This post comes to us from our friend Ruth Derby, a Paid Advertising Executive at The Tomorrow Lab. Her post was originally shared here. Hear more from Ruth on Twitter – @ruthcowan5. (Note: This post has been lightly edited from its original version)

Last [year], I had the opportunity to attend Hero Conf London at etc.venues, St Paul’s. Spending two full days in buzzing London city, I attended London’s Only All-PPC conference and indeed one of the world’s largest PPC conferences.

Consisting of 40 speakers, 40 breakout sessions, 4 keynotes and a number of PPC industry related exhibitors, including Optmyzer, Whoop and more. What more could you ask for and how much more could you possibly squeeze in?

It’s a cert, my mind was blown after two days with some of best speakers in the business! From representatives of Google AdWords and Bing Ads, to top agency and software reps, there was no shortage of actionable insights to takeaway and plenty of tasty treats to fuel the next level of PPC learnings!

In this blog, I’m going to outline my top 5 heroes from Hero Conf London and their must noteworthy PPC takeaways. In no particular order, let’s get started!


Sophie’s keynote wasn’t for the faint at heart. Covering some of the most advanced and evolving topic areas, Sophie detailed innovation in AdWords automation, machine learning, artificial intelligence and the evolution of genetic algorithms for bid management. Talk about knocking your socks off and delving deep into the world of the unknown!

My favorite takeaway from Sophie, more simply detailed the future of voice search and how we will use and integrate this into ad platforms in years to come.

By 2020, comScore estimates that 50% of searches will be voice searches and below are just a selection of the activities we’ll be conducting with friends, at work and on the go.

And what could all this mean for the future of ads? Sophie presumes AdWords will create spoken keyword audiences and that voice search will be used for targeting customers, in/excluding via remarketing and for similar audiences.

Not only that, did you know we will have a Google AdWords Assistant in the future? Yes, the potential to ask a Google assistant how your campaigns are performing is imminent! Already in development, this is the future of ad management.

As I couldn’t decide which takeaway from Sophie excited me most, I had to share what’s coming soon to social ads!

Could ad platforms get anymore creepy? Yes….PROBABLY!

Image recognition software for ad targeting is also currently in development. For example, a snapchat of a person with a Starbucks coffee could in the future allow Starbucks to target that person with Starbucks ads because it will recognise the branding from the image.

I don’t need to elaborate on the potential of this for promoting products and service offerings for all the major brands!


This man needs no introduction and if there was ever a competition for the best designed presentation at Hero Conf, Larry Kim would have won it hands-down. An array of multi-coloured unicorns in all their glory with a fairy tale-esque storytelling element engulfed me and transported me from donkey land to unicorn land. You really needed to see it to believe it!

Larry’s presentation, aside from being graphically on-point, delivered a new way of viewing PPC. Larry outlined how search advertising was showing signs of aging, dropped some advertising truth bombs and delivered some jaw dropping ad hacks.

Ad hack number one outlined how RLSA is key and detailed two strategies to implement.

RLSA Strategy 1 for Low Budgets

This approach is simply genius. I’m sure like most PPC professionals, you normally implement a search campaign with some search remarketing but why stretch your budget paying more for first-time visitors if you have a large enough search remarketing audience which you can target for less!

RLSA Strategy 2 for Increasing Audience Size

If there was ever a way for a company to grow remarketing list sizes on a lower budget, this is it. Invest in low cost social and display ads to drive volumes of search remarketing lists and then hit them with an RLSA campaign. This is such an effective way to use a small budget and really drive maximum returns.

Larry also detailed some ways to go after customers before they search and how to create stronger biases and affinity with video ads.

Promote Content to Target Audience

Convert Viewers With RLSA

In the end we reached our designated destination: Unicorn Land.

Want to read the rest of Ruth’s takeaways? Head on over to to explore #3-5 and find out how Hero Conf London is the right learning experience for your team!

Read Heroes 3-5»