Over the past three decades or so, our society has embraced a two-sided relationship with modern technology. On the one hand, the introduction/development of personal computers and mobile devices has not only made our lives much easier, but it has also allowed us to take pleasure in a lifestyle whereby we can attain information and products by simply clicking a mouse or tapping a screen. On the other hand, the general public has adopted a latent fear that our beloved super-machines may one day develop “minds” of their own, and bring about a future where we the people are enslaved by the very technology we use each day. Indeed, if you consider the number of blockbuster films featuring overtones of this nature (“The Terminator” series, “The Matrix” trilogy, “I, Robot,” or even Disney’s “WALL-E”), you may say that we are a little paranoid about our dependency on automation.
Despite the future possibility of a robot revolution, the benefits offered by Mr. Technology certainly outweigh the risk of him throwing a temper tantrum and taking over the world; in online marketing in general, and pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising specifically, hardware and software driven by the latest developments in Information Technology (IT) can do wonders in boosting a business’s bottom line. Here at TargetClick, our PPC department (i.e. The Search Superstars, or Paid Search Punishers, if you’ve read my previous post) has recently undertaken the process of implementing one such IT tool – a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) software package. This will grant us the opportunity to automate some of the “grunt work” associated with our campaigns, conduct on-the-spot optimization within those campaigns and slice-and-dice our data in a manner that allows for thorough analysis and reporting. Unfortunately, I cannot reveal the name our new PPC instrument. So, for the sake of discussion, I’ll name it “The Searchinator,” after Arnold Schwarzenegger’s cyborg character “The Terminator;” not his other “character,” “The Governator.”
To prepare for the unleashing of The Searchinator, I have been doing a lot of thinking (and reading) about how to best balance automation and human involvement when it comes to managing a successful Paid Search Campaign. In doing so, I have come to the conclusion that although automation will allow TargetClick to drive our customers’ campaigns into unseen territories in terms of ROI, human interaction with those initiatives will remain as important as ever. With that thought in mind, I would like to make a pledge not only to my clients and my readers, but also to my dear family here at TargetClick. In order to ensure that our new PPC software produces truly great results, and does not trigger an IT insurgency within our office or transform me into a slave to The Searchinator, I promise the following:
1 – I vow to keep our clients’ PPC goals at the forefront of their campaigns. At the end of the day, all of our fancy automation means absolutely nothing if it fails to achieve our customers’ online marketing objectives. To prevent such an unjust development from occurring, I will remain constantly enveloped in every Campaign, and utilize The Searchinator to take advantage of data findings that generate quality online traffic, leads/calls, and sales.
2 – I vow to ignore the temptation of constructing (overly) templated PPC Campaigns. Although some instances of replication (predominately at the Keyword level) will likely ensue as TargetClick continues to grow, I will create customized Campaigns based on our clients’ goals, needs, markets, etc. Moreover, just because The Searchinator can reproduce hundreds (if not more) of campaigns across multiple world locations and markets, that does not make doing so a good idea. Search audiences differ by geographic area, product type and buying cycle stage, as well as numerous non-economic factors. These nuances often have a tremendous impact on PPC success, thus necessitating the need for tailor-made Search Marketing initiatives; not Search Marketing templates.
3 – I vow to (continue to) take full responsibility for the outcomes generated by the PPC Campaigns that I build and manage. In the event of sub-par SEM performance (which doesn’t happen all that often when I’m at the wheel), I will never tuck my tail between my legs by placing the blame on The Searchinator. In a similar light, I will proudly take credit for the triumphs seen by the PPC programs that I oversee (that’s only fair right?), especially when such efforts enhance our client’s profitability. In other words, you will not find me simply plugging campaigns into The Searchinator, letting them sit on the back burner, and then attributing all of the results to automation as I lay on the beach sippin’ sizzurp. A tool is only as powerful as the person who wields it; I will take the brunt of our SEM achievements and failures head-on.
It is the dawning of a new era for TargetClick SEM. With The Searchinator armed and ready for PPC domination, our team is ready to propel client performance to unseen heights through streamlined optimization, data analysis, and campaign reporting. More importantly, in order to supply our customers with a valuable PPC solution, The Searchinator will never replace the human elements – goal setting/measurement, customization, and responsibility – associated with a great Search Campaign. You need not fear Android Armageddon at the TargetClick office, but, rather, you should prepare yourself for the immense success that will follow our newfound marriage of man and machine.