Oct 10

PPC Holiday Planning – Top 5 items in the PPC planning process

If you work in PPC you know as well as we do at DO, that there is a delicate balance between being prepared and being flexible for whatever comes your way. You wake up every day knowing that Google will ultimately decide your campaign performance, but for every comic book villain there must be a hero in the story. Right? In short, yes. That is where you come in. The PPC subject matter expert. You know all the tricks of the trade from how Google crawls the web to how many data points you can pull from Analytics and create amazing looking spreadsheets and charts showing off performance for a client. You love the adrenaline rush of providing increases to a company’s revenue and sales. You wear that hero cape proudly. This all sounds so perfect, most definitely a win-win scenario. What if you woke up one morning, placed that hero cape on your shoulders, walked up to the villain only to find your kryptonite. While many things happen unexpectedly in advertising, one thing is a sure fire way to assure you walk away the hero on a big sales day like Black Friday and not the guy who missed the traffic right in front of him. Planning. It’s so simple, why do people always forget this aspect? The sheer results of not planning for the biggest shopping season of year is enough to scare anyone in business. So what is it that people miss in the planning process? Here are our top 5 frightening items in the PPC planning process that people forget. A list of what NOT to do:

Not Budgeting
Create a budget. Just do it. This should be your jumping off point in your holiday hero campaign. Throwing random amounts of money at things and seeing what sticks can sound like a viable plan if you like to scare your company stakeholders and roll the dice, however this is just a great example of terrible planning. You need a well thought out budget to get the ball rolling. Don’t be that guy.
Not Budgeting for Traffic Influx
Plan for an increase in spending to correlate with the online shopping traffic increase. Take a look at your YOY Q4 performance and develop a level of expectation and ensure confidence with your clients. Trust is a big deal in this industry.
Not Setting Device Specific Allocation
Know the trends. Mobile devices are expected to send approximately 20% more traffic this holiday season than during the same time period in 2013. We all know that historically for many ecommerce brands that mobile doesn’t necessarily convert as well as desktop/tablet. This year could be interesting with new initiatives from Apple(Apple Pay), eBay, and PayPal. Get that cape dusted off, this could be your true hero moment.
Not Aligning with All Channel & Marketing Initiatives
Heroes always need their trusty sidekicks. Align your efforts with all channels to capture the share of voice for your brand. Missed opportunities happen many times when items are left in silo. Communication is key.
Not Sticking to Your Plan
We see this all the time. People making quick decisions based on a reaction rather than being persistent. Jumping every time their conversion rate or quality score drops. The earth’s axis tilted a bit more today? Panic will not help you. Be flexible but stay the course and add things along the way. Set yourself up for holiday shopping success this year and know your plan! Not doing so is downright scary. We are PPC professionals at DO and we know how to keep things from getting scary - If you need help and/or guidance drop us a line!