Measurement—Not Money—Is the Key to PPC
Time and money—two things we all would like more of. They also are two key ingredients lacking from most pay-per-click (PPC) SEM programs, according to a recent study conducted by consultancies the e-tailing group and NetElixir. The 1st Annual E-tailer PPC Stress Study found that when asked about the one thing their organization could do to improve PPC management, respondents were vocal about their desire for “more robust management,” citing such needs as “more people and more time to manage campaigns,” “more resources in place to manage in more depth,” “more time … for strategy and development of campaigns,” and the ability to “dedicate a full-time resource to understanding about PPC.” But PPC programs can be successful with the smallest staffs and the most limited budgets if you have taken the time to set up clear measurement objectives and parameters, stresses Udayan Bose, founder and CEO of NetElixir.
“The most important thing any marketer can do is ensure that she has a very clear performance measurement program set in place. It can be a very basic tool like Google Analytics, or a more evolved one like Omniture, but whatever is being done has to be measured,” says Bose.
“Online advertising needs to be managed every second … especially when you are in very competitive categories, like online retail, financial services or travel. But obviously that doesn’t make sense economically.” Instead, Bose suggests marketers make the most of even very small PPC budgets by moving slowly and measuring carefully along the way to determine the amount of program management that will deliver the best ROI.
“It takes about three to six months to determine what the best combination will be,” advises Bose. “Start slow, make an individual responsible for measurement, and watch how much you are spending and what you are getting—that can be revenue, number of units, average order, whatever you want to measure. When you find that the revenue allows you to break even, you know you are on the right track.”