What can PPC marketers expect in the coming year? To put it bluntly, they should prepare themselves to be ready for "all of the things."
As we close out December and the holiday e-commerce hail storm that is the lifestyle of the PPC practitioner (yeah, you planned; but face it, there were some hairy moments), it’s time to start thinking about what 2015 could bring. Read: what features will get thrown at us (or taken away) now; or at least, that may be your feeling. But after participating in several PPC prediction round-up posts, a PPCChat discussion, and staring at the wall in my office, I bring to you what it’s really going to come down to next year, and not just in 2015 but beyond, and its "all of the things."
All of the Things
So when I say "all of the things" I’m referring to what many of you already know, that our world is shifting more and more toward the blurriness that print used to have to deal with, but with far more clarity, though for us control freak PPC people, it might not feel that way. We are becoming fully rounded out marketers, both in recognition and in expectation. Just as where the definitions and boundaries of our work are starting to blur together, so is our job description. So, how can you prepare?
There are a LOT of good marketing books out there and from a hundred different angles, but the one I keep going back to is a quick read, fun, and a trip down memory lane and that’s David Ogilvy’s Confessions of an Advertising Man. The chapters are relatively short and he covers the client side, the advertising side, the writing, and some basics of "advertising" in general that are easily translatable to digital. It hardly feels like homework at all.
Attribution modeling. What it is and how it works. You don’t have to be a genius at it, but you do need to know your options. Go into Google Analytics and play with it there, just click around. I highly recommend my colleague Michael Wiegand’s PPC Attribution webinar deck with Hanapin Marketing as an intro with a funGame of Thrones theme. Plus, read Avinash Kaushik’s diatribe on Good, Bad, and Ugly Models and you’re on the right path. Pun intended.
Google Tag Manager or any tag management system, how it works, and the features. It again comes back to "all of the things," and being able to track "all of the things" means you have better data to work with and better, faster decisions are made. I went and set up a container on my personal WordPress site, just started clicking around. The Google version is free and I was most surprised to find out how intuitive and pre-populated a lot of the options were. I’m not a RegEx whiz by any means, but the amount of information in the Web interface alone that explains what you’re doing, what it will affect, and how to implement made it extremely easy to follow along. Just knowing what the options are is extremely useful.