Jan 6, 2015

During #ppcchat today I shared my New Year's PPC resolution for 2015 with @Matt_Umbro:
Since there is no time like the present, I hope to avoid procrastination and start building the new habit right away. For those of you that were unable to participate in our conversation on Twitter today, @PaulKragthorpe writes excellent streamcaps every week that are all archived here: http://ppcchat.co/ppcchats/

Here is an even shorter version of Paul's summary, a few extra comments that I was unable to cram into 140 characters, and links to my favorite blog posts on each topic if you want to learn more and achieve your own goals for 2015:

Q1: 2015 Resolutions to Start
Q2: Bad Habits to Break
  • Less focus on keywords, more focus on audiences (Any presentation by @SusanEDub is scripture)
  • Less reliance on last click, more flexibility in attribution (I am a huge fan of @drsidshah)
  • Less obsession on bidding, more focus on context modifiers for device, geo, and time (I also pay close attention to anything wrtiten by George Michie)
  • Less time on reporting more focus on real analysis (Another analytics expert worth following besides @avinash is @analyticshero)
  • Less tactical, more strategic 
    • "Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." (Sun Tzu Chinese General circa 500 BC)
    • "Strategy = An action plan to be unique with measurable objectives, sufficient means, and specific scope" (Objectives, Scope, and Means idea from Mikel Chertudi...Action plan to be unique idea from Michael Porter)
    • The real meaning of strategy can change according to context. Here are a few ideas I used in my consulting days to cut through the ambiguity:
      • Make success specific. Gather and record client background details, goals definition, and key performance indicators. These goals should be more detailed and actionable than just “use fancier reports to make more money in less time with a smaller budget”. 
      • Take time to plan. Frequently update the optimization roadmap, project plan, and action items timeline. Ask yourself what you have really done today. If all you can think of is related to bugs, emails, reports, and meetings, it is time to get your hands back on the wheel and launch some ads, change some bids, and add some keywords.
      • Know when to say no. Summarize potential alternatives and how to back up your recommendation with data and experiences with other clients. Clients will lose respect for your expertise if you are just another “yes man”. Be more than a reporting robot.
      • Play offense instead of just defense. Resolving bugs, avoiding escalations, providing training, and fulfilling requests is important, but is not our real goal. Consulting means proactively giving advice whether it is asked for or not. Strategic consulting means giving the type of advice that the client could have never come up with on their own. 
      • Predict. Call your shots by projecting potential benefits and risks of your suggestions. This is very difficult, but will become natural as we gain and share experience with each other.
      • Innovate. Ambiguity is an unavoidable part of real business. Not all solutions can be documented in a BOS. Not all topics can be covered in a meeting or a book. Think creatively and find ways to automate and target things that have never been tried before.
      • Integrate. How can we take advantage of our unique position within the suite and connect with other products by sharing and responding to actionable insights in new ways?
      • Automate. How can we simplify and accelerate the innovations and integrations mentioned above? The most interesting data will be ignored if it cannot be accessed within the clients’ limited attention span
      • Prioritize. Although innovation, integration, and automation sound like fancy concepts that could result in performance improvements for your clients and a raise for you, remember that time is very limited. Don’t integrate for the sake of integration. Focus on the highest value first and have clear targets and goals on how your efforts will pay for themselves
I hope these resources help you achieve your goals in 2015. I hope to blog much more often this year. My unfiltered thoughts will be posted here on paidsearchprofit.com while my official Adobe perspectives will be posted on http://blogs.adobe.com/digitalmarketing. I look forward to learning from your comments and tweets this year!