When we coordinate a client’s marketing budget with our services, the hardest thing to explain is why we need to understand their comprehensive marketing plan. The typical first reaction is somewhere between “Why do you need to know that?” and “That is none of your business!” The truth of the matter is that all marketing should be coordinated in order to maximize your return on ad spend (ROAS) and accomplish as much as possible with those funds. Recently, we were working with a few clients that ran tests with us and we found that the coordination of their efforts was measurable in certain markets. In an experiment seldom allowed, we learned the importance of bidding on branded terms.
Test 1: Paid and Organic Search Collaboration
In one test, our eCommerce client asked us not to bid on branded terms, and we obliged against our better judgment. We knew that they would see a decrease in revenue generated from paid search. After transitioning all of the pay-per-click (PPC) spend to non-branded terms, we attempted to counteract it by increasing attention to the organic updates. However, this was unsuccessful. We found that the revenue generated in organic search also took an initial dive.
We spent two weeks with no ad spend on any branded terms starting in the second week of November, and the loss to the client was 47.26% of the revenue compared to the average revenue of the exact same period in the previous two years (also, we didn’t adjust for our trending at a higher than normal rate before the test began). The additional effect from the test was a loss of 21.17% of the revenue in organic traffic during that same test period.
PAID TRAFFIC REVENUE
ORGANIC TRAFFIC REVENUE
After spending again on branding terms, it took 5 weeks for the results to return to the expected levels. The increased attention in organic updates was not enough to offset the PPC ad spend on the branded terms. In this instance, we could calculate the effect to 21%, but as a rule, we tell our clients that cross channel collaboration in search marketing is usually worth about 30%. You can see here why we insist on being in contact with our clients PPC provider if they have separate firms serving these audiences.
Test 2: Traditional and PPC Collaboration
In another test, we had a different client ask us to track the effectiveness of their broadcast and out-of-home (OOH) marketing efforts through whatever insights we could in the digital environment. We asked the client for access to the other firm, and monitored specific media mix tests with them during a quarter of their annual media buy.
In reviewing the data, we noticed the times and frequency were the major differences in the media mix that lead to a specific difference in their branded search terms. Below you will see a segment of the PPC traffic that we shared with the client and the firm to improve their overall effectiveness in spending their advertising budget. The cross channel collaboration of up to 21% in traffic and up to 29% in conversions that we see here is self-evident in the weekly alternating schedules and the PPC impact we saw from each.
|Week 1||Week 2||Week 3||Week 4||Week 5||Week 6|
|Mix A||Mix B||Mix A||Mix B||Mix A||Mix B|
As Bob Marley says, “One Love”
Regardless of your taste for music or your opinion on his political views, when you have multiple vendors handling aspects of your marketing, it is in your best interest to ‘get together’ so you ‘can feel alright.’ In the end, your budget is your responsibility to leverage as a company. If you are hiring people to manage it for you, then it becomes your responsibility to manage them into collaboration. It is my standing advice that the best service is provided by vendors that take a holistic approach to marketing. To achieve what is best for your company, hire an agency with the experts all under one roof or at least work with agencies that are willing to collaborate with other firms. They should strive to become that partner that you intended to hire by working in a truly cooperative and open relationship with your other vendors and not what is only best for their own bottom line.