When it comes to marketing channels, Performance Marketing is often seen as the rock star. Many companies see it as the easiest method for driving revenue, demand and brand awareness… and in some cases that’s true. However it can also be a slippery slope to financial stress and ruin.
I’ve been fortunate enough to work with incredibly talented Performance marketers over the years – yet each one has likened PPC to chasing one’s tail. Once you start it’s almost impossible to break the cycle. The reasons for this are quite simple:
It’s obscenely expensive
As most marketer will know from experience, PPC is expensive. I mean ‘Gucci bag’ kind of expensive. It’s a luxury that only a small cluster of companies can afford at the best of times and one that will drain your bank account quicker than children.
Due to the fact that Google operates AdWords through an auction process, whereby the highest bidder achieves top spot on Google, it can quickly become incredibly expensive to achieve any relevant position. Not to mention the costs of keeping it from your competitors once acquired.
It’s worth noting that PPC for B2C businesses can be a great revenue tool when utilised correctly due to the shorter purchase lead time, but for B2B companies, where the average lead time can stretch across months, PPC can prove to be unsustainably expensive to say the least.
It’s difficult to prove effectiveness
Exactly what is mentioned above. PPC for a B2B business can be very difficult to attribute success to due to the lengthy lead times. By the time a marketing team are able to present back significant data to their nervous CFO, it can often be several months down the line and Google has already swallowed up eye-watering sums.
For smaller businesses and start-ups, who aren’t sitting on a tidy stockpile of cash, this can be devastating to the marketing budget, especially when cheaper alternatives are available such as email and social media.
You can’t just switch it on and off
Unlike other marketing channels, when it comes to PPC you can’t just switch your campaigns on and off whenever you feel like it. I mean you technically can, but as Google’s AI relies on an ‘always on’ approach in order to increase it’s machine learning capabilities, switching your campaigns on and off all the time will almost render your activity useless.
There’s always a bigger fish
As with any industry, there’s always a bigger fish in the pond with more money to spend on PPC advertising, making any relevant top spots near impossible to achieve without some series wonga being chucked at your campaign and keywords.
Having essentially torn apart PPC above, I want to be clear that the performance channel can, and does, work. But only when optimised expertly alongside other channels such as email. As many companies fail to realise, if you’re a specialist, you may be paying twice for a Prospect as they may already exist in your database.
For smaller companies and start-ups, I’d always recommend building out your CRM, email marketing and social channels before you even considering pumping precious coin into PPC activity.
To learn more about how we at WeDoCRM can help keep your costs down and drive a more sustainable ROI, get in contact with us. We’d love to chat.