How are the most successful enterprise companies in the world handling their paid search optimization? Karin Becker of QuanticMind shares an inside look.
Enterprise SEM continues to be challenging for companies of all kinds – from early-stage startups to massive Fortune 500 firms. What digital advertising strategies are the world’s biggest and most successful enterprise companies using today? What are their biggest challenges, in terms of both high-level paid search and day-to-day marketing campaign management? QuanticMind’s new Vice President, Sales, Karin Becker, whose previous work includes driving sales for BlueKai (acquired by Oracle) and for Google, speaks daily with enterprise companies on these exact issues.
Question: Tell us what you’re hearing from enterprise companies on a day-to-day basis. For instance, are many firms still using manual bidding? Are they happy with their enterprise SEM tools?
Karin Becker: Every company is different with regards to where they are in their digital advertising journey. However, in the enterprise space, I speak with top-tier brands whose businesses demand that they manage literally millions of keywords – and they’re finding it impossible to manage this volume manually, and challenging (at best) to manage it using legacy bid management solutions that were built more than a decade ago. Today’s leading marketers are pulling ahead of this massive enterprise paid search hurdle by adopting better solutions that offer intelligent automation at scale, with innovative tech like machine learning. It’s really the only way to keep up with ever-increasing keyword volume and today’s complex paid search ad formats.
Question: What would you say is the biggest mistake being made in enterprise search engine marketing these days?
Karin Becker: Again, every company is different, so it’s not necessarily fair to criticize any individual company, or even a group of companies, for having their own practices. I will say that I’ve worked with many different enterprise companies, and I’ve noticed a larger behavior pattern – enterprise companies who are falling behind the curve and may not even be aware of it. Manual bidding. Last-gen portfolio-style bid management. Reporting that takes hours, if not days.
Another mistake that is more common than you might think is when companies optimize to performance metrics other than profit, when they have the available data (but perhaps not the right technology solution) to optimize paid search campaigns, at scale, for maximum profits.
Question: What are enterprise companies doing right in their paid search?
Karin Becker: The smartest companies position themselves to succeed by moving at the speed of data. It’s crucial to be able to analyze your campaigns’ performance regularly, on an as-needed basis (whether that is hour to hour, or minute to minute). While some companies still use outdated platforms that take days to generate a simple report (or “time out” and fail to generate the report at all), we’ve seen several clients identify new revenue opportunities by tapping the power of their own data. Data that provides visibility into campaign performance by time of day, day of week and month of year can offer nuanced insights that lead to real value. As a result of more-robust, data-driven enterprise SEM, these companies end up selling more product to specific audiences using specific devices at specific times – and they’ve driven up profit as a result of the actions taken with these rich insights.
Question: What’s something that enterprise performance marketers could be doing right now to improve their bottom line and prepare for the future?
Karin Becker: Today’s enterprise companies need to be thinking about ways to leverage the available big data and predictive analytics to drive higher performing advertising campaigns, and especially within their paid search efforts. For example, Google has announced changes in Enhanced Campaigns to not only separate mobile bids from desktop bids but to also separate tablet bidding as well. Considering how much the mobile market – and the tablet market – have grown, and how very different user behavior is on each of these device types, this is huge news. Savvy companies who have their eye on the proverbial ball are already putting themselves ahead of the competition by using enterprise SEM tools that let them manage to device-based modifiers that separate tablet from mobile and desktop.