Confessions of a PPC Control Freak on Enhanced Campaigns

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We’ve discussed it, talked about it, webinar-ed, convened around the water cooler, blogged and tweeted. Opinions are hot, high, frequent and mixed. One thing is for sure, it’s not going away.

Each time it seems as if the proverbial dust has settled, more about EC is announced.

Each week a Google webinar reveals a few more nuggets of information to be absorbed, processed and disseminated to teams, clients and execs through a J.J. Abrams-like lens flare blast of Google sunshine and rainbows. (I consider PPC marketers lucky to have a community with so many intelligent folks who can read between the lines, follow their investigative instincts, and take screenshots like there’s no tomorrow.)

But, as I said during the PPC Hero Webinar on Enhanced Campaigns:

It’s going to be OK.

It’s not pretty, but you know why there’s so much fuss, so many blog posts and tweets?

Because PPC marketers CARE

Genuinely, control-freakily care.

Not merely because Google has just made a ton more work for us all (which they did), but because overnight, they dropped a mega announcement that affects what many of us have spent anywhere from a few months to many years on – tweaking, optimizing and obsessing over paid search accounts.

Hours have been spent reporting, analyzing and discussing with clients and in house: preparing for seasonal highs and lows while searching for unique methods and tools to build ROI and lower CPAs.

It is this same pride that most PPC marketers take in their work, their fierceness to defend their clients against evil defaults and wasteful spend, that makes them the wonderful control freak, analytical, creative people that they are.

And you know what?

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

A PPC marketer that has that much passion, curiosity, skepticism, and conviction can manage my accounts any day.

I have a Carl Sagan quote hanging in my office for occasions such as this:

It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas.

The rest of the quote follows.

Obviously those two modes of thought are in some tension. But if you are able to exercise only one of these modes, whichever one it is, you’re in deep trouble.

If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you. You never learn anything new. You become a crotchety old person convinced that nonsense is ruling the world. (There is, of course, much data to support you.) But every now and then, maybe once in a hundred cases, a new idea turns out to be on the mark, valid and wonderful. If you are too much in the habit of being skeptical about everything, you are going to miss or resent it, and either way you will be standing in the way of understanding and progress.

On the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skeptical sense in you, then you cannot distinguish the useful as from the worthless ones. If all ideas have equal validity then you are lost, because then, it seems to me, no ideas have any validity at all.

Some ideas are better than others. The machinery for distinguishing them is an essential tool in dealing with the world and especially in dealing with the future. And it is precisely the mix of these two modes of thought that is central to the success of science.

And the same goes for PPC

Question the $40 billion dollar machine. They’re not fragile human beings or out to save the world. They’re a business – a for-profit, private business. They have a legal team, a board of directors and ridiculous resources. You won’t hurt them.

Test it. Try it. Make it work for you. Break it. Rave about it. Rant about it.


(Thanks, Dr. Sagan.)


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