Online advertising could be useless.

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Just came across this:
the-new-dot-com-bubble-is-here-its-called-online-advertising
Apparently Ebay used to spent 20M on adds for absolutely zero result.
Paying to be first in Google when you are first already does sound stupid to me...

There are other examples, including Facebook ads.

My main take-away is that Advertising is probably more useful if you are a small player.

And that people don't WANT to believe you if you show them the advertisements aren't working.
Excellent for client work I'd say xD
 

CCarter

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I think you meant to write “Advertising” in the title, not Marketing.

Marketing is letting the world know your exist.

Advertising is paying a specific channel to get your message out there.

Advertising is underneath the Marketing umbrella.

If you don’t let the world know you exist you won’t get customers.

It’s why so many solo SEO projects end up failing. They wait for Google to send them traffic, wait for years in what could be accomplished in weeks. Wild. Mate. Wild.

The good PPC guys know bidding on your own name is retarded. But for some reason as the agency budgets get bigger due to the company size people are concerned with job security and end up doing nonsense like it.

I can’t tell you how many business owners look in disbelief and horror when I explain to them the million of dollars they lost by bidding on their own name cause “an agency” said it was the highest ROI.

You built a brand for years/decades and now are paying Google to rank your ADs above your brand. It’s one thing to do is against a competitor, but to do that against yourself.

Wild. Fucking Lawless out here.

Edit: For context original title of this stated “Marketing could be useless” till someone edited it
 
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You are right, I made a mistake.

It's just so weird it even happened. I mean I would never have considered buying my own brand name...
Especially if I'm already Nr 1.

I'm mainly astonished by the cognitive dissonance.
 

eliquid

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Working for many different types of agencies over the years, on lots of different accounts, I can tell you why a lot of them do Brand on PPC.

1. A lot of agencies have no clue what they are doing. Even if they are PPC agencies. The ones that REALLY do not know what they are doing label themselves 'inbound agencies' or use the word inbound a lot. They generally use someone in-house who has a Hubspot cert, but no real PPC experience and the only "conversions" they can get are based on brand name bidding campaigns. They don't know what they are doing so it's the only campaign that brings them conversions, even though its not really their work on the brand campaign that brought those in....

2. These agencies will take anyone, anyone with a budget. They don't vet or qualify their clients. They take on anyone that will pay their retainer. Because of this, they get stuck with a lot of shitty clients, clients that either want to micromanage and demand brand bidding, or clients that have horrible LPs and horrible products and no UVP ( meaning, its a me too product ). The PPC person is left stuck trying to sell the exact same blue widget as 1000 other companies and shitty LPs. The client nor the agency want to improve the copy, the LP flow, the funnel, or even admit it's shitty. So what happens? The account leans more to brand and brand bidding, because bidding on "blue widget" isn't cutting it and no one else will help or work on the issue.

The sad truth is, a lot of agencies are just there for the billable hours.

They know the client is a sucker, the LPs are bad, and this account will NEVER succeed.It's talked about during the internal ZOOM meetings. But the game is getting more billable hours and kicking the can down the road until the client drops.

With that, everyone still gets a paycheck and the execs continue on getting bonuses and getting paid. They can churn through 100's of clients as their sales game is strong.

I've seen it over a 1,000 times now. Little accounts and huge multi-national ones.

I know agencies that have been doing just this for over a decade now. They still get clients left and right.

.
 

LinkPlate

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There is a scenario for when brand PPC traffic works and that is when your clients website is built on an old system that the owner (corporate) refuses to upgrade (0.85% conversion rate) so you have to build landing pages to better convert the traffic! Paying for brand traffic is cheap (for your brand) and converting that traffic at 10% rather than 0.85% will make up for the cost of the traffic.

That being said, if your clients homepage is that shitty and they refuse to upgrade - they are just delaying failure and you should look for better clients. The above scenario should be temporary solution and not a permanent one.
 
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I think you meant to write “Advertising” in the title, not Marketing.

Marketing is letting the world know your exist.

Advertising is paying a specific channel to get your message out there.

Advertising is underneath the Marketing umbrella.

If you don’t let the world know you exist you won’t get customers.

It’s why so many solo SEO projects end up failing. They wait for Google to send them traffic, wait for years in what could be accomplished in weeks. Wild. Mate. Wild.

The good PPC guys know bidding on your own name is retarded. But for some reason as the agency budgets get bigger due to the company size people are concerned with job security and end up doing nonsense like it.

I can’t tell you how many business owners look in disbelief and horror when I explain to them the million of dollars they lost by bidding on their own name cause “an agency” said it was the highest ROI.

You built a brand for years/decades and now are paying Google to rank your ADs above your brand. It’s one thing to do is against a competitor, but to do that against yourself.

Wild. Fucking Lawless out here.

Edit: For context original title of this stated “Marketing could be useless” till someone edited it
I came here to say this. Marketing is a part of business and advertising is apart of marketing. Marketing is more than advertising as the marketer needs to come up with the Produce, Price, Promotion, Place, and People to market to. Advertising is just one means of marketing. You could also do sponsorships, entertainment based products (ie GI Joe and Pokemon were TV shows created to sell the toys... yeah.... that's a little fucked up to know that those shows were created to sell toys but that's the truth), and a lot of other things that I'm not going to rehash, since it's all in an Integrated Marketing and Communications textbook.

As far as the utility of advertising, it was highlighted in my class. Basically, at a certain point, large companies are just hoping and praying that advertising causes an ROI. For example, Coca-Cola runs yearly ads during the holiday season to link the Coca-Cola brand with the coziness of the Christmas season, polar bares, Santa, and gift giving. Do those ads cause an ROI? Does it remind people of the Coke brand and is that why they're buying coke? Or, is it just a huge waste of money? We'll never know! I doubt Coke would stop running those ads though.

Another example of this is GEICO. They run ads to teach the public how to pronounce their name, which rhymes with Gecko. It took them millions of dollars and several years to do this. Would they ever stop? No, their name is really hard to pronounce. It's an acronym for Government something Insurance something. Running those ads keeps them relevant and it keeps their target audience reminded of their insurance brand.

If you're in the startup or growth phase, where you do not have a dominant share of the market or are a household brand, yeah, don't run advertising like this.

There is a scenario for when brand PPC traffic works and that is when your clients website is built on an old system that the owner (corporate) refuses to upgrade (0.85% conversion rate) so you have to build landing pages to better convert the traffic! Paying for brand traffic is cheap (for your brand) and converting that traffic at 10% rather than 0.85% will make up for the cost of the traffic.

That being said, if your clients homepage is that shitty and they refuse to upgrade - they are just delaying failure and you should look for better clients. The above scenario should be temporary solution and not a permanent one.
Good reply! I see how this would work for some really old-fashion companies. I also know investors who don't see the value in spending money in fancy technologies such as a CDN or whatever, when what they have already work. Someone running a faster server would just outperform the main site in terms of CPC, load times, conversion rate, etc.

Thank God I have a CTO who keeps track of all that.
 
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This is a very ignorant and uninformed opinion but it's a common one so I don't knock you for it.

First, commenting specifically your thoughts on bidding for your brand terms with SERP PPC...

They are easily the most cost effective ads I run, and I'm spending anywhere from $10-$20k a day on FB/IG and YouTube/Google.

Two words: SERP dominance.

I can pay a few cents for a click to knock down a competitor who is otherwise bidding on my brand terms and essentially capitalizing on my brand value to send high-converting traffic to their site.

I've learned over many projects and millions in ad spend that plenty of people will see your FB/IG/YouTube ads and then go and google your brand--and navigate to your site that way. So when you aren't bidding on these brand-related terms with search engine PPC, you're putting yourself in a position for another person targeting your brand term to swoop in and steal the traffic you generated awareness for on your product in the first place through your marketing on other non-SERP channels.

And your comments/question about paid traffic being worthless is just laughable. I wouldn't be spending $20k a day if I wasn't making more on that ad spend. And I can tell you I am small time compared to other guys in the industry I know.

This is a common theme among people who simply don't understand marketing and view it as an "expense" vs. a way to grow your business.

You can tell in less than 10 seconds if someone understands performance marketing with one question:

Do you view marketing as an expense or as a multiplier of growth?

If you can spend a dollar and make 2 dollars--you would spend every dollar you had.

That's what paid ads/marketing is and it's how you build a huge site in the course of weeks and months instead of years with strictly SEO which this forum loves to stroke so much.

We have an SEO strategy, of course. Everyone should. But I would still be scraping pennies if I had the attitude you do towards paid ads.
 

CCarter

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I can pay a few cents for a click to knock down a competitor who is otherwise bidding on my brand terms and essentially capitalizing on my brand value to send high-converting traffic to their site.
This where it’s going to get hairy.

If someone types in “ebay”, they know the brand. Can Amazon place their AD above it, yes, but IF Amazon can provide a better experience than it makes perfect sense to swoop in and take ebay’s customers. Ebay is the one that needs to step up it’s game and provide a better experience so even if a competitor is bidding on their name people will scroll past it and click on the ebay link.

So it comes down to are the people looking for your brand loyalist or just consumers that can be swayed.

An example is the other way around. If I type in “Amazon” in the search and see Walmart ADs, I am scrolling past Walmart everytime till I see the Amazon links. Reversed, I might try Amazon- cause at the end I am looking for the better experience. “Better” being subjective to my needs.

Now if you have a “me-too” product, basically there is very little unique selling proposition (USP) than yeah a competitor that can dice you on price or a better user experience bidding on your name will take you out. But they are only accelerating the inevitable if your brand was not about to compete in the marketplace enough to stand on it’s own brand name.

SERP dominance make 100% sense, in the short term. If the underlying product/service is unable to stand on it’s own with it’s USP they are already in trouble.

There are competiting brands who’s ADs I will scroll past, and then those I’ll consider. But even in the ebay vs Amazon scenario I’ll still going to open up ebay further down to compare my choices even if I clicked on the Amazon AD. Will I do that on mobile, I dunno.

In marketing any long-term plan has to revolve around having a strong USP and therefore a strong enough brand to weather a competitor trying to bid on it.

Evaluating PPC campaigns the question I always ask - are these brand term literally the only campaigns providing good ROI?

Cause I am pretty sure you’ve seen campaigns were the only ROI were brand terms and the non-brand campaigns just performed horribly - meaning there is an underly problem - whether it is the landing page, product/service, brand, or USP. As a marketer you have to fix those problems or the long-term is not so good.
 
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I've learned over many projects and millions in ad spend that plenty of people will see your FB/IG/YouTube ads and then go and google your brand--and navigate to your site that way. So when you aren't bidding on these brand-related terms with search engine PPC, you're putting yourself in a position for another person targeting your brand term to swoop in and steal the traffic you generated awareness for on your product in the first place through your marketing on other non-SERP channels.
What was the methodology that you used to come up with this conclusion? Our product, "immigration services," doesn't work on IG or YouTube but it does on AdWords and FB. FB and AdWords has two different definitions for "user" and "view," which makes their numbers totally off. Because of this, I doubt your methodology; but, I might be wrong.
 

eliquid

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I can pay a few cents for a click to knock down a competitor who is otherwise bidding on my brand terms and essentially capitalizing on my brand value to send high-converting traffic to their site.
Not always true.

As someone that has done this since the first PPC platform was around ( GoTo ) and has spent millions themsleves in PPC spend alone ( Agency, in-house, and for myself on my own dime ), bidding on competitor terms for a lot of industries can be the worst campaigns in a PPC account, even if you remarket later on with them.

If competitors are bidding on your brand and getting high converting traffic from it, your brand and product either sucks or you are in a commodity market.

Otherwise, your competitors will not be "highly converting" on your brand traffic.

People looking for brand terms are generally much deeper in the funnel. They know who they want to buy from. Unless that is, your brand and product suck, have a lot of bad reviews, or you're a commodity.

You might be a unicorn in your market, but for the majority of others.. this is not so.

If you can spend a dollar and make 2 dollars--you would spend every dollar you had.

That's what paid ads/marketing is and it's how you build a huge site in the course of weeks and months instead of years with strictly SEO which this forum loves to stroke so much.
That's a big IF.

Most businesses are not set up to be able to spend $1 and make $2. Most e-commerce business are not set up this way.

Most mom and pop lead gen are not either.

Unless you own the product and can manipulate the backend, or you control the PPC in-house, Or you a big big brand already, or you are playing in big ticket items ( higher ed, attorney/law suits, a few other industries.. ) then recouping your PPC cost, COGs, agency fee, etc all eat into your margins.

Extremely cheap non-brand good volume PPCs is hard to find in Search. Unless you doing Display or RoN or something where no one has tapped yet.

A lot of business are automatically weeded out of the spend $1 and make $2 back.

I remember when I could spend $1 and make $40 back. You have to have a special setup for that to happen, and many businesses don't have that.
 
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Sutra

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@eliquid I have question in regards to running paid traffic to affiliate offers. In your experience, what is the minimum amount someone would need to make, per sale in affiliate commissions, in order for PPC to be viable?
 

eliquid

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@eliquid I have question in regards to running paid traffic to affiliate offers. In your experience, what is the minimum amount someone would need to make, per sale in affiliate commissions, in order for PPC to be viable?
That is not simply answered.

You have too many factors that go into "what you would make" which include:
  • Your offer and if the network/program shaves and skims/do lead carrots
  • Your angle
  • Your LP and copy
  • Your traffic source
  • If you retain any data and resuse it in some way later
  • Conversion ratio and price you pay per conversion or click on the PPC network.

What you asked is just not easily answered.

However if you can start out and break even or slightly lose, then I would tell you to keep going and optimizing until you turn that slight loss/break even into profitbility.

Then try to scale that as best you can.

I know guys that use to easily spend $900 a day, to make $1,000 Gross. That's only $100 Net per day.

Is $100 a day worth it? Only you can answer that.

For some people, they would love to have $3k a month before taxes right now.

I don't get wrapped up in how much I need to make per sale, I just focus on can I get it to break even first. If not, what do I need to do to make that happen. Once you hit that, you can find ways to make it profitable and scale.

I also typically do not look at a lot of metrics. I use one not a lot of people talk about as a main metric and that is how many impressions does it take to get a conversion on average. This gives me a more direct insight into the whole process, from ad to conversion, than other typical metrics people get wrapped up in.

I also set spend goals and limits on testing.

Most people give up if they don't convert within the CPA. Some even go 2-3x the CPA.

However, depending on the platform and where you are in the build process, that formula above is not enough. For something like Google Search on a new campaign and new LPs/funnels.. I wouldn't spend less than $100 a day for 30 days.. which is a min of $3k to test and try. It can get a lot more expensive though depending on other factors like how many states/countries you are testing, how many ads and LPs you are testing at once, and such.

If you can sandbox and control things 1x1, $100 a day ad spend is the min I would even do. Anything less you just can't get accurate data with in Google Search.

Once running and profitable, I also set a "testing budget". Any money spent on this does not factor into my regular metrics. This is soley for testing and expansion. A lot of companies just shove this budget ( if they even do it, most won't ) into their general reporting and it skews a lot of stuff.

Other platforms and setups, will be wildly different and cost differently.
 

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What was the methodology that you used to come up with this conclusion? Our product, "immigration services," doesn't work on IG or YouTube but it does on AdWords and FB. FB and AdWords has two different definitions for "user" and "view," which makes their numbers totally off. Because of this, I doubt your methodology; but, I might be wrong.
3 words for you. Multi channel funnels.

I have seen this with every single client I ever worked with. Marketers ASSUME that if they are marketing on FB and see no conversions, then FB sucks. Same goes to other channels. The truth is that even though FB doesn't convert users directly - it might assist in converting them. Same applies to other channels. You have to look beneath the surface to figure these things out.

A lot of users will see your ads on FB/IG, then google you and might even type your site directly in the browser. It depends on your industry and the users mindset.

Screenshot below is from an active client. Notice a trend? The user has to visit the site at least 2x before they convert! Why? Its because they are researching other competitors and comparing prices/value. This is because this client is in a highly competitive space and priced above average when compared to its competitors.

 
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3 words for you. Multi channel funnels.

I have seen this with every single client I ever worked with. Marketers ASSUME that if they are marketing on FB and see no conversions, then FB sucks. Same goes to other channels. The truth is that even though FB doesn't convert users directly - it might assist in converting them. Same applies to other channels. You have to look beneath the surface to figure these things out.

A lot of users will see your ads on FB/IG, then google you and might even type your site directly in the browser. It depends on your industry and the users mindset.

Screenshot below is from an active client. Notice a trend? The user has to visit the site at least 2x before they convert! Why? Its because they are researching other competitors and comparing prices/value. This is because this client is in a highly competitive space and priced above average when compared to its competitors.

Different industry. 80% of our customers buy within the same day and most only use 1 channel. We are selling a convenience after all.

On another note, how do you figure out the bids for IG and FB when GA uses the last channel to attribute the sale?
 

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Some recent posts in this thread got me thinking.

I don't do FB or Twitter for any of my brands.
I totally feel the pain of not being omni channel and missing some of the bigger platform.
Its not as simple as missing the audience forever. They don't own everybody all the time.
If you're in a developed segment there is always enough media to eventually reach saturation even if you skip a few platforms. It just takes a little longer to build up traffic.


The highest ROI I've seen is from going deep on content marketing and trying to be a quality participant on a smaller number of channels. Especially ones with really high ratios of lurkers to OPS like reddit, forums and chats. Actively participating will get you annoyed put downs from the can't wait to start drinking crowd but you can get a little more value than just learning from being an ernest participant.

Online advertising is not worthless at all.
Straight up banners work great if you don't deliberately act obtuse about how you do your attribution.
People just way over complicate it.
 
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LinkPlate

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On another note, how do you figure out the bids for IG and FB when GA uses the last channel to attribute the sale?
GA doesn't necessarily use the last channel. You can set it up to use the first channel. You can set it up however you like.

Bids can be calculated using simple math formulas, similar to how you calculate cost/conversion - except for multi channel - you would add in the cost of the different channels when doing the calculations before coming up with the estimated bids.

I usually use the last channel + first channel and do an average. You can also do it by looking at the multi channel report and add up the bids, then dividing up the cost, etc..
 
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What was the methodology that you used to come up with this conclusion? Our product, "immigration services," doesn't work on IG or YouTube but it does on AdWords and FB. FB and AdWords has two different definitions for "user" and "view," which makes their numbers totally off. Because of this, I doubt your methodology; but, I might be wrong.
A few things. I did dropshipping during the holidays of 2017 but used an unbranded product.

Then I did it again in 2018 but took the time to make a branded product. The result was a way bigger ROI on the same ad spend, and understanding that a lot of people go to SERPS to learn more about something/lean on the authority SERPS lend in people's eyes.

Additionally, spending lots on FB/IG ads and running brand term campaigns on google/bing ppc and seeing just how many people were converting that way not to mention the viewthrough traffic from youtube video ads.

Think about your own behavior when buying something. There are definitely impulse buying segments of the market. But there's also a ton of people who will do a quick search to see if they can get it cheaper somewhere else--and if you have a branded product--well then you just dominated the SERPs and they aren't going to buy your trinket doo-hickey on amazon or another site where it's likely much cheaper.
 
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A few things. I did dropshipping during the holidays of 2017 but used an unbranded product.

Then I did it again in 2018 but took the time to make a branded product. The result was a way bigger ROI on the same ad spend, and understanding that a lot of people go to SERPS to learn more about something/lean on the authority SERPS lend in people's eyes.

Additionally, spending lots on FB/IG ads and running brand term campaigns on google/bing ppc and seeing just how many people were converting that way not to mention the viewthrough traffic from youtube video ads.

Think about your own behavior when buying something. There are definitely impulse buying segments of the market. But there's also a ton of people who will do a quick search to see if they can get it cheaper somewhere else--and if you have a branded product--well then you just dominated the SERPs and they aren't going to buy your trinket doo-hickey on amazon or another site where it's likely much cheaper.
To me, it sounds like your experience was more about the benefits of branding than anything else. A differentiated brand creates consumer loyalty. Even if they did comparison shopping, they'd stick with the brand that resonates to them. If they trust the brand and the brand has other consumers who are in a tribe that they want to join, they'll buy the brand to join the tribe.

To me, your example shows how exposing consumers to a brand via FB or IG could start them on their purchase funnel, where they perform comparison shopping and eventually buy a product. Some of it went to you. An unknown amount went to a competitor.

But, yeah, good example.
 
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Mahjong

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Dutch national broadcaster saw ad revenue rise when it stopped tracking users. It's meant to work like that, right?



Article: https://www.theregister.com/2020/07/03/stop_tracking_increase_revenue_effectiveness/




There is a big hole in the value chain’: Brands lose 50% of the money they invest in programmatic ads

"Half of the money brands spend on online publishers is lost in the programmatic advertising supply chain and 15% cannot be attributed at all. This is according to a new study that is prompting yet another call for reform of a complex ecosystem that still lacks transparency and “does not serve the principle interests” of advertisers or publishers. "



Article: https://www.marketingweek.com/programmatic-advertising-supply-chain-brands/