In House: Big PPC
Moderated by Jeffrey Rohrs.
First up is Beth Morgan from Red Bricks Media. She will discuss internal competition, units competing against each other. Gives a list of potential ways that can happen, including “generation gap,” when bus units compete against each other. The main thing is that you do not want business units to compete each other in bidding. Massaging: different divisions may have varying marketing approaches. Tracking and reporting…what are you going to track? Depends on how broad the products of the business units are. She is going through slides super quick. How are you going to track it? Discusses some different analytics tools. What should you report and how often? Varies. Keyword research and categorization. KW research takes time! Without coordination, divisions can duplicate efforts for kw research.
Bidding is the one most people think about. G, Y!, and MSN generally have a policy that only one paid ad from the same company will run at a time. Lack of coordination can lead to irrational bidding.. She goes over how engines handle multiple bids. Google is hardest, and historically it has been easier to bid with multiple ads at Y! and MSN. Of course Y! is changing with Panama. How can you beat these challenges? Centralize processes. Think big right from the beginning. Assume that the campaign will eventually spread out across division. Shows a very quick case study of work with Adobe systems. They went through coordination of messaging, moved from multiple tracking system to one streamlined system. This dramatically reduces the time spent repairing reports. Sat down with key players to identify which data needed to be analyzed.
In the KW selection area, they built libraries of similar terms that could be reused across similar campaigns. Example: graphic designer terms as well as brand terms. This minimizes changes as well as inaccuracies within campaigns. They created “categories of categories.” The system was flexible enough to run across all divisions. Showed a snapshot of a kw management system that was very categorized. One of the drawbacks of using common kws is that you have to focus on bid management. Suggests consolidation, then to identify duplicates, then to prioritize, then sort and strategize, then monitor.. Easier to do an ad group basis than kw basis. To implement and monitor is most important. They are developing an in-house tool to help better manage the process.
Matthew Greitzer of Avenue A | Razorfish is next. I think that’s a really awesome company. :) Says we have about 60 clients nationwide, most of which have multiple business units. He will discuss how to manage PPC in a way that avoids internal competition (or competing with other business units in the same organization). His four “Fundamentals of Managing Internal Competition” are 1) Build an organization and service structure to support collaboration; 2) Implement unified tracking across campaigns; 3) Allocate keyword ownership through testing; and 4) Protect your brand name.
Recommends a structure for success…using centralized vision for search marketing strategy. Companies with a central marketing team is able to manage conflicts within business units easier. If not, there needs to at least be a culture that supports collaboration. Unified management of campaigns across divisions. Use a master keyword list, Keyword allocation, and beware of competitive bidding conflicts.
Enforces the idea of bringing Visibility into interplay between search marketing campaigns. You need a unified view of your customers – AA|RF uses a Unified Keyword Report – Quantifies “Halo Effect” of each business unit’s search marketing efforts. He discusses allocating keyword ownership through testing. Case Study: Retailer with multiple business units vying for relevant keywords. Challenge: How do we assign keywords to the right business unit? Solution: Test comparing individual listings with multiple listings. Shows how one company has an 18% lower cost per order, and another has a 23% higher order volume. Obviously you need to make decisions based on this type of granular data.
He then goes over Trademark Protection and Affiliate situations. He reminds that all three major search engines offer some form of trademark protection. Use it. Also, you should restrict affiliates from bidding on your brand name. Shows a chart with pre and post affiliate bidding on trademark terms, and the volume increase after restricting affiliates is huge: average CPC was down 91% and the order volume was up 104%. Cost per sale was reduced from around $75 to around $4. Summarizes by restating the four rules.
Next will be Tim Daly from SendTec. He goes over a case study from Intuit’s QuickBooks division. They started with Intuit about a year ago. They have major issues with competition internally. There are 17 different subdivisions of QuickBooks alone. Each division was doing their own SEM programs, and each of them was bidding on the term “QuickBooks.” They had 13 sub-divisional campaigns running independently, with 7 management teams involved. Also, some were managed in-house, and some were outsourced. They found some major issues, including that CPC’s on branded terms were uncharacteristically high. The Google rules change on URL’s were causing problems too. He turns it over to Olivier from Intuit to discuss the immediate steps taken.
The two main areas that had to be focused on was organizational, and the outside agencies being used. There had to be one person to bring things together to share information. It is good to have a mediator, but who owns the results? So they consolidated to a central team. This gave then a more holistic view of how things were working. This delivered a more relevant search experience. In many cases, the targets overlapped. Hard to tell at what level of QuickBooks each needs to be. If you can determine this through their search behavior, you will deliver more relevant results. They used complimentary bidding practices across management teams. This allowed for faster sharing of best practices versus when teams were acting in silos. They then consolidated their agencies, by switching to SendTec.
There were many benefits to their reorganization, especially giving them more control over their campaigns. The results included in increase in orders of 31%, a lower media cost (-11+%). The next step was kw management, and then creating new rules of engagement across divisions. BY grouping in themes, you can be smarter about how you work with keywords. Tim Daly comes back to discuss the actual tactical implementation. It is great to put together a new system, but how do you implement changes. He feels that they are actually his best client because they have caused them to discover how to deal with these types of issues. They designed a de-duplication custom tool to help provide better analysis. They used an excel spreadsheet with a Windows based programming solution.
Once they worked out the details, they had to move into testing, which will go live January 2nd. They will truly find out then the impacts of multiple listings in various ways. “ Stay tuned.” Come to NYC SES next year to see results.