#PPCPodcast: The Future of MarTech with Scott Brinker

Posted by on Jul 8, 2016 in The PPC Show [Podcast] | 12 Comments
#PPCPodcast: The Future of MarTech with Scott Brinker

Since the dawn of time there’s been a common misconception about marketing and software technology. Most people consider marketing and software tech two separate functions, much like right brain (creative) vs. left brain (analytical) thinking.  But, technology is rapidly iterating upon itself as we transition into a completely digital world.

To stay relevant and profitable, marketers must adapt to thinking like a software developer.


Marketing + Technology = Success

Where does this misconception about marketing and software come from?

We sat down with Scott Brinker, co-founder and CTO of ion interactive and author of the book “Hacking Marketing” to learn how the rapid growth in MarTech impacts the modern marketer’s ability to apply a lucrative strategy. Passionate about all things marketing technology, Brinker regularly covers the latest #MarTech trends on his blog, Chief Marketing Technologist. In his new book, “Hacking Marketing”, Brinker provides a deep dive into the interaction between marketing and technology.  The symbiotic relationship developing between these two industries is forcing marketers to become pseudo-technology experts.

To remain competitive and keep up with industry trends, marketers need to acquire similar technical skill sets as their counterparts in the engineering department.


The Nuts and Bolts of the “Agile Methodology”

While the relationship is still fairly new, top marketers are eager to figure out how these two industries will innovate together. Brinker introduces a framework that helps all companies, regardless of size, efficiently execute focused marketing objectives.  The “agile methodology” suggests marketers parcel big projects into multiple short-term goals and distribute deadlines over 2-4 week sprints. Team members can give and receive frequent feedback and track progress over time. The idea is to ensure short-term goals align with capitalizing on bigger marketing objectives. In this way, the marketing team can work cross-functionally to manage more projects and work faster.

Challenges of the Marketing Technology Industry

Brinker offers advice on how to combat the looming challenges facing the marketing technology industry as it stands today.  One prominent challenge he addresses is how not all marketing tech companies are the same, and shouldn’t be. We are in the midst of a rapid marketing tech boom and companies have adjusted to this seismic shift differently. For example, some of the larger brands elected to continue with the status quo and keep business as usual, while others try to adapt by expanding their outreach and networks. On the other hand, the nimble nature of start-ups make them prime candidates to better capture niche market audience segments.

Brinker recognizes the boundaries between the marketing industry and its sister departments remains unclear. Where do we draw the lines between marketing, product, customer service, sales, and even growth or analytics? Any successful marketing objective will need multiple departments involved in the execution.  At this point, defining individual roles and department responsibilities becomes crucial to your sprint planning.

Key Takeaways

The marketing tech world is in constant flux. Scott Brinker reminds marketers how to stay agile in a highly competitive MarTech landscape. Brinker challenges brands to approach marketing tech with an open-mind in order to see long-term benefits.

Listen to the full #PPCPodcast episode here.

Interested in learning more PPC advertising tips like this?

Tune in every Tuesday at 10 AM PST to catch the latest episode of #PPCPodcast.

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#PPCPodcast: Let’s Chat AdWords Bidding Tips with HouseTrip’s Rumyana Miteva

Posted by on Jul 1, 2016 in The PPC Show [Podcast] | One Comment
#PPCPodcast: Let’s Chat AdWords Bidding Tips with HouseTrip’s Rumyana Miteva

Google Adwords is a PPC manager’s double-edged sword. AdWords offers a robust suite of tools to help PPC managers yield impressive campaign results, but this highly competitive auction requires more than just a “shoot from the hip” strategy.

PPCPodcast- Let's Chat AdWords Bidding Tips with HouseTrip's Rumyana AdWords Bidding Strategy via blog.adstage.io

Running a successful AdWords campaign goes further than simply raising bids. Instead, PPC professionals must understand how to apply a scalable strategy to generate optimal results.  To help explain this further, we sat down this week with Rumyana Miteva and asked her about her thoughts related to ad campaigns, advertising goals, and bidding tips as it it applies to her company.  Originally from Bulgaria, Rumyana currently works out of London, as the Head of Performance Marketing at HouseTrip.

With seventeen plus years of experience, Miteva understands the importance of network expansion. More importantly, she has a wealth of experience under her belt; sharing how crucial it is to track campaign success and stay on top of what it is working and what is not.

In this podcast, she shares insights about the management process of her own company and how to optimize AdWords bidding strategies for advertisers. In addition, she offers valuable tips for generating efficient revenues from ad campaigns. Finally, we learn about her thoughts on newer topic trends and the impact on advertising.

Listen to the full #PPCPodcast and check out some highlights below.


Things to Keep in Mind with AdWords

  • Getting your tracking setup right is crucial and the first step
  • Competitiveness is high, so be efficient about how allocate your budget towards bidding.
    • For example, bidding on position #1 may deplete your budget too quickly.
Focus on the metrics that matter:
    • Return on ad spend
    • Conversion rate by destination page


  • Track and optimize down to revenue by campaigns
  • Segment out and bid towards device performance
  • Bid different by major geographic locations
  • Test Google’s Flexible Bid strategies
  • Bid to target positions through Google and to outrank competitors

Other strategies to test

  • Take full use of  Google services and policies, which are available to advertisers
Keep a close eye on what is out there, think of multiple strategies and tools
Depends on specific objectives and businesses
  • For B2B or B2C companies:
Keep a good balance between spending vs. revenue → want good return on investment
Target towards Certified Public Accountants
Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA): easy to use through Adwords editor, great way to keep people engaged, and interested
    • Tailored ad targeting
Possibly treat it as something special; build a separate Adwords account for RLSA
Add target audiences
Continue on existing searching campaigns, build off of what’s there

Interested in learning more AdWords tips like this?

Tune in every Tuesday at 10 AM PST to #PPCPodcast.

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Expanding Campaigns Using First Party Data

Posted by on Apr 15, 2016 in Social, The PPC Show [Podcast] | One Comment
Expanding Campaigns Using First Party Data

This week’s guest of honor on AdStage’s #PPCPodcast was none other than Joe Kerschbaum of 3Q. Lover of agency life, Joe also runs his own podcast and speaks at major conferences.

He’s been a around the block; a part of the digital space since 2000, when Yahoo was the big player. And Today, he showed us his go-to method to significantly grow your target audience using your email lists: Check it out below!


Three types of ad data

First party data your company collects and owns  

Second party complimentary companies engaging in data share

Third party data collected by larger companies and sold for use

Leveraging your first party data

There are two great ways to do this

  • Retargeting
  • Audience creation


Within your CRM, export your email lists. The next step is to upload the file to  Custom Audiences on Facebook, Customer Match on Google AdWords, and Twitter’s Tailored Audience. These platforms will automatically match you with users who have made accounts with the same email addresses. Be warned, you will most likely lose half of the email addresses on your list. The ones that do go through, are ready to be retargeted.

Audience Creation

Using Google Similar Audiences and Facebook Lookalike Audiences, is like the marriage of your first party data and their third party data. Once again, you’ll upload your email list onto the platforms. Taking Custom Audiences and Audience Match to the next level, certain attributes of the user bank are used to determine a pattern of web behavior. These attributes can include content users are looking at and queries they’re running, just to name a few. Google and Facebook will take this info, work a little bit of magic, and match them with other users with similar behavior.

With this information you can make audiences of all sizes. Reach out to the creme of the by crop selecting the top one percent most similar users. Or gain a larger audience with a 10% distribution rate. It’s all up to you.

Tips for Success

Go Big

When gathering your lists, size really does matter. To account for the approximate 50% match rate, it’s always to keep your email lists long. The magic number seems to be 10,000 to 20,000 people per list. This may seem out of range for small to medium sized businesses. Just be cautious to avoid over segmentation.

Where to Start

This depends on your business. If you’re a lead-based B2B company with a low rate of people returning to make another purchase, you may want to focus on people who haven’t converted yet.

On the flipside, those counting on customers to make a second purchase should start by segmenting at the CRM level. From there, the possibilities are endless. Getting creative with how you segment can work to your advantage. If you want, start at previous converters or non-converters. You can even segment towards one-time, multiple, or big purchasers. Using different audiences can be very valuable.

Stay Organized

Since there is no integration tool to automate the complexity, stay organized. Do your segmentation at the CRM list level. To make things less complicated, try labeling your lists in a way to avoid confusion.

Name your list after who you’re talking about, for example, previous converters. Include a timeframe, past three months. Then date it, 4/7/2016. This is a surefire way to keep track of who you’re targeting.

Get Up and Running

Using your first party data to leverage the power of Facebook and Google can help you effectively expand your campaigns. If you haven’t already started taking advantage of these useful tools, what are you waiting for?


Want to keep up with the latest PPC trends, tips, and influencers?

Join us every Tuesday Live @ 10am PT || 1pm ET for #PPCPodcast where we chat with industry experts from Microsoft, LinkedIn, Hanapin Marketing, Google and more.

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PPC Tactics for B2B with Melissa Mackey

Posted by on Mar 18, 2016 in Search, Social, The PPC Show [Podcast] | 4 Comments
PPC Tactics for B2B with Melissa Mackey

When it comes to understanding which B2B marketing tactics really work, who better to ask than Melissa Mackey? A well-respected industry leader with over a decade of digital B2B marketing experience under her belt. She’s currently the Search Supervisor at Gyro, who was voted B-to-B Agency of the Year by Ad Age. Melissa also runs her own blog Beyond the Paid and is a frequent contributor to #PCCPodcast on Twitter.

AdStage’s Director of Product, Paul Wicker, taps into her expertise to reveal insights on how to run successful B2B campaigns. Listen to the full #PPCPodcast and check out some of the highlights below:



How-to for Ad Testing

Focus on Your Goal First

What do you want people to do? Once you identify your goal, write your call-to-action based on that. It’s important to start with your CTA to ensure you save plenty of space for it.

Determine Your Unique Selling Proposition

What sets you apart from your competitors? Figure this out. Craft your ad copy to your specific goal and selling proposition, and make plenty of ads for each ad group upfront.

Less is More

Don’t put all your ads to market at once. The fewer ads you test at a time, the faster you can learn. Running too many ads prevents you from getting any statistical significance. Don’t waste money on losing ads you didn’t know where losers yet. Instead, run two at a time and pick a winner. Keep testing winners with the ads in your approved ad list.

Always Check in on Your Progress

Keep testing your bids and take action. If you’re not testing, you’re losing money!

Tools to Measure Statistical Significance


AdAlysis is a low-cost ad testing tool and saves you hours of time that lets you see winning ads on a daily basis. It can get cumbersome having to download excel sheets from AdWords and run calculations manually, especially if you’re running the same test across multiple ad groups. You can also try the AdAlysis multi-ad group tests.

Visual Website Optimizer

Visual Website Optimizer has another handy statistical calculating tool that saves you time. Plug in your data into a spreadsheet and it will measure the statistical significance and confidence level of your impressions, clicks, and conversions for you.

Useful KPIs to Determine Winning Ads

  • Cost per conversion: Tracking your costs might be a no-brainer with advertising, but to track cost per conversion, make sure you’ve added a conversion tracking pixel on your landing page so you can report on and optimize campaigns for this.
  • Conversions per impression: This metric tells you how many times you converted out of each impression opportunity rather than just the click opportunity. This can be useful for clients with many offline conversions that can’t be tracked in AdWords and Bing.
  • CTR: For difficult-to-track calling data, click through rate can be a useful metric. The hope is that you get people to your landing page and they’ll call.

Have We Come Full Circle on the Value of Impressions?

Impressions are valuable, but definitely on the bottom of the list of metrics worth optimizing.

That being said, impressions from a display ad can directly affect your search volume, even if it didn’t receive many impressions. This is the kind of performance lift that makes display difficult to measure, but impressions are definitely making an interesting comeback.


Want to keep up with the latest PPC trends, tips, and influencers?

Sign up for updates from #PPCPodcast where we chat with industry experts from Microsoft, LinkedIn, Hanapin Marketing, Google and more.

Talking Quality Score with Frederick Vallaeys

Posted by on Dec 18, 2015 in Social, The PPC Show [Podcast] | 3 Comments
Talking Quality Score with Frederick Vallaeys

We’ve been honored to have some amazing guests on PPCPodcast this year. What started out as a fledgling idea, slowly swept over the team. The podcast matured from a dorm-level production grade, to high quality mics, opening music, an incredible roster of industry leaders.

While there were many great moments, the interview with Frederick Vallaeys, CEO of Optimyzer, was my absolute favorite. Among colleagues and industry friends, there’s been a continual debate over which elements influence AdWords Quality Score. “Does account level Quality Score actually exist? How much weight does your landing page affect the calculation of your score?”

It’s fascinating to hear from an early AdWords team member, reveal insights into the thought process and methodology used to formulate one of the most misunderstood AdWords metrics. I find myself relistening to the interview, and catching new takeaways each time. Below, are some of the best snippets from the podcast.

What is Quality Score and how does it work?

It’s one of the 3 factors that goes into determining your ad rank. Fundamentally, Quality Score is click through rate. Back in the day, Google used a simple equation to calculate ad rank:

Max CPC bid x CTR = ad rank

Quality Score is a huge factor in how much you pay and how many clicks you will receive.

What are the most important factors in building a good Quality Score?

There are 3 key factors.

    1.  Historical CTR

On Google Search, when the keyword matches exactly to the query, what is the CTR.

    2. Relevancy factors

Predictive CTR looking at auction time signals. If you have certain factors, how do they correlate with CTR.

Example: If you have advertisers who have a billing address in the United States, but have a searcher’s IP address in Canada, does that affect CTR?

    3. Landing page quality

How many times should the keyword be mentioned in the ad text?

Adding keywords in your ad copy is a good thing, but don’t focus on it too much. Just make sure the ad stands out.

What are some pro-tips to increase your Quality Score?

If you can boost your click through rate, that’s what matters the most. Ultimately, it’s what makes Google money. Essentially, Quality Score is the calculation of different ways that Google can calculate CTR in different situations.

Focus on:

  1. Tightly structured ad groups
  2. Multiple ad texts
  3. No more than 30 keywords in an ad group
  4. Take advantage of all your ad extensions

What doesn’t impact Quality Score?

  • Keyword match types
  • Negative keywords

What’s a good Quality Score?

New keywords start at a Quality Score of 6. If your keyword remains at 6, I’d leave it, if it drops below 6, and you can’t make it better you might want to remove it from your account.

Is there an account level Quality Score?

There is no published number. But Quality Score is a learning algorithm. A learning system needs to rely on bigger signals when it doesn’t have enough data about a specific element. If Google doesn’t know how this ad text will perform against this keyword, they may look at the advertiser across the account and is the performance good or worse than average, and based on that they can set a base level Quality Score.

Listen to the full podcast:



Want to keep up with the latest PPC trends, tips, and influencers?

Join us every Tuesday Live @ 10am PT || 1pm ET for #PPCPodcast where we chat with industry experts from Microsoft, LinkedIn, Hanapin Marketing, Google and more.

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Interview with Viveka von Rosen, author of “LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day”

Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in Social, The PPC Show [Podcast] | 5 Comments
Interview with Viveka von Rosen, author of “LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day”

CEO of AdStage, Sahil Jain, recently had a chat about LinkedIn with Viveka von Rosen, author of “LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day”, and publisher of “LinkedIn Advertising Fundamentals” on Lynda.com.

Having been featured in the Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide, and named a Top 50 Social Media Influencer by Forbes, it’s clear that she lives and breathes LinkedIn.



Below are some of the highlights:

Should a company consider LinkedIn?

Viveka: You have to be on LinkedIn, if you’re in B2B. Especially if you’re doing sales and marketing. It depends on the audience of the clientele.

What do you not like about the direction of LinkedIn?

Viveka: The value of any social network is their membership. LinkedIn, with all the restrictions they’re putting on their free accounts – which makes up around 83%. You could lose your base. That’s the base paying users are marketing to.

I love their acquisitions, such Bizo, that brought us Lead Accelerator.

How can businesses optimize their company page?

Viveka: People forget they need to treat their LinkedIn company page like a product. They need to promote it as much as another other service they have – and they aren’t doing it.

Big companies, with so many verticals and silos, they don’t know what to share. For big brands, they can create showcase pages for all their different verticals, and assign administrators.

What’s the right type of content that performs well for Sponsored Updates?

Viveka: Creating a timeline works very well. The end of the timeline is the click through to the bottom of the funnel – such as a webinar or whitepaper. Back it up. How do you get someone to know, like, and trust us?

You need to build up trust. Whether it’s an heart-string pulling infographic, an engaging video, or a get to know us piece. Understand you will need to make mini-campaigns, within the larger campaign.

Sahil: So it’s a content strategy, that marries a nurturing funnel. At the top, you recommend sponsored content almost like Google Display. Promoting brand awareness.

What are some of the misconceptions of LinkedIn Ads?

Viveka: Unfortunately, most people get on LinkedIn Ads and they get the $50 – $100 credit and think they’re going to sell their $5,000 product with one text ad.

Sahil: The biggest issue we see with LinkedIn Ads, is that it’s working, but you have to be very sophisticated with your tracking mechanisms. LinkedIn on a cost per click basis, can be seen as very expensive. However, sophisticated marketers know it’s not about the cost per click, but the LTV (lifetime value).

Viveka: People need to be bought into it and engaged. When they receive the $50 for ads, they don’t know how to do it – they haven’t visited a Lynda course or referenced fact sheets.

In Facebook you can play around for $0.25. On LinkedIn, if a lot of people are clicking through and not converting, it can be super expensive.

What we’ve found is that if you can micro-target and test 1,000 – 1,500 groups of individuals, it’s more work intensive, but gets us better results and let’s us play. We can expand upon that market after we see performance.

Sahil: So you will break down targeting into micro-sections, creating a campaign for each. The campaigns are essentially audience shells?

Viveka: Yup; exactly. Seeing what sticks, and using that to build really powerful and high converting funnels.

Do you think it’s accurate to say Marketing Solutions might be the next $1B business unit?

Viveka: I think it’s accurate; but in order to do it, they must change the culture. Right now, unless you are part of the $25k per month club, Marketing Solutions is almost useless to you.

If LinkedIn changes it culture. Opening up Lead Accelerator, and allow you to choose what you’d like to spend. Then, show you what to do in order to be successful, and the sky’s the limit.

It has all the pieces in place: you’re creating content, your building networks, and you’ve got marketing and HR (talent solutions). But, they’re not letting 90% of their audience play.

Sahil: I think a lot of that comes from LinkedIn being a historically field sales driven business. They need to shake that to reach mass penetration in the market.

The good news is that through acquisitions (Pulse, Bizo, Lynda), they’ve been able to bring in some very bright minds who are a bit more edgy in how they run their business. I’m hopeful that they will start to shake some of those traditions.

Out of the acquisitions they’ve made, which one do you think will make the most material impact?

Viveka: It really depends on my mood that day. I really thought the solution for them was going to be the CRM, when they bought Connected HQ. This affected Sales Navigator, which really played well with Salesforce, but they’ve pulled the API. So my guess is that will develop into its own CRM system. Which would bring LinkedIn to a whole new level.

But on another day, Publisher; content marketing is where it’s at. If they start doing things like allowing us to create promoted posts, well then it’s another Facebook type explosion.

Then, they bought Lead Accelerator. The potential for retargeting is huge.

This very minute, I’d go with their ads platform. It will either be the biggest fail or make them billions of dollars. If they change their culture, think longer term, and open up.

We saw you launched an intro course on Lynda.com. Could you tell us a little bit more about it?

Viveka: The whole course is on the self-serve ad platform, and some of the best strategies to get ROI on your spend.

If you’re planning to test LinkedIn Ads for the first time, we highly recommend you sign-up for Viveka’s course, LinkedIn Advertising Fundamentals. Join her for #LinkedInChat every Tuesday.

#PPCPodcast Subscribtion via blog.adstage.io