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Is data stifling innovation?

Is data stifling innovation?

Before the digital marketers among us finish sharpening their pitchforks, hear me out.

Data is undeniably propelling paid search and digital marketing forward, with the ability to track thousands of metrics at micro-level. This data allows marketers to create and optimise highly tuned paid campaigns with completely tangible outcomes. As a result, the marketing world as we know it is more efficient and results driven than ever before.

From a Google Ads perspective, paid search professionals are able to reduce advertising spend and budgets in a variety of ways, such as:

  • reducing spend in lower performing hours of the day
  • cutting out particular age groups
  • doubling down on in-market audience segments

These levers that marketers have at their disposal are pivotal for reducing CPAs or increasing ROI. However, with advertisers demanding more revenue, greater returns and lower CPAs than ever before from their digital spend, is this forcing strategies to concentrate too heavily on each channel, claiming last click wins at the bottom of the sales funnel?

With the mindset of last click wins, are we looking at growth through a narrow lense and missing incremental growth?

Strategy is more important than ever

As automation becomes an integral part of our industry, strategy – and the role of the PPC marketer – is only becoming more important. As we approach a new decade this collaboration will become even more important. Whilst we might have been relieved of some of our more manual tasks, we’ve been able to dedicate valuable time to helping clients better understand their audience and how we can reach them.

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That time data got it wrong

Earlier this year, a client wanted to test completely switching off mobile and tablet from their Paid Search activity. The data suggested the CPA would reduce significantly and mobile was not an efficient use of marketing spend. The goal was to reduce CPA without significantly hampering volume. Results showed that by cutting non-branded mobile spend, Brand demand dropped over 45%. As a result, the volume of enquiries reduced and CPA rose.

The learnings taken from this were significant. Using last click as the preferred attribution model, the lack of visibility pre-conversion made optimisations and strategy short-sighted and missed incremental growth. As a result, a change of approach and attribution allowed a holistic overview of channel performance. To accompany these changes, this client now has a performance budget and a branding budget. The branding budget is focused around utilising the data to understand what resonates and nurtures prospects towards the lower funnel and does not measure success from a last click CPA basis. Brand demand continues to rise, as the more creative element of Branding and digital improve.

To summarise:

  • Be data-driven with strategy, but don’t miss out on the wider picture
  • Be creative with your messaging for users at the top of the funnel
  • Don’t measure this activity with a direct ROI/CPA
  • Don’t use last click attribution!

Want to learn more about PPC? We now offer Google Ads PPC Training for Beginners and a Google Ads PPC Workshop, bespoke for your business and Google Ads account. Get in touch to book your training with our expert team.

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