The Drum Awards for Marketing - Entry Deadline

-d -h -min -sec

SEO PPC Search

Search marketing: Does PPC get an unfair reputation as SEO’s ‘poor relation’ when it comes to innovation and creativity?

Author

By Katie McQuater | Magazine Editor

January 4, 2013 | 6 min read

In the latest of a series looking at search marketing, The Drum speaks to a cross-section of the industry, exploring perceptions of PPC compared to those of SEO. Is the former viewed as less innovative and creative than the latter? If so, how can this view be changed?

Does PPC get an unfair reputation as SEO’s ‘poor relation’ when it comes to innovation and creativity? How would you dispel this notion? Jonny Scott, CEO, CaliberI’m going to be controversial here and say that PPC is SEO’s poor relation and does have a reputation for lacking creativity and innovation as it’s inherently limited by the platform. However, I’ve also seen some very creative uses of paid search within industries such as recruitment, data collection and affiliate marketing, not to mention your own personal brand paid search tool LinkedIn! In truth both paid media and earned media are as creative and innovative as the brand, the agency and their combined efforts. Please all my PPC friends and colleagues don’t bash me – deep down I wish I was born into paid search! Dan Robins, head of search, CaratI think this often comes as a result of commentators viewing PPC as being driven by Google’s agenda rather than agencies’ innovation, but I would say that the steady stream of new paid-for products emanating from Google (and Yahoo/Bing) provides continuous fresh impetus for PPC creativity – something which is missing from the SEO chocolate box. I only need to look at the number of award winning studies that have come out of my PPC team which had impacts far beyond the search engine results pages – eg. Vodafone’s study showing the impact of search on in-store sales – to see the creativity in the industry. Adrian Durow, head of SEO and CRO, Thinking JuiceI simply don’t view PPC as any more or any less innovative than SEO. After all, both disciplines are restricted by the limitations of what SERPs [search engine results pages] can actually show. Granted, SEOs would create a fantastic piece of video content for their campaigns in order to attract popularity and links, but that doesn’t mean to say that PPCs couldn’t be innovative with landing page content. I believe that the scale of innovation and creativity is not what’s important here; it’s the approach to it. As long as PPCs and SEOs are constantly striving to be innovative and creative in what they do, and they work in a culture which promotes it, then their campaigns and sites will benefit. Ben Hatton, managing director, RippleffectPPC has pushed the cold image of spreadsheets, formulas and analysis by trying to be more science than art, but elements of creativity are still required. Those elements need to be brought to the fore or there’s no way to differentiate a campaign (or agency, for that matter). Well-written copy and tailored landing pages are fundamental to a campaign, but new elements such as site links, product listings and, soon, video listing can all add an extra creative spark to a campaign to give it a vital edge. Duncan Parry, COO, STEAKThe rate of change at PPC engines and third party software platforms like Marin and IgnitionOne, as well as the number of betas that Google launch every year, mean there is great scope for innovation in PPC. Through AdWords you can run campaigns in search results, target consumers by interest across the web with the GDN, re-target them to boost conversions or cross sell, and reach them on YouTube – all across mobiles, tablets and normal computers, taking into account time of day, type of creative, the range of options ad extensions bring, targeting by type of mobile connection. There’s more scope that ever for innovation and creativity in PPC, budget and willingness of the budget holder allowing. A few years ago, the roles were reversed – PPC was the marketer’s new best friend and pre-recession SEO was characterised as slow to yield results and overly technical. The image of the SEO expert was of a monotone programmer who was best left alone in the corner to get on with their ‘dark art’. Chris Rowett, head of PPC, EpiphanyIt really depends on how you see innovation and creativity. This reputation is unfair, but it’s easy to understand, as we see a lot of visually appealing ideas as part of SEO strategy to raise a brand’s profile. However, some of the complex probability models we apply to PPC bidding algorithms are hugely innovative in technical deployment and creative in the way they are executed. They allow you to bid based not only on the ROI you see historically, but also the ever changing probability of seeing good ROI. It is unfortunate that it often requires an appreciation for complex mathematics to understand how creative and innovative PPC bidding alone can be! TV advertising is a traditional marketing medium which is now online in the form of YouTube, amongst others. Imagine being able to see whether someone watched your TV advert or instead went to make a cup of tea. Online, we can measure this through YouTube and test different video creative in a way traditional TV never could. Now is the time to be creative in PPC! Matt Isaacs, CEO & founding partner, EssenceThe real issue is being selective over which opportunity provides the most value to your brand. PPC can be so much more reactive than SEO, and that is a quality that should be more widely appreciated. Both PPC and SEO have their role to play in a digital campaign but tactical timing and strategic messaging offer many opportunities with paid search which SEO cannot offer.This feature was published in The Drum's search marketing supplement.Search image via Shutterstock
SEO PPC Search

Content created with:

Caliber

Caliber delivers Smart Organic Marketing for great brands. That's the full SEO spectrum from technical infrastructure to PR-amplified content.

Strategic partners including Thomson, Saga Travel and Motors.co.uk turn to us for big-picture SEO advice.

Find out more - visit http://www.caliberi.com/.

Edinburgh Office Address:

7th Floor The Sugarbond, 2 Anderson Place, Edinburgh, EH6 5NP

Find out more

Carat UK & Rubber Republic

Welcome to Carat, the world's leading independent media planning & buying specialist and the market-leader in digital and non-traditional media solutions.

Owned by global media group Aegis Group plc. and listed on the London stock exchange, the Carat network is more than 5,000 people in 70 countries worldwide.

Carat defined the sector when we were established as the world's first media independent in 1968. We are now Europe's largest media network, a position we have held for more than 15 years.

Today, advances in digital technology and changing consumer behavior has created an era of unprecedented complexity and opportunity for clients. Media is now an ecosystem that includes bought, owned and earned communications. In this new era, Carat is leading and shaping the industry once again, using media in new ways to deliver business value to clients.

Carat. Redefining Media.

Find out more

Thinking Juice

Hello. We are Thinking Juice.

The integrated agency, for the digital world.

We build powerful relationships between brands and their customers.

We solve the problems and overcome the challenges that brands face in today's world. How? Using killer insights, brand experiences, storytelling, data, technology, media neutral planning, traditional media, digital campaigns and good old fashioned big ideas, to create mouthwateringly effective work.

There's 50 of us. Thinking, planning, designing, writing, creating, building, producing, managing, analysing and doing from offices in Bournemouth and London.

We have been named UK Advertising Agency of the Year. And Integrated Agency of the Year. We've been in the UK's Top 10 Creative Agencies. The RAR said we are the UK's Most Effective, Most Creative Agency, Best in Advertising and Most Strategic Agency. And we've been recommended by our clients for five years in a row as aRecommended Agency.

We'll give you what you want. Fresh ideas. That work.

Here's what some of our clients had to say in the 2016 Recommended Agencies Register:

"Reliably professional group of talented individuals that work really well as a team together"

"Our experience of working with Thinking Juice has been excellent. The creativity we encountered on day one hasn't changed and it is backed up by a commercial understanding of our business and growth plans."

"It's been fantastic working with Thinking Juice, they have always delivered for us particularly on the design and creative elements, as well as delivering on time and on budget. Although we ask a lot of them, they always go out of their way to accommodate our needs. Great agency, great people! Thanks for everything."

Find out more

Rippleffect

Find out more

Steak

STEAK is an International digital marketing agency with offices in Europe, Asia Pacific and North America. We were founded in 2005 by search engine pioneers who saw the need for a specialist digital agency that understood marketing and technology – and could talk the language of both worlds to help brands increase their online presence. Today the STEAK Group brands, STEAK and Minute Steak (www.minutesteak.co.uk) operate at a global level with two of the original founders continuing to manage the company. In 2011 STEAK became part of Dentsu, the World’s fifth largest marketing communications agency, with over 100 offices in 27 countries. The company’s range of services have expanded since it’s early days as a search agency to encompass integrated digital media and creative, but the focus remains the same: to deliver digital campaigns that generate a return on budgets, whether measured against sales targets or brand and engagement metrics.

Services provided Search marketing Social media Affiliate management Mobile marketing Website design Digital marketing strategies

Find out more

Epiphany

Building brand recognition is what we do. By combining organic search strategies, paid campaigns, engaging social and rich content we get our clients in front of the right audience in the moments that matter.

Find out more

Essence

Find out more

More from SEO

View all

Trending

Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +