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This week’s PPCChat session was hosted by Julie F Bacchini. Experts discussed on positioning the value of PPC during new business calls, has the value of PPC shifted over the past few years, and are they finding it harder or easier to sell their value as a PPC professional lately.

Q1: How do you position your value/offer during new business calls or meetings to discuss potential new PPC initiatives? How are you positioning the value of PPC?

The value of PPC remains the same (though what you can expect from it is shifting) and that is you are paying for placement/visibility on platforms of your choosing. I am part of the equation to see that we put the best effort forward in both strategy & execution. @NeptuneMoon

I don’t think much has changed from our standpoint philosophically when discussing the value of core Search/Shopping. It tends to be demand capture and has a solid place meeting established interest. @PPCKirk

I may be a bit different as I tend to work as part of their marketing team working for their CMO/VP/Director of marketing most of the time. I am part of your team and we work on things together. PPC can bring traffic in, but there are so many levers outside PPC. @lchasse

We are very much focused on positioning our approach to PPC to be about quality and not quantity. And that is where our focus on reaching the right audience via targeting and ad messaging come in. @marketingsoph

Try to understand what problem clients are trying to solve. Beyond that, talk about taking work off their plate and our unique experience working on shopping ads in 35+ different countries right now. Plus talk about the post-client experience and bix focus. @duanebrown

That being said, the way we manage those things continues to change, but I think the core of PPC still remains the same and we try to present that well in sales. I.e., we try to position our value (and PPC’s) strategically and only go more tactical as needed or desired. @PPCKirk

Less red tape than a holding company, but the same resources. Who you meet on the new biz call will be there working with the team directly on your business…as snarkiness and pizzazz! @JonKagan

Q2: How do you think the value (perceived and/or real) of PPC has shifted over the past few years to clients or stakeholders?

I think the perceived value of PPC is definitely shifting. Costs are up and data and targeting options are disappearing. There is more competition for ad space. Platforms are scrambling. And we have to contextualize it all and help them feel secure in continuing. @NeptuneMoon

Know all things biddable or be dead to the world. @JonKagan

We’re seeing a lot of businesses who just running PPC campaigns because ‘they know they should be doing it’, but without any real effort or resources being put into it. Just something to ‘tick off the list’ in terms of their marketing strategy. @marketingsoph

In Ecom over past 2 yrs, PPC (esp Shopping Ads) grew in interest/spend from reactions to the FB iOS14.5 debacle. I don’t think this necessarily speaks to what should have happened, but what objectively did happen. @PPCKirk

Oof, I think in general PPC has lost its luster. Clients are far more aware of its shortcomings, especially as they’ve seen CPCs rise and realize that the solutions never actually solved their marketing problems. Agreed with @marketingsoph that it’s a checkbox. @ferkungamaboobo

I think the value question is an interesting one because 1-1 search auctions have also gotten more expensive (why Google is so interested in mushing it all together to show decreased CPC prices by including Gmail/YT/GDN placements), so it can be harder to be profitable. @PPCKirk

PPC is less about printing money these days compared to what it was in the past. We have less control and brands understand that. We also have less data and it is more expensive. I do see brands more willing to move away from just Google though, which is good. @lchasse

Beyond the data around ecom growing more in 2 years vs the previous 10 years. A lot of brands realized they could make more money selling online. They also learned the hard and easy parts that come with that. @duanebrown

Brands wanting to move away from FB/paid social & take on Google. Brands taking Google seriously and in some cases seeing better performance than on Facebook. Google has become less of an afterthought. The downside, shopping ads is talked about more over search. @duanebrown

One other things. Everyone and their grandma thinks they can run shopping ads as it’s “easy”. It’s easy to do average work. Running shopping ads is 180 degrees different than search ads. The people and agencies getting it grossly wrong is clear as glass. @duanebrown

There has definitely been a shift. There isn’t just more competition in the space itself but also the competition of platforms and “cheaper” and more “effective” channels. @TheMarketingAnu

Q3: Has the value (perceived and/or real) of PPC shifted over the past few years to YOU as a PPC professional?

Absolutely. We used to be able to print money & scale in Google pretty easily. Google is still a great channel, however, it used to always be the best channel. Now you really need to test channels, because I see channels beat Google a lot now due to their changes. @lchasse

Internally it has not shifted for our agency. With everything going on, Google and shopping ads have gotten more respect. Amazon Ads building a billion-dollar ad business in plain view has helped a lot too. @duanebrown

The value has skyrocketed, the respect and payment for services…not so much. @JonKagan

It has for me for sure. Based on how Google switches things every few months. Based on how there seems to be quite a bit of panic as to what the PPC role is. Based on the fact that not everyone got on the Automation train from the get-go like I did. @TheMarketingAnu

To flip the question a bit, what hasn’t changed in my eyes is that clients need to have a person with an extremely wide range of skillsets. It’s not enough to be a crack bid optimizer or competitive researcher. You’ve got to be able to implement, write copy, etc @ferkungamaboobo

Q4: Have you found it harder or easier to sell your value as a PPC professional lately?

Harder. With automation, smart campaigns & the push from platforms about ‘how easy it is for any small business to get started, I think it’s harder to sell the value of having a specialist work on your account. Until they actually do & you can see the benefit. @marketingsoph

Not really, because our jobs are still creative testing and what channels work the best for clients. As long as we keep providing value in channels, creative, & on the technical side of things pixels, feeds, etc… we should not have issues selling our value. @lchasse

It can vary by the sophistication level of the prospect. But, in general, there are legitimate questions being asked about PPC, privacy, and attribution/results tracking. Having answers for how you bring value to the equation is essential. @NeptuneMoon

When I got into this industry 17 years ago, there were 20 agencies in the US doing this, today, there are 9 in my town alone…you take a guess. @JonKagan

A bit of both. Easier as I know where we stand in the market and our competition. I just stand by who we are and what makes our unique. Harder as there are more people/agencies doing ecom paid ads and doing it to compete on price. It can be confusing for clients. @duanebrown

Honestly, it’s been a bit easier. We’re getting a ton of clients coming to us as their performance with other partners has declined, along with the level of support they’ve received. @DigitalSamIAm

Brands know they need Google ads and shopping ads. Selling them on it is not needed as much these days. The question they struggle with is who do they pick. Especially if everyone “looks the same”. @duanebrown

Depends on the client. Some easier some harder. Some clients are being too trusting of Google and their “smarts” so are a lot harder to even sometimes get them to use what they have already paid for!! @TheMarketingAnu

Q5: What is your biggest frustration or thing you wish clients/stakeholders understood about today’s PPC?

The hardest part will be they don’t have the control they use to have or thought they would have based on stuff they read online. That shift is/was hard for those who do this every day. Now add someone whose money is on the line and doesn’t spend days in the weed. @duanebrown

That the product and post-click experience is just, if not more important, than anything PPC alone can achieve. @marketingsoph

Taking too many things at face value. When I start hearing “but Google said…” for me it’s and even the trust of automation as well. There are some things it can brilliantly achieve, but there’s still a lot it can’t. So keep an eye on it!!! @TheMarketingAnu

Automation is not magic. The margin for error for less than optimal experiences on your website is approaching 0, yet there is often little attention paid. The best PPC in the world cannot make up for usability issues or poor offers/CTAs on landing pages/sites. @NeptuneMoon

I price off hours of anticipated work, not a commission of ad spend, so, therefore, you spending more, is not always in everyone’s best interest. @JonKagan

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