Bad (PPC) Romance
Please don’t think any less of me for titling my post after a Lady Gaga song. But when I hear her sing about bad romance, I don’t think about her and Sir Gaga’s relationship (Ew!). I think about that of advertisers and AdWords. Every advertising medium has always had its share of challenges and frustrations for advertisers. Back when there were only 3 major television networks, advertisers were complaining about monopoly, prices and rules. Before we knew it, cable came along and fragmented all that, making it harder to reach your audiences. I bet there’s still people out there reminiscing about the good old days. It’s true that history repeats itself. Because if you fast forward to today, you can still hear the same frustrations and concerns by advertisers. Common complaints include costs, campaign structure issues, AdWords user interface, better client management tools, etc. They say the first step to recovery is admitting that there is a problem. So when asked about their main frustrations with AdWords, we weren’t surprised to find that top industry experts like Andrew Goodman didn’t hesitate to share.
The fact of the matter is, people have always had problems around some of the measurements of the advertising mediums they use. Sure, 3rd party vendors in the PPC management software space have offered amazing features like campaign automation and more user friendly interfaces and continually improve their offerings to reduce the complexities of maintaining effective campaigns. Even Google has been working hard on making Analytics and AdWords play nice. Sure, some of the metrics you are shown are still not necessarily as complete or accurate as you hope. You are forced to work with averages and have to dig deep to find the right data to pull insights from and that gives you every right to complain. But remember, in the good old days of TV, we had to rely on panel measurements. So if given the choice today, which would you rather have? Last week, someone told me they wish AdWords would just know what they want and do it. And while full automation is possible, that doesn’t mean it is ideal. You certainly need the human touch to make the final decision and work in semi-automated mode. Be careful what you wish for. Yes, part of our frustrations are high costs and ambiguous rules, but at least it’s easy to reach audiences who are seeking solutions to their problems NOW. While AdWords doesn’t offer your the option of buying your way to success, you can certainly work hard enough to achieve it. I say bad romance is better than no romance at all. What’s your bad romance story with AdWords? What are your AdWords frustrations? Have you found ways to put the spark back into your PPC romance?