Prioritizing Your PPC Platform Needs

By Alaina Thompson | @AlainaPThompson | Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing

The right PPC platforms can make a huge difference for agencies or in-house teams. However, picking one can be overwhelming. You can minimize the burden and confusion by asking your team a few questions. Once you have answers, you can continue your research using the Best PPC Platforms for PPC Management.

 

Ask the Right Questions

 

There are different platforms for all of your PPC needs, including attribution, CRO, social, and reporting. Many platforms fulfill multiple needs. That being said, there are a lot of capabilities and features to sort through. How do you choose which features and capabilities matter and which don’t?

 

You NEED to know your teams’ pain points, which requires that you dig into your team’s current processes. Do not simply observe your team – make sure to ASK them. In this phase of the decision-making process, making an assumption based on an observation would be a huge mistake.

 

There are two main questions you should ask your team:

  • Which aspects of their PPC responsibilities drains them the most, in terms of morale? Why? I’d recommend giving them these multiple choice options, as open-ended questions might not help you find a PPC platform so much as identifying team or workload issues.
    • Attribution
    • Bid management
    • Brand protection
    • Call tracking
    • Competitor Analysis
    • CRO
    • Reporting
    • Retargeting
    • Social
  • What part of their PPC responsibilities drains them, in terms of time? Why?
    • Attribution
    • Bid management
    • Brand protection
    • Call tracking
    • Competitor Analysis
    • CRO
    • Reporting
    • Retargeting
    • Social

The Best Platforms for PPC Management are actually segmented using those categories, to make your life easier.

 

After gathering answers to those questions, it should be more clear which categories of PPC platforms you should start researching.

 

In my experience, if something is a huge drain on my time, it’s probably the source of a lot of my frustration, which affects my morale. I would prioritize the “time drains” over the “morale drains” for that reason.

 

The Conversation

 

Here’s an example of the process, if the leader of an in-house marketing team was to walk through these questions with their digital marketing team. I’ve based the answers on common responses that I’ve heard from clients and/or our Hanapin team.

Which part of your PPC role drains you, in terms of morale?

Possible Answers:

  • Attribution   – YES
  • Bid management
  • Brand protection
  • Call tracking
  • Competitor Analysis
  • CRO
  • Reporting
  • Retargeting
  • Social   – YES

Your team answers that the two topics which are the most draining in terms of morale are attribution and social.

Why?
 
Attribution is such a complex issue. We’ve never made a huge shift in our attribution model because we’re afraid that we won’t be able to optimize after the switch. We wouldn’t be able to compare our previous results to a new model, which could hurt performance.
 
Social hasn’t been around very long, relative to paid search, so we still feel like there are lots of unknowns and inefficiencies in our paid social management. That’s one of the reasons we don’t increase the budget. We think it’s working, but we can’t always prove it. We’re a mature company with many layers to our marketing team. It’s hard to add new processes because we need to prove that they’re working or going to work.
 
Which part of your PPC role drains you, in terms of time?

Possible Answers:

  • Attribution
  • Bid management
  • Brand protection
  • Call tracking
  • Competitor Analysis  – YES
  • CRO
  • Reporting  – YES
  • Retargeting
  • Social

Why?
 
Our competitors are always changing their strategies, just like we are. We want to keep up, but it’s so time-intensive to monitor their keyword-bidding levels, social presence, and site changes. If the process were faster, it’d be easier to justify the cost of assigning that task to an employee.
 
Reporting is boring, unfulfilling, and detracts from the actual account work.We’re a huge company. We have various departments relying on our paid advertising team for metrics and KPI’s. We spend half of our week just pulling week-over-week or month-over-month reports and no one on the team enjoys it.

Next Steps

 

Research the PPC platforms within the “draining” categories first. Prioritize the “time drains” before the “morale drains” because the time-draining topics are also morale-draining, over time.

 

See if there’s a product listed as a solution in all of your problem areas! That’s definitely where I’d start my in-depth research.

 

From there, factors like budget, platform support/help teams, contracts, etc. become part of the conversation. You’ll want to reach out to a platform representative to get more details on those capabilities.

 

Throughout the process, keep asking your team for real-life examples of their current processes and how new PPC technology might help. You might be surprised to find that only one part of your team is struggling with reporting, or that several people want to do more CRO testing on the site but don’t feel like they have the resources. The goal is to make sure you’re using technology to automate the boring and/or inefficient parts of the job. Relieve your team of their largest frustrations and build morale with the right PPC platforms!

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