[The PPC Show] This Week In Ad Tech Headlines for Oct 9-16th

Posted by on Oct 13, 2017 in The PPC Show [Podcast]
[The PPC Show] This Week In Ad Tech Headlines for Oct 9-16th

This week on The PPC Show, Paul and JD break down the top nine headlines and trends in ad tech and digital marketing for the week of October 9-12th.



Show Notes

AdWords rolls out new interface to all advertisers
Paul finally gets the AdWords UI!

Snapchat Adds Context Cards, a Significant Shift for the App

Context Cards also provide a way to take simple actions like calling for a ride with Uber or Lyft or reserving a table through OpenTable, Resy or Bookatable.

  • $5.99 to buy a geofilter for an hour
    From now on, Snaps will no longer be merely a passive experience – you’ll be able to find something you like, check out the details and book a cab to take you to it, right from within the app.
    Context Cards won’t be available on every Snap – they’ll be included on Snaps which have been tagged with the company’s venue-specific Geofilter, or on any Snap that’s been submitted to the public ‘Our Story’ feed. This limits the possibility of the Snap experience being overrun by marketing-like material, and stops your personal Snaps from being tagged based on your location (which could be creepy).

Apple’s Anti-Tracking Tool Restricts Facebook Following People Around The Web

Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention — which is enabled by default when people upgrade to Safari’s latest version on mobile and desktop — can deactivate Facebook’s plugins and prevent them from sending this data when they visit a site via Safari.

For Facebook Social Plugins: Users interacting with facebook.com within the last 24 hours will be able to use Social Plugins normally on the sites they visit. Anyone using Safari who does not visit facebook.com on a daily basis will be required to go through an additional confirmation screen in order to use Facebook’s Social Plugins such as Like, Comment or Share. Those who don’t visit facebook.com for more than 30 days in Safari may have to re-login with their username and password in order to use these features or use Facebook Login.
For Facebook Analytics: Businesses and developers using Facebook Analytics may see higher unique user counts reported for people visiting their mobile website on an iOS device.
For Facebook Login: Additionally, Apple has made changes in iOS that isolate apps from the main Safari browser. This can mean that people using Facebook Login may have to enter their username and password every time they use Facebook Login with an app, instead of just once per device.
To mitigate the impact of ITP, apps using Facebook Login should update to our latest SDK and use the SFAuthenticationSession API. This allows cookie sharing after users agree to an interstitial dialog from iOS.

Instagram Stories Launches Cross-posting to Facebook Stories

Facebook Stories might not be a ghost town for long. Facebook confirms this feature is officially rolling out, and everyone should have it soon if not already. The only exception is businesses, since they’re not allowed on Facebook Stories yet.

Share on IG story first, then’ll you see it.
Bing Ads Rolling Out Dynamic Search Ads to US and UK

Available now to all advertisers in the United States and United Kingdom is a brand-new campaign type which helps dramatically reduce the costs of initial setup and day-to-day management, while simultaneously identifying and capitalizing on new queries and sources of revenue for your business.

Apple Search Ads Expanding to Canada, Mexico & Switzerland

Apple is still offering a $100 USD credit for first-time advertisers. The newly-added countries will be available on the platform starting October 17.

Search Ads are generated automatically from app metadata, with advertisers setting a daily or total campaign budget.
Ads appear based on keyword searches specified by advertisers, along with demographic segments such as gender, age and location.
Advertisers can also separate bids by device: one bid for iPhone users, another for iPad users.
$100 credit

Twitter Plans To Release A Bookmarking Tool

“Fresh out of HackWeek and coming soon — a new way to save tweets to read later,” says Twitter product head Keith Coleman.

Report: More Marketers Seen Boosting Amazon Ad Budgets Compared To Google, FB
North American marketers are more likely to increase their marketing budgets for Amazon in the next year than they are for Google, Bing, Facebook or Twitter, according to new research.

A study by ClickZ Intelligence, produced with GroupM search shop Catalyst, has found that 63% of companies advertising on Amazon are planning to increase their Amazon budgets over the next 12 months, compared to 54% for Google, 53% for Facebook, 27% for Bing and 23% for Twitter.

The report also found that only 15% of marketers agree they are using Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) to its full potential, while only 17% say they have a fully defined AMS strategy.

UK government considers classifying Google and Facebook as publishers

The internet groups are considered conduits of information rather than publishers under UK law, meaning they have limited responsibility for what appears on their sites.

However, the chairman of the media regulator Ofcom said on Tuesday she believed the likes of Google and Facebook were publishers, raising the prospect that they could eventually face more regulation.

Bradley said she was wary of labelling internet companies publishers but that the government wanted to find a balance between harnessing the benefits of the web while making it safe for users and protecting intellectual property.

“I am looking into this. I am not sure the publisher definition in UK law would necessarily work in the way that people would like it to work. I think it would end up being very restrictive and make the internet not work in the way we want it to work.

[The PPC Show] This Week In Ad Tech Headlines for Oct 2-6th

Posted by on Oct 6, 2017 in The PPC Show [Podcast]
[The PPC Show] This Week In Ad Tech Headlines for Oct 2-6th

This week on The PPC Show, Margo and JD break down the top 10 headlines and trends in ad tech and digital marketing for the week of October 2-6th.



Show Notes

Google Doubles AdWords Budgets and Advertisers are Unhappy

Google has made a significant change to the way AdWords budgets can be used, and the advertising community is not the least bit happy.

Campaigns are now able to spend up to twice their average daily budget. The means on high traffic days, costs could soar as high as double the budget you have set.

Shopping on Instagram is Growing with Shopify
Shopify merchants continue to benefit from the powerful integration between Shopify’s online store and Facebook’s product catalog. Once selected, merchants can choose to connect this catalog in Instagram without any extra effort

Facebook Partners with ZipRecruiter As It Ramps Up In Jobs
Facebook will now integrate with ZipRecruiter — an aggregator that allows those looking to fill jobs to post ads to many traditional job boards, as well as sites like LinkedIn, Google and Twitter — to boost the number of job ads available on its platform targeting its 2 billion monthly active users.

LinkedIn’s Adding Snapchat-Like Geofilters for Conferences and Events
Yes, LinkedIn is also copying Snapchat – though their use-case is a little different, and does make a lot of sense. As part of their new native video tools, LinkedIn’s giving conference attendees the opportunity to add dedicated event frames to the videos they create while attending such functions.

Snapchat to Launch Augmented Reality Art Platform
Snapchat plans to launch a new augmented reality art platform featuring pop artist Jeff Koons and others. It will allow art to be pinned to specific locations in augmented reality so users can see it when they hold up their phones in the right spot.

Now Hashtags Work on Pinterest!
Starting today, when you include hashtags in the description for a new Pin, Pinners can visit a feed of all the Pins that share that hashtag. Whether those Pins are promoted or not, the freshest Pins will always appear right up top.

[CHART] Search Marketers Shift Gears as Consumer Habits Change
Search ad spending continues to grow robustly in the US, largely due to mobile. Mobile growth is so strong that overall spending increases are in the double digits, despite declines in desktop-based search ad outlays.

Twitter to launch in-stream video ads in the UK
Twitter plans to announce the launch of in-stream video ads in the UK at its session tomorrow for IAB Digital Upfronts.
Twitter first launched in-stream video ads in the US in April this year as it ramped up its investment in video and content.

The offering allows brands to have in-stream ads around premium content.
Now, Twitter just needs to prove users want to watch these kinds of shows.

Yahoo Gemini Gets New Features Spotted by Rachel King

[PPC Show] Marketing and Sales at a PPC Agency

Posted by on Oct 3, 2017 in The PPC Show [Podcast]
[PPC Show] Marketing and Sales at a PPC Agency

This week on The PPC Show, we’re joined by Kalya Kurtz, Associate Director of Sales at Hanapin Marketing, to talk about sales and marketing at a PPC agency. She brings an unique perspective to the PPC conversation having been an account manager before making the transition to the sales team.

Tune in as we dive into:

  • Kalya’s story of how she got into PPC after disliking teaching
  • Then how she made the transition from an account manager to a sales rep
  • And last, she’ll provide some really great career advice for women looking to get started in PPC or in sales

Kayla Kurtz

Alongside a continued lead on 40% of Hanapin’s overall opportunity and revenue growth, as Associate Director I facilitate project management for the entire department’s goals and prospects. Responsible for managing the accountability of the Sales team, increasing the speed with which department-wide projects are completed & implemented, and continued focus on developing the agency’s sales process & systems. You can connect with her on Twitter.


Kayla Kurtz:                            Part of your job as an account manager in PPC is selling. You know what I mean? If you have trouble getting your client to say yes to a Facebook expansion, come find me. Let’s talk about what that conversation should sound like. Let’s help each other and then likewise, tell me how I can sound smarter about PPC so that I don’t set you up for failure or say we can do something we can’t do.

JD Prater:                                Welcome back to another episode of the PPC show. I am your host, JD Prater, and this week I’m joined by Kayla Kurtz, Associate Director of Sales at Hanapin Marketing to talk about PPC Agency life. Kayla and I, we’ve been good friends for a couple of years now and I thought that she would be a great addition to the show and provide a slightly different perspective coming from a sales person. So stay tune as she tells the story of how she got into PPC after disliking teaching and then how she transitioned from an account manager to a sales rep and last she’ll provide some really great career advice for women looking to get started in PPC or in sales. Let’s get to the show.

Hey, Kayla. Welcome to the show.

Kayla Kurtz:                            Hi, JD. Thank you so much for having me.

JD Prater:                                It’s always a fun time when I have old friends on the show. For those that don’t know, Kayla and I have known each other for what, almost three years now?

Kayla Kurtz:                            Yeah. Uh-huh. Yeah quite some time.

JD Prater:                                Yeah. So I used to work at Hanapin with Kayla, which I will let Kayla introduce as well but I figured what better person to have on this show than Kayla Kurtz. So, Kayla, give us a quick intro of who you are and what’s going on.

Kayla Kurtz:                            JD, you’re so kind. Hi, everyone listening. My name is Kayla Kurtz. I’m the associate director of sales at Hanapin Marketing as JD mentioned, his former colleagues and I do miss him dearly but he’s moved on to a lovely partner of ours in AdStage so we didn’t completely lose him. Hanapin Marketing, for those of you who are listening who might not know us, you may know us from Hero Conf, which is our twice annual conference that we host on PPC all the time. There’s also our blog PPC Hero. Most folks know us through the more educational channels. I think in the industry Hanapin is the agency backbone of that. We specialize in everyone’s favorite stuff these days, paid social, search and display. I am Associate Director of Sales department. Obviously bringing new revenue and trying to bring on more extra large size clients is a really big focus for our agency these days as I’m sure it is for most agencies like us. So super fun stuff. JD, I really do appreciate you reaching out and inviting me to participate. It’s always nice to have something that breaks up the usual day to day. So I appreciate it.

JD Prater:                                Yeah. Not a problem. Not a problem. For those who are familiar with Hero Conf, Kayla is your MC. She’s the one up there owning that stage and so I just want to give you a quick shout out.

Kayla Kurtz:                            You’re nice. Make sure to letting me have introduction music and as you very well know it is Beyonce every single time now. That’s my new favorite thing is picking out Hero Conf walk up music. It’s so ridiculously nerdy.

JD Prater:                                Aw, man. Then let’s go ahead and start off with that. What’s going to be your opening song for Hero Conf, London, coming up in just a few weeks?

Kayla Kurtz:                            A used Formation at the last show in LA, so that’s off the table officially now. I’m leaning towards 7/11, that’s a good one. It’s probably the front runner for right now I would say, but we’ll see. We’ll see what happens. I’m also in a little bit of strange Kanye West phase so I’m not sure what’s happening.

JD Prater:                                Nice. That is perfect. I couldn’t pick any other music for you. Let’s go ahead and kind of get started outside of that question. Tell us how you got started in PPC.

Kayla Kurtz:                            Yeah. It’s certainly and interesting story. One of the things that I love about meeting new folks in our industry is that there’s not a standardized background that is applied across the board. Everybody’s got a new and interesting story to share about how they ended up in this industry. I think mine is strange, I don’t know if it’s interesting but I went to Indiana University of Bloomington, graduated 2009 and was supposed to be a high school health teacher. I loved it. I loved teaching and when I graduated I left my job bartending. I worked in College Town for those of you who don’t know here in Bloomington. So I stayed here in town and decided to leave and move to South Florida and I got a teaching job that was really nice but it was not fulfilling like I thought it was going to be. In fact, in sort of took the wind out of my sails because I just didn’t feel like I could have the impact on these kids. I had really built myself up like I was going to be able to. So I had a freak out, right? Not even midlife crisis, like a 22 year old freak out and said I’m going to move back home and I’ll figure it out.

I came back home. I reached out to my old boss at the bar and said I need my job back and he said, “Sure, see you Thursday.” And I went back to Brothers, you remember Brothers?

JD Prater:                                I remember it very well. Yes.

Kayla Kurtz:                            So I went back there for a little while and took another job full-time that was just terrible clerical work and found the role of Hanapin in a Craiglist ad. I distinctly remember thinking there’s not way there is a digital marketing agency in Bloomington, Indiana. There’s not. It doesn’t resonate as this tech hub. It’s getting there and I love to talk about that with you later but it’s not necessarily a town that you think of as having something like that. I went on the company website and looked up the staff and there was a gal there, Abby Woodcock, who you may know.

JD Prater:                                Yeah.

Kayla Kurtz:                            So Abby, it was Henry at the time. She and I went to elementary and middle school together so I reached out to her. They are using her picture so is it legit, do you really work at this place and is it real? And she said, “It is and I think you would really like it.” I applied. It was this huge meet and greet, which we still do to this day but thank goodness we do it on a much more small level so it’s not so frightening. I was in a room with 50 people who applied for an account manager role.

I had obviously done my research on Hanapin beforehand and I knew who Pat East was. When I meet and greet broke into just hang out and mingle with the Hanapin team, I just went and found Pat and I talked to him about professional wrestling because I loved that stuff and it was an interest of his as well based on his Twitter. So, I got super creepy weird and I was like, “Dude, I think I would really like to work for somebody who also shares my interest in what is this soap opera of professional wrestling.” And I got a call back and ended up getting a job and I guess the initial stages of that are history now. That’s how I fell into PPC. It was not at all what I intended to do. There are few people that I meet who are like, “I knew I was going to do digital marketing.” Because it’s not really old enough for that. You know what I mean?

JD Prater:                                Right, right. For those listening, Pat East is the CEO and co-founder of Hanapin Marketing. Great guy but he can definitely be a little intimidating with his questioning so I’m actually surprised that you went straight to him over Jeff Allen but Jeff could also be a little scary but maybe more creepy.

Kayla Kurtz:                            Yeah. True. Also, apologies. I just talk about these people because I see them every day so definitely cut me off, JD, and remind me that there are people who are listening to this at home. I actually, fun fancy note, and the next time you talk to Jeff Allen make sure you remind him of this. I actually was around before Jeff at Hanapin.

JD Prater:                                Oh, wow. For those listening, Jeff Allen is the President at Hanapin and Kayla was actually hired before him.

Kayla Kurtz:                            I think about six months. Not a long time but when Jeff started there’s actually a really great story where he once a year usually forwards me this email string from when he first started because kudos to Pat knowing he was going to take a step back out of the company, he wanted to bring someone in who had interaction with our team from every level and didn’t come in and sort of be handed the reigns and not know who we were and what we were about. None of us knew this at the time but Jeff came in as an account manager, moved to Bloomington from Utah and we all worked on the Orbis Education account together. Myself, he and Abby, the three of us. We had this morning ritual where we would go get pop tarts and a soda out of the vending machine every morning and we’d sit around and we’d talk EDU legion and they are some of my favorite memories at Hanapin.

And then you fast forward a few months and Jeff gets promoted into an account supervisor role and pretty quickly after that I think they revealed the news that he’s going to be the President of the company. He’s going to start steering the day-to-day. There’s an email where Jeff did an ad copy review for me for an account of one of the schools that I was managing at the time and I sent him back this red-lined just busted up ad copy project with all of these pointers for how I thought he could do it better. I had maybe nine months of PPC experience under my belt and Jeff had been doing paid search before, he knew what was up. I believe he knew he was coming into Hanapin to eventually be everyone’s boss and he was just so modest about it and so cool and takes feedback so well. It’s still till this day one of the things that makes his creepiness worth it. He cuts the shit and he’s still just a human with you. It’s how that ended up here.

JD Prater:                                100% agree with that Jeff Allen analysis. If you still have that, feel free to screenshot that and I’ll put that in the show notes.

Kayla Kurtz:                            It’s pretty good. I’m sure if I can’t find it he absolutely has it flagged someone for easy reference.

JD Prater:                                Aw, man. I do not doubt that. So you’ve been going at this now at PPC world. Talk to me because you said now you’re Associate Director of Sales so how did you get into sales and what kind of led you to that decisions?

Kayla Kurtz:                            Yeah, totally. I started Hanapin in February 2011. Just over six and a half years. The account manager role was something that I was really drawn to mostly because it was fully trained and I had no experience in the industry so that was really important to me. Also, fully paid training, which I thought was also a joke but turned out to be fully legit. When I got into the position, what I am not, I’m not really into mathematics and spreadsheets aren’t particularly my favorite thing, frankly speaking. I liked the job and I really liked the people that I worked with but I certainly wasn’t finding my passionate role at Hanapin and I figured that it would just come with time and I would figure it out or I’d pull a true millennial thing and I’d get all trained at Hanapin and then I’d go somewhere else immediately.

Around the fall of the year that I started, about when Jeff started as well, I think we realized that we needed a much more robust approach pretty quickly to our sales in marketing for our own brand because we could not just let whatever account manager extension rang be the sales team. Because people were … you could hear quote unquote sales calls happening around the office and again to our team’s very Midwestern mentality we’re helpful almost to a fault. People would pick up the phone and they would start talking about the problem that they’re having and you’d hear them be like, “Can you send me a login? Give me your account ID. I’ll get in there. We can fix this.” And then you’re like hang on, that was probably not a good idea. Did you ask them any questions?” And it’s no one’s fault but you start to realize that you have to have an approach to this.

I don’t know exactly what the process looked like but eventually Tom Hootman shows up at our director of sales, and Tom had an extensive sales background previously, had managed teams of 15, 20, sales reps. He knows his stuff. We’re talking like grunt work sales sometimes. Like it was US Foods. Literally knocking on restaurant doors selling cases of chicken tenders. He comes to Hanapin and gets on his first few sales calls and I imagine is a little bit caught off guard because every sales call immediately shoots to the details. “I want to talk about my cost per lead issues. I want to talk about where my lead volume is going. My lead quality is shit all of a sudden overnight, and I need to talk about that.” And he was like, “I can’t, that’s not … Hang on, I’m going to need some more information.” I think there was this perfect thing that was happening at the point where Pat was realizing that he has members of his team that weren’t necessarily utilizing their best skills, me, and talking to people and helping build solutions and he had someone who needed sort of an in between.

So I got plucked over into the sales department, which was two people at the time and I started putting together basically a nerdy version of here’s what we can do for you specific for these accounts. So we get access, we put this analysis together, it’s called a solution blueprint, and that’s a big part of the sales process now. Still till this day. That slowly progressed into over the last four or five years as the team has grown I’ve then moved into a true sales rep role where I’m just taking sales calls, just trying to bring in new revenue, not doing the blueprint thing anymore, having someone else do that and then up now to that helping Danny and Mike, who are two of our other sales reps, helping them work their own deals, still working some of my own but really removing Tom from the day-to-day sales portion of it so that he could focus on the direction of the department. So that’s sort of been … Now my focus is more on driving revenue for the agency and bringing in new clients as opposed to obviously doing the PPC work and stuff behind the scenes.

JD Prater:                                Nice. Now you’re in sales.

Kayla Kurtz:                            Now I’m in sales.

JD Prater:                                So you got a very unique perceptive here. I want to have you break it down for us. The sales person talking to the PPC person, what do they need to know and what does the PPC person need to know from the sales person. You have this unique ability to be able to answer that question on both sides.

Kayla Kurtz:                            I think one thing that keeps me up at night a little bit is that if that dialogue was crystal clear every time, I think we’d all be much happier people on both sides of it.

JD Prater:                                Sure.

Kayla Kurtz:                            If it was easy. If it were a set of questions. If you make sure, Kayla, this is what I always try to do. Sometimes to the point to annoyance, I’m sure, for the people that I’m dealing with in our team and my prospects. I try to get as many questions answered as I can and then I try to make sure that that information is completely downloaded to the team when they take over a client that I’ve signed. I’m always asking, “What are you finding out or what surprises are you learning in the first few weeks that if we had asked a different question as a sales rep it wouldn’t have been a surprise to you.” We revisit that conversation probably once every month or so and the questions are different every time and now we’re getting to a point where the questions we want to add back we used to ask and we edited them because they weren’t important.

I think sales reps in any scenario, this isn’t just at Hanapin, I think in a digital marketing agency, sales reps need to have more open conversations with their services departments about what’s changing in their industry because we’re not selling a fucking widget. You’re selling a service, which is all ready. You can’t just immediately point to you want your report to pull this way? Done. It’s not that simple. I got a prospect right now that just keep saying like, “I like you and I like what I’m hearing I just … How do I know that’s what I’m going to get?” You don’t know. You kind of got to take a trust fall with me. There’s a little bit of that approach as well internally too, sales and services. You just got to trust each other but I didn’t sell garbage and I know you’re doing your very best to service it as well as you can once it’s on board.

I think if sales and services have that conversation and everybody agrees that that’s the obvious state of the relationship, it’s just a much smoother, stay open to feedback from both perspectives because everyone can learn from each other. Part of your job as an account manager in PPC is selling, you know what I mean?

JD Prater:                                Good point.

Kayla Kurtz:                            If you got trouble getting your client to say yes to a Facebook expansion, come find me. Let’s talk about what that conversation should sound like. Let’s help each other and then likewise, tell me how I can sound smarter about PPC so that I don’t set you up for failure or say we can do something we can’t do. It really does have to be a two way street of reeducating one another consistently, I think. That’s really the key.

JD Prater:                                Cool. I think that’s really good advice. Thank you for sharing that with us.

Kayla Kurtz:                            Sure.

JD Prater:                                I got another question for you here. This one is really kind of broaching being a woman in PPC and in sales. It’s definitely a minority. If you look into the PPC community, and I do think it’s changing a little bit, but it really is a lot of males and then you look at the sales work, I mean you’re even director level and having being a female. I’d love for you to kind of talk us through maybe some of the challenges of that but then also some of the things you’re starting to see in your own role.

Kayla Kurtz:                            I think that that’s an interesting conversation that’s happening around the world these days, which is what’s the woman’s place in the business realm and what role can she play. I think women are leaning in more, take it Cheryl Sandberg for you, we’re leaning in more to those leadership positions and the confidence that it takes to hold them because ultimately while I think things are changing, speaking just for Hanapin, and I’m not going to give specific numbers because I wouldn’t want Rhea or Molly to pull me and because I say them wrong, but gender diversity awareness is something that we’re incredibly dialed into and Hanapin’s the inverse of the typical, which is that we have a large majority of our total team structure is female and we have a lot of women in director level positions. There’s three of our four associate directors are women on the services side. That’s over the majority.

It’s hard for me to have these strange feelings about it because I don’t experience it daily at Hanapin, which is really nice. I’m super lucky. And things are changing and Hanapin certainly gives me the power tools to be just as successful as a male counterpart in my role as long as I have the desire to do so. That’s where, just for everybody listening, I gave JD a fair warning about this ahead of time because I think it’s only fair in the world of feminism I sometimes rub people the wrong way because I’m all about girl power and go out and get and you deserve it just as much as anyone no matter your gender but also I think you have to fucking earn it.

I get really annoyed at the, I’m going to piss some people off but it’s okay, but the whiny voice about women in the workplace, you know what I mean? “Well, how many women are in leadership positions?” There’s a better question, what percentage of the total team is leadership and of that how many are women. The secondary question is how many of your total team are women as well because you can’t possibly expect 50% of leadership positions to be women if only 20% of the team is women. That’s an unreasonable expectation but we see only a layer of the conversation and that drives me batshit. I get a little bit heated. I already am. I’m going to take some deep breaths.

I think that I’m just the kind of person who … If I know what I’m talking about I will take the mic if it’s mine, literally and figuratively. It doesn’t bother me to chime into a conversation that may very well be male dominated. It doesn’t necessarily occur to me that I’m a woman taking part in that conversation. I’m reading a book called The Confidence Code and part of what I’m reading is the unfortunate truth is that part of what makes you a confidence person is that you’re built with it. You either have it or you don’t. It’s part of a gene. It can be made stronger by the nature effects, certainly. Or it can be diminished but there’s a part of it that you just get to have and I must be lucky and thank my mom for that, I guess. Did you ever meet Buffy, JD?

JD Prater:                                I’ve never met your mom. I’ve only heard all the amazing stories.

Kayla Kurtz:                            Oh yeah. Buffy’s a character. But nonetheless, I don’t have a problem speaking up. That’s not an issue for me. I do see it still, however, I can be the lead sales rep in a sales process and I’ve been the main point of contact throughout the entire set of calls, meetings, everything. And we’ll get onsite to a meeting and if I have Jeff, Tom, and a male account manager with me, even though it’s my conversation, and I’ve been driving it, and you not talk to any of these people, whether it’s a male or a female prospect, they drive their questions almost, unless I grab their attention, they just naturally guide themselves towards the men in the room.

Now I also have to put my reason ability pants on because we’re talking about I’m the Associate Director of Sales. I’m your sales rep and I’m in the room with your account manager who you’re actually going to be working with when you come on board. The Vice President and President of my company, those are important people, they are not there for shits and giggles. They are there for a purpose. I also have that layer where I can say I don’t know that they’re doing it because I’m a women in the room. It may simply be because I’m the person that they will likely interact with the less from this point forward if they choose to move forward with us.

I do see things changing. I have a ton of runway to take as much leadership as I want at Hanapin but also feel comfortable asking questions of male leadership without feeling like I’m being man sling to, which I don’t think everyone can necessarily say. That’s unique.

JD Prater:                                It’s a real thing.

Kayla Kurtz:                            It is. It is.

JD Prater:                                Let me give you a few follow up questions there, then. One is what advice would you give women looking for a career in PPC, so that’s one. And two, maybe women three to five years in, looking to take that next step forward in their career and get that promotion, what advice would you give those to women and where they are in their career. What kind of advice would you give them?

Kayla Kurtz:                            Yeah. Absolutely. It’s hang on the front end. If you’re nudity industry, whether you’re looking for a role in sales or not, but particularly if you’re looking for a role in sales, find yourself a couple of mentors, maybe three. They don’t have to be industry specific, if you’re a women they don’t have to be a women. I don’t like giving Jeff a lot of praise but I reached out to Jeff and said, “Hey, talk to my supervisor.” I get a lot of one on one time with him, helping coach me. I want another perspective, someone who doesn’t work with me as much day to day and I don’t know who to go to. And he was like, “I’ll do it. I’ll talk to you and I’ll talk to you not as Jeff that works at Hanapin. I’ll talk to you as Jeff who wants to help you grow professionally.” And he’s been doing that with me, we meet once a month, he’s been doing that with me now for a couple of years. Sometimes the clarity that I get out of those conversations where he really just clears the mechanism for me of I’ve got all of this confusion of what I want to do and he just dials in and tells me the one question I need to ask, that’s invaluable time.

I don’t think I would be as confident not matter what Buffy gave me. I don’t think I would as confident in the conversation that I have if I hadn’t sought out additional mentorships that really force you to take a step outside yourself and put down on paper, here’s the shit I’m terrible at and here’s what I know I need to do better if I’m going to run that room. And I’m going to stare down the CMO of a Fortune 500 company I have got to change some things. So what does that have to look like? And hold you to it. Accountability is huge.

I think if you’re starting off particular as a women, whether it’s a male or a female who also finds empowerment in women using their voice, that’s who you need to work with and have them help guide you and give you some milestones to work on. I think the tone changes a little, I can get more experience. When you get three to five years into it, if you are really loving it and you’ve started to carve out a role for yourself that fits your skill set and you’re challenged but you also have the ability to feel successful, I think that’s crucial, especially if you’re looking at a sales role, you have to be comfortable with failure.

I fail every week maybe multiple times. Sometimes it’s a failure that literally the entire company knows about because it was possible new business that we got everyone involved with. That shit sucks. You got to have a real backbone for that. So if you get the the three to five year mark and you’re still really liking it, it’s time to put your bossy pants on a little bit, right? So if you know your shit, stand your ground. That’s crucial. Sometimes people push you just to push you and to see if you’re really sure of what it is that you’re saying. Make sure that you’re certain and that you’re absolutely positive in what it is you’re bringing to the table but if you know what you’re actually talking about, own it.

I made a joke about it earlier, right? But if the mic is yours and somebody tries to take it, fucking take it back. I hate that. I hate being talked over. That’s probably one of my biggest pet peeves. Take the mic back, right? Whether it’s because you’re a women or whether you’re just dealing with a dominate personality. Stand up and make your voice heard because people will respect you for that. You got to be kind about it. Don’t be a jerk. Be respectful. But own what you know. I think if more women just said, “I may not know everything but here’s what I do know.” That’s pretty impactful. I think self awareness is something that more and more folks are taking for granted these days. It’s my little baby soapbox. Own your shit, man.

JD Prater:                                Own it. All right. Sound advice form Kayla Kurtz. Let’s move on now. Let’s move on to the next section of the interview where rapid fire questions now. So I’m going to ask you a couple of questions, you got 60 seconds to answer each one. You ready to go?

Kayla Kurtz:                            Yeah, I guess so. All right.

JD Prater:                                All right. First question, I’ll call it my softball question. It’s pretty easy. Kayla, you got an afternoon free, you got no meetings scheduled, you’re just hanging out in the office and you’re like man, “I’m going to get caught up on the PPC industry.” What do you turn to? Sources, blogs, podcasts, whatever it may be. What do you turn to to get caught up in the news?

Kayla Kurtz:                            That’s good and it is a softball because I work in one everyday. I would be a big jackass if I didn’t immediately open up my Megan Stout and Jessica Viviano email inboxes and check out all of the inevitable case studies and whitepapers that they’ve sent to me that I’ve filed away so that I can use them later and read through them when I have time, which is usually on the fly when I need one of them. But I do try to take some time at least once a week to make sure that I’m caught up with all of the collateral that I’ve been given because, obviously, in my position having the same story selling technique is huge. I do spend quite a bit of time looking at just the PPC Hero blog and seeing what stuff has gotten the most attention in the industry. I always look at updates first. The nuances of how an account gets manged while that’s super important to be, absolutely, I need to know what’s changing because that’s likely going to change the framework of how I sell. That’s usually where I spend the vast majority of my time. It shows up in every one of my reviews. I’m always wish I had more time for more learning and I don’t so it’s mostly PPC hero. Very very selfishly.

JD Prater:                                Cool. All right next question. Number two. You’ve been in sales for a while. Associate Director and Hanapin Marketing. What’s something that you wish marketing would do better? This is marketing as a whole. It’s doesn’t have to be Hanapin’s marketing team. Just to clarify.

Kayla Kurtz:                            I was going to that’s rude, JD, and I love everyone of them.

I think marketers in general, I’ll be honest, I wish we could just take ourselves a little less seriously. Take the bullshit layer of trying to act like a badass off of the conversation. We’re all just trying to sell shit. Whether it’s services or products. We’re all here to do. Yup, I get it. You want to sell as many of the things as you can for as cheaply as possible. We all know that that’s the conversation so let’s move past that. Let’s stop asking those questions and let’s just get down to the brass tacks of what you want to do. Because I think there’s just a lot of conversations, specially I see on the sale side, that get gummed up with those questions people feel like they have to ask but it’s like we wouldn’t both be here if you didn’t at least already have a feeling or an understanding that we were at least somewhat deserving to be here.

I think that would be my wish across the board. Just let’s cut the shit. It’s a layer of an hour and a half of questions we could probably get rid of as a whole and be much better people.

JD Prater:                                Nice. I got three more for you. Next question is let’s say tomorrow, Hanapin Marketing is not around. We know that that’s not true. What would be your fallback job?

Kayla Kurtz:                            This is so funny. This came up as a get to know your partner question with Amy and I a couple weeks ago. We were just asking each other random questions at dinner and I was like, “My god, I have not really thought about it” so here’s hoping that it doesn’t happen. I think I really love to cook. I think if I could do my whole like over again and it was a perfect world, I think I would have a bakery or be a chef and have my own restaurant or something. Because then I would get to also be in control which is important to me. You remember that from working together. So I still get to be in charge but I’m very passionate about cooking. I don’t know how to cook for two people so I’m consistently ready to fill a restaurant full of folks here just at homestead. Yeah, that would be it. That would be it.

JD Prater:                                Nice. I like it. Okay, last two questions. So you used to be a PPC account manager, what’s something that you miss from that role in Hanapin?

Kayla Kurtz:                            I really miss being as tied to that community. Not even just at Hanapin but being more day to day involve with PPC because now when I go to Cheryl Comfort, other conferences period, it’s just a natural progression but I lost my ability to talk as much in the weeds about paid search and social and display and I wish I could talk more nerdy about it because some of my favorite conversations. We know some smart fucking people so I miss that. I miss being a little bit more tied to the community because now I’m the sales gal and that’s obviously got a little bit of a different connotation, not that it matters in the industry, but my Hanapin folks still keep me pretty in the loop. I love them. They try to keep me cool.

JD Prater:                                Nice. Nice. Last question, so for those that don’t know, Kayla is really good at karaoking. Kayla, let’s just say you’re in the final round of a karaoke battle, what song brings home the title?

Kayla Kurtz:                            It’s Carrie Underwood for sure. Contry’s my go to. I don’t think any would have picked out because I said Beyonce and Kanye West were like my things earlier but I’m a country bumpkin down in the deep ducts of my soul. It would be Carrie Underwood. It would probably be Jesus, Take The Wheel because my mom really likes when I sing that song. So I think she’d probably be pissed if I didn’t at least go with her favorite. So, that would be. I’d change my mind tomorrow if you ask me.

JD Prater:                                And there you have it. Kayla Kurtz. Thank you so much for coming on the show and dropping some serious PPC and also sales and agency knowledge. Definitely a slightly different perspective that some of our other guest but I definitely found it very beneficial. Yeah, thank you.

Kayla Kurtz:                            Thank you. This was super fun. Reach out to me again in a year and we’ll do the anniversary edition. See what’s changed.

JD Prater:                                You’ve got it.

Kayla Kurtz:                            I love it. Thanks for having me, JD.

[The PPC Show] This Week In Ad Tech Headlines for Sept 25-29th

Posted by on Sep 29, 2017 in The PPC Show [Podcast]
[The PPC Show] This Week In Ad Tech Headlines for Sept 25-29th

This week on The PPC Show, Paul and JD break down the top eight headlines and trends in ad tech and digital marketing for the week of September 25-29th.


We also experimented with Facebook Live video which you can watch here.


Show Notes

Twitter Doubles Character Limit to 280
We understand since many of you have been Tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters – we felt it, too. But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint.

Facebook Adds a New Messages Ad Objective to Drive Messenger Business
Facebook’s introducing a new messages objective for ads which will help businesses raise awareness of their Messenger presence (and bots) and directly connect more users to the option.

Custom Affinity Audiences & Video Ad Sequencing Coming to Youtube Ads
Custom audiences are most valuable when paired with creative that is relevant to them. But personalization at scale can be difficult—new video creative is pricey and takes time to make. Using Custom Affinity Audiences to reach people based on the kind of searches they do, or the kind of places and apps they like. That means an outdoor outfitter could use Custom Affinity audiences to potentially reach people who have searched for skis, spent time at ski resorts, or have downloaded a ski resort’s trail guide app.

Bing Ads & LinkedIn Graphs Integration Underway
What that means practically for advertisers remains to be seen, but as both graphs currently power the ad targeting capabilities of each platform, the natural assumption is that advertisers will be able to harness data from both graphs and use it in campaigns across Bing Ads and LinkedIn.

2 Million Monthly Advertisers on Instagram (Doubling in 6 Months)
Our business community has grown to two million advertisers, up from one million advertisers back in March. People come to Instagram every day to share their passions and connect with what matters, and they are spending more time than ever on the platform producing and exploring content, especially mobile video.

Target and Pinterest Are Teaming Up On An Exclusive Partnership
Instead of typing “modern crib” into a text search bar (and sifting through thousands of results), you simply snap a picture of your inspiration and in seconds, you’ll see a curated set of products that resemble or complement your pic.

Snapchat launches sponsored 3D World Lenses, starting with Blade Runner
Snapchat is taking its World Lenses augmented reality feature and opening them up to brands. Snap’s Imran Khan just announced the availability of the new advertising product on stage at Advertising Week New York, along with launch partners Warner Bros and Bud Light, both of which will be debuting branded 3D World Lenses as part of marketing campaigns.

Domino’s is starting to see pizza orders come through Amazon Alexa
Domino’s is letting people order pizza through voice-controlled devices, and the early results are promising.

One in five customers who can order a pizza with one click through the pizza chain’s Easy Orders option has asked Amazon Alexa instead, two months after making the feature available there, said Nick Dutch, head of digital for Domino’s UK.

[PPC Show] AdStage’s 2017 Ad Network Trends Report

Posted by on Sep 26, 2017 in The PPC Show [Podcast]
[PPC Show] AdStage’s 2017 Ad Network Trends Report

This week on The PPC Show, I got Director of Marketing at AdStage, Mike McEuen, away from his desk to walk-through AdStage’s latest industry analysis reports for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Get ready to geek out on the latest stats and trends across the big three social media networks.

Tune in as we discuss:

  1. Facebook’s CPMs increasing 171% with budgets rising by 122%.
  2. LinkedIn’s CPMs increasing 15% with budgets rising by 23% (releasing soon).
  3. Twitter’s CPMs increasing 22% with budgets rising by 8%.


Mike McEuen

Michael leads marketing at AdStage, a software company that connects marketers to their paid advertising data across search, social, and web analytics channels. Mike is an experienced marketing executive with a track record of growing brands, teams, and revenue.

Go-to-market product strategy, customer lifecycle marketing, corporate branding, user acquisition, demand generation, and SaaS analytics.

Follow Mike on Twitter: @lonohead

Show Notes and Transcript

JD Prater:

Welcome everyone, we got a very awesome show today. We’ve got the director of marketing at AdStage, Mike McEuen. How’s it going man?

Mike McEuen:

Feeling good, JD. I know this is a long time coming. I’m real excited that we’re going to talk, kind of tackle this topic today.

JD Prater:

I’m just glad to have you back on the show man. We had you on for some headlines, but not actually on as a guest, right?

Mike McEuen:

I’m an introverted spreadsheet marketer, so it’s really hard to get me away from my desk, other than maybe some office cake.

JD Prater:

We did have some awesome ice cream cake the other day though.

Mike McEuen:


JD Prater:

Alright. Well, we got Mike on today because we’re pretty excited to officially announce, if you’ve been keeping up with the blog, we just did some industry analysis reporting on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Mike, would you walk us through maybe some of the methodology of how we ended up coming up with this data.

Mike McEuen:

I think this has been a long time coming and something that we had planned for, for many years in AdStage, so even when we were an infant, we’re unique in that we do cater across search and social and most of the major social networks Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. There’s a lot of unique perspective in the different ways that people have used our own platform and used the different networks. We’re sitting on a wealth of data. Several hundred current customers, over 2000 plus trialers over the course of the many years of our history. It’s a lot of advertisers and a lot of data that we’ve been processing. So now having the ability working with the engineers and product team to look into slices of that data across our customer base and provide some great insights that you can use to understand how you are performing in your individual market is really compelling and I … JD, I really appreciate you putting this together. I’m really looking forward to diving into some of these trends.

JD Prater:

Yeah, man. I’m just excited. Even within AdStage, you know, we’re all about trying to connect marketers to data and this is just like one small way that we can do that and that’s really just to kind of help them understand what’s happening in the industry. There’s only a handful of platforms out there that can really pull this information and even show it and then do it regularly. Without further ado, let’s jump into it, man. Let’s jump into Facebook, then we’ll do LinkedIn, then we’ll do Twitter. Let’s start off with Facebook, man. Anything that you saw that was just like eye-opening.


Mike McEuen:

I would say when the actual stats came back it was eye-opening, but I think we all understand these trends as we’re experiencing them in our own accounts, but across the board whether it’s your cost-per-click or CPM, or estimated CPM, you’re starting to see that it is the same cost for going after that audience pool rise as more advertisers enter the market as Facebook is basically saying, “You know, we are at capacity as far as user experience on desktop, especially we don’t want to add additional load or impressions to many of our users.”

JD Prater:

No, it’s a really great position, which is I think kind of been interesting. They have so many advertisers and not really even a lot. 5 million sound like a lot but that’s only like 8% of the 65,000,000 businesses that are active on the network, which is absolutely crazy. They’re really trying to make sure that you still have a good user experience. I think that’s something that they’re trying to balance, but at the same time you gotta make those shareholders happy, you know? You gotta make sure that you’re still returning all of that growth and I think what they’re doing instead is really supply and demand. It’s now becoming more expensive so we actually saw CPMs rise 171% from January through June. That’s only the first six months. That’s insane.

Mike McEuen:

You mentioned that, you know. You synthesize, I don’t think I … We sat next to each other, I don’t think I saw you for a good week and a half or so as we were processing everything, heads down. You analyze about 8.8 billion impressions and so to go over that trend again, you were saying that there was a 171% increase quarter of a quarter, that you were seeing in some of those costs?

JD Prater:

Yeah, from January to June. Yeah, in six months.

Mike McEuen:

So even in that short time range that’s a pretty incredible amount of additional budget it’s going to take just to reach the same audience. Is there any more trends as you were diving in there that stook out to you?

JD Prater:

No, I think you just hit on it with budget. We actually saw budgets also increase, which was kind of crazy. We saw a 122% increase in budgets. It seems like that advertisers are chasing these auctions, that they really do value Facebook, they really do value the results that they’re getting, if they’re willing to increase the budget. My question is, is this new budget or is this shifted budget, which we maybe don’t necessarily know that answer. We saw Hanapin, they did a really cool survey, the paid social survey for 2017, and their findings actually said that 73% of marketers are investing the majority of their social spend on Facebook, but of those 71% of advertisers, they plan on increasing and I think we can safely say, more like 100%.

Mike McEuen:

I think there’s a couple of things to note there. First, I actually saw an e-marketer report where it said for the first time this year that digital advertising’s going to overtake television spend, which is pretty incredible. Television spend is still growing, but as percentage, year over year it’s actually the growth is shrinking. And so you are, at least from a CPG, like very large brand, starting to find them shift more towards a social strategy and with that be able to target their audience and extend their message for very cost effective means versus your traditional television buy. For a long time they couldn’t even understand who in the household was viewing it, if it was active views and they were relying on a lot of old data, so a lot of US Census data that’s not always completely accurate. Where Facebook does a pretty good job with their profiling of letting you narrow down to a specific audience.

JD Prater:

Yeah, and that’s been a really fun trend as well. It was kind of like micro targeting if you will and it’s been a really good trend as well and I think you coupled that and you put it next to … Buzzsumo did a really cool, organic report and so I’m kind of just keeping these two in comparison and what they saw was the average number of engagements, so this is organic engagements on Facebook posts, decline by 20% since January. You can definitely see Facebook’s predicament and they’re like “Well, organic, sorry, we’re going to go ahead and just give more to ads and now advertisers are going to be paying more for it.” So CPCs are increasing. We actually saw CPCs increase 136%. So again, CPMs 171%, CPCs 136%, budgets overall were up 122%, but here’s the real kicker. CTRs. Pretty much flat. You’re paying more for those clicks, but you’re not necessarily getting a better click through rate because of it. On average, or just over one, so about a 1.1% CTR was pretty average for Facebook.

Mike McEuen:

I think if we’re talking about winners and losers here in these types of auctions we noted that a lot of CTRs were remaining quite flat and a lot of our customer base today is really geared towards acquisition and direct response. I did hear from the CEO of AdParlor on their own particular metrics. Great company, but they have a very small client portfolio base really heavily into kind of CPG brands so the broader targeting … I think we’re seeing across the board when people are … their end goal is more brand and engagement with Facebook, they are benefiting from increased click through rates and lower overall costs while those who are, such as ourselves very cost conscious and running a lot of more direct response campaigns, it is costing us more and we are seeing things like desktop inventory start to dry out. Where we couldn’t rely on the past on right hand rail ads, that is one particular area I remember Kenshoo revealing his starting to really skyrocket. I think if you’re looking across all the mediums, video and engagement are the two big players today.

JD Prater:

That’s a great analysis right there. I really think that’s 100% true where if you’re really wanting to succeed now, you really have to have ads that are engaging and engaging could be video, it could just be really good content, but it has to be this like, edutainment. You know, education and entertainment mixed together where really this direct response ads aren’t really doing as well, which is … One thing I kind of liked, if you’ve noticed with Facebook’s collection ads, you know, where they’re doing with e-commerce, it looks really good because they’re putting this fall video together and it’s like this catalog of inventory at the bottom and I think that’s really … it’s a better looking ad. I’m sure it works maybe a little bit better rather than, “Hey, do you want a demonstrate?” Or “Hey, do you want to buy my product right now? Or “Hey …” You know, it’s like this constant badgering. And then even trying to get the right type of offer in front of people is really tricky, really tricky.

Mike McEuen:

So let’s say we even get our engagement down. Let’s talk about ad load. So you’d previously mentioned so … The CFO at Facebook, he had a Q2 2016 earnings call and said, “Intensive pay ad load on Facebook will continue to grow modestly over the next 12 months and then there will be a less significant factor driving revenue growth mid 2017. So Facebook already told their investors this is going to happen, we’re seeing it across board. Even with better engagement units, even with more of a brand story you are still seeing those costs increase. So JD, let’s talk a little bit more about how Facebook is expanding that so if they’re hitting their load in their native walls, so they don’t want to serve any more additional ad units for user experience, were they kind of opening up inventory.

JD Prater:

That’s really probably what everyone’s interested in. We’ve seen and heard rumors of in-stream ads, right? So we know that, that’s out and it’s available. That’s one thing. So there’s stuffing ads in the middle of ads that are videos, right? We’re seeing group ads being beta tested. It’s not here in the US yet. I’m sure we would all freak out if that was available, but I really think groups could be a really good future bet for Facebook. They’re now allowing businesses to be like admins and owners of groups so it’s almost like you could build a group for your business and then drop ads into it. Sure, that makes sense.

Then we’re seeing Instagram.  A lot more ad units there. They just opened up canvas within stories. And then, probably one that we’re all … maybe not here in the US that excited about, but if you were listening last week on the BBC show for headlines, we talked about WhatsApp. So they just released WhatsApp with like … you have to pay for a business profile. It sounds like they’re gearing up, WhatsApp, to be monetized. So I think between those, then you throw in Messenger, we’re getting more types of ad units in Messenger and as … I haven’t heard great results. Meaning, people don’t really like them as much. I think people are definitely seeing them, they’re interacting with them, they’re opening them. They’re getting these amazing click through rates, which is really what I’ve seen, but driving business results is definitely going to be tricky if you’re an expensive, like SAAS product, like AdStage or something like that, but I think if you got an e-commerce site and if you got 30-50 dollar, anything like maybe under a hundred bucks, can see those working really well.

Mike McEuen:

I definitely agree with you there. I think in the mediate, Instagram was a smart move where I’m hearing that some … even though it’s nuance, we do have a lot of people I hear about trying Snap Ads. They are actually pulling budgets from there and moving it over to Instagram sponsor stories because it’s just an easy way to kind of tell a great narrative. To the publisher mark, I think they’re doing a really good job working with publishers and expanding their audience network. Their overall reach outside of their own walls, I think … You know, fast forward a couple of years, you get a good notion of Messenger. They’re really looking at Facebook as another vehicle closer to the Chinese, I think it’s Wechat, where everything’s kind of housed, every action you do, or transaction is kind of housed in the central messaging app, and then they have the bigger, illuminating VR play, and what they may do that, but that’s very future leaning. It does seem like they’re making very smart bets on expanding their inventory to other areas.

JD Prater:

Yeah, I mean, we didn’t even talk about market place, we didn’t even talk about Facebook watch, that they’re launching these mini episodes. I do not doubt that Facebook will figure it out. They got a lot of smart people over there, but in the meantime for us, key takeaways that I’d say, more advertisers flocking to the platform, to Facebook as a result CPMs, CPCs are rising very fast and then it seems like advertisers are just not afraid to increase their budgets.

Mike McEuen:

You talk to any of us old time search marketers and we know this story very well with AdWords. You’re still going to invest there if there’s return. And so while I think it makes us a little bit jumpy, makes our lives harder, it’s still a go to channel today that you must have and kind of your paid media a stack.

JD Prater:

I would say that is definitely true and definitely new. I think two years ago, advertisers were trying to convince brands, “You gotta be on Facebook. C’mon, you gotta invest on Facebook.” And now it’s like brands are like, “No, I need to invest on Facebook,” so I think they’re going to advertisers and trying to find the right type of advertiser to run their ads for them. Definitely a shift in the market.


Mike McEuen:

So I think, you know, changing gears here, what’s really unique about AdStage in the market was we have a lot of B2B geared players, which is, I think, often an under covered topic in the paid media sphere. You hear a lot about B2C because all the transaction kind of happens online. But the B2B folks, it’s a very different ball game. I wanted to bring up the elephant in the room, LinkedIn, you know, with the acquisition by Microsoft and they’re kind of expanding their inventory. JD, I’d love any insights that you found as you were doing that analysis there.

JD Prater:

Yeah, I thought LinkedIn had a really strong first two quarters. We analyzed 4.3 billion impressions so it’s about half of Facebook, but when I think about LinkedIn hovering just over 500 million users, Facebook at two billion, I’m like, “Wow, you guys … ” I mean, that’s still pretty good when you think about impressions served and we saw only like a 15% rise in CPMs. CPCs only increased 8% and CTRs still remained flat, which is pretty much is the key takeaway so overall, I thought it was a really good showing for LinkedIn especially when you put that in contrast to Facebook.

Mike McEuen:

I was at a meetup yesterday, Drift actually sponsored it, and they had all different players around the valley here and they were speaking to some of their strategies. All who were in the B2B technology, sass play, all went to LinkedIn. The reason they have a dedicated budget there is while it can be kind of expensive if you look at the quality of the lead coming through because you do have the job title and the function targeting and the company targeting. Those are stuff that Facebook’s trying to figure out, but as far as a B2B play and targeting, Facebook, excuse me, LinkedIn is still king there, absolutely.

JD Prater:

I was talking to AJ Wilcox over … CEO of B2Linked. If you guys are familiar with AJ, if you’re in the PPC world, he is the, pretty much expert on LinkedIn ads and he was just saying it’s only natural. This progression of 15% increased CPMs, 8% for CPCs, it’s only like kind of a natural thing for it to become more competitive over time. You know, we’re going to see more advertisers come in to the auction and because of this and limited ad inventory, like yeah, you’re going to see competition rising. You’re going to see your prices go up. It’s no different than AdWords. It’s no different than Facebook. It’s still an auction. The question is, will Facebook, or sorry, will LinkedIn find that extra inventory? Our analysis was only Q1, Q2, they just released that audience network where they expanded that, I should say just two weeks ago so it seems like they are keenly aware that that’s what’s going on and they’re definitely going to try to find more inventory.

Mike McEuen:

I think you ask anyone today and everyone’s kind of pushing them towards Outlook to some degree. Whether that’s taking targeting from Outlook or whether it’s actually open up inventory within that inbox. That’s a really interesting play. There’s a notion … So I saw it here with the analysis of, you said CPCs rose Q1 to Q2 about 15%, but CTR looks pretty flat there, and so even though they have better targeting now with their mash audiences, I think the potential next play to increase engagement or click through rates there would be something like sponsor video.

JD Prater:

Yeah. Yeah, and rumor has it, they’re actually looking at it for a beta right now. So, pretty exciting stuff there. It looks like they have that on their radar as well so maybe it’ll be rolling it out hopefully, maybe by Q1. I hope they would maybe beta by Q4 and then maybe roll it out by Q1.

Mike McEuen:

Get ready for the inspirational quotes about on your LinkedIn profile. There’s going to be a lot of track music in the background, inspirational quotes and someone yelling at you in the screen so I’m excited.

JD Prater:

Oh man, it’s going to be so good. Anyway, I think it’s a good play for them. I think, again, more ad units I think is going to be key and especially video, we know video is so hot right now and if I can take this video that I’ve created and maybe I created it for YouTube, maybe I’m creating it on Facebook, now being able to have another placement, another channel for that video, is going to be fantastic. Again, you probably want to channel them to each network, but still, any ways that I can get maximum reach out of this video is always a good thing for me.


Mike McEuen:

And let’s finally stop at the network that no one knows what quite to do with anymore. Twitter. You know, there are cases I’ve seen advertisers have really success, I’ve seen some really poor results, it’s more of a mixed bag there. I would love JD, as you’re diving into Twitter, I think that’s one area that’s less covered. What were some interesting insights?

JD Prater:

I think you kind of hit on that one pretty well with the budgets were all over the place. This is what I loved when we were trying to analyze their supply and their demand, was it looked like every month was up and then down, down and then up and it was like there’s real no rhyme or reason. I couldn’t even say seasonality, it just seemed like everyone is trying to figure out what Twitter is about. We analyzed 3.5 billion impressions from Twitter. So yes, people are still advertising and I’m guessing they’re still getting great results. But we saw CPMs increase 27% so even still more than LinkedIn and we saw CPCs increase by 18%. So again, more than LinkedIn but less than Facebook so again, a third network where CPMs and CPCs rose and CTRs still remained flat. It was like the exact same story for all three, just at different amounts.

Mike McEuen:

I will say, I’ll give Twitter some credit in kind of a multi-channel approach. A lot of the times because most the native networks are really counting last click attribution, or Google Analytics that’s really only counting click throughs, there is something to be said for running a lot of very tailored targeting and retargeting with Twitter where you’re constantly present. I know when I make software decisions it does kind of lend to the experience when I can see that brand everywhere and Twitter being a great place for that. I may never click or engage with the unit but it’s constantly ever present for pretty cost effective means.

JD Prater:

Yeah, that’s a really good point. And it’s something that I’ve, as an advertiser have always kind of thought about and really have solidified. I really think if I’m running Google Display, so if you’re just running display ads, you really want to consider Twitter. I think it’s probably a better display play, assuming that your audience is on this network. They have a decent audience network as well. Definitely keep an eye on it, you might get a lot of garbage clicks, but you know, just keep an eye on it. As far as the Twitter newsfeed goes, if you’re scrolling through it as much as I am, and I would consider myself a decently active user of Twitter, yeah, I’m probably seeing a lot of ads and I’m seeing your ad and it really does … There’s a couple that I see constantly from the same company and you’re like, arrgghhhh It’s so good.

Mike McEuen:

So we’re going to play a little game called Q4 planning hot spot with JD here and we’re saying Twitter has a channel, experimental or part of your core strategy?

JD Prater:

Oh, man. You know, we’ve experimented even with it here at AdStage in Q2. We didn’t get great results and coming at it from a performance lens of last click attribution, of driving, we’ll say sign ups and customer stats to AdStage, right?

Mike McEuen:

Mm-hmm (affirmative) mm-hmm (affirmative)

JD Prater:

Did it influence purchase decision? Maybe. Possibly. Is our audience on Twitter? Yes, I mean, that’s an emphatic yes so, I would say definitely experimental. I wouldn’t say a core strategy, but as I’m seeing Facebook rise and becoming more competitive in the auction and I can go over to Twitter and maybe still interact with the same type of audience, yeah, I think it’s definitely worth experimenting.

Mike McEuen:

Awesome and I think the last thing to just kind of wrap things up, tie everything in a bow together is there is kind of the trend where so far as taking that hard stance where they don’t want to allow cookie polls, and I’m curious as to your thoughts and general audience thoughts on what potential impact they may have across the board.

JD Prater:

It’s going to be huge because I just saw a report yesterday from, oh man, I can’t remember who did it, but really good report yesterday saying that actually mobile device targeting, this was like your cookie polls, are actually better than desktop. I was like, “What?” But I guess as we shifted mobile and we are in apps more, we’re on our phones more, it does make sense that you maybe have better targeting there, assuming … I guess you’re just being cookied like crazy everywhere.

Mike McEuen:

I would say in the mobile experience I’m definitely probably in incognito less, right? In desktop I’m always kind of doing that, look how my website looks or what have you, it’s just easier browsing. So mobile definitely has me there.

JD Prater:

Yeah, I think another thing to, within that, is when we think about super, like these cookies, I know Google’s already come out and said, “Well, we’re gonna fix that,” or whatever it is and so, it’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out because I’m pretty sure that Apple has these handshake deals with Google or with Bing, right? To be their search provider, right? And so, I’m wondering what that partnership looks like if Google’s paying a billion dollars to be the search engine for Safari. Are they going to wrap in something like that? It’s just like Apple’s taken a stance which I think is more of a … they may say it’s for user protection, but it’s definitely I think, a stance to hurt google and to hurt Bing, more than anything else.

Mike McEuen:

I agree. 100%.

JD Prater:

It’s Silicon Valley’s companies just trying to piss off another company.

Mike McEuen:

So JD, wrapping this up, is there key takeaways you think the audience should know? So you were doing this analysis, things they should look at when they’re planning for Q4, Q1?

JD Prater:

I think the biggest takeaways are this was Q1 and Q2, so we haven’t even touched Q3. Q4’s coming up. Q4 is historically the most expensive for … and I’ll specifically say Facebook. Well, we can get into LinkedIn, Twitter next, but I don’t see it slowing down with any three. I only see more competition coming. I only see less inventory as we … Unless they just have massive user growth or they can figure out how to get users to open the app more or to use the platform, more. That way they could serve more impression or figure out different ways to really place ads. So I think those are all kind of my key takeaways are. It’s going to be more expensive and the networks are going to have to figure out how to keep a good user experience, but also figure out how to place more ads. Yeah, yeah. That’s all I got man, what about you?

Mike McEuen:

That’s it? That’s it?

JD Prater:

Alright man, well, I think we went through all three networks, we’re pretty excited about it. I’ll link all of these, well, I’ll link Facebook and Twitter’s in the show notes where we still haven’t released the LinkedIn one yet and enjoy the rest of your week. We’ll see ya next week on the PPC Show.

[The PPC Show] This Week In Ad Tech Headlines for Sept 18-22nd

Posted by on Sep 22, 2017 in The PPC Show [Podcast]
[The PPC Show] This Week In Ad Tech Headlines for Sept 18-22nd

This week on The PPC Show, Paul and JD break down the top 9 headlines and trends in ad tech and digital marketing for the week of September 18-22nd.


Show Notes

Facebook Removes 4 Ad Targeting Options of Profile Details
To help ensure that targeting is not used for discriminatory purposes, Facebook is removing self-reported targeting fields “until they have the right processes in place to help prevent this issue.”

These four categories are school, field of study, employer, and job title. To keep offensive and discriminatory behaviors off the platform, Facebook will also be adding more human review and oversight to its automated processes.

Facebook Launches Dynamic Creative Tool
Facebook has yet another new trick up its sleeve. It’s called “dynamic creative,” and it’s a tool available in Power Editor and the newly updated Ads Manager. Here is what it does, how to use it, and why:

  • It takes components like images, videos, titles, descriptions, CTAs, etc. and runs them as different combinations across audiences.
  • While the total asset number is 30, you can use a maximum of 5 titles, 10 images or 10 videos, 5 bodies of text, 5 descriptions, and 5 CTAs. Also note that you can use images OR videos, and can’t mix in the same ad set.

Pinterest Grows to 200 Million Monthly Active Users
Pinterest has reached a new milestone of 200 million users. The platform reached 175 million users back in April, and now, Pinterest has announced that their community has expanded to 200 million MAU – up 40% year-over-year.

Pinterest’s Interest-based Ad Targeting Options Swell to More than 5,000
Pinterest is increasing the number of interest-based ad targeting options offered to advertisers from roughly 400 to more than 5,000, thanks to the social network/search engine’s updated index of more than 100 billion pins.

  • Last year the company acquired mobile ad-tech firm URX
  • Taste Graph
  • For example, if someone uses Pinterest to research kitchen remodeling ideas, that user may not want to continue seeing organic and paid pins related to home decor long after the remodel is completed.
  • Rolling end of October
  • Pinterest’s expanded set of interest-targeting options will roll out over the next few weeks and be available through Pinterest Ads Manager and for campaigns purchased through the advertising API or direct sales team.

Ring in the Holidays with New Google Merchant Center Tools
Luckily, getting your product data in shape has never been easier with new Merchant Center tools. The new feeds experience and Opportunities are here just in time for you to win this holiday season.

  • Modify your product data from the Content API
  • Previously, your product data could only be submitted in one primary feed. Now, supplemental feeds give you the flexibility of submitting and modifying your product data from multiple sources.
  • Simply add new countries with the same language to your primary feed and your prices will automatically show in the correct currency of the user.

Supercharge your call-only ads with ad extensions
Google is upgrading its call-only ads, starting with the launch of ad extensions. For the first time, you’ll be able to show ad extensions with call-only ads to promote more relevant information about your products and services, and give people more reasons to choose your business. In early experiments, they’ve found that implementing new extensions to call-only ads can improve clickthrough rate by 10% on average.
For the first time, you’ll be able to show ad extensions with call-only ads to promote more relevant information about your products using location, callouts, and structured snippets.

Snap Inc Adds New Creative Partners, Education Courses to Improve Ads
Today we are excited to add 14 new partners to our network of companies to help advertisers create ads that deliver results. These new partners represent the best in video, cinemagraph, and GIF creation; game and playable ad development; lead generation and data capture; interactive and 360 video players; mobile couponing and more — all to help advertisers build engaging Snap Ad experiences that deliver a positive ROI.

[Chart] Audience Targeting Is More Successful on Mobile Than on Desktop
Mobile ads are reaching their intended audiences at a higher rate than desktop ads, a finding that may relate to desktops’ higher likelihood of having multiple users, according to a comScore report.

Duopoly to Grab More than 60% of 2017 Digital Ad Spend
Total Digital ad spend
$83 Billion in 2017

  • ($35B) 42% Google
  • ($17B) 21% Facebook

[PPC Show] PPC Automation and The Great Attribution Myth

Posted by on Sep 19, 2017 in The PPC Show [Podcast]
[PPC Show] PPC Automation and The Great Attribution Myth

This week on The PPC Show, Julie Friedman Bacchini, President at Neptune Moon, shares her dinosaur perspective on the future of PPC automation in paid search and the great attribution myth. You can connect with her on Twitter.

Julie’s been in marketing for over 18 years so tune in to hear:

  1. How advertisers can take baby steps into paid search automation as well as the best used cases for applying automation.
  2. Then she’ll explain why she thinks attribution is kind of a joke.


More About Julie

Fun Fact: If there were no other constraints then Julie would want to do something working with animals.

Julie Friedman Bacchini is a professional speaker who has presented on paid search and general marketing and web topics at local, regional and national events – including SMX East and PPC Hero Conference. Her easy going style makes her a popular presenter, along with her passion for her topics and accessibility to event participants.

Able to present at a highly technical or expert level or to more general business audiences, Julie really enjoys sharing knowledge and breaking down internet marketing topics so that they are easy to understand.

Show Notes & Transcript

Julie Bacchini:                      … and those things are unknowable in the sense of tracking of attribution. I don’t know how they ever are going to be knowable unless we all become microchipped and decide that privacy really is just no longer a thing.

JD Prater:                                Welcome to the PPC Show, where we interview the best and brightest in paid search and paid social advertising. This is episode 59, and I’m your host, JD Prater. This week, I’m joined by Julie Friedman Bacchini, self-proclaimed digital dinosaur, to discuss PPC automation and the great attribution myth. Julie’s been in marketing for over 18 years, and on this episode, she’s gonna be sharing with us how advertisers can take baby steps to paid search automation as well as the best used cases for automation. Then, finally, she’ll explain why attribution is kind of a joke. So stay tuned and let’s get to the show. Hey Julie, welcome to the show.

Julie Bacchini:                      Thanks. I’m really excited about this.

JD Prater:                                As am I. Thank you so much for coming on. I think we’re gonna have a really good one. This is a really good one to actually dive in to talk about. So we’re gonna be talking about some PPC automation and the great attribution myth, but before we get started, why don’t you give us a little background of who Julie Friedman Bacchini is?

Julie Bacchini:                      Sure. I am a bit of a digital dinosaur, as I like to say. I have been working in marketing in general, but specifically in digital, for about 18 years now, in the digital space. I have been here since the beginning, and I have seen everything from websites just beginning to develop to platforms beginning to develop, and I’ve worked in pretty much every aspect of the online space, with a particular specialty over the last 8 to 10 years in paid search.

JD Prater:                                Wow, that’s impressive. How did you …

Julie Bacchini:                      Well, thanks.

JD Prater:                                … get started with Neptune Moon, then?

Julie Bacchini:                      I actually had a full-time marketing position with a health system, and I’d been doing some work, freelance work, on the side, thinking about going out on my own. Then, my department got eliminated, and I thought, well, I guess today’s the day, and the rest is history.

JD Prater:                                Wow, bold. You know, I’ve actually run into a few people with a very similar type of story. You know what? Thank you to you type of people who are so bold to go out there on a limb, start their own agency, and fulfill the work, do the work. I am always impressed with that kind of story. So kudos to you.

Julie Bacchini:                      That’s very nice. Thank you.

JD Prater:                                Well, let’s have some fun here. Let’s jump into some PPC automation. Tons of announcements coming out, especially in the last year, and since you have such a really great view … You’ve talked about 18 years. Talk to me about what you kind of see on the horizons. I think if we would have talked a year ago, we would have seen paid search specifically. People that are like, “Eh, I love the idea of scripts, but I’m scared of them.” There really seems to be a shifting of tides, and I just want to get your thoughts around PPC automation, specifically within paid search.

Julie Bacchini:                      I do think that things are shifting. It does seem that the pace of development … A lot of the automation-related technologies really seem to have taken a pretty big leap forward in the past 12 to 18 months. I think that that’s definitely true, because you’re right. In the past, the idea of trying to do a script on your own or even just doing anything more than creating just a basic rule within an account of notify me if this happens, or if this happens, then go ahead and do that. That was sort of the beginning and the end, unless you were using a pretty sophisticated third-party tool for options as far as automation went. Now, I mean, I feel like the term machine learning, we’re a little oversaturated with that at the moment, but I think that’s just starting, and it encompasses such a wide range of technology.

It’s a little unclear exactly which pieces of that are going to take off, but I think, as a whole, it definitely has a lot of potential to take some of the things that have to be done on a regular basis when you’re managing paid search and just be able to create logic and create ways of doing things that free up managers to kind of dig a little bit deeper into pieces that machines can’t really understand, like where the nuance is, where you need to be making connections, where you want to take numbers and then figure out what does that mean in the broader sense. I don’t think machines are great at that. I think people are. If a lot of that can be brought to the table via automation so that you can more easily do some of that type of work, I think that that’s really exciting.

JD Prater:                                Yeah, I agree with you on that. Let’s kind of dive into it. What are some of the tasks that you think should be automated or that you are automating, and then, what kind of impact have you seen automation have, even within your own campaign management?

Julie Bacchini:                      I’ve been dabbling in scripts. I mean, I’ve done some low-level programming for websites and other things like that over the years, so I finally got over my fear of scripts in the last couple of years. I have been using scripts to sort of automate. I really like automation for monitoring of things, especially when you get to scale. I think it’s sort of one thing for you to be manually monitoring performance or bids, even if there’s a problem that comes up, to make sure that all of your ads are pointing to URLs that aren’t, in fact, broken. I think there are a lot of those things that when you’re working on a small scale, maybe you don’t necessarily need to automate, but when you get to a certain critical mass, it does kind of become a little bit of a waste of time, I think, for somebody who has a high level of expertise to be spending time double-checking that kind of stuff.

I think being able to utilize scripts that just automatically run and they will send you a report or they’ll make a notation, they’ll add a label, they’ll make a notation right in the account so that you can then more efficiently, I think, just take a look at everything and know, yup, everything’s okay or these three things need my attention. I think that that really makes a difference in the day-to-day management and what you’re doing and where you’re spending your time.

JD Prater:                                Yeah, I definitely agree on that one. It’s one of the things that me coming into paid search, I was like, oh, yeah, scripts. Cool. You’ve got like Daniel Gilbert, you’ve got like Frederick Vallaeys writing these amazing scripts and giving them away for free on Search Engine Land. I was like, I’m just going to put those in my accounts. Then, I would talk to … I’ll call out Matt Umbro here. Umbro’s like, “Nah, I don’t really use them.” I’m like, “Wait. So am I the weird one? Why aren’t people doing this more?” I was just like, “This is great. It’s going to help me do my job, and it’s going to make me faster, and it’s going to make me better.” Then, that’s when I kind of found this rift within automation and the control freaks of the world. Moving forward within that idea of control freaks, we finally have got to this point where it seems like paid search … I’m calling paid search people control freaks, which is …

Julie Bacchini:                      Fair.

JD Prater:                                … in a position to paid social people that are just like, “Yeah, Facebook, do whatever you want.”

Julie Bacchini:                      Yeah, for sure.

JD Prater:                                Where do you think the next year’s going to take us? Let’s say you and I … We talked about a year ago, we probably wouldn’t be even having this conversation. At the speed at which things are moving … and if you’ve seen this new interface within AdWords, we can already tell where it looks like Google wants to go with things, which seems like more control. Where do you think, in a year from now, if we have you back on the show, where are we headed?

Julie Bacchini:                      That’s a tough question. Part of it has to do with what becomes universally accepted and adopted. To go back to what you were saying about this rift between people who like automation in general and who don’t, I think as things become more accessible and they become more baked into … I mean, the AdWords interface, the new one, is not completely rolled out, so it’ll be interesting to see if there are more automation features that are baked in. I think that when things are simpler to implement … A script, it really depends on your background, and it depends on a lot of different factors. I think if using a script is something that when you hear the idea, you’re like, “Oh, that’s cool. I really want to try that,” or it makes you hyperventilate … You know what I mean?

JD Prater:                                Yeah.

Julie Bacchini:                      People are kind of anywhere on that spectrum. I think they’re all sort of justified. It’s a little bit a product of your own experience. I think that more things are going to become more accessible so that you don’t have to feel like you’re somebody who knows how to code in JavaScript to be able to take a script that some brilliant person has created and then actually put it in your account and have it be working and know what to do with it. I feel like that’s going to be so much more accessible a year from now even than it is now.

JD Prater:                                Got you. This is my last follow-up question here on automation is there’s always this kind of undercurrent around people talking that automation is going to steal our jobs. Within the PPC world, do you think that’s really going to happen? I guess let me say is that going to happen, and what do you think that’s actually going to look like? You touched on it kind of briefly, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on fleshing that out a little bit more.

Julie Bacchini:                      The dinosaur’s perspective.

JD Prater:                                There you go.

Julie Bacchini:                      I will say this, I think that, inevitably, in every industry, there really are not very many exceptions, the longer it’s around, the more that at least a portion of the industry becomes what I would call commoditized. I think that we’ve already seen that to a certain degree in paid search. Less so in social, because social has not really been around as long as traditional search advertising. I think that there’s a certain amount of commoditization that happens. What I mean by that is there’s a certain amount of baseline work that becomes a lot less specialized. In other words, you don’t necessarily need the same degree of technical skill that perhaps you needed years prior as something was beginning to develop.

I think, to a certain extent, that that has become true in paid search. I think the limitation, at least in my opinion, as far as how far can automation go as far as replacing somebody like you or replacing somebody like me, I don’t think that it can in a lot of instances. For basic needs, for super simple accounts, maybe, but for people who are really interested in having something that can be all that it can be and have maximum reach and maximum return and all of that, I don’t know that there’s a substitute for the human brain when it comes to really being able to not just aggregate and interpret and analyze a lot of information, but I think the one place that automation really falls down is nuance. I use the example when you look at close variance.

JD Prater:                                That’s a good one.

Julie Bacchini:                      To me, that’s sort of the first brush a lot of us have had with machine learning. It’s got a long way to go to replace a human. It doesn’t understand nuance. It doesn’t even really understand all the time the same word can have more than one meaning depending on the context. If you think about it from that point of view, I do feel like we are a long way away from automation being a serious threat to people’s career longevity.

JD Prater:                                Exactly. I agree with that one, too. I’ll even throw in there are responsive ads that they will build for you. I was like, “Oh, you almost got the brand color, but not quite. That’s not quite right.” There was definitely some nuances. I give them credit for getting really close and doing a really good job, but I think, in the end, one thing I’ve always thought about … Have you seen the movie Hidden Figures?

Julie Bacchini:                      No, not yet.

JD Prater:                                It’s really good. I don’t necessarily want to give it away, but there is a part where IBM’s got their big computer coming into NASA, and it’s either you can get replaced by the computer or you can learn how to program the computer. They took the necessary steps to make sure that they had jobs. I think that’s also given rise, maybe, to this rise of the technical marketer. Have you seen this? Do you have any thoughts about that?

Julie Bacchini:                      Yes. I think it’s smart. I mean, you have to sort of figure out where things are going. I say this as someone who’s been doing it for a long time. You have to figure out what people want from their providers. There’s a combination of, on an emotional level, understanding what it is that people are wanting and what they’re needing from their providers and positioning yourself to be able to provide that. I think the other piece is, and one of the greatest values that professional paid search managers have, is staying on top of things that are happening. We are more apt to know about, learn about, and not be afraid to implement something that is sort of technical in nature, so whether it’s scripts or it’s using schema or it’s diving into the whole world of AMP. Is that a good thing? Is it a bad thing? It’s kind of both.

It’s having the knowledge to be able to see those things and then weed out what’s worth doing and what’s not worth pursuing. Then, learning about the things that you think are worth pursuing and making them part of your process and part of your value proposition.

JD Prater:                                Got you. Man, so good. If you are listening and you’re new to the PPC world, take that. That is some really good advice. All right, so let’s shift gears here away from automation and talk about the great attribution myth. You just wrote this fantastic article around attribution. You went on to say, “Attribution is kind of a joke.” What did you mean by that?

Julie Bacchini:                      I did say that. I am not one to shy away from bold statements. A lot of my blog posts, to be honest, happen when something just sort of strikes me, and then I have to get it all out, and this post was no exception. I think this is sort of the dirty, little secret that doesn’t really get talked about. Maybe people don’t want to talk about it, I don’t know, but I feel like it’s a really important topic. The way that we generally talk about attribution, I think we treat it like it’s a mature, fully developed, really reliable system, being able to accurately know exactly what a customer’s journey was from that initial spark in their head of, hm, I might need something, to when they do all of their looking, researching, going to physical stores, all the things they might do. Then, they eventually reach that point where they purchase/don’t purchase. I think we treat that as a process that we have a complete view and access to and all of it is trackable and attributable, and I just really don’t think with today’s technology that it is.

JD Prater:                                100% agree. I couldn’t agree more. This is me. This is me coming from agency side and now being internal. I would love to say, “Yeah, I’m looking at the customer journey all the time and I fully understand it,” but it’s crazy. Let’s face it. One, customer journeys are crazy. Two, the technology is not there. Let’s kind of break down some of that technology and the attribution. Why do you think it’s not there yet? What are some of the things that I know that you pointed out in this article that are lacking?

Julie Bacchini:                      I think, first and foremost, there are certain things that human beings do in the course of a decision-making process that I call them unknowable. From a real, practical standpoint, if you are trying to track different things, there are definitely processes and things that people do that just are unknowable to a marketer. You have no idea … If I’m seeking some kind of product or service, you have no idea, as the marketer, for instance, if I have a conversation with my neighbor about it, if I am seeking recommendations on Facebook, if I’m doing different things. There’s just no way for you to know, but one of those things could turn out to be the tipping point or the most influencing factor for me as to whether or not I decide to become a customer. Those things are unknowable in the sense of tracking of attribution, and I don’t know how they ever are going to be knowable, unless we all become microchipped and decide that privacy really is just no longer a thing.

JD Prater:                                Then, should we just give up on attribution?

Julie Bacchini:                      No, I don’t think that we should give up on attribution, but I think that we should contextualize it better. I feel like the way that we’ve been talking about it really makes it seem like it is more powerful and complete than it actually is. I really think that if we start to talk about it for what it is, then we can be using it more appropriately and we can be using those pieces of data to kind of create a feedback loop for the different parts of the journey that we are able to see. Then, we can take some of that information and we can extrapolate it out when we’re looking at other types of data that you might not be able to directly correlate, but you can make a reasonable assumption that there is at least a correlation, possibly a causation, if you’re seeing a bump in foot traffic, if you’re seeing a bump in inquiries, if you’re seeing a bump in different types of activity. Looking at things more on like a timeline factor based on things that you were doing.

I think it’s kind of changing the way that we think about it and changing the weight that we give to today’s current attribution I think puts it in a better perspective and a better context, and it makes it more useful.

JD Prater:                                Yeah, I agree. How do you go about handling … Typically, what is trackable and what is attributable gets the most amount of budget. At least, that’s what it feels like. We know that we’re still kind of stuck in this last click mindset, but how do you go about giving more budget to maybe more top-of-funnel efforts, maybe like a Facebook, and how do you talk about that with clients?

Julie Bacchini:                      I think one of the worst things that has happened as we have had access to more data is that, again, we have given that data more power than it actually deserves at this point, which I know is also a pretty bold statement. What I mean by that is we are treating data that we have access to as sort of the be all, end all, when it’s really a portion of the picture. I think that we need to return a little bit to how things were before digital. You remember, at least I remember because I was doing this before there was digital, that we didn’t have any of this kind of data. Everything that we did, we had very, very minimal data as far as what were people actually doing, how were they specifically interacting with the types of outreach or the types of advertising or things that you were doing to try to move the needle to get more inquiries, get more purchases, get more foot traffic, that type of thing.

I think that we could probably rein it in a little bit as far as treating the data that we have as being so absolute. I think the whole last click piece is a really great example of that, because the absolute data that we have really kind of is last click in a lot of instances. We know for sure that the time that you visited the website and you actually decided that you were going to purchase the product, you came in via an organic search or you came in because we sent you an email with a coupon offer, and that moved you from thinking about it to doing it. We have a pretty clear understanding of what that last thing was that we did that got you from maybe to yes, but I think that we need to treat that as we know what the last step was, so we know that this can be effective in taking from thinking about it to yes. Start thinking of it in that way instead of giving it more … We don’t want to give it more power.

I mean, I think we’ve probably all seen that cartoon that shows, oh, all this came from mobile. Oh my gosh, we need to put all of our money in mobile, because everything is showing up as the last click is the mobile or the last click is coming from social. That’s nuts, because we know it’s not. You can think about your own behavior. I mean, really, I’ve said this for years. One of the most important things you can do, I think, sometimes, is just think about your own behavior. What does your customer journey look like when you’re looking for different types of local places to go, products or services, or things like that? Even as a digital marketer, what does your journey look like? For me, it depends on what I’m looking for, how urgent. It could look eight different ways. I think that that’s typical for most people.

We have to start thinking about how do we move the needle, and how do we do it in a way that … I mean, the bottom line is clients want to move the needle. I think we’re doing them a bit of a disservice by acting like we can definitively put everything precisely, exactly, and completely in each bucket. We need to be working with them for a full-spectrum approach, because people are looking at stuff in 100 different ways. We need to be trying to do our best to narrow down where we think we’re most likely to reach them, and then we need to spend time seeing if we’re pushing stuff into column A, are we seeing any difference on the bottom-line metric that we’re trying to measure? Then, kind of working from there.

JD Prater:                                I think it’s really good advice. It’s really good advice. Even here in San Francisco, I know there’s a lot of startups really trying to crack that attribution code. There’s a couple of companies that are doing it fairly well. I mean, still, they’re not cross-device. I think that’s the huge limitation that I’m seeing. I was just thinking about this yesterday, kind of prepping for our conversation. I have my work computer. I have my phone. I go home, and then I have my personal computer that’s my computer. My wife has her work computer and her personal computer and her phone. We have six different devices that, potentially, a conversion could ever happen on. To think that how Google Analytics tracks, really it’s by device is how they’re fingerprinting you, but we would come in as six different people. We’re really just the same. We’re two different people, but in the same household whenever we’re doing some of this stuff. That was crazy for me to even wrap my head around is making that decision. I think you’re right, with those unknowable pieces, and you’re never going to know all those. Good.

Julie Bacchini:                      But it’s okay.

JD Prater:                                It is.

Julie Bacchini:                      I think what I really want to get across is there’s been such a gigantic push for big data and big data. If you’re not using it, you’re not doing it right. That has been such a tremendous push over the last, what, like three to four years. I’m tired of hearing about big data. You need the important data. You don’t need gigantic data. Just taking a little bit of a deep breath and saying, “Okay, look, yeah, data’s awesome, but data can lead you down the wrong path, too.” If you’re not looking at the right information or you’re misapplying it or you’re misattributing it, then it’s not that helpful. I think that there’s always going to be … To your point about the multi-devices, I mean, we’re the same way in that we have a tremendous number of devices here in this house.

There’s always going to be, at least I think for the foreseeable future, this tension between people wanting to have the best advantage they can have as far as brands knowing them and being able to personalize things, but there is a hard limit on that. That tension between marketers want data, customers want personalized offers, but nobody wants to cross that plateau where, suddenly, the brand knows exactly who I am, they know exactly which device … Like, they know everything about what I’m doing. That’s a bridge that pretty far from where we are right now, and I don’t know that it’s a bridge that ever gets crossed or should get crossed, really.

JD Prater:                                We can just leave it right there, then. We can transition into the rapid fire round, where I’m going to ask you-

Julie Bacchini:                      The lightning round.

JD Prater:                                The lightning round, that’s right. I’m going to ask you a couple of questions here, give you about 60 seconds or so to answer each one. You ready to go?

Julie Bacchini:                      Okay. I’m ready.

JD Prater:                                All right. Start you off with an easy one here. You got an afternoon free, no meetings, no prep work, no optimizations, no management, and you’re like, “I need to do some reading and get caught up on the industry.” What are some of your favorite blogs and some of the places that you’d turn to to keep up with the industry and also within PPC news?

Julie Bacchini:                      The first thing I would do would be I would go to Twitter. The PPC chat hashtag, I have a column open for that all the time, because that queues me into things that are happening right now. I find that that’s really helpful. Some of the sites that I read regularly, I read blogs regularly from a few of the participants in PPC chat, but more generally, Search Engine Land and Marketing Land, I think, have really good coverage of what’s going on. Then, I get a couple of other newsletters. I like Street Fight. I don’t know if other people are familiar with Street Fight Magazine. They have just a ton of information about all kinds of things marketing related. I get a couple of emails called Smart Briefs. I get one on social, and I get one on interactive advertising. I find a lot of great information through those sources.

JD Prater:                                Cool. No, I never heard of Street Fight. I’ll definitely take a look at that and leave a link in the show notes. Thanks for that tip. Let’s say Neptune Moon, you guys are going to be hiring a new PPC account manager in the next month or two. What are some of the skills that you look for in this position?

Julie Bacchini:                      That’s a great question. I would say certainly a strong base in the fundamentals. It’s really hard to start somebody off who doesn’t have a grasp of completing basic tasks inside of the different platforms. Beyond that, the piece that I look for the most is somebody who asks questions, someone who has ideas about things. I really encourage that. I think that no matter what level you’re on, taking ownership of what you’re working on and really trying to immerse yourself in it and really think about it from the client’s point of view or applying experience you had from other things to say, “Hey, we did this over here. I’m wondering if this might work there.” I look for that type of personality and that type of thinking, because I think that has the greatest potential for growth and development.

JD Prater:                                Got you. Cool. All right, good answer. Good answer. I like it. I got two more for you here.

Julie Bacchini:                      Okay.

JD Prater:                                You’ve been in the industry for a while, 18 years, and then really focusing in within paid search. What’s something that you wish you knew then that you know now?

Julie Bacchini:                      Wow.

JD Prater:                                That’s a tough one.

Julie Bacchini:                      I know, that is a hard one. I feel like I feel like that every three months, that there’s something I wish I knew. I don’t know. I think just knowing sooner that search was going to actually become so much of a thing and knowing how important mobile was going to be. I feel like I could be further along in helping clients to create better mobile experiences. I could have started pushing for that a lot sooner. Some are there, some aren’t, but that is not slowing down any time soon. I feel like that is going to become more and more and more and more critical as we move forward. Knowing when that was actually going to hit that tipping point would have been helpful.

JD Prater:                                Yeah, I wish I could have definitely foreseen that coming up the way that it did, 100%. That one hit quick. That one hit quick. Actually, I really thank Google for helping push that one along with, hey, we’re doing these mobile optimized sites, and you need to make sure your site is ready. That at least pushed a lot of my clients to really think mobile first and thinking about that. Good one. All right, last question for you that I always like to ask all of our guests is let’s say tomorrow, Neptune Moon ceases to exist. It’s not going to happen. We know you guys are going to be around for a while. What’s a fallback job? What’s something that you would start to take up, let’s say, by next week?

Julie Bacchini:                      If I couldn’t do this anymore?

JD Prater:                                If you couldn’t do it anymore. What do you think?

Julie Bacchini:                      I don’t know. If I could do anything, if there were no other constraints on me, I would want to do something working with animals.

JD Prater:                                I like that. I like that.

Julie Bacchini:                      I probably wouldn’t make any money doing that, but it would feel good and it would be a great thing to do in the world.

JD Prater:                                Yeah, definitely. Definitely. Well, you have survived. Congratulations.

Julie Bacchini:                      Thank you. It was fun.

JD Prater:                                Yeah. Thanks for coming on the PPC Show, really talking through automation and attribution. These are really hot topics right now within the industry and sharing your bold statements and your bold thoughts. I really appreciate your time and for you coming on and sharing those with us.

Julie Bacchini:                      Well, thank you so much. I really appreciate you having me on. It’s a lot of fun. That really flew by. It was just like sitting and having a cup of coffee.

[Podcast] PPC Chatbots and Digital Assistants

Posted by on Sep 12, 2017 in Advertising, The PPC Show [Podcast]
[Podcast] PPC Chatbots and Digital Assistants

This week on The PPC Show, Purna Virji, Senior Training Manager at Microsoft, shares how advertisers can capture conversions in a landing page-less world.

We spend so much of our time sending traffic to landing pages that the thought that they may not be the be-all and end-all is interesting to ponder. But then think about it. We have new places where we can engage with the brands that we like: through chatbots or personal assistants such as Amazon Alexa or Microsoft’s Cortana. This episode will explore different these different methods and how to leverage them for success.

Fun Fact: Purna goes into grandma mode on weekends, where she likes to garden, knit, and make jams. If she wasn’t working at Microsoft then she would probably open up her own gourmet jam store. You can connect with her on Twitter.

Purna's Gourmet Jam

Purna’s Gourmet Jam Store

Three big highlights from this week’s show. Tune in to hear how:

  1. Chatbots are becoming the new app and how we can use them on our websites. Gartner is predicting that by 2020, 85% of our relationships with a company will be managed without human communication.
  2. Digital personal assistants are becoming the new browser and what does that mean for advertisers?
  3. AI is really the brains behind it all and how we can better use it to understand our audiences. AI is so good at being human, so of course it makes sense that it can help with these landing page-less conversions, right? From anywhere, like interactive ads, or like personal shopping.


More About Purna

Keynote Speaker. Ranked by PPC Hero in 2016 as the #1 Most Influential PPC expert in the world. Senior Training Manager at Microsoft. Columnist for Search Engine Land, Moz and The Drum. International speaker at conferences such as The Next Web and INBOUND.

Specialist in Voice Search, Future of Search, digital marketing and AI. An award-winning former journalist, Purna is an avid traveler, aspiring top chef and amateur knitter in her spare time.  Member of Vistage International- Key Executive Group – from November 2012- May 2015.

In my role as a thought leader and brand ambassador for Microsoft Advertising, I proudly represent Bing at events and conferences across the globe, while developing content and trainings on SEM/SEA, Artificial Intelligence and Conversation as a Platform for our premium partners and clients worldwide.

– The Next Web Conference 2017, Amsterdam
– SEJ Summit 2017, Chicago
– Big Digital 2017, Australia
– Retail Summit 2017 Australia
– HeroConf Los Angeles 2017
– PubCon SFIMA 2017
– SMXL Milan 2016
– State of Search 2016

Show Notes

Tacobot: https://www.tacobell.com/feed/tacobot

The Transform Blog: https://blogs.microsoft.com/transform/

Bot Framework: https://dev.botframework.com/

Microsoft AI APIs: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/cognitive-services/

Washington Post Heliograf: https://aitopics.org/tag/Heliograf


PURNA VIRJI:                         What they did was they took these people and they analyzed their history of search, searches that they had been doing and what they found, the computer was able to find these connections in data that were like, “Hey, these types of searches tend to be done and they tend to be an early indicator of cancer.” So, who knows if your first diagnosis of cancer can come, maybe not from your doctor, but from your search engine.

JD PRATER:                             Hey everyone, welcome to episode number 58 of the PPC Show, where we interview the best and brightest in paid search and paid social advertising. I’m your host, JD Prater.

My guest this week is Purna Virji, Senior Training Manager at Microsoft. She’s gonna walk us through conversions in a landing page-less world. Now this is one of the most thought provoking topics in digital marketing right now. And Purna says, “We should be paying attention and leveraging these three important trends.”

  1. Chatbots are becoming the new app and how we can use them on our websites. As Gartner is already predicting that by 2020, 85% of our relationships with a company will be managed without human communication.
  2. Digital personal assistants are becoming the new browser and what does that mean for advertisers?
  3. Last, AI. Which is really the brains behind it all and how we can better use it to understand our audiences.

Now grab a pen and paper and take some notes, as we discuss these three trends and how they’re intersecting with PPC. Enjoy the show.

PURNA VIRJI:                         Hi JD, thank you so much for having me.

JD PRATER:                             Aw man, of course. I mean, whenever Purna is going to be on the show, I put down everything. Really pretty pumped about this topic that we’re going to be talking about. Conversions in a landing page-less world.

You just got done presenting this at Digital Summit Philly, so this is pretty fresh, still in your mind. Let’s talk about it.

PURNA VIRJI:                         Let’s do that. I’m so honored to be here and share this with you.

JD PRATER:                             If we’re gonna have conversion, but it’s not going to be on landing pages. This only begs the question of, where are they gonna happen?

PURNA VIRJI:                         I know right, ’cause I think every time I bring up this topic of landing pages aren’t always going to be necessary for a conversion, I get this horrified look from everyone. It’s as if I told them that, “Hey, planes don’t need runways to land.” It’s true, it’s a fair point, we spend so much of our time sending traffic to landing pages, that it’s thought that they may not be the be-all and end-all. It’s sort of a bit interesting I guess to ponder, but then think about it now. We have new places where we can engage with the brands that we like, for example, with a chatbot, or with a personal assistant, like Cortana, or Amazon Alexa. It’s so easy for me to order something without even going to Amazon’s website, just by asking my Echo to order something for me, but that can always happen. I would say, we all need to be paying attention to chatbots, which are almost like the new app. Digital personal assistants, which are almost like the new browser and then AI that is like the brains behind it all.

JD PRATER:                             I love that breakdown. These are some of the most fascinating topics right now. Super hot, super trendy. That’s why I love this intersection of where these three in PPC meet.

You’re on the PPC Show, you know you got a bunch of PPC account managers listening, let’s start off with chatbot and PPC. Talk to me about how I can use these chatbots to get these conversions.

PURNA VIRJI:                         Well, I think the first thing that I should remind the PPC is to just why has chatbot become so popular and why are all the companies like Microsoft, Facebook and things like chat, all trying to push text messaging and chat back. It’s because of how popular they are and how accessible they are, like, JD, don’t you have somebody in your family who may not have a social media app, like they might not have a Facebook or Instagram, but they have a messaging app?

JD PRATER:                             Yeah, my dad. My dad is not on Facebook, but he will every now and then text with me.

PURNA VIRJI:                         Exactly. We all have people like that in our family, so it just makes sense that messaging is becoming so popular is because the number of users that it has. The reach is actually far more than that of a social media network. It’s also easy and a fast medium. Like if I get an email, I may, or may not open it. But if I get a text message then I usually check it within like ten minutes or so of receiving it. Usually right away. So just in those two cases, it’s got a huge lead. Then, a big example that’s actually, so many articles have been written that Facebook Messenger’s business model is modeled after what WeChat has done in China and what WeChat has done is really, really interesting and that’s where PPC experts need to pay attention. WeChat now has over 960 million monthly users and almost half of them have texted their bank, or their credit card information to the app, so that means within that same app, they can chat with their friends, they can book an appointment with their dentist, or they can buy their next Happy Meal, or pair of shoes, or whatever they want to buy.

Now, that’s got to be worth a lot of money, right? And if you think about it, according to numerous estimates, the average revenue per user, per year, is $7 in WeChat. That’s a lot of money, I mean 960 million, multiplied by $7. I’d be really happy with that.

JD PRATER:                             So would I.

PURNA VIRJI:                         I know. And people like engaging with these chat apps. Even in the west, here, where it’s in its infancy. Ovum did a study of people across the US and in Germany. They asked them how do you prefer chatting with businesses? They all preferred chat apps. 53% said that, or were talking with them via the phone. At first, I was like, “Oh my gosh, how is that possible?” But then I pose this question, JD to you, let me ask you. You have a choice of booking a restaurant for dinner tonight in San Fran, which has all the amazing restaurants and you’re trying to choose between two restaurants. One has these amazing five star reviews, but you have to book a table by calling them. The second one, has four star reviews, so good, but not as good. But you can just book your table online, through like OpenTable, or something like that. Which would you choose?

JD PRATER:                             Oh man. That’s an easy. No brainer for me, OpenTable. I absolutely hate calling businesses. I can’t even order pizza.

PURNA VIRJI:                         I know, I’m the same way. It’s like we all tend to do that, so it’s really not surprising that Gartner’s stat predicted that by 2020, 85% of our relationships with a company will be managed without human interaction. So all this unnecessary, fluffy, human interaction that we don’t like, can happen via computers and not via phone, ’cause who wants to be on hold, or listen to those awful multiple choice computer things. That’s not fun.

JD PRATER:                             85% customer relationships will be managed without humans. Where does that human, kind of talk to me about maybe where the humans will be and then talk to me about what you guys are working on over at Microsoft?

PURNA VIRJI:                         Yeah, so what the humans will be doing is their time will be freed up to do better things, so if you think about a business, let’s say a bank, or financial institution, or any company, like your cell phone provider, where people call your customer service, often are quite redundant, often they might ask the same questions that could easily be answered in an FAQ page, but again, who wants to navigate to that? But if you had a bot, like if I call my bank and I had to say, “Oh you know, what is my balance in my checking account? A. I’d have to be on hold for like three or four minutes. Then I’ll have to go through all the security answers and like give them my first born and then they’ll give me my balance. It takes a lot of time and it costs these banks a lot of money to service these calls. So it’s one thing like a chatbot that helps people answer those questions and get help that they want, much faster. It’s a win for everyone.

At Microsoft, first we were wondering like, “Are people want to engage with this technology, right? What is a way we can do that?” So in China, a few years ago, in 2014, our amazing, brilliant team in China created Xiaoice who is an AI bot that is designed to be your friend. She’s really high in IQ, but also really, really high on EQ. So JD if you told her, “Hey, I broke up with my girlfriend” she’d put you on a 32 day, breakup recovery plan.

JD PRATER:                             No way.

PURNA VIRJI:                         She’ll check in with you, she’ll empathize with you. You can vent to her, you can talk celebrity gossip with her, you can discuss Game of Thrones, like whatever you want with her, she’ll do that. ‘Cause she’s really smart and she’s designed to also have empathy, but in fact, we find that she’s been so popular, she’s got 40 million-plus active users, that one out of four, so 10 million out of those 40 million have told her that they love her-

JD PRATER:                             Oh wow!

PURNA VIRJI:                         … I know, it’s like, when was the last time you told your AI you love her right?

JD PRATER:                             That’s like the movie, Her. Yeah.

PURNA VIRJI:                         Exactly. But this is something that people are really enjoying. The conversations with her are like 26 turns. So I talk to you, you talk back to me, that’s two turns, right? With 26 turns, is the average conversation length with Xiaoice, that is just brilliant.

And it just goes to show that we’re really willing to engage with technology if it can make us forget that it’s not human. I think that’s fine, like if there was chatbot can comment and have sort of empathy and build a rapport and learn from the conversation and understand you, then it’s going to be something we wouldn’t mind engaging with and you wouldn’t miss the human touch. They think that chatbot’s brain really is convenient. Now, you live in a big city JD, do you use a tool like Lyft or Uber?

JD PRATER:                             Yeah, I do.

PURNA VIRJI:                         Why do you use that?

JD PRATER:                             Mostly like a utility, so I need to get from point A to point B and maybe I need to get there quickly, or maybe, San Francisco public transportation isn’t always the greatest, so maybe I don’t want to rely on that.

PURNA VIRJI:                         That makes sense. But why would you choose it over a taxi?

JD PRATER:                             It’s an app on my phone-

PURNA VIRJI:                         Right!

JD PRATER:                             … so it’s really easy. Yeah.

PURNA VIRJI:                         Exactly. A lot of people will try to give the reasons that it’s cheaper, it’s cleaner than a taxi, the drivers are more friendly. But you hit it on the head, it’s like A. it’s super convenient, ’cause it’s an app on my phone, I can control it, as opposed to trying to flag down a taxi, or B. and the biggest reason, is that you get in the car, you reach your destination, you get out, you’re done. You don’t have to take out your wallet and pay.

JD PRATER:                             Mm-hmm (affirmative). Correct.

PURNA VIRJI:                         That little frictional step is gone. So there’s no friction, it’s absolutely seamless and we like to do that, which is exactly what a chatbot can bring. I’ll give you an example. Say I’m looking up a website and I’m looking up some kind of software tour, do I need that software, do I need that software and it gives me just some options, but there’s not much explanation. My next step at that point would be either calling the helpline of the company, which let’s be honest, like we don’t always want to call, or B. I’ll just go to the search engine, which I’ll go to Bing and I’ll go and do a search for more information about what I want.

That’s been the way that we handle things when we want to do more research, now or if we can’t find the information that we’re looking for, we just naturally go to a search engine. The problem in a business scenario like that is that A. it’s an interruptive experience. I’ve got to stop what I’m doing in one place and then go somewhere else to try to find what I need.

But imagine now, if I just had a chatbot. I’m already in place that I am. I’m familiar with how it works and then if I’m looking for more information, let’s say I’m looking for furniture for my house and I’m saying, “Yeah, let me see sofas or loveseats.” The company will ask you, “Okay, what are you looking for?” “Looking for sofas.” So it will ask you, “Okay, what kind of sofa do you want? Do you want a tufted sofa, do you want a loveseat?” Like a normal person, I have no idea what a tufted sofa is, but rather than stopping what I’m doing, I can just ask the chatbot directly, “Hey, what is a tufted sofa?” And it will look for the answer for me and give it to me right then and say, “Hey a tufted sofa is also known as a Chesterfield, here are some photographs of it. Now, did I answer your question? What would you like to do next? Do you want more information, or do you want me to connect you with one of our experts?”

It’s very smooth. It’s all in one place. I don’t have to risk going through a search engine and doing a search then, this can use the power of search, but just embed it in a platform that’s easy for us to use.

The other advantage that chatbot can bring is that they can learn from the conversation. Say for example, if I used a chatbot in the past, the main goal for it to build a rapport and be more helpful with me, is if it learns my behavior. It’s the same way that search that are getting more personalized in a way, right? ‘Cause it knows what you look for, it knows what you’re gonna find, but here, if I ask it, if you and I were talking JD, “Well like Purna go to dinner in Philly.” I’d be like, “Hey chatbot, restaurant chatbot, where should I go?” It will recommend like, “Hey, about this Contessa restaurant? You went there three weeks ago and you posted a positive review in Yelp.” It already knew what I do and where I’ve gone. So again, it’s really helpful.

JD PRATER:                             Yeah. It’s like scary helpful. I love seeing it play out and it’s something that we’re actually experimenting with ourselves here at AdStage is a chatbot on our own website. Just trying to understand how that works and so, it’s actually kind of cool whenever you’re bringing in your traffic, right? You’re bringing in, maybe I’m on my Bing ads, driving traffic to AdStage and then having a chatbot that’s ready to help answer those questions that you may have. I’ve actually been on it for maybe like a month and we’ve seen really great results from it. Anecdotally 100% agree with everything that you’re saying. I love the idea of it learning. I love the idea of the right types of questions at the right time. This is all just like extremely fascinating, especially when you think about people coming to your website and looking for answers and finding those answers in a way, like a needed experience for them.

PURNA VIRJI:                         1-800FLOWERS, they said that two months after launching their new chatbot on Facebook, 70% of their orders came from brand new customers. It was able actually reach a younger demographic that they couldn’t have otherwise. Or before I boast that once they launched their chatbot, once they had more interaction with it, they went on to average like ten interactions a day. That’s phenomenal engagement and chatbots can make that happen.

So as PPC, let’s think about how can we use this, because if, A. If it’s a nice medium people, as you’ve seen JD, from your chatbot, you can engage people like on a one-on-one basis, but add scale right? To scale the one-on-one. You can run ads. If I’m running Facebook ads for example, why should I always send people back to my landing page? I can also have closer action, be like, “Hey, message us for 20% off” and send people to our Facebook messenger bot, or to any of the messenger bots that you may have. It’s a good way of A. promoting your bot and B. getting people to engage with it so that they can have the higher quality interaction once we’ve proven it to work.

It’s the same way with your PPC that you can have your destination euro go to your bot, or something that we are looking to pilot in coming months, the pilots aren’t open yet at Bing, but I’ll give you the sneak preview-

JD PRATER:                             Oh, oh. Here it is.

PURNA VIRJI:                         It’s a chatbot annotation that we’re looking at coming out with, I think in the early stages right now, it will work if you go to your chatbot through Microsoft Bot Framework, but it will just be an annotation as part of the ad and if you click on it to engage with the bot, there will be no charge for that click initially at least. This is the early things that I’m hearing about now. We’ll wait and see how it goes.

Bots, I think are only proving themselves to be so helpful to so many different companies. Hey, do you guys use Slack?

JD PRATER:                             We use Slack, we do.

PURNA VIRJI:                         Have you played with the Taco Bell bot?

JD PRATER:                             No, I haven’t.

PURNA VIRJI:                         So they have Tacobot and I read, I think on the Drum that Tacobot on Slack has taken in 10 million dollars worth of orders for tacos. I’m like, that is amazing. And just how successful and how people are hungry for good, well for fast Mexican food.

JD PRATER:                             That’s something that we built up, so just last month, we built out our Slackbot, so within AdStage, if you’re a customer, you can type into Slack, “What was my ads since the last 30 days” and it will pull it out your spent by channel. It’s actually really kind of cool. You can say, “Ads” you can say, “Show me this” all the way down and it even has some access of enable and pause, so you can say, “Show me ads that had PPA above $100.” You could actually pause it within Slack, it’s something that we were betting on in the future as well.

PURNA VIRJI:                         Oh my God, that’s amazing. That sounds super helpful. You’re way ahead of the curve at AdStage. I am applauding you from here.

JD PRATER:                             That’s lovely. We’re slowly getting there.

PURNA VIRJI:                         Wow, I have to check it out. So at Microsoft, we really found that if you want to make your chatbot a success, it should follow like three easy steps. A. it should be able to solve the user’s problem in minimum steps, which for example, your AdStage chatbot, people can just ask it questions and find information. So already that’s minimum steps. Is it easier than the alternative? Which, the alternative could be like looking it up yourself on the website, that sounds as it is. Is it intuitive? Do people automatically know what to do when they’re interacting with the chatbot and if you do these three things and then that’s already helping you get more share of voice and have a reasonable investor score people who want to play with your chatbot, interact with it, versus the other options. So, good going.

JD PRATER:                             Aw man. This is so shiny, I love, I just love the chatbot, I love this entire conversation. Let’s keep it going. You knocked out the chatbots, we got a really great checklist, so again, minimum steps, is it an easier for me alternative and is it intuitive? So now, I’m really excited about digital personal assistants as well.

I was just watching this new Netflix show, Ozark and there’s this one scene where the guy comes in, Jason Bateman is kind of the main character. He’s like, “You shouldn’t be messing with this money.” I’m not trying to give any spoilers, but he’s like, “You need to make sure you give me that money back, because it’s not my money. It’s actually like this kingpin drug lord guy’s money, so if you steal it, he’s just gonna come for you and kill you.” Everyone was there and there was this one 13 year old kid and he’s like, “Well, who is it?” He tells him the name of the drug lord and the kid does a voice search and I just thought it was like, oh man, perfect, this is how we’re moving. Everyone else was just like, “I’ve never heard of him” and he just does the voice search and it pulls up the search result and the kid was the one who tells these guys who this person is and they all freak out. But anyway, digital personal assistants.

PURNA VIRJI:                         Oh my God, that is awesome.

JD PRATER:                             Yeah, yeah. It’s kind of cool.

PURNA VIRJI:                         I know. That’s really cool, I have to check out that show. I have not watched it. I’m always looking for recommendations. The sad thing, every time I talk about any of the futuristic stuff that I’m obsessed with, everyone is like, “Oh my gosh Purna, this sounds just like Black Mirror.” I’m like, “No!” I haven’t watched that either. Maybe I just should so I can reference it.

Personal assistants are making such a land-grab in our lives and it just makes sense, like who wouldn’t want to be able to, do your Christmas shopping, while doing the dishes and get multitask to the best ability. Even things like voice, have to be proactive at times where mentally you can be active, but you can’t physically. So for example, when you’re driving, you shouldn’t be typing, but you can actively plan and do things like that, so you would want to use voice while driving, or in the shower, where you can’t be typing. So it’s actually opening up this whole other time in your life to start solving way more searches.

In terms of personal assistants, we should pay attention in terms of skill. Chatbots are the ones that you can type on, the skill is like the vocal interaction that you can train. A skill is literally what it sounds like; you train a personal assistant, like Cortana or Siri, or Alexa to be able to interact with your brand via the skills that you teach it.

We should be paying attention to this, like businesses definitely need a bot and also maybe a skill because of how many digital personal assistants there will be in use.

According to Juniper Research, their research is very good; there will be five billion digital personal assistants in use by 2021. That’s not very far away at all.

JD PRATER:                             No. Not at all.

PURNA VIRJI:                         Again, out of these four billion, of that five billion are going to be mobile-based and that makes sense ’cause the mobile phones will be with us everywhere we go. A lot of people are like, “Well you know, voice search, we use it now, but how do we get to the point of like using the personal assistant to be normally part of our lives?” It’s one, language accuracy reaches 99% or higher, because again, it’s all down to removing the friction in your life, it’s now, I don’t understand you. There’s less frustration with the back and forth is gone. It gotten so much better over the years. Have you noticed that JD?

JD PRATER:                             Yeah, I would definitely agree with, it’s so much better. I don’t use it as much as other people do, but I definitely love the personal assistants for some activities like you were talking about, texting. Like I love, “Text Meg.” And I can say, “Dat, dat, dat, dat dah, meet me here at this time” like if I’m driving or I don’t want to take time to actually type something out, so that’s where I use it a lot, or I’ll use it a lot for restaurants, or like, “Where am I?” Just moving to San Francisco, “I don’t know where I am.”

PURNA VIRJI:                         I would be so lost there. No, no, no, I get that and it’s gotten so much easier because they understand us more. Microsoft just a few days ago announced that we’ve reached our lowest error rate ever, at 5.1%, so we’ve exceeded human comprehension and Google is around the same as us. If we could be, we’re not that far off, so we’re at what, 94.9% accuracy. We’re not that far from 99%. The more information we give it, the more we use it, the better it will get.

We’ll talk to it, we’ll talk to it, but why do they not use landing pages? To give us something as simple as, repeat that. I have some of the really, really funny commercials where it shows the kid trying to be a magician and take the table cloth from underneath the big Thanksgiving dinner that’s laid out and then in trying to do the trick where you slip out the table cloth from under the food, he destroys the entire table of food and it all falls on the ground. The people are like, harass mother, is like, “Alexa Dominos, easy order” and what’s less than five seconds, she was able to still have dinner for her family ordered, but not the feast that she was hoping for, but it’s so simple.

JD PRATER:                             Great example.

PURNA VIRJI:                         Even booking travel, we see amazing things like skyscanner, or Kayak where you can ask it things, like, “Hey skyscanner, where can I go for $300?” Or, “What do you recommend me some hotels in Barcelona” and you can have a back and forth conversation with it. It’s amazing.

But for PPC people, I think what we should, why we need to be paying attention to these personal assistants is because of what they know. Now if you advertise on Facebook, or we do things like similar audiences, or customer audiences, we really like that because it gives us preferences and likes and dislikes and behavioral things, but some things that a personal assistant knows that none of these other ones can know is contact. So they know that A. not only do I really like Chinese food and I always order from this one restaurant, but I’m working usually days and chances are, I’m hungry, because we always eat dinner at 7:30 p.m. so maybe it’s a good time to ask me if I want to eat Chinese food and maybe the Chinese restaurant wants to send me a coupon for free egg rolls. That could be so fantastic, or because it knows where we are and even in situational awareness, it knows where I am location-wise due to the phone.

Say I’m driving to work and I’m like, “Hey Cortana, what’s my day like?” It would be like, “Well, you’ve got a really busy day today. You’ve got a meeting with your boss at 1:00 p.m. but hey, it’s JD’s birthday today.” I’m like, “Oh, gee, that’s awesome!” I know you love donuts; I can ask it, “Hey is there a donut store on my way to work?” Cortana can check around me. She knows where work is, she knows where I’m driving. She’ll say, “Sure, Krispy Kreme is on your way to work.” Then I can say, “Great, order me a dozen donuts.” She can talk to the Krispy Kreme bot and be like, “Krispy Kreme, have a dozen donuts ready for Purna in eight minutes. She’ll get there in eight minutes.”

JD PRATER:                             Wow.

PURNA VIRJI:                         It’s so cool. I mean, okay, some of this is still being worked on, but this is something that could be a reality. It’s so convenient.

JD PRATER:                             Wow. Yeah. How far do you think we are away from that? With that situation right there, you’re driving, some of that’s there now, right?

PURNA VIRJI:                         Yeah.

JD PRATER:                             How feasible and how far away do you think?

PURNA VIRJI:                         I would never guess timeframes, ’cause you never know in technology.

JD PRATER:                             Yeah, that’s true.

PURNA VIRJI:                         But it seems, to your question of what do we have? Well, hey, at CES at the start of this year, Microsoft already announced that we’re partnering with Nissan and BMW to put in Cortana technology in there, so Cortana in the car, yes. She’s on your phone app, which also knows where you are. We have all of these amazing projects that are in development in Azure. One of them literally is knowing where you are and knowing what’s all along the way. So again, I would say that we’re close. Like how close in terms of timeline, I think that’s something we can never, never be correct with.

JD PRATER:                             Yeah, I know. That’s always tough, especially here, Silicon Valley, up in Seattle, where Microsoft is based too, it’s like, things move so fast, I could say, “Yeah, we’ll have this ready” and it’s like, “Nope, it’s already ahead of the game.” It’s always a guessing game, so yes, fair, fair, fair response. I set you up there, but-

PURNA VIRJI:                         Oh no. Good ask.

JD PRATER:                             … I’ll let you get back into it.

PURNA VIRJI:                         It doesn’t stop us from asking that to engineering as well and they’re always like, “Soon” and I come to realize that soon, the search engine could be like next week, or like six months, or one year from now. Soon is very relative to speak too soon.

JD PRATER:                             Very true, very true. Cool. Let’s keep going. Let’s talk about personal assistants; again you’ve talked a lot about voice over the last couple of years. I’ve seen you present a couple of times and I’m always just like blown away whenever you talk about voice search and everything, but let’s kind of jump into personal assistants and voice becoming something for like simple informational types of tasks.

PURNA VIRJI:                         So they really are and at Microsoft, our data sciences team did a survey of about 2002 customers, people all over America and they tried to asked them just for their habits in using voice and all of that. Very unsurprisingly, what they found was most people tend to use voice for like very quick one-sided paths, like, “Hey give me this stock” “Start the music” “Tell me the weather” “Do this.” It’s very quick one-sided things. What we are seeing is that as these accuracy rates are getting better and people are adopting it more and getting comfortable with it, we have seen that complex starts, tasks that involve back and forth like ordering food, or making personal appointments, or finding like things to do in an area, like “Hey, I’m in Seattle today, what should I be doing?” You can have back and forth discussions. That’s on the rise and it’s getting increasingly more and more adopted.

Kayak was actually one of the big pioneers in it. I remember Greg Sterling had reported this on Marketing Land where he talks about the Kayak skill on Alexa, where you could literally ask it questions like, “Hey, where can I go for $300 Kayak?” Or, “How much are these flights?” It was so fascinating and again the skills that are being brought for Cortana today are so amazing and you can have these conversations, like “Hey, XYZ travel company, I need to book a hotel” and it can be, “Well last time, when you were in this city, you stayed at this hotel. Do you want me to book the same one?” “Sure, let’s do that.” “Shall I use XYZ credit card on file?” “Yes, please.” So things like booking a hotel, or accomplishing tasks, with some of Cortana’s skills from the different companies, are mind-blowing.

JD PRATER:                             That’s so fascinating. I get it. It’s something that I would actually type, right? So I guess, man, I’m just blown away by all this. I’m kind of speechless. I am without speech. It’s so fascinating to me. It’s so good man.

What can we do to start prepping for all these assistants?

PURNA VIRJI:                         Well, I always say that if you created a bot in the Microsoft Bot Framework, it’s really simple to turn that bot into a skill, so that way you can talk to it via Cortana. All it is, is just adding on the said language understanding to it and there’s a whole amazing guide to doing that on the Microsoft Bot Framework website. I was looking and I’m like, “No it can’t be that easy, like, no way.” And then I read it again and I’m like, “No, Purna, you’re re-reading it. You have to re-read it, it’s not true.” I’m like, “Oh, I guess this is so easy to take an existing bot.” I love that they’re making it so simple to engage your audiences in all these different ways.

But a big thing we think about, if I had to give you a checklist for a skill, for conversions, would be try to be as much like a human assistant. If you’re building a skill for Cortana, for example, try to anticipate what questions people ask. So with AdStage, maybe some days of the research phase be like, “What’s the difference between AdStage versus your competitor?” Or, “How much do you charge?” A what sort of questions people ask and have different kinds of info available so you can try to make the conversation as seamless as possible and that way, try to compare different pricing plans, for what AdStage has to offer like, “Why do I need this, versus that?” All of it can be easily done in a discussion and so it’s super easy for people.

The other thing, actually it’s a big thing that I always want to encourage people, because I’ve had chats with so many different PPC people and everyone is like, “Oh my gosh, what if there’s going to be no screens. What do we do? How do we serve ads?” I’m like, “Hang on a second, that’s not completely true.” According to research by Gartner, only 20% of web browsing by 2020 is going to be screen-less. So that means 70% of the bulk of it will still have a screen element to it. Even Amazon Echo has a show. Cortana on the desktop, or on the phone will have a screen. Your Google Assistant, same thing, they all have screens. So if you had to think about something like that, if I was talking to AdStage, I’d be like, “Hey, AdStage skill, I want to learn a little bit more about some of the reports you can help us pull.” Cortana can be like, “Sure, I’ve run it up on the screen, or why don’t I email you this information?”

So you should think about these hybrid interactions too. Whatever is best for the user, is what you can do with your skill. It’s super easy.

Now, none of this will be possible without of course, artificial intelligence. All of this intelligence technology has been helping us be so much more productive and helps cut out all of those little mundane things in our lives.

Now JD, I know both of us have this in common, we’re both ex-agency.

JD PRATER:                             That’s right.

PURNA VIRJI:                         But remember the end of the month, when it was like, reporting time? I would want to tear my hair out. I’m like, “No, not again. How did it come along so quickly?” But now, think about it, some of these reporting tools are made much easier. For example, with Microsoft Power BI, I can literally talk to it and be like, “Can you pull this report?” Or, “Can you pull this graph?” And it can make it happen. I know Google has something similar as well. It’s so much easier now and all of that is thanks to this kind of artificial intelligence and machine learning that is making us more and more productive. That’s where it shines and PPC people are always asking, “Well, what does it mean for us?” And where I think AI is going to shine for us, most practically is going to be in helping us reach our audiences better. We’re going to be able to much better understand our audiences and target and segments, and sort that out at the right time because of the intelligence that can be put together, and the different connections that AI can find that we can’t.

Here, for example. There was an amazing article that came out last year about how our artificial intelligence could find connections in data that humans couldn’t find. When they took a group of people who were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the UK and pancreatic cancer is really, really hard to diagnose and once you get a diagnosis, you’re a little bit further along, it’s a further stage than you can be. So what they tried to do was see if there were any clues that they could find before. What they did was they took these people and they analyzed their history of search, searches that they had been doing and what they found, the computer was able to find these connections in data that were like, “Hey, these types of searches tend to be done and they tend to be an early indicator of cancer.” So, who knows if your first diagnosis of cancer can come, maybe not from your doctor, but from your search engine.

JD PRATER:                             Oh wow.

PURNA VIRJI:                         That is phenomenal and that’s the power. So if you think about taking that kind of brain power and putting it towards finding your audience and understanding their behavior and the right time and right place to serve them, that’s where I see us growing.

I mean, already things like custom audiences and similar audiences, all of that, is relying on, lots of machine learning to help serve us better.

So that’s the first way. We can also help in all of these automated bidding platforms. Once again, another perfect example of machine learning in action, right? We’ve had AI probably before any of the other disciplines did and we’ve embraced it. I think that’s always a good thing.

These AI skills help put in more power behind your chatbot, or more power behind your skill in terms of searching for things of the different capabilities that can be added.

JD PRATER:                             I liked what you were saying there about, kind of picking up on these fact-based types of searches in being a diagnosis. Do you think it will be able to write my reports for me?

PURNA VIRJI:                         I wish. That would be fantastic; I’m like, “Please write my report.” “Please can you do my homework for me? That would be really good.” Oh I hope it writes my next blog for me. That would be so nice.

JD PRATER:                             Aw man, that would be really great.

PURNA VIRJI:                         I was reading in the news the other day, AI wrote this song. One of these artists, I think it was in all the different news shows. You could listen to the song and she had AI compose it for her, which it was like a really catchy, interesting song to listen to. I’m quite impressed.

One of my favorite examples, actually there’s a couple of ones, the Washington Post starting using an article writing bot called Heliograf, for fact-based articles. So think of last year’s election results, that’s pretty fact-based, right? This many votes, this person won in this region. So it used Heliograf to write some of these articles about that. So that’s kind of crazy to think about it. Like the Washington Post, a pretty well known publication.

JD PRATER:                             That’s great! It’s like perfect. It’s exactly what I need for my PPC report. I have a lot of facts in there. If it can write 80% of that, I’ll be psyched.

PURNA VIRJI:                         Exactly, I’m sure it will be such a nice wish-list item. It could do it, or something else that AI did at Microsoft, is one of my favorite stories. It’s especially interesting if you are an arts fan, or you like Rembrandt for example. This is called, the Next Rembrandt. Microsoft Research Teams, they had the AI study all the different works of Rembrandt, including his use of lighting and subject, the clothes that the subject wore and after studying all of his work, it was tasked with creating its own brand new paintings. It did. The AI came up with its own painting that if you looked at it, you would not believe that it wasn’t done by Rembrandt. The coolest part to me about that was, now if you look at the painting in real life, you see that there’s a 3-D effect of paint on canvas. This AI, they printed it out in such a way that they layered on the ink in such a way to replicate that 3-D effect of paint on canvas. Mind blown absolutely by that. So fascinating.

JD PRATER:                             Yeah, I’ll definitely make sure to include that in the show notes. I’m looking at this photo right now and it’s astonishing. Wow. I can’t believe AI painted that. That’s really impressive.

PURNA VIRJI:                         I know, it’s so brilliant. AI is so good at being human, so of course it makes sense that it can help with these landing page-less conversions, right? From anywhere, like interactive ads, or like personal shopping. Like you’ve seen Northface, they have it with IBM’s Watson where you can go in and say, “Hey, this is the place I’m going. It’s going to be this temperature, recommend me some clothes” and it will, so it’s super, super smart. Or things like predictive analytics that can sort of predict the best time that you could serve a remarketing ad for example. You could be like, “Hey, people who buy this face cream will tend to use it up on average within the next four months, so your best remarketing ads can start like four months later.” There are lots of fascinating things you can do with it.

So if I had to give any business any advice, I’m like, “Hey, if you’re a business, try to plan to build a bot for yourself, or try to build a skill and leverage it across different channels and then as you’re PPC marketers, try to include that in your commercial strategy.” Really, whether you’re using the Bing chatbot, annotations is gonna come out in future, or if you’re using it as a destination, year round, send it to your bot, don’t send it to your landing page. See how you can make it work. And then look at how you can leverage all the different data from those one-to-one conversations you have and get it to work out and the best thing is, you can get everyone onboard at the company, so you get a lot more buy-in. You’ll have to get some IT involved, you’ll have to get marketing PR, all of it can come together and you can be the glue that is holding everything together and show people, we are more powerful than one thinks we are.

JD PRATER:                             Wow. Good stuff. Good stuff. Well, I can’t let you go without answering some rapid-fire questions. I’ve got a couple here for ya. You’ve got about 60 seconds to answer each one. You ready to go?

PURNA VIRJI:                         Oh, oh. No, but yes.

JD PRATER:                             You can do it. I know that you’re quick on your feet, so I have all faith in you. So first one. First one is, blogs. So you are finally, you’re not traveling, you’re not speaking at one of the hundreds of conferences that you present at, it seems like every day, but you actually have no meetings planned for the afternoon, you’ve got some time off. What are some blogs that you turn to, to keep up with the industry to stay on top of the PPC, skills and market and what’s happening?

PURNA VIRJI:                         I’m so nerdy. I read a lot. I think that’s the only way to keep up, ’cause there’s so much information, my favorite blogs are of course, I look at PPC Hero, I look at the Search Engine Land, I get a write-up email at the end of the day from Barry Schwartz, that makes it easier. I also look at Mauve quite often and I also try to read a publication like Digiday, or TechCrunch, because they have some really good stuff about the future, or The Drum, of course is one of my favorites. I also love our Microsoft, our Bing blog, or also the overall Microsoft blog called Transform, that is one of my favorite things to read, ’cause I’m always so inspired.

For example, there’s something on there about how they used visual recognition to help a father find his lost son who was lost for so many years. He was a special needs child and he was lost in a crowd. The father spent years and years looking for him and then using this kind of visual recognition software and also, the AI was smart enough to know how the boy would look as he aged, so all these years later, they predicted accurately what he looked like as he aged. They helped find him and reunited them. I was like bawling. I read this story that was so beautiful.

JD PRATER:                             Oh my gosh. Yeah. You got to send me that link so I can include that in the show notes as well. That’s awesome.

All right, next question. You’re gonna be hiring someone for, let’s say, to join you on your team and you’re looking for some PPC skills specifically. What are some skills that you look for in like a PPC person?

PURNA VIRJI:                         I think the most important one is his desire to learn. If people come up and want to rest on the path floor or anything, that’s not gonna cut it, ’cause even if they were like, “Oh, I’ve been doing this for XYZ, a dozen million years.” Yes, that’s a great thing, but you also know that it changes so much, so what you may have done five years ago, may not always count. So a desire for somebody to be like, “I read this, I’ve read this book, this is what I follow, here’s how I’m testing. So curiosity and willingness to learn is one of my number one metrics, ’cause then, you can teach them anything. So maybe they don’t know, XYZ, but they know just one part of that, they’ll learn. The other one is creativity as well. Can you think of different solutions? Do you have that grit and don’t give up, because so often we face so many setbacks in what we do, so I would say, if you’ve got these three, then I think that I can teach you anything under the sun and you will be fantastic, but curiosity, creativity and grit, you’ll do really, really well.

JD PRATER:                             I like that. Way to go. That’s a good answer. All right, next question is always one of my favorites, tomorrow, Microsoft shuts its doors. We know that’s not going to happen, but let’s just pretend that it might happen. What would be a fallback job for you?

PURNA VIRJI:                         Well, I could do one of two things. If I wanted to go down the nefarious path, I could be an illegal fake art dealer with all these fake Rembrandts that we can create JD. No, I’m only kidding, I’m only kidding.

My husband jokes that I have a grandma mode that I go into on weekends, where I like to garden and knit, I make jams, I would probably open up my own gourmet jam store. Weird right? But I love it.

JD PRATER:                             Follow-up question. Favorite jam that you like to, actually, I’m gonna say, favorite jam you like to eat?

PURNA VIRJI:                         Oh, strawberry rhubarb, or raspberry. It’s a tie. No, apricot. Oh, too many. They’re all delicious.

JD PRATER:                             I’m a blueberry, or like a blackberry fan.

PURNA VIRJI:                         Oh, I have not tried blueberry jam. I should give that a shot. Maybe I’ll make you some for Christmas JD.

JD PRATER:                             Let’s do it. Let’s do it. You will be out here in December, so I’m still holding you to it.

PURNA VIRJI:                         Exactly. For the holidays, that will be my gift.

JD PRATER:                             All right. Last question for you. Coming from agency, now you’re in-house. Give me some pros and cons of agency versus in-house life?

PURNA VIRJI:                         Oh my gosh, so I’ve been both before, that was even before Microsoft, now in Publisher, so it’s kind of just distant as well, ’cause now I’m on a different site. But I would say, pros and cons, in-house you get so much depth. You get to look deep inside. You can see how PPC is impacted all different other channels. Learn how the business works. You get all that fantastic business understanding. With agency, you get to win. I guess from learning across multiple different clients. But I may have less control of whether those recommendations are carried out or not, but the trends that you can spot, the type of learning that you get across different clients, that’s just so invaluable from an agency side and you learn like, people skills, a lot. You get to talk to different clients and keep everyone happy.

JD PRATER:                             Love it. And that is it. Purna, you made it through an entire episode of the PPC Show. It was so delightful to have you on and to discuss the future of PPC and what that looks like for chatbot digital assistants, and AI. It’s a lot different than our other shows, but you were definitely the person to come on and talk about it.

PURNA VIRJI:                         Aw, thank you. This was so much fun. I’m sad that our time is up. Thank you so much JD, chatting with you is always such a pleasure.

JD PRATER:                             Same to you. Well until I see you next time, which will be in December, I hope and wish you the best of luck.

PURNA VIRJI:                         Thank you so much.

[The PPC Show] This Week In Ad Tech Headlines for Sept 5-8th

Posted by on Sep 8, 2017 in The PPC Show [Podcast]
[The PPC Show] This Week In Ad Tech Headlines for Sept 5-8th

This week on The PPC Show, Paul and JD break down the top 8 headlines and trends in ad tech and digital marketing.



Show Notes

LinkedIn Launches Audience Network To Serve Sponsored Content

LinkedIn launched the LinkedIn Audience Network, a platform enabling advertisers to serve sponsored content on sites and apps beyond its own feed.

6,000 LinkedIn advertisers have participated in our Audience Network beta program. On average, these advertisers have seen a 3-13% increase in unique impressions served, and up to an 80% increase in unique clicks.
For additional control, upload a block list of up to 20,000 URLS to prevent your ads from serving on specific publishers or entire IAB categories of apps and websites. Learn more about block lists.

IAB categories are way more detailed than FB and Google. (And Snapchat from two weeks ago.)

New AdWords Metric Shows How Often Your Shopping Ad Is In The Top Spot

help you get a head start identifying product data gaps and measuring your competitiveness in Shopping campaigns, we’re rolling out product status reporting and absolute top impression share.
Google recently launched Absolute Top Impression Share (ATIS) as a competitive metric for Shopping to give advertisers further insight into ad prominence within the product carousel. Advertisers will be able to see how often ads are showing in the most prominent position with the greatest potential for clicks and visibility. The ATIS metric can be found in AdWords Next and viewed for Shopping ads and Local Inventory Ads, across devices, and at the campaign, ad group and product group levels.

Bing Ads New Remarketing Bid Adjustment Opportunity

Using historical ad performance data, the remarketing bid adjustment opportunity will provide you with curated suggestions on how to adjust your bids to show your ads to the target audiences that are most important to you.
In an effort to help advertisers, Bing Ads will help set effective bidding strategies through remarketing bid adjustment suggestions in the Opportunity tab.

Bid adjustment suggestions will be based on historical ad performance data. Bing Ads will use this data to provide curated suggestions on how to adjust bids in order to get your ads in front of the audiences that are most important to you.

WhatsApp Announces Free Business App, Will Charge Big Enterprises

WhatsApp, Facebook owned, is gearing up to finally monetize its messaging app by charging large enterprise businesses for tools to better communicate with customers.

WhatsApp has tripled in size under relatively hands-off management by Facebook.

Instagram starts testing Facebook’s app-like Canvas ads within Stories feed

Facebook is bringing its most creative ad format to its most creative app. “We are beginning to test an integration of Canvas with ads in Instagram Stories. Since the launch of ads in stories, we’ve been focused on delivering business value to advertisers and Canvas offers a seamless extension of the full screen immersive experience, helping marketers tell compelling brand and product stories,” said an Instagram spokesperson in an emailed statement.

The test is limited to certain brands buying ads through Instagram’s API, but an eventual official extension of Canvas to Instagram should be something of a no-brainer. In April, Facebook plugged Canvas into its Marketing API

YouTube Users on iOS Can Now Live Stream Their Screens

Google has updated its YouTube app for iOS with the ability to live stream iPhone or iPad screens. Only verified YouTube users with no live streaming restrictions will be able to take advantage of this feature. Live streaming content on their screen, YouTube users can also use the device’s microphone and front-facing camera to add their own commentary.

Twitter is just randomly deleting people’s lists – and no one knows why

Twitter has silently, and without warning, deleted reams of lists users have spent months curating. These lists are used by journalists, activists, and loads of other people, to organize and manage twits they follow and aggregate their tweets, links, photos, and videos.

Google Data Studio adds third-party data connectors

Google Data Studio, Google’s free tool for creating visual reporting dashboards, natively connects to other Google products such as AdWords, Analytics and Google Sheets. But importing data from other sources using Google Sheets is not always an elegant or comprehensive solution. On Wednesday, Google introduced a beta for third-party connectors.

[The PPC Show] This Week In Ad Tech Headlines for Aug 28-Sept 1st

Posted by on Sep 1, 2017 in The PPC Show [Podcast]
[The PPC Show] This Week In Ad Tech Headlines for Aug 28-Sept 1st

This week on The PPC Show, Margo and JD break down the top six headlines and trends in ad tech and digital marketing.


Show Notes

1) Facebook Blocking Ads from Pages that Repeatedly Share False News

If a Page repeatedly shares stories that have been marked as false by third-party fact-checkers, they will no longer be able to buy ads on Facebook.

2) AdWords Announces Major Update to Ad Rotation Settings

That’s why, starting in late September, Google is simplifying ad rotation to two settings: “optimize” and “rotate indefinitely.”

3) Amazon Grows its Programmatic Ad Business

Agency execs say Amazon is opening up and evolving self-service for Amazon Media Group, its advertising arm that works similarly to programmatic advertising to serve ads to people off Amazon.com.

4) New Study Finds Facebook Page Reach Has Declined 20% in 2017

BuzzSumo analyzed more than 880 million Facebook posts from publisher and brand Pages over the past year, noting a clear decline in engagements since early 2017.

5) AdWords Introduces Ad Suggestions (Beta) to Improve Performance

To help improve performance, a combination of human review and machine learning is used to create high-quality ad suggestions. Relevant content from your account will be used to create ad suggestions include your existing ads, extensions, and landing page.

6) Marketo Forms a New Alliance with Google Cloud

Marketo, a leading marketing automation provider, recently announced their new alliance with Google Cloud. Starting in 2018 both companies will join forces to migrate Marketo’s platform from their own data centers to the Google Cloud Platform.