Yesterday, I presented a webinar detailing some of the major trends impacting paid search and how marketers can address these challenges and opportunities. I welcome you to watch the webinar recording or download the slides.
There were three top-level items that guided the presentation:
Full Funnel Search. It shouldn’t be surprising that today’s consumers engage with search on multiple platforms across their user journey; however, many search programs focus exclusively on optimizing the bottom part of the funnel. Success in paid search requires aligning your marketing strategy with the user journey to add value at all steps in the funnel. This requires a shift in mindset from a platform-centric approach to a user-centric approach.
Actionable Insights. One of the more exciting ways that artificial intelligence and machine learning are set to transform the advertising industry is to surface valuable information that marketers can use to optimize their programs and drive performance. An example of this is Skai’s Smart Tags which can proactively alert you to low-performing ads when you have duplicate keywords in the same ad group, and even provide transparency into Google Smart Bidding changes so you can learn from the deep signals Google uses to optimize your accounts.
Incrementality Testing. Measurement continues to be a major pain point for marketers. While multi-touch attribution has been the main way that marketers have been measuring campaign performance for the last decade, the ongoing restrictions of third-party cookies are limiting the efficacy of that approach. Skai’s Impact Navigator enables marketers to run incrementality tests faster, cheaper, and easier than ever before and use these results to bridge the gap between media performance and business performance.
Three questions from “The State of Paid Search” webinar
Although we were able to get to a handful of attendee questions, there were plenty that I wasn’t able to answer. The following are three of the questions that some of you asked which I promised to answer in this blog post:
Question # 1: Do you recommend running a negative keyword list given the current environment?
Absolutely! I recommend always keeping a negative keyword list with terms you would never want your brand to appear next to. It’s best practice to keep this list up to date as new events occur so you can stay brand safe.
Question #2: Search vs. brand advertising in the current environment, which one holds up better and why?
I expect that in the current environment, media dollars will flow from brand media to more direct response focused tactics like Search. To try to make up the revenue lost during the global health crisis, brands will most likely be more focused on driving metrics like sales and revenue vs. product awareness, ad recall, etc. I also expect a shift in which business units receive larger budgets in favor of more established products with a higher awareness baseline.
Question #3: Is a smaller attribution window with first click model the way to go?
You should always ask yourself, “Do I have the data to support the hypothesis that an attribution model other than last-click is a more accurate representation of the value of each touchpoint?” We know that last-click isn’t a true representation either and we have a feeling that another model would be more accurate but often don’t have the data to support this theory. I’m a fan of last-click since it’s simple and consistent across channels; it can also be adjusted for incrementality to provide a much more accurate representation of the value each channel drives for your business.
The last word: thank you
For those of you who joined me for the webinar yesterday or are reading this today, I’d like to thank you for taking some time out of your day to engage with us. During this time of rapid change, keeping a pulse on industry trends is more important than ever and we are humbled by the opportunity to share our perspective with you.