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From a PPC Marketers perspective, Startups are looking for every  advantage they can find to help launch their product or service to their prospected audiences.
In this post, I will discuss a few reasons why having a PPC Marketing Consultant at the disposal of a VC can be a pretty good decision.
Today where new companies are spurting up all over the world and advertising budgets are usually at a minimum, PPC Marketing can make a difference.
In some cases, a VC's portfolio company might be in need of some "new and fresh" ideas of an outside consultant in order to "kick start" revenue growth. Perhaps, those companies who already have "in-house" staff that would not need to hire a Full-Time Consultant, but need an expert to come in and evaluate everything could be a very "cost effective" solution. For a Venture Capital Firm, whose main interest is to make sure their portfolio companies are profitable and continuously growing, having an experience PPC Marketer at their disposal is "no-brainer".
When thinking about starting your own business there are many things that you need to consider and choosing online tools are often one of the last things to consider.
One of the biggest influences in starting your own business is not a big advertising budget, but testimonials and referrals from past clients or colleagues.
There are many weapons of choice in PPC Marketing, but try and stay focused not only on budget but also what you need to on-board and keep a client happy. When it comes to starting your own PPC Marketing Consulting Business, it's important to leverage your strengths, learn from past client experiences and above all else be transparent.
Case Studies have always been the best propaganda tool put out by the advertising platforms in order to stimulate interest and convince advertisers to start spending Ad dollars with them. There has been this _"soft, fuzzy" Aura_ that all interactions within Social Media platforms will eventually lead to a customer later in the cycle.
All online advertisers need to realize that Social Media (even though cool and popular) is not the same as PPC Marketing. Don't get me wrong, Internet Marketing Conferences are a "No-Brainer" to attend whether your a newbie or seasoned professional. Ahh, ever feel like you have signed up for a gazillion different services that offered free trials and not sure which ones to use? SOLUTION: Before you signup with anyone, don't focus on the Free Trial, or the awesome "swag" you received from the conference. Case Studies are a great source for understanding the successes of a particular experience that allow the reader to adapt to new ideas and strategies. If you are a Startup that needs "Big Agency Results" from a small budget, hiring a larger agency is not exactly the best alternative. I have seen too many times when Startups spent too much too early and it completely ruins their chances for sustainable growth. I know it's important to get as much feedback as possible when starting or launching a new company, however getting advice from people who think they know PPC Marketing because they read an article or attended a conference can be a slippery slope.
SOLUTION: Soak up all of the feedback you can get and label these new ideas as "TEST" Campaigns and analyse the heck out of them.
How many times have you seen Marketing Directors simply create excel formulas which magically forecast the future of online marketing revenue based on a single monetary amount.
Since starting my PPC Marketing Firm back in 2008, many of my clients have been start ups which needed "Big Agency Results" from a small, boutique firm. It's no surprise that eBay's Profits were damaged by the Google Panda 4.0 Algorithm Update where they lost an estimated 80% of it's search listings.
Since eBay has lost revenue to Google Panda, they are opening doors to force advertisers to pay their way to the top. In a recent article in the Inside Adwords Blog, entitled "Charge up your phones with call-only campaigns" Google rolled out "CALL-ONLY" campaigns where advertisers can have their text ads just show a phone number, short description and a call button. Well, the first thing to optimize is the CTA (Call-to-action) for this, as we already know consumers will make a phone call and not click.
There is a quote from one of my favorite movies that truly struck a cord with me through the years and it's never been more relevant now with regards to PPC Advertising on Social media platforms such as Twitter Ads and Facebook Ads. Back in 2005, when I was managing the PPC Strategy for an Automotive Catalog Company, I relied on Google and Yahoo to compliment a TV Show on the SpikeTV Network which was promoting the products from the Catalog.
In order to maximize this strategy, here are a few things that need to be addressed before the advertiser spends a penny. Today, our population lives in a seamless world of receiving information from smartphones, tablets and computers. Ahh, remember the days when It was just Google Search, Yahoo Search and Bing Ads were the only platforms that Search Marketers had to worry about? Remember the old saying _"Fish where the Fish are"?_, well that is an understatement these days.
Alright, it's quite obvious that these INSURANCE COMPANIES are spending tons of money on these very entertaining TV commercials and we can all agree that they have succeeded in cementing their brands into our subconsciousness.
This chart tells us many different stories on the evolution of how these companies expanded their PPC visibility over time. Based on this chart, it's obvious why Statefarm is not spending as much as Geico on PPC because they are dominating in Organic Search. Typically, it has been the 3rd party software companies that provided BID MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS for Adwords and Bing Ads platforms. Another concern about Google's new Bidding Guide is their contradiction to the Quality Score Model which they have evangelized for years to advertisers.
However, they have to be careful no to "bet the farm" too early especially when VENTURE CAPITAL FIRMS are investing.  With all of the popular marketing tactics of growth hacking and social media being forged into the generalized marketing strategy, its important not to lose focus on the basics.


Having a PPC Marketer available_ (of course with a solid reputation and a high level of past successes)_ can take the ease off of everyone, because it eliminates all of the pain of vetting out different vendors and references, etc… so they make a smart decision on who to hire.
However, I have learned over the years that software that contains the latest "bells and whistles" will not make you a better marketer.
This is especially true during the on-boarding process where the client would be inclined to feel more comfortable with someone who is already familiar with their particular industry.
These bad experiences range from (1) "too good to be true" expectations (2) Inaccurate Ad dollar allocation (3) Poor reporting and analysis.
Here are some 3rd party companies that I highly recommend in order to stay competitive and keep your clients happy.
We need to connect the dots of all sources and identify (1)what worked, (2)what didn't worked (3)why didn't work and (4)what to try next.
In some instances, there are obvious benefits of using these platforms (if used correctly). Unfortunately, this "fuzziness" has made its way into PPC and advertisers must realize (or remember) that PPC is a little more hardcore than that. PPC is a different monster and it's very deceptive for Google to have performance  metrics such as "Interactions" and "Interaction Rates" as options in their reporting columns, when all they are, are traditional clicks. When launching a new Startup Company everyone involved is excited and eager to start building their empire. However, entrepreneurs that are new to this space can easily feel overwhelmed with everything from SEO, PPC, Landing Pages, Social Media, Pay-Per Call Services, Analytics, Automation, etc….
Once that has been established, then "fine-tune" your Advertising and Social Media Strategy. Well, that's not only confusing, but also detrimental to making progress on what matter most: Generating Revenue. However, you need to be careful not put to put too much emphasis on the successes of these studies because of the substantiated factors which often lead inaccuracy. Often, these studies are done by a small group of people which may have biased opinions based on data collected. Selling a product or service requires as much research as possible before advertising dollars are spent.
They are also in a position to find many lucrative ways to get you to spend money with them. Understanding and implementing good Quality Score (which is essentially relevancy from the Keyword Level all the way to the Landing Page).
For example, you will need and probably be expecting a daily and sometimes hourly communication within the first couple months of the relationship. Too many times, outside influence from the top of the corporate chain which trumps those who are experts in their field often leads to failure because they do not understand the online searching behaviors of consumers. However, eBay has opened the door to "Black Hat" type practices that force Sellers to spend money on "FAKE Stats" in order to get better visibility. In addition, shoppers on eBay are naturally attracted to listings that have many watchers and views, often believing that popularity indicates a sought-after item that they should be looking at too._ " So now, there are companies which allow Sellers to BUY WATCHERS AND VIEWS in order to help their eBay Rank. However, according to some online forums, the sellers are sounding off on this dirty practice.
Just like Link Buying in the 2000's, companies are finding ways to make money off of "holes in algorithms" and the only people who suffers are the advertisers. In this day and age, it makes complete sense, however one has to wonder if this new option has _ANYTHING TO DO WITH DRIVERS WHO CONTINUE TO LOOK AT THEIR PHONE WHILE DRIVI_NG.
So, in order to do this effectively, these ads need to cater to mobile users who are planning to make a call.
To help you find your campaign later, you might want to indicate in the name that this is a call-only. I actually won the 2008 Semmy Award for this article entitled "Optimizing Paid Search & Landing Pages for TV, Radio and Print Advertising" where I highlight the importance of "bridging the gap" between online and offline media so that the user experience is seamless. Furthermore, it is these same devices in which people are making decisions and are engaging in impulse buying behaviors that all advertisers need to be following.
Remember the catastrophic disaster of importing Google Search campaigns into Yahoo Search via failed spreadsheets? Today, there are many different oceans, lakes and ponds that we need to be fishing in, if we want to capture everyone online.
However, I was interested in seeing how these companies compared in the PPC World and what I found was pretty surprising. Statefarm provides the largest amount of keywords, while Geico and Progressive are similar.
But, the biggest takeaway for me is the GEICO dominance in PPC Spend starting in January of 2013 and ending on June 2014. What's most interesting _(as in other charts above)_ is the strong push in June 2014, especially for Statefarm. However, Google is pushing their own "new and improved" best practices guide to try and help advertisers get the most of their strategies (or in other words) their budgets.
With that said,  one of the fastest ways to gauge a businesses prospected audience and "move the needle" is with intelligent Pay-Per-Click Marketing.
In fact, in many instances, success is based on fundamental principles of Strategy, Execution, Analysis, Storytelling and most importantly Expectations. Not only would it be easier for Strategy, but also for Storytelling and ongoing Optimization.


Has Social Media created a new landscape for PPC where basic metrics such as clicks are now being labeled as interactions and we are now forced to downplay standard conversions? Furthermore, with all of this data-mining going on, we still need to focus on the biggest metric of all: $$$ Revenue $$$. However, one must remember that no one is going to put out a Case Study that shows a "bad experience" and that often times, these documents manipulate the data in their favor. However, many times entrepreneurs get "overwhelmed" when reading blogs or attending marketing conferences which are pushing the latest and greatest in online tools and gadgets that will promise them instant success. Remember, your in Startup Mode and need to squeeze as much as you can within the limited budget.
Google is notorious for suggesting keywords and increasing budgets to maximize your visibility. In this post, I will dive into some of the specifics of this new and questionable practice. So, before advertisers start selling items on eBay, they need to know what is going on "behind the scenes". According to Google, they state "_With smartphones in hand, consumers are increasingly looking for products or services while on the go and then placing a call right away. Ideas such as “Give us a Call", "Agents are standing by", or “call to make an appointment". AdWords will use this web page to verify your phone number, and the domain of this URL must match your display URL. Keep in mind that your CPC bids should match the value of a call to your business, since all clicks on your ads will start a call from the device where the ads appear. Nowadays with Social Media Advertising, anyone can leverage current events within a matter of minutes for as long as it's shelve-life is still relevant in peoples minds. Recently in the news, a new study finds that Lemons have shown to reduce the risk of cancer, amongst other great benefits. In the PPC landscape, advertisers have always dealt with Saturation, increased competition and rising advertising costs in order to keep themselves relevant.
PPC Marketers not only have an obligation to stay on top of this ever-changing industry, but they also need to convey these opportunities to their clients so that they can "fish where the fish are".
In fact, it appears that these Insurance Companies are putting a ton more money in PPC now than in any other years.
However,  it's hard to imagine that (3) different advertisers are bidding on over 253k+ of the same terms, yet as you will see shortly, their respected budgets are far more different. Geico and progressive have weaker Organic Visibility, so they are spending more money in PPC to get their visibility. So with this latest move by Google, should those 3rd party automated bidding companies be concerned?
If Google can provide Bid Management that is comparable to 3rd party companies, advertisers will take that additional expense and spend it with Google. Hiring an experienced PPC Marketer can be a valuable asset to any VC that is looking to not only increase revenue for their portfolio companies, but also have the security and confidence of knowing they have the resource available to launch a new startup.
In this post, I will talk about some of the important tools, methodologies and overall client management needed to grow a successful consulting business. Non-Brand, or even simple things such as Promotions and Offers in text ads can have a negative effect on revenue. Too many times I have seen Sales Teams "promise the world" to clients in order for them to get their commissions. In fact, here is a testimonial from Birchbox on the importance working with a smaller Boutique firm during the infancy stage of their business. Currently, it appears that eBay is not policing this artificial inflation but lets all hope they can identify these cheaters. In this article, I will take a "deeper dive" into why it is so important to have a "stock portfolio" approach mindset.
Bosomworth provides some incredible infographics which showcase the the dominance of users on Mobile and Tablet devices. Statefarm has the highest amount of keywords, yet they have one of the smallest PPC budgets. In this post, I will discuss at least Ten (10)  instances where Entrepreneurs need to be careful about what they hear and what they spend their precious money on.
However, if there is one (1) key takeaway from this article, please DO NOT ALLOW Google to create your campaigns for you!! This not only sets a bad precedent for referrals, it also "ruffles the feathers" with the PPC management team which is intimately responsible for the results.
Now, with this information going viral through TV, Radio, Organic Search and especially Social Media, a savvy marketer could leverage this new study to promote their exotic Lemon Trees. Nowadays, it's a revolving door where PPC Marketers need to have the _"IF I CAN'T CONVERT THEM IN SEARCH, I WILL HAVE TO FIND THEM ELSEWHERE"_ mentality, in order grow the client's business.
So, for us in Search Marketing, this is a major wake-up call to start spreading the budgets to capture as much of this opportunity as possible.
With the combination of strong and effective TV Commercials and living in a world where everyone is watching TV and simultaneously using their smartphone, tablet and computer it's a win-win situation.



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