Marc Bitanga: Hero Conf 2013 Speaker Interview

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We had the opportunity to interview Marc Bitanga, who will be speaking about segmentation and working with agencies at Hero Conf 2013.

 Marc Bitanga is a digital marketing professional with over 10 years experience increasing website traffic, acquiring customers and improving online revenue for agencies as well as popular brands such as Electronic Arts & SAP. He has managed enterprise PPC campaigns for tourism and ecommerce sectors. He is currently the Digital Marketing Manager for Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, a B2B industrial website that generates over $1 billion in online sales.

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Want a chance to meet Marc and other big names in the PPC industry yourself? Well, by attending Hero Conf 2013 you can! The design of the conference allows for a low speaker to attendee ratio, making your chances of meeting and learning from our top notch speakers in a one-on-one setting, very real! If you would like to hear more about Hero Conf, you can register or visit the Hero Conf website for more information. Sign up before Friday, January 11th to take advantage of the Early Bird Special by saving $200! 

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PPC Hero: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Marc: I started my career in web analytics and website product management as an analyst & project manager for a large software company. I became very familiar with Google search algorithms when implementing one of Google’s first corporate search engines called Google Search Appliance (they don’t offer this anymore). During this time I saw a great career in online marketing emerging in early 2000 and decided to focus on SEO & PPC. Now I head the digital marketing team for Ritchie Bros. where we leverage PPC advertising amongst a number of other digital marketing disciplines.

PPC Hero: Why did you decide to become a PPC professional??

Marc: PPC advertising has been a big component of every website I’ve managed. It’s safe to say that for any digital marketing professional PPC advertising will be an element in any enterprise marketing plan because it is very measurable and relatively easy to attribute success.
PPC Hero: What has your experience in PPC taught you about Account Structure? 

Marc: One of the largest campaigns I created from scratch was for a nationwide water distributor who had several sub-brands and regions. My team created an ambitious PPC account structure that was quite large, taking into account every sub-brand, state and city possible. Out of that experience I learned that there are two ways to create an enterprise PPC account. Either create a relatively basic structure and learn and grow organically as you manage the account. Or create a very big account structure based on your initial research and educated assumptions. I prefer the first method where you grow and build the campaign as you are managing the campaign. Building a very large PPC account structure at the outset can lead to expending a huge amount of time on ad groups and keywords that might not bring the results you were anticipating.
PPC Hero: Tell us a little about what you’ll be speaking on at Hero Conf 2013. 
Marc: Enterprise PPC account management and Managing agencies
PPC Hero: What features would you like to see AdWords and BingAds come out with in the future?
Marc:I’d like both platforms to develop further demographic and psychographic information about the searcher that advertisers can use to segment their campaigns. Google & Bing are collecting an immense amount of information about user behavior and the sites they visit. They should be capable at this point to create user personas that can be applied to ad groups. (e.g. Show my search ads only to females between the ages of 18-25 searching from California).
PPC Hero: If you could predict where PPC will be in 3 years, what would you say?

Marc: PPC and mobile device targeting has to get better. As mobile technology improves so will targeting capabilities in PPC platforms (e.g. Show my search ad with coupons for users who search within 5 miles of the nearest Best Buy). Google maps + AdWords geographic targeting + device targeting is all there. It’s just up to Google to put it together.

PPC Hero: What do you think is the most important thing to keep in mind when managing a PPC account?

Marc: Managing enterprise accounts can be challenging because you can’t apply the same focus and campaign management for every single ad group within a campaign. With limited resources it’s just very difficult to pull off. You have to have a balanced approach to managing large campaigns. For enterprise accounts the best analogy to use would be to manage the account like you would manage spinning plates. Focus on the core campaigns or ad groups which are the revenue generators; but don’t let any of the other plates drop. It’s all about balance and using automation tools such as Acquisio and Kenshoo in a smart way. It’s also good to manage an account based on a consistent and repetitive campaign calendar where you consistently do tasks on a weekly, bi-weekly & monthly basis. Tasks such as culling bad keywords, testing ads, testing landing pages, culling bad ads or ad groups, etc. You shouldn’t have to re-create the wheel every month. There should be an iterative plan to managing a campaign. 
PPC Hero: Outside of paid search and the Internet, what are your favorite ways to pass the time?
Marc: Staying away from the internet is hard! But I do try to unplug once in a while. I’m a huge basketball fan and spend my time coaching basketball for grade school kids. I’m also a big movie buff.

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