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PPC Strategy

Responsible Marketing: The One Question PPC Strategists Should Ask, But Never Do

As a marketing channel, paid search is fantastic – it’s direct, mostly non-interruptive, and can be tailored to a host of inbound topics and stages of the research and buying experience.
On the other hand, it can be a sinkhole for budgets if not executed with strategic intent. What do I mean by strategic intent? Proactively defining where traffic is being driven, and why – in relation to the business goal. So often, marketing specialists enable PPC campaigns simply on the basis of impressions and clicks – and that’s not good enough.
Digital strategists have to be mindful of the broader experience a visitor has on our web properties, but so often they’re siloed into thinking about how to drive traffic. This oversight can be helped by an open-ended question that rarely gets asked when a campaign is kicking off?

“Why do you want this traffic?”

We don’t ask it because we think we know the answer, or we assume that the responsibility of asking this question has already been done by our client. Sometimes asking this question is risky, because it can be perceived as elementary or naive.

Client: “Don’t you know already? We’re trying to drive sales!”

Agency: “But with the specifics of your most recent campaign, is driving sales a likely outcome?”

This is the discussion we must have with our clients in order to provide greater value. If we are truly in the business of serving our clients, we have to ask this question, not just in pay per click, but as we address all of the budgets we pitch.

The downside? Sometimes it results in clients spending less money, and that scares agencies.