When Does PPC Marketing Fail?

This month our marketing agency focuses on common blunders and failures in the marketing industry – and how you can avoid these by implementing proper marketing strategy.

Our approach to addressing common marketing failures is implementing Clarity, Consistency and Connectedness within all of our client accounts. The benefit of this approach is that it can be used in everything from marketing strategy and copywriting, to PPC campaigns.

When Does PPC Marketing Fail?

When you visit the doctor’s office, you don’t expect to receive proper medication until the doctor has heard and understood what your symptoms and underlying issues are. For the same reason – your PPC marketing campaign needs to receive the same level of diagnosis.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way. You already know what the symptoms of a poor PPC campaign are – a lack of leads being generated and too much money being spent generating too few leads.

These symptoms hide three underlying common issues:

  1. Your ads are not targeting the right market
  2. Your ads are not driving your market to take action
  3. Your ads are bogged down by “poor performers”

That’s it. There aren’t any other reason why your PPC campaign shouldn’t work if you’re targeting the right people and driving them to take action in an efficient manner.

There are lots of ways to optimize PPC marketing, but the best ways to optimize will directly address the core issue(s) that your account is suffering from the most.

In this article, we’ve broken down our insights into 3 categories to help you identify the action items that will generate the most value for your business:

Poor Targeting

ISSUE: “Your ads are not targeting the right market”

Advise – Use “Common Sense”

We hope we’re not offending anyone with this tip! 

The truth of the matter is that marketers can often get bogged down with technical details and fail to step back and think about the most easy, effective methods of connecting with your audience.

If your ads are not targeting the right market, the answer is to question your existing parameters. Here’s a “cheat sheet” to help guide you through the necessary questions:

  • Geographic – are you targeting the right geographic areas?
  • Demographic – are you targeting the right age group, gender or nationality? Have you tested these demographics at all?
  • Psychographic – are you using the right marketing platform to capture an audience whose lifestyle that resonates with your product?
  • Behavioural – are you aware of your audiences’ purchase behaviours? Based on the above 3 parameters, do you know if your audience would prefer body wash or soap bars? Would they purchase using a phone or would they prefer to call?

The point of this section isn’t to provide a comprehensive guide to help you identify every targeting parameter that needs to be reviewed. In fact, it’s the opposite – we want you to take a step back and look at what you already have. Can you simplify it?

Are you thinking too hard? Perhaps, are you putting in parameters that don’t make sense for the sake of making your campaign more “sophisticated”? Don’t!

Make sure your ad targeting metrics make sense, so you can focus on what really matters – connecting with your audience using tips in the next section.

Poor Copy

ISSUE: “Your ads are not driving your market to take action”

Advice – Know Your Market

We’ve mentioned before that strategic PPC marketing requires an empathetic approach.

In our previous PPC articles we’ve described “listen first, talk later” as a high-priority task in understanding your market. We’ve also discussed ways of incorporating empathetic copy into your ads by mirroring the language of your target market.

Here, we’re going a step further to describe a more strategic approach to the same concept.

What is the purpose of your copy?

You can be as empathetic as you want in your marketing copy, but at the end of the day you want your visitors to commit to an action. Thus, your empathetic copy must also be strategic in its goals.

What are those goals, you ask? Here they are:

  • Provide Information → Are you launching a branding campaign about a completely new product? Maybe you’re not at the “Selling stage” but rather creating the Awareness stage of the customer buying circle

Here, you want to be very straightforward in the benefits of the information you provide, as well as concise with the value of the information. (e.g. “here’s how you can remove stains from your wooden table in 30 seconds or less”)

  • Provide Navigation – Having physical presence can be an advantage to many services and products. Be sure to include a map function, or “directions” button on your landing page to ensure your customers can easily access the next stage of their purchase cycle.
  • Provide Commercial Value – Here, you want to highlight the benefits of your product, compare and contrast the differences between products in your industry, or raise marketing awareness about the specific strengths of your product. 
  • Provide Transactional Value – At the end stage of your customer funnel, you want to ensure that customers who are already aware of your brand take the next step to purchase. To do this, you have to remove barriers to entry and implement a value-add in the form of a tangible benefit (e.g. additional throw-in), discount (e.g. free shipping) or something of interest to your target market.

All of the above perspectives allow you to speak with your customers not only with an empathetic mindset, but a strategic one as you marry your marketing goals with customer understanding.

The last step to fixing a failed marketing campaign is to ensure that the efforts you’ve already placed in proper strategy, are being respected with proper optimization.

Poor Optimization

ISSUE: “Your ads are bogged down by “poor performers”

Advice – Segment, segment, segment!

How many keywords is enough?

Many advertisers try to use as many keywords as possible in their AdWords campaign. This is akin to throwing spaghetti on the wall and hoping that at least some of it will stick.

Generally, less is more. When you have 10-15 keywords in an ad group, you’ll generally be able to create better ads than a generic ad that could potentially encompass 30-40 keywords.

Remember, you’re competing with other competent advertisers when it comes to PPC marketing. The most compelling ads win the trust of your potential clients – you want to be that winner.

Advise – Weed Out Losers

It’s about quality, not quantity.

The benefit of segmenting your ads is that you’ll be able to clearly see which ads and keywords perform better than others. Take action by getting rid of the poor performers, because they’re suffocating the performance of your winning keywords.

When you notice new weeds growing in your garden, take them out! Don’t allow them to take precious resources from your prize plants.

Do you need any help implementing the above tips? Our full-service digital marketing agency can help. We execute a monthly action plan to ensure that your optimal strategy is backed by action, and that everything is recorded and reported properly.

Did this article provide a fresh perspective? 

Head over to our LinkedIn Page or Instagram to share your thoughts and the most creative comment will be entered to win a free brand audit

Did this article strike a chord with what’s going on in your organization? Do give us a shout at 604.559.7509 and set up a discovery meeting. We would love to see if we can help.
Or, stop by our marketing agency in Vancouver, we always have chocolate!