Posted by & filed under PPCChat.

PPC experts are constantly adapting to changes in the platform. This week’s PPCChat session focused on how the economic conditions in the United States will affect Q4 PPC strategies, and whether any specific changes are expected on the platforms. Here is the screencap of the entire session which was hosted by Julie F Bacchini.

Q1: What is on your mind in PPC this week?

Holiday. new business. growing the team. upskilling the current team. kind of all of it? and how to create additional time for house stuff. @JuliaVyse

Honestly – because of some of the chat I’ve seen – Q4 and preparing for sales season. @TheMarketingAnu

Oh! I’m also thinking about the Landy’s. I’m entering this year for the first time post-Covid and I hope we do well. @JuliaVyse

I’m thinking about things I want to do and test as fall hits. I’m not ecomm, so Q4 is not to me what it is to folks selling products directly online. @NeptuneMoon

I am working on lining up a Q4 chat that is ecomm focused in the coming weeks with an ecomm expert! @NeptuneMoon

This week, I’m wrestling with the pros & cons of tROAS vs. tCPA as a bidding strategy. Google predominantly pushes tROAS, which I see as riskier. Out of the box, it does not factor in margin, and it (can) optimize for higher AOV purchases, which may not be reflective of average buyer behaviour. On the other hand, tCPA offers the ability to control for pre-defined acquisition costs. Paired with a command of LTV (60-day + repeat purchase rates) and a healthy retention strategy, this seems more in line with good business. @teabeeshell

Hey gang!! Hope you’re all good! Deep in planning work this week! @PPC_Fraser

I’m thinking about this article I shared on Twitter yesterday. This is why there has been such a disconnect between companies who are “killing it!” right now and those who are struggling big time, firing agencies, hoping they’ll figure out some magic bullet to solve an economic issue. It’s weird out there in Ecom right now: @PPCKirk

@JuliaVyse – I gravitate to tCPA for businesses that have a command on their requisite contribution margin (% leftover after CAC, OpEx, and cost of delivery). When those concepts are foreign to the client-side team, I aim to graduate them to that thought approach. If tROAS is the bridge, so be it. @teabeeshell

@teabeeshell sounds like you have a good framework for it. Is the struggle that G is pushing ROAS so hard? @JuliaVyse

I’m thinking about Q4 this week. I tend to overthink and overanalyze, and I’m wondering what supply chain/inflation/potential lockdowns are going to do to ecom this year. @gilgildner

@JuliaVyse – Yes, and the fact that it doesn’t set up businesses for success out of the box. It centres on (singular) profitability at the point of original/first purchase, in theory. It risks skewing ad serving to outlier purchases (high AOV, high price point items). For brands with a range of prices (i.e. $50 up to $300), the data becomes super muddied if the produce set is not broken out into separate campaigns. When broken out…Google pushes for consolidation with the “target all eligible products in X campaign” recommendation. @teabeeshell

Q2: Starting a thread for thoughts on Q4

Specifically UK side its going to be really telling how the current economic climate effects buyers. There’s always the old debate of ‘well there’s less to be optimistic about at the moment so people want to spoil themselves more’ but this year feels different…@PPC_Fraser

Q4 is going to be interesting. For my resto clients, I’m thinking a lot about organizing our brand campaigns to build a foundation for the price promos. For my public sector clients, flu season and etiquette. @JuliaVyse

I’m preparing for a potential shakeup in Q4. I have heard rumblings about supply chain issues (have a friend who does sales at one of the big multimodals) and I have also seen where they’re floating new travel restrictions for December. @gilgildner

@JuliaVyse I feel like every year we say it will be interesting in Q4,… which is true. Never a dull moment. @duanebrown

I saw an article today that goods coming to the US for Halloween and Thanksgiving are getting held up at Panama Canal due to low water levels…@NeptuneMoon

Depending on how our Halloween client does over the next 60 days. I think that will help foreshadow the year. Hope for the best and plan for the worst. @duanebrown

I know the financial news likes to talk about inflation coming down, but as the purchaser of things for our household, it is all still quite a bit more expensive than it was a couple of years ago. @NeptuneMoon

A lot have been talking about the impact of student loan payments picking back up in October. That can erode at consumer confidence and purchase power, so there could be strains on Q4 for advertisers.FWIW, I do not think that discounts are the answer for this. By Q4 (in any year), thoughtful brands have already tested their own price elasticity of demand. Pricing is a huge strategy, and the easiest (laziest) thing to do is merely discount. Limiting your margins in Q4 is cutting off your nose to spite your face. The focus should be on profitable/breakeven acquisitions to carry into Q1. @teabeeshell

Over 19% inflation since 2019, so as the saying goes, “your dollar ain’t shit”. Everything is more expensive but some things are WAY more expensive. The average family cannot afford a lot. @gilgildner

Inflation is down but prices have stayed the same up here in Canada too. @duanebrown

Some prices have stabilized after being sky-high here in the US, but everything still costs more. From electricity to gas to food and household goods. @NeptuneMoon

If you parse the language carefully, most of the “inflation is down” language is derived from stats that show the rate of price increases have decreased. So prices are increasing slower than they were, but still increasing. @robert_brady

We might be in for a very bumpy holiday season for spending. @NeptuneMoon

@robert_brady Yep, the inflation decline numbers are “nominal” at best and probably flat-out lies at worst. @gilgildner

As a new freelancer – I am weary of those clients who want to book me on to perform a Black Friday miracle. I already had a call with one who wanted immediate results and was being concerned with their current agency because they weren’t seeing their ads on the SERP when they searched for their product. For the sake of my sanity – I shut the door on that one! @TheMarketingAnu

More brands need to hear that you don’t win Black Friday in Q4. You win it by acquiring a lot of profitable customers in Q1 to Q3. @duanebrown

Q3: Which platform(s) do we think will drop changes on us before the end of the year? And are there any specific changes you’re anticipating and/or expecting to see happen?

Google for sure, bye bye DSAs. Amazon maybe, and TikTok probably. @JuliaVyse

Google has already told us they are rolling Discovery ads up into Demand Gen campaigns too. @NeptuneMoon

I think most platforms will delay major features through Q3/Q4 so as to not shake up the money season @gilgildner

GMC Next maybe will roll out more. Something for GA4 I bet. More PMax news. September and October will be busy for new stuff. Plus all the new phones that come out @duanebrown

I’d imagine every platform will roll out some release. The ones that worry me are where they alter fields that do the reporting. Or when Google makes changes via the GTAG. The auto-creation of GA properties was only one example of what they can do through the tag. @heyglenns

Come October, will be 3 years since PMax came out of public beta. That is something to think about @duanebrown

I think we’ve seen most of the significant changes that will roll out. Others have already commented with the big two for Google:

  • GMC Next continued rollout
  • Discovery –> Demand Gen @teabeeshell

I don’t think anything unexpected will be rolled out. Wouldn’t be surprised to see some announcements though. @robert_brady

Will Threads be added into the Meta advertising package this year? It seems crazy not to with its super close ties to IG. @NeptuneMoon

@JuliaVyse You know PMax will be eating everything. Manual bidding will be gone next year I bet. @duanebrown

Facebook hasn’t been talked about that much lately. As far as changes to the platform. @NeptuneMoon

What PMax thinks all the time “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain” @duanebrown

I’m sure we will see more “AI-ification” of Google products too. @NeptuneMoon

@NeptuneMoon Yeah, I’m mired in the news throttling issue right now, so we’re very light on Meta and aiming to get even lighter. It’s just not a strong investment up here. if they roll in threads we can look at it, but lots of drop-off after a first rush. @JuliaVyse

And I know many are not advertising on Twitter/X either but changes there keep getting weirder. Latest floated is removing headlines and subheadlines and link text from tweets. It will instead show a giant image from the post, like this. @NeptuneMoon

Right now Twitter is crushing it for certain industries…we did a test to advertise a free audit giveaway and got a massive response, pretty cheap CPA as well @gilgildner

I’m thinking it might be one of the potential answers for Google’s expensive B2B clicks. @gilgildner

Q4: What in PPC is keeping you up at night lately?

Mostly cause when automated campaigns start performing strangely…sometimes there ain’t nothing to do to fix it…@gilgildner

@gilgildner It is weird to have to explain to clients that the machines can sometimes just lose their minds for search advertising. Those who have done social are familiar with the concept, but it has not traditionally been part of search ad management conversations until quite recently. @NeptuneMoon

My concern is how to help steer the (negative) conversation around automation attracting “only” BOF customers. If this is the future (of most platforms), we have to embrace it. The way I think about it, you now have to reach an “escape velocity” to reach TOF & MOF customers. Yes, acquisition and retargeting are blended. But once the “lowest hanging fruit” is picked, the algorithm has no choice but to serve elsewhere. If it doesn’t, you can improve (perhaps a mix of) your targeting/inputs/signals, offer, LP, or creative. @teabeeshell

Yep, it’s definitely part of the client education process (and most will “get it”) but internally it’s frustrating when there is a lack of controls and sometimes…well…you just gotta delete it and start again…which should not be a logical response to campaign performance issues.@gilgildner

@teabeeshell It is interesting to have to talk about blended campaigns in search, when again, traditionally we kept our remarketing quite separate from our search ads for new customers, for example. It’s all getting blended, for better or worse. @NeptuneMoon

consolidation. there’s not a lot of choice out there, and Amazon is ready to buy. @JuliaVyse

@NeptuneMoon – Agreed. The counter argument often proposed it, Are we as good at segmenting as we think we are? Things like frequency capping, audience creation, ad sequencing, etc. are all subjective advertiser inputs. We think we’re doing it strategically, but how can the human brain outmatch machine learning? I don’t fully agree with this, but it’s a sentiment that’s floating around. @teabeeshell

I actually had a great sleep last night. One of my best nights in ages. During the day I think about a few brands who are moving over to Shopify as we speak. Maintaining ad accounts and thinking about how brands can do more beyond paid ads. I think the big issue these days is brands just think about paid ads or just Google or just Facebook and not thinking broader on how to build the brand. The lack of proper business strategy is what kills so many brands this year. @duanebrown

Google certainly feels like what they want from advertisers is essentially “just give us a goal, a URL and your credit card and we will send you sales/leads” and we should just take that and be happy with it. Which is pretty much what they said at GML this year. Yet it flies in the face of how those of us who have been at this for a while have run things. @NeptuneMoon

@teabeeshell Good point and I think a lot of us marketers will have a come-to-Jesus moment where we realize we might not have been as clever as we thought we were. @gilgildner

@teabeeshell and with tools to manage frequency across platforms being so unattainable for most clients, this is exactly the right conversation to be having. @JuliaVyse

@teabeeshell The ‘efficiency argument’ is sobering, but it’s worth discussing.  @heyglenns

@heyglenns – In a way, the lack of controls, more “streamlined” campaign options, and fewer ready insights is pushing me to be a stronger marketer. I know think much more consciously about data inputs, matching creative to audience “characters,” and data analysis at a more holistic level. @teabeeshell

@teabeeshell A good time to talk about search ads, standard shopping and those campaigns complementing PMax. Just running PMax is rarely the answer. I know some agencies love to just do that but it is lazy of them. I think if flip the script and steer the talk in the direction you want is key for client education. @duanebrown

The bigger revolution that is upon us is this – if you’ve been working exclusively or primarily in search advertising, you’ve been working in demand capture. And, you could have done that in a standalone way. Now, Google wants to smush their traditional strong suit of demand capture in with their desired claiming of a chunk of the demand generation pie. So, as PPCers, if you have not been focused on all parts of the funnel, you’re going to need to get up to speed on that. @NeptuneMoon

@NeptuneMoon and those of us experimenting with YouTube, display, Gmail, and other platforms plus search are well positioned to do so @JuliaVyse

@duanebrown– Fully agree. I use the analogy of bowling alley “bumper guards” when talking about parallel Search and Shopping campaigns. Done well, you can steer PMax in ways previously unrealized. @teabeeshell

Lots of room to mix it up. Standard shopping catch-all campaigns are great again. @duanebrown

@duanebrown do you think standard shopping campaigns go away sometime after Q4? In favour of PMax as “one campaign to rule them all”? @NeptuneMoon

@duanebrown – If price points are homogeneous and inventory is balanced, yes. Otherwise, I still advocate for Shopping segmentation along those two lines.@teabeeshell

@NeptuneMoon Depending on how DSA rolling into PMax goes. That will timeline standard shopping going away. 2024 looks like the timeframe. @duanebrown

@NeptuneMoon – I think this is an inevitability, but not until 2024. Even so, the control lies in matching creative to audiences (+ testing these subjective choices) and segmenting by price point and/or inventory.@teabeeshell

@teabeeshell Hopefully, PMax continues to evolve with functionalities too. @NeptuneMoon

@teabeeshell You have to do what is right for the ad account, brand and SKU count for sure. When we audit accounts or people say just run PMax and nothing else. That is why I just shake my head. @duanebrown

PPCChat Participants

Related Links

Stop wasted ad spend with Karooya

Stop the wasted ad spend. Get more conversions from the same ad budget.

Our customers save over $16 Million per year on Google and Amazon Ads.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.