10 important trends of PPC to watch in 2020

10 important trends of PPC to watch in 2020

What is the future of PPC?

Last year, audiences and automation were just a trend a couple of PPC marketing experts are expected to dominate.

But what will be the major trends of PPC in 2020?

This is the precise question I asked 39 of PPC’s top marketing experts.

Here are the top 10 trends of PPC you need to know about 2020 – from paid search to paid social, repetitive and the rest – according to experts.

1. Less Control: Automation, AI & Machine Learning

Automation is the biggest trend of PPC for 2020. It seems to be on the mind of almost every PPC advertiser.

Julie Friedman Bacchini, President & Founder, Neptune Moon, believes that the automation and machine learning train will continue to accelerate in 2020.

“The key for paid search professionals will be to figure out how to use these tools / features as efficiently as possible while maintaining our value by doing things that machines can’t do,” he said.

Ed Leake, CEO of Midas Media, said similarly, noting that machines and artificial intelligence can generate crises and perform regular tasks faster than humans.

“This means that if you don’t use at least some form of rules or scripts in your workflow, you’re back,” Leake said. “You may have heard of the Matrix Eisenhower. Using this principle, start with the one tedious task you do regularly. In other words, it takes a long time and has little impact on results. Get this project and find a machine to do it does for you. ”

Jeff Ferguson, CEO of Fang Marketing, said PPC managers will eventually learn their place in the new world of digital advertising in 2020 – to provide a clean working environment for their robot defenders.

“The role of PPC manager will not remain for at least another five years, but the days spent bidding for hours are gone,” Ferguson said. “The keywords aren’t going anywhere anytime soon – robots still need to talk to other people properly. However, what can be done in a mathematical problem is now the machine sector.”

Some experts talked about the loss of control over automation and what it means.

Jon Clark, Managing Partner, Moving Traffic Media, expects the trend of reduced control to continue as Google pushes users to automate and minimize transparency. He calculated that we could even completely abolish manual bidding for automation.

Brad Geddes, co-founder of AdAlysis, also said:

“We will see that Google will continue to gain control of the advertisers in the name of ‘better targeting and intent’. Unfortunately, Google has not understood the intent in any meaningful way, so these changes will leave you doing more work. to keep seeing the same results. ”

Some experts expect some impetus against Google’s continued attempt to automate.

“While Google will introduce more audiences and more automation, advertisers will become obsessed with Google’s automation and will not blindly adopt it but rather dip their toes into Google’s new capabilities to see if they really work is being sought, “Geddes said. “This will allow more advertisers to create automation on their own or to utilize automation and rating systems from third parties. We will see that automation continues to grow, however Google will not always be the driver of these changes.”

Andrew Lolk, head of PPC Director & Founder, Savvy Revenue, said he is not ready to hand over accounts to Google Automation alone.

“I do not advise completely rejecting Google’s automation, but I know its strengths and weaknesses quite the opposite,” Lolk said. “Knowing the disadvantages of Google automation, you’ll know what to do to get other advertisers who aren’t aware of it.”

According to Nikki Kuhlman, Senior Account Manager, JumpFly, we come to this:

“What marketers need to do is be the watchdog on whether these automated choices are better for customers or better for Google.”

Aaron Levy, Group Manager, SEM, Tinuiti, hopes that 2020 will be a year of self-rotation of automation, where engineers and gear partners will take the time to acquire the right of automation.

“They want to ensure that our advertisers are ready for success, growth and dedication to our core strategy, not pushing buttons,” Levy said. “Everyone helped with the help of big data.”

Ilya Cherepakhin, VP, Media Operations, Acronym, strongly recommends testing ROAS, Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs), responsive search ads, maximum conversion value and any other PPC automation options.

Another aspect of automation Frederick Vallaeys, co-founder, Optmyzr, discussed is “layering automation

2. Gray zones: PPC and the biggest marketing image

Many of our experts have talked about the importance of recognizing and attracting your target audience across multiple channels and platforms, as well as creating cross-channel designs to ensure that all your campaigns play well.

The integration and diversification of the channels will be enormous.

Simply put: “If you are not looking for new channels next year, you will lose new business,” said Michelle Morgan, Customer Service Manager, Clix Marketing.

“All marketing work together – no bus is an island,” Kuhlman added. “Instead of viewing each channel as a separate autonomous entity, advertisers in 2020 will focus on overall results. I know I will.”

Integrated campaigns will be at the forefront of 2020, said Liam Wade, head of PPC, Impression

“Just look at Google’s smart markets to see how the channels work best together. PLA, dynamic remarketing and targeting audiences in one,” Wade said. “Another message!”

In 2020, marketers and businesses need a proper understanding of PPC’s position in the overall marketing strategy and how it actually works in the same process, said Kirk Williams, founder of ZATO.

“Marketers need to be interested in all ways (even when they can’t be found) to grow a business as a whole and then determine how to fit the PPC channel into this overall business development, including its strategy, creativity and reference, “Williams said. “The best thing for PPCers in 2020 may be to blow the dust off these old traditional marketing books.”

Melissa Mackey, search supervisor, gyroscope, said we would also see a further blurring of the lines between paid social and paid search and targeting features.

“We’ve always seen the adoption of features across platforms within search engines (Google Ads, Microsoft Ads) and social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), but now we are starting to see search engines adopt social targeting and social channels adding keywords, “Mackey said. “The gray areas between search and social forces one to ask: who will come up with the winner? Only time will tell.”

4. Privacy, Tracking, First Party Data and You

GDPR and similar legislation limits surveillance capabilities and has destroyed privacy from “think good” to “the absolute must” for any trader, according to Cherepakhin.

As such, Arianne Donoghue, Deputy Director – Digital Strategy, Edit, said that we need to find new ways of tracking, but we also need to rethink how we approach campaigns in an increasingly conscious world.

Until platforms find ways to adapt, marketers must avoid striving for 100% perfect performance.

According to Tim Jensen, campaign manager, Clix Marketing, this means “getting the message across to the right audience” and “keeping track of top-level ROI metrics that matter at the bottom of the business.”

Purna Virji, Chief Executive, Global Engagement, Microsoft Advertising, said in 2020 that it’s all about leveraging data without exploiting the people behind the data.

“PPC advertisers have seen successful results with more targeted and demographic targeting options, such as the marketing audience that offers both Google ads and Microsoft Advertising,” Virji said. “We are seeing more and more new ways to harness more understanding and ideas – while protecting people’s privacy – to connect their brands and customers differently.”

Today’s landscape means that first-party data is more important and valuable than ever, according to Cherepakhin and MacLaggan.

“Update first-party data procedures and policies to meet the latest requirements for the areas you are targeting,” Cherepakhin said. “This will guide you to the success of customer leverage, remarketing and an ever-growing array of first-party data-driven strategies.”

Added MacLaggan:

“The days of CPA optimization are coming to an end so advertisers will need to incorporate customer value (including) lifespan into their optimization strategy. With Offline Conversion, Offline Conversions can already be uploaded or of subsequent conversions, but is expected by Google to continue to facilitate next year. “

5. The PPC strategy is becoming more valuable

As automation eliminates some of the more tedious tasks, there will be a greater need for PPC marketers who can think strategically, according to our experts.

Amy Bishop, a property and digital marketing consultant, Cultivative, said that the PPC people who can strategize will be the most successful.

“In a changing landscape, strategy is always getting more and more valuable,” Bishop said.

Donoghue agreed.

“Focusing on helping clients strategize, really understanding who our audience is and what they will get to solve their problems will be the key,” he said.

Amy Hebdon, founder of Plain Magic Search, said that leadership in this area is even more important when effective management is a table bet.

“Leadership requires a lot of thinking. It involves understanding the desires and needs of consumers, knowing how to aim beyond the ‘local ceiling’ and make strategic decisions for customers,” Hebdon said. “Marketing leaders who promote automation strategy and leverage to achieve their growth goals will be even more successful in 2020.”

Similarly, Mark Irvine, Director of Strategic Partnerships, WordStream, said you need to find yourself where you can coexist peacefully with automation

“Whether it’s software, scripts, dynamic search, automated bidding, AI / ML-written ads, or even smart campaigns, the time spent on managing campaign fundamentals can be better spent managing strategies the audience, the goals and the creatives, “he said.

6. Besides Google and Facebook: Alternative platforms to watch

Duane Brown, Founder & Head of Strategy, is taking a risk, and Lisa Raehsler, founder and SEM Strategy consultant, Big Click Co., noted that people other than Facebook spent more time on platforms such as Snapchat, Pinterest, TikTok, 2019 – these companies are developing.

This trend will not slow down. So businesses have to go where their customers are in 2020.

“That doesn’t mean you have to be on every ad platform above. It means you have a better understanding of where your customers spend their time online,” Brown said. “If your audience is in one of the above ad platforms, you should at least try it out and see if you can make it work for your business. ”

Clark agreed. He said budgets will be more scattered than ever.

“From Quora, to Reddit, to Pinterest and especially to Amazon,” he said. “Managing the budget and maintaining a performance-based fluid allocation across all platforms will be paramount.”

Akvile DeFazio, President, AKvertise, said that e-commerce brands should embark on the strategy for Instagram Checkout.

“Although it is currently only available in organic positions, it is only a matter of time until this new format is available as an advertisement,” he said. “Plan now to stay ahead and get started when they are available for maximum exposure.”

Elizabeth Marsten, Senior Manager at Marketplace Strategic Services, Tinuiti, suggested that attention be given to expanding the options in advertising that blur the lines of “paid search” – especially Amazon and Walmart.

“Their purchases have millions of visits per month to their site and searches are also made on these sites,” Marsten said. “In addition, product detail pages that are made with strong content such as reviews, attributes, videos and product comparisons get selected search engine results and will compete for the eyes. Design a strategy or position that will cope right now, not in the middle of 2020. ”


“While Facebook is still the majority of users, paying ad managers will have to follow these user trends in 2020 to ensure that their ads reach the right people (or new opportunities) as they switch platforms. “, Raehsler said.

7. Focus on business relevance, recognition and security

Pauline Jakober, CEO of Twenty Seven, expects PPC traders to take branding to the next level in 2020.

“Increasingly, I see marketers going beyond brand recognition and seeking brand relevance,” Jakober said. “Merchants are no longer happy with the potential customers’ familiarity with their brand. They also want to influence the way that potential customers feel about and respond to it.”

Donoghue agreed that brand preference and relationship building will be crucial for 2020.

Bacchini also hopes to see a return to branding in digital advertising.

“Building a connection to your brand name has always been important, we just ignored it for the last 15 years,” he said.

Jonathan Kagan, Vice President for Search, Cogniscient Media, said business security will continue to be extremely important in 2020 to ensure that your ads do not appear to support extremist content.

“Advertisers can no longer allow platforms to do their own thing. They must continue to work with your automated ad placements. Otherwise, it may seem that your brand is backing up a scary event,” Kagan said. .

8. More competition SERP + Search Stagnation = Increase CPC

Jeff Allen, President of Hanapin Marketing, said the biggest trend to pay attention to is the lack of search query development in recent years.

“In 2020 this will seem to be coming to a head because of the platforms that lack additional SERP space to win,” Allen said. This will result in a continuous increase in search CPCs and a potential increase in CPAs and a lack of sales volume growth.

Lake agreed, saying competition would only increase and CPC inflation would continue.

“I suggest you adjust your budgets and expectations for 2020 to fit them,” Leake said. “It’s not a fun trend, but a realistic one.”

Levy also believes the US search market has become saturated.

“Everyone is already looking for as much as they need. There will be no 25% increase in queries last year,” Levy said. “SERPs will continue to become more competitive and CPCs will continue to grow until we reach a saturation point, which is not profitable with the next click.”

9. CRO is vital

While advertisers should have invested in optimizing the conversion rate for years, 2020 may be the year moving from “must do” to “must do”, according to Allen.

“Smart advertisers will continue to develop other channels, such as appearance and social, but the main boost in their sales numbers will come from robust conversion rate optimization programs,” Allen said.

But as you do CRO, Leake reminds us not to forget another type of optimization: customer optimization.

“Conversion optimization is praised, but customer optimization is underestimated,” Leake said. “You pay to get customers, so make sure you pay (invest) to keep them!”

Levy added that optimization of clicks beyond clicks is necessary.

“In the next decade, the biggest wins will come from those who optimize beyond conversion,” Levy said.

10. The year of the technical PPC advertiser

AJ Wilcox, Expert & Founder of LinkedIn Ads, B2Linked Marketers, believes that 2020 will be the year of the technical advertiser.

“We will see advertisers becoming more technical, leading to things like wider adoption and reliance on CRM data in combination with their advertising efforts,” said Wilcox. “Advertisers will monitor the lifecycle of their customers and it will be performance that determines performance, not Finance or IT.”

Similarly, John Lee, Learning Strategist, Microsoft Advertising, said that gaining technical expertise will help you be able to manage, optimize and analyze digital scale-up campaigns.

“These skills are fundamental to using tools such as Google ads and Microsoft ad scripts or feed-based features such as Shopping, Ad Adapters, etc.,” he said. “Let’s not see how these skills can help you combine data sets into BI tools, etc.”

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