An Exclusive Q&A with London Keynoter Tor Thompson of Bing Ads

By Nate Hollander | @HeroConf | Director of Events at Hanapin Marketing

We’ve booked our final two keynotes at Hero Conf London, 24-26 October at etc.venues St Paul’s. Bing Ads and Google will each join us to discuss what you can expect on their platform in the next 6 months. As each is a vital part of the digital advertisers daily work, we’re excited to share an interview with Tor Thompson, EMEA Regional Director for Bing Ads.

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Tell us about the presentation you’re working on for Hero Conf London.

I am going to cover the importance of ‘character’ in search, from how understanding people and their quirks is the key to cracking user intent, to how important it is to have your ads demonstrate unique character amongst a sea of other ads. Who and how you target is as important as what keywords you choose. I’ll be talking through Bing Ads new features and how our products are enabling that character, whilst still saving time by ensuring a standardized campaign management experience.

What can attendees expect to take away and implement immediately?

By the end of the presentation attendees will have a fuller understanding of the opportunities they can capitalise on with Bing Ads and how they can utilise the features to improve their performance, tapping into new audiences and refining to drive optimum performance.

What would you describe as you biggest PPC mistake and what did you learn from it?

I have been publisher side for the last 15 years in operational and marketplace roles, so I haven’t made that many PPC mistakes on running campaigns per se. I do recall back in 2003, in the days before broad match and negative keywords, strongly opposing the launch of an automatic pluralisation solution because it might remove precision. Looking at the sheer sophistication and learning abilities of the algorithms now, I realise I wasn’t seeing the bigger picture. I now stand by the wisdom of expanding your impression share with matching, and then spending time tuning carefully for exceptions. The alternative is painstakingly building everything manually on ideas that may not be successful. Using a rocket *and* a sharp scalpel is the true art of the paid search marketer.

Do you have a blog post or a single piece you’ve written that best illustrates your point of view?

I wrote a piece for State of Digital called Move over ‘worldwide web’, it’s time for ‘where, what, when, why, who’ about user intent and how Bing has been evolving to truly understand context through connecting both online and offline dimensions of people, places and things, empowering people to do more.

If you could have one super-power, what would it be and why?

To be able to fly, as it would give unique perspective, and would significantly shorten my commute!

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