Do you ever want to compare notes on the PPC media industry with people outside of your company? Do you ever want to hear what other paid media experts are concerned about, excited for, or planning to test?

Our team is constantly talking about what’s next, so we thought, “hey, why don’t we share their conversations with the world?”

Enter: vlogs on PPC Hero!

In this video, Hanapin’s Mary Hartman and Dan Rocklin discuss what they’re excited for in 2020, their resolutions, and their hot takes on overrated strategies.



Hey everybody! Today on the PPC hero vlog we’re going to be talking about New Year things: what we’re excited about in 2020, our New Year’s resolutions, and overrated strategies or hot takes that we have. Just as an introduction, my name is Mary Hartman. I’ve been here at Hanapin  Marketing for three years and I’ve been in the industry for about eight years now. I’m here with Dan and I can have him introduce himself as well.


Hi everybody! I am a Senior Account Manager here at Hanapin Marketing and I’ve been with Hanapin for about two and a half years now.


Awesome. Yeah, let’s just plunge right into it.

First, let’s talk about what we’re excited about in 2020.

On my part, I’m really excited about new Google Ads reports and Google has been rolling out these reports, kind of quietly, to better guide the machine. In 2019, automation seemed to be the thing that everybody was talking about.

Google has new reports to let you know about your portfolio strategy.  It lets you know the top signals going into your bids and what could be affecting those negatively or positively. Seasonality adjustments is another new thing in the shared library for your bid strategies. And then the RSA combination report. With responsive search ads, advertisers have been really hungry for more information about what combinations of ad copy Google is serving.

So Google is actually delivering a little, little sliver of sunlight for us, to let us know the combination reports. That’s another thing that if you were testing RSA’s right now definitely take a look. I’m really hopeful for the future that Google can just keep rolling out more and more reports to help us be able to pull at least a few levers and open up that black box and let us know what’s going into these new automated strategies and tools that they have for us.

What are you excited about in 2020? 


Well beyond what you just said, I definitely am excited to have a peek behind the curtain a little bit with some of these reports that Google is rolling out. And in addition to these reports that tell us about past performance they are also moving towards giving us more insights when it comes to predicting future performance.

So I’m just going to talk briefly about a couple of new tools in the Google ads platform that let advertisers do that a little bit better. One is the performance planner. The premise of which is pretty exciting I think.

Google’s announcement of the tool said that in beta they had seen advertisers drive up to 43 percent more conversions using it which is a huge number. And basically the way it works is that advertisers can model different levels of spend and Target CPA bidding for various campaigns and Google will provide estimates of how the campaigns would perform at those levels. So according to Google’s description in the future, again, it takes into account past performance as well as performance in similar advertisers accounts and campaigns, in addition to billions of search queries. So they hopefully can better predict how the campaign will perform with future search demand. And another exciting premise or part of this new feature is that it should at least to some degree be able to take into account seasonality as well. So for clients that are highly affected by seasonality, hopefully, this will give a little bit more precise estimate of performance moving forward.

The second tool that is pretty similar to this is the reach planner which is a lot like the performance planner but specific to YouTube. Similarly, it will allow advertisers to better predict the reach of their YouTube campaigns at various levels of spend and what’s really exciting about this tool I think is just that it’s compatible with a wide range of different ad types and for pretty much any audience that you can Target on YouTube.

You can use the reach planner to model out how your campaign will perform at various spend levels and bits. So those are definitely two features that I’ll be excited to try out, and speaking of new things on the horizon Mary:

Do you want to talk a little bit about your PPC-specific, 2020 New Year’s resolutions?


Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, that reach planner will be great. I feel like everybody is talking about YouTube ads recently. So I’m excited for that. But on my part, setting up Google ads the campaign-level conversions and action sets. It’s really on my to-do list for the year. A lot of new clients I have don’t have them set up and basically it’s just another great way of helping to guide the machine.  My kind of niche here at Hanapin is mostly with B2B clients and lead gen so we have our campaign segmentation already designed to push specific offers over really, really long funnels. So using campaign level conversions and the action sets and just actually going into settings and letting Google know, “Hey, this is the conversion that really matters the most to us.”

Whether it’s someone at the bottom of the funnel looking for a demo or if they’re further, you know up at the top of the funnel and they get a content offer or something like that, just being able to pull that lever and be able to just to test that out and give Google that information, that’s a big sort of goal for me for my accounts in the new year.


I think that is definitely going to be a big thing for 2020. It’s something that I experimented with a little bit towards the latter part of 2019 to see, for lead gen campaigns that weren’t getting a lot of hard conversions coming in to help guide the machine, we tested including secondary conversion metrics in their targeting as well.

So even if they weren’t producing signups, were they producing quality website sessions? And by targeting that conversion, the question we wanted to figure out is if we could ultimately produce more value for the client there.


For sure. Yeah, I think another resolution I have is making use of, on the social side, Facebook attribution and Facebook analytics. Getting things set up correctly can sometimes be a real pain, especially on the Facebook analytics side with event sets and things like that. So getting those set up is really a big push for us and especially using the ads attribution. Facebook attribution is still pretty new as a tool but it’s going to be incredibly powerful to be able to better understand how Facebook ads are actually affecting those endpoint conversions. So measurement, measurement, measurement is really, like, what is in my head for social for the New Year, too.


I was just going to say I have a couple of same-genre New Year’s resolutions that are, speaking to taking advantage of newer features, newer ad types, newer audience targeting strategies, one of which that I really am eager to test out is the effectiveness of responsive display ads versus traditional display ads.

So I think a lot of advertisers at this point are pretty familiar with responsive search ads and comparing those to expanded text ads. Personally, I want to see how responsive display ads can compare against traditionally designed display ads. You know on the one hand we might hypothesize that performance would be better because they can reach more placements and are self-optimizing to find the best working combinations, but on the other hand, professionally designed creative tends to look better and be more engaging just in the normal human eye.


And so I really don’t know beforehand which one would work better in any case which is why I think it is something worth testing out. And the other kind of machine learning strategy I want to test out more of is the use of similar audiences versus audiences that advertisers can determine in advance, like in-market audiences or affinity audiences or demographic audiences, right? So we might think we have a really good idea of the type of audience that converts well and that idea might even be backed by a lot of data, but I wonder if when we feed a similar audience into a campaign, if when we’re just telling an algorithm to find us more people who look like that, if that can perform even better than those audiences that we determined beforehand.

Mary do you have experience or have you tried either those things in the past?


Similar audiences,  generally I’ve stayed away from, but I think that any advertiser that’s using a custom audience – and more and more advertisers are just using way higher quality custom audiences like their current customers or you know, people that are engaging with an app or things like that – if you have people like a list it’s really solid and really high quality not just like a huge remarketing list I think that’s definitely an audience that you should really get into testing. Yeah, just if you have those audiences that are so high-quality for Google to take off from.


So as our last topic today, we’ll be covering overrated strategies or hot takes.

So my hot take for 2020 is: copy and calls to action – they really still matter, but I feel a lot of advertisers are still in this mode of testing text all the time on search. We’ve seen at the very tail end of 2020 that images are starting to really become more important in search. We had the images extensions that came out for search in December  – very quietly released by Google. So that is an exciting aspect. And then the gallery ads for search too is in the closed beta currently but so many of my clients are chomping at the bit to have that beautiful image at the top of the search engine result page for mobile, especially for mobile users.

So those are a couple of closed betas that I’m very jealous of, but but I think any advertiser who’s familiar with search can:

  1.  Hone in their skills of testing images by experimenting on social
  2. Getting really, really good at doing A/B testing 
  3. Having an understanding of what works and image testing on social

because I really think that the future of search, especially on mobile, is going to be image testing hardcore.

That’s definitely my hot take. You see it in the SEO world too. An SEO image,  like infoboxes, is becoming big and I think images are just going to get hotter and hotter on the SERP for sure.


Yeah, I think that’s a great callout –  that advertisers should already be testing images on social, right, and not only when they do so they can hone their skills in doing that, but those learnings are going to apply if and when image testing becomes more popular and more necessary on search, you know. If you know, what images work best on social, that’s a great place to start with the first images that you’re testing in your search campaigns as well. 


Yeah, for sure. What’s your hot take for 2020?


 My spicy hot take is that I don’t think broad match keywords are dead. I think that for a lot of advertisers, in most cases, it makes all the sense in the world to be very, very specific and targeted with your keywords. And for the most part, just utilize exact match and/or broad match modified and/or phrase match keywords.

Where I think broad match targeting can be very effective though, is when you combine it with audience targeting, right? So if you’re not opening up your campaign to the whole wide world you’re saying, okay, let’s restrict this campaign to an audience that I know converts well and I really want to visit the landing page for a wide variety of searches that they may be doing. 

Then I think that testing those broader keywords makes all the sense in the world and you know, not only could you find that those campaigns themselves are very effective, but it can also be a great place to mine for additional keywords to increase the reach of your other campaigns as well.


For sure. Yeah, I totally agree with that. Even modified broad match is sometimes not enough to get enough volume sometimes and just having that bravery to use an audience has a safety net. We already have seen really good results, especially in the B2B side, for that kind of targeting where we kind of crack open the keyword targeting and just layer an audience on top to keep, kind of the testing safe. So yeah. Thanks, Dan for participating and chatting with me about 2020 and the New Year. 

It’s a really exciting time.

 And thanks to everyone for listening to us today. If you’re looking for more in-depth discussions like this one we’re actually having the PPC Hero Summit which is on February 12th. It’s coming right up. So, it’s like a whole day practically of experts, not just from Hanapin, but from across the industry.

So we have people from the Microsoft advertising side. We have Larry Kim chatting about things and chats… chatting about chat!  So feel free to sign up take a look in this video description or on the page where you found this video and sign up for that (Or click here). It’s completely free: the PPC Hero Summit on February 12th. Otherwise, thanks so much everyone for tuning in!