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» Exclusive Interviews, Paid Search in General » Classifying PPC Marketing? Is It An Art Or A Science? Part Deux

Classifying PPC Marketing? Is It An Art Or A Science? Part Deux


In my second and final installment  of “Classifying PPC Marketing? Is It An Art Or A Science?”, I will dig a little deeper into the “weeds” of PPC Geekdom to try and identify which tactics and techniques of PPC should and will always be a Science as well as others that are reserved for the Artist respectfully. However, we all must acknowledge one thing. Regardless of anyone’s biased opinion, there is one constant that everyone can agree on and that is PPC requires both Art and Science in order to have a better chance to achieve a successful outcome. Did you notice “better chance?” Well that is because there are many other factor that are in play that go way beyond Quality Score and CTR%.

So with that said, in continuing my discussions with Craig Danuloff, President of ClickEquations and Marc Poirier CEO of Acquisio, I surrounded my next segment of Q&A around the specifics of what areas of PPC deserve more attention to Science and others which should just be left to the Artist. In response to the question “Can you tell our audience what element of PPC should always be considered a science?” Craig believes that working methodically and focusing on the key metrics of PPC are the best path. He also mentions that his company ClickEquations has developed what is called ‘High Resolution PPC’ which basically breaks the search management process into three phrases:

  1. Targeting the right people
  2. Valuing your keywords, and
  3. Satisfying prospects.

According to Craig “Nearly every step in the targeting stage (selecting and organizing keywords) and the valuing stage (tuning keywords, negatives, match types, and bids) is largely measurable and repeatable.
Even the testing parts of the satisfy phase are highly scientific – working methodically to find the best ad copy and landing pages. All of these steps iterate based on all the measures search professionals rely on – clickthrough rates, impression share, quality score, ROI, etc. “

On the other hand, Marc’s focus is not so much on the tactics of PPC, but more of Multivariate or A/B testing of landing pages. Marc states “Well, testing (multivariate or a-b testing) is closely related to the scientific method. You hypothesize something, then you test and measure, and the results of your test tell you whether your hypothesis was supported by the test. But the variables which we test are usually be inspired by the marketer’s gut instinct. However, performance tracking and analysis (conversions, roas, roi, etc) is also a very rigorous process, and there is simply no creative element involved here…

Now that we’ve touched on the Scientific side of PPC, lets now talk about the Artistic side. For this creative-minded Aquarius who enjoys thinking outside the box at all times, I have soft spot for the creative side of everything, especially PPC. Moreover, when I asked both Marc and Craig about their thoughts on the Artistic side of PPC, they were both pretty much aligned in their thoughts. Both of them highlight on the fact that writing effective Text Ads as well as effective and persuasive content for Landing Pages requires a strong creative side. For example, Marc states “I think the writing process which goes into creating text ads or landing page content is more of an Art than a science, but because it can be influenced by the results of tests, it is not necessarily a purely creative process, but it is definitely more creative than scientific.”

According to Craig “Coming up with keywords can have a creative or imaginative aspect to it, although the bulk of that work can and should be done more methodically.  Attracting people and persuading them to take action – the job of ad copy and landing pages – can benefit from true creativity, but in this case the artistic merit must be tested and measured and cannot be accepted on purely subjective grounds.”

In conclusion: The idea of whether PPC is more of an Art or a Science honestly depends at which level you are practicing with PPC and how you visualize the work that you do for a client or your company. Writing good text ads that generate sales/leads could be considered just words by some. On the other hand, looking at analytics data and finding potential “goldmines” could also be considered an Art. All in all, all that matters is that the PPC Advertiser is happy and there is plenty of potential for ongoing optimization and strategic thinking.

Semgeek Quote of the day: “Getting someone at Google to give you a straight answer on their
future intentions is purely Art.” – Marc Poirier, CEO Acquisio.com

On that note, I want to personally thank Craig Danuloff of ClickEquations and Marc Poirer of Acquisio for their participation in this article series.

Acquisio-logo Click-equations-logo

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