terrible tech news – layoffs, Twitter imploding, etc. – what is your biggest concern in all of it with regard to PPC?

Platform stability and support. A lot of the ppl let go directly support Canadian teams. And all these platforms are self-serve. I’m less confident in these platforms to keep running well right now. @JuliaVyse

Most of our client’s budgets are on Google & Microsoft, but I guess this could cause more advertisers that were diversifying spend onto the more stable platforms and create more competition (higher cpcs). @selley2134

With layoffs, I’m concerned about platform support getting worse, which is already a low bar… Holding my breath waiting for Twitter to just stop working. The drama here is unreal. If it were a movie script, it surely would be sent back for rewrite as “too much”. @NeptuneMoon

I am anticipating seeing the true branding effect of Twitter meaning the PPC performance might drop because of shaky top-of-funnel activity. @TheMarketingAnu

Honestly, getting even worse customer service or the tools becoming even more cumbersome to use. We have all experienced the extreme slowness of Google these days. It could get worse. @lchasse

I’ve seen a couple of my direct contacts being let go. Support inevitably is going to get worse. Stability as well…it’s not like Meta has been a joy to work with in the past.  @BorisBeceric

For the coming years, acquisition specially for B2B via PPC is gonna get harder than ever. Layoffs are decreasing employees reliability & income. Recessions decreasing purchasing power. Data frauds are increasing day-by-day. Brands need to reconsider. @1tagupta

Lack of performance from ads, which affects business owners, agencies, software companies, and many businesses connected to PPC ads. @onlineadacademy

Recently a company called Tokensoft leaked the data of their 5000 KYCd users including addresses and KYC info. Data leaks like this is more concerning for me and layoffs are some what indirectly responsible for this. It’s scary and I’m thinking about data theft.  @1tagupta

Decreased ad tech support from the platforms. @KurtHenninger

Jobs and unemployment. From an SEM perspective, higher unemployment = less demand = less need for digital. @JonKagan

My biggest concern is that customers get suspicious about EVERY tech company’s service given what Elon just does. Trust is easily lost. @JacQuellinest

My biggest concern is that advertisers lose faith in PPC platforms. That’s hard to get back. @robert_brady

As bad as its all going to be, I think one silver lining is our sense of community. We all know its gonna be hard so collaboration between paid media pro’s is super important to all of us succeeding. @PPC_Fraser

Q2: Have your clients or stakeholders expressed any concern about the state of the tech platforms and companies? If so, what are they worried about?

My public sector clients are very concerned about misinformation and campaign controls on Twitter. And all my clients have questions about support from the various platforms. @JuliaVyse

I think clients get more annoyed with me saying the word algorithm than about the platforms, lol. The privacy, changing the pixels, how analytics is connected are all still pretty annoying and serious things Google has thrown at brands. (But they are easy right?) @lchasse

My clients haven’t brought it up specifically. They are concerned about the overall economy though and the increasing costs of PPC. @NeptuneMoon

They’ve always been irritated with the way support works and the agenda their account reps have. So, nothing much has changed on that front. @BorisBeceric

Biggest one has been Twitter — since the ownership transfer, I think just about every brand we work with has expressed serious concern about impersonation, brand safety & platform performance. @DigitalSamIAm

Getting conflicting advice from agencies and directly from Google, saying “a Google rep called us and said we need to get our Optimization Score up immediately, can you work on that now?” To which agencies have to argue with their clients to not listen to Google. @onlineadacademy

No real change lately. It’s pretty clear to them the ad platforms work for their own agendas, not the clients. Nothing new there. @KurtHenninger

Yes. They wish to learn how they can be better than their competitors coz of again recession, data leaks, cutting costs in the operations not responsible for bringing revenues. Brands are reconsidering their strategies to be distinct & noticeable in the info sea. @1tagupta

Minus the atrocious “support” (can we even call it that anymore?) clients don’t seem to know much about the platform instability. Currently trying to get refunds from Meta & Google for mistakes with their system & clients are getting frustrated. @selley2134

Everyone is avoiding Twitter like the plague, that is about it. @JonKagan

Q3: Have you seen any impacts on platforms on which you are managing advertising? If so, what have you experienced?

Weirdly no, but in the sense that the platforms have been so janky the last little while, and support so bad, that it’s kind of business as usual. but with heightened attention. @JuliaVyse

Not yet, but if the layoffs mean I get less calls from Facebook and Google “Experts” errr I mean sales teams I am okay with that. @lchasse

Costs are…weird. Some clients have definitely felt the higher ad costs, while others have certainly not. It’s certainly not like it was in Q1/Q2 where everything was going up. There’s clearly some economic impacts being felt in certain sectors. @DigitalSamIAm

Not seeing anything directly yet. Hard to imagine support getting worse, but of course it always could find a way! Hoping it won’t mean issues take longer to get resolved, either for specific accounts or within platform functionalities. @NeptuneMoon

Like most people we are seeing little to no assistance from the platform but I would say that started during covid & may not be directly related to recent layoffs. It has felt like Google has been extra slow/buggy lately but again hard to determine causation there. @selley2134

I mean all the platforms have been behaving weirdly for a while now so it’s probably not a direct result of layoffs. I feel like Twitter could break at any moment though. @BorisBeceric

We’re reallocating social budget out of Twitter, but the inflation costs of search aren’t leading to 1:1 growth when we reallocate it. @JonKagan

Yeah rising CPCs, rising CPAs, less demand, customers getting lapsed from the funnels easily and settling for limited “wants”, marketing decision makers jobs at stake with every decision, etc. Revenue retention is getting harder than revenue generation. @1tagupta

That being said, there is weirdness happening in Google Ads. But there tends to be regular weirdness on all the platforms, so it can be hard to tell when it is beyond “baseline”. @NeptuneMoon

Inside the platforms, I have noticed fluctuating results more than ever. Platforms are punishing brands strictly for publishing policies violations, leading to increase in more grey hat and black hat advertising methods. It’s getting hard to scale for brands. @1tagupta

Not yet – but eagled eyed! @TheMarketingAnu

Not yet but bracing ourselves. What we have seen is customers asking for our stance on things like Twitter, which usually means us having conversations around what we’re doing to protect brands. @PPC_Fraser

Q4: Are you rethinking any of your strategies with the upheaval with the platforms and in tech in general for Q4 2022 and/or beyond?

Yes! not directly related to the last two weeks (only 2 weeks!) but we’re adjusting how we buy on Meta. The planner can’t effectively show what investment is needed, so we’re doing something new for 2023. Twitter is down to client preferences. @JuliaVyse

Chasing the money or the ROI, before branding, so more funds going to SEM. @JonKagan

I don’t have the expertise, but I would LOVE to move some of my clients towards a inbound strategy, do a lot more upper funnel campaigns etc. Also programmatic. @BorisBeceric

And we’re looking into more TikTok for 2023. They have a good track record in terms of performance, and as long as reach goes up and we can actually get in front of our audience, it’s a solid buy. @JuliaVyse

I feel like I am always paying attention to both what’s happening on the platforms, their fiscal health and the general economy… Watching performance more closely with the upheavals happening. @NeptuneMoon

We are looking at all the channels and because of Google’s changes brands are starting to ask what is there outside Google. Disney/Hulu, Spotify, TikTok, a lot of other platforms to test ads with in the coming year for brands. We will find what works.

As we see more and more bugs like conversions not being reported and campaigns blowing way past daily budgets (had a $300 campaign spend $1300 last week). I continue to get wearier of automation in the platforms. @selley2134

Tbh I think we have to think beyond #ppc space for customer acquisition, activation and retention. I’m working on dig in the rabbit hole of revenue. How to generate it and retain for every kind of digital and physical space. Would love to talk further here on it. @1tagupta

Yes, I…man. This is a long answer. But I guess if I had to sum it up, I’d say that I’m very aware of the tactics that could achieve the end goal. Less worried about being diplomatic. More often now, tactics dictate strategy. Viability is the name of the game. @timmhalloran

Q5: What is your outlook for both the tech sector in general and PPC as we head into 2023?

Mess. just get ready to be very confident in your own knowledge. Be transparent with your advice. and do NOT overpromise. Expect mayhem, and trust your gut. Test test test. and test again. nothing is a given. @JuliaVyse

Less Meta/Google duopoly – more programmatic(+) and improved analytics to better measure incrementally. @Galliguez

I’d say determined. It is going to be rough sledding for a while, but I have been through periods like this before, so I know that you can always find a way! Be ready to be flexible. And deal with setbacks, platforms going wonky, etc. @NeptuneMoon

Tech sector in general, less “free” money and much more belt tightening. Those that aren’t profitable are going to die out. Sorta like the DotCom bust PPC: More data obfuscation, less control. No more match types is coming!!!! @KurtHenninger

As bad as things seem, I think the outlook is very good overall. As advertisers we have so many options moving forward. TikTok, Twitch, Amazon, Disney/Hulu, Spotify, LinkedIn, and many more platforms. We just have to find what works.

I think tech is going to suffer. We’re going to have to deal with the issues we’ve been seeing for the last years, but in a more volatile world then before. BUT we can pull through and *maybe* some new platforms come from this that help disrupt the current players. @BorisBeceric

Bullish. There are certainly challenges (technical, logistical, economic, personal), but overall? People aren’t using the internet *less*. They aren’t relying on major platforms *less*. As PPC practitioners, “evolve or die” is how we’ve lived forever, so :shrug: @DigitalSamIAm

For tech, understand the functionality and use it whenever necessary. Don’t rely blindly. Tech sector will get more polities as it’ll become Silicone Valley style culture. With #ppc, I would say tech + human psychology + brand narrative + trust = profit. @1tagupta

As an agency or freelancer, this is where I say we should be saving for that rainy day when business could slow down for us. I have been through downturns before and there is still more biz than folks to execute, but you should always have that rain day fund.

Hopeful. With more eyes on what is happening in tech it might actually lead to meaningful changes. Opportunity for better platforms? Short term will be rough but I’m still optimistic for the future. @selley2134

I think we are going to see a few more social media platforms trying to appease the angry ex-twitter advertisers market. Don’t think there is one doing it great yet but it’s coming. @TheMarketingAnu

Very concerned. Google seems to be going the opposite direction of what PPC agencies ask for and need in order to keep their clients using Google Ads. Optimization Score was a dumb idea, followed by more nonsense.… @onlineadacademy

I think we’re seeing it. PPC is moving towards segmentation within channel placements & ML-driven targeting. Longevity-wise the winners will be the brands that are capable of creating their own demand/1p (while keeping PPC’s role in perspective within their mix) @timmhalloran

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