PPC’s Summer Dog Days

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with yet another great question set titled “PPC’s Summer Dog Days.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: What future initiatives do you try and complete during this “slow” time on the PPC calendar?

  • I am scripting my butt off. To be more specific…automating pricing parameters in headlines for SKU ads. – Leo Sussan (@lsussan)
  • Holiday hygiene, expansion, and ad copy testing if I’m short on promos. – Heather Cooan (@HeatherCooan)
  • The next few months are going to be the busiest for me now with an auto client. Busy, but testing lots of betas. – Nate Knox (@nateknox)
  • Locking down tracking, LP testing, ad copy, keywords etc. so once the “high” season kicks in, we’re able to push 100%. – Michelle Morehouse (@michellemsem)
  • Increased new client prospecting. – Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
  • I’ll be writing holiday ads getting scripts ready! – Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
  • When things slow down, I am going to crank away with scripts and testing some very unusual ad copy with them. Does anyone plan on blogging more? I was about to say that, but I probably won’t in all honesty. – Nate Knox
  • New product coverage is another thing and identifying keywords that are prone to promo hangover. – Heather Cooan
  • Agreed – definitely planning for the busy season, so when it’s here I can spend more time analyzing/tweaking. – Katie (@Scripti_Katie)
  • Slow time? Not every industry slows down in summer. – Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
  • Now is also a good time for a summer version of spring cleaning your accounts. – Matt Umbro
  • Using this time for expansions, refreshed competitor analysis, refreshed ads/shopping, etc. – Cassandra McClure (@imcassy)
  • Now is a GREAT time to get your clients’ holiday promotions and write these ads now. – Matt Umbro
  • Publish that blog post that’s half finished and mocking me. – Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
  • Seasonal analysis. – Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
  • Absolutely. we like to say that “santa is shopping now.” we even made a video to get clients ready. – Michael Cestaro (@Vertical_MikeC)
  • Q1.1: Does anyone have their clients’ holiday promotions yet?
    • Nope. – Heather Cooan
    • Not even close. – Nate Knox
    • I think you might find many clients appreciative of the early reminder to get cracking!! – Josh Devlin (@JayPeeDevlin)
    • Just wrapped up fourth of july campaigns. Need a few days to recover. – Tyler Purcell (@tylerpurcell)
    • Is it the day before holiday promotions go live already?? Oh, then no. – James Hebdon (@jphebdon)

Q2: Is summer a good time to assess year to date performance and make changes? Why or why not?

  • I would argue it’s always a good time to review year to date performance. – Josh Devlin
  • Really any time is a good time to assess performance…as long as you have enough data. – Matt Umbro
  • 6-month mark means you’re halfway through – usually some solid stats. Be aware of seasonal trends though. – Timothy Jensen
  • Yes, if you have a good grasp of quarterly & YOY changes, also yes if your industry isn’t skewed too much by seasonality. – Nate Knox
    • I’m a big fan of constantly tracking YOY and vs previous month so you have good vision on progress. – Josh Devlin
  • I guess so. Half way through…I end up reviewing full year performance for fiscal ends this time of year. Also a good time to review annual budgets and see if there’s any budget leftover or see if you’re trending high. – Heather Cooan
  • Depends on the industry. For those that slow down in summer, yes. Also a good time to write yet more emails explaining to clients why comprehensive results tracking wanted. – Theresa Zook
  • It’s always a good time of year to assess YTD and make changes. Look at monthly YoY growth and seasonality. – Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)
  • Let’s be honest. The client is going to ask about it if you don’t beat them to the punch, so yes, it’s a good idea. – Nate Knox
  • Of course. growth can be attained YOY for any client during any seasonal shift in performance. – Cassandra McClure
  • Now is a great time of year to assess MoM, YTD and YoY to make changes. If it’s PPC for ecom, build for back to school fast! – Thomas Rasinen (@Rasinen)
  • This is the last quarter before enhanced campaigns became mandatory July 22, 2013, so worth checking how things are doing. – Jim Banks (@jimbanks)
  • And some fiscal years start July 1. We are doing year end analysis and planning around here. – Lisa Sanner

Q3: Do you find that performance and traffic tend to dip during the summer in your accounts? Why might this be the case?

  • Yes, just due to the verticals in my book. – Heather Cooan
  • It depends heavily on client. Mostly yes to summer traffic dip for e-com so found smart sales & deals help greatly. – Kirk Williams
  • Some clients= VERY. Other clients, there’s just a shift. Other clients, hardly any change and is ad campaign driven. – Nate Knox
  • Not all, but in general I find most ecomm accounts show lower traffic during summer months, not performance, but traffic. – Matt Umbro
  • Depends on the biz but search traffic in general dips. People should get off their damn screens & take device-free vacations. – Lisa Sanner
  • This is a good time to look for regional new clients in non-seasonal business or different parts of the world where it is winter. – Jim Banks
  • I don’t think traffic and performance would slow down for places like hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions. – David Prochaska (@DavidProHQ)
    • Yeah, I would expect this to be their high season. – Heather Cooan
  • Back to school shopping is second only to Christmas and a major factor in sales that dip in early summer. – Thomas Rasinen
  • I have different definition of ecommerce… mine includes direct payment online for “something” including hotels etc. So selling “items” yes seasonally lower in summer (most of the time), talk about travel/hospitality this is peak season. – Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)
  • Accts dip a bit. No clear reason why. Could be a ton of different factors. – Michelle Morehouse
  • Yep, especially for my vertical. I’d tell you more, but…well, you know the saying. – Leo Sussan
  • Seriously right now $ is spent on vacay ecomm & things for vacay which is why hospitality & travel is up & “things” ecomm is down. – Bryant Garvin

Q4: Do you have any unique targeting methods which you implement just over the summer? What are they?

  • It’s a good time to RLSA on vacation and travel related terms if you have a relevant product/service. – Heather Cooan
    • Love me some good RLSA campaigns! – Matt Umbro
  • Less weekend targeting for some markets. – Theresa Zook
  • Same with interest categories. – Heather Cooan
  • Also a really good time to inventory remarketing lists and run psychographic flights to build what you need. – Heather Cooan
  • I spent the last 4yrs with a co. whose primary product=sandals which accentuated the seasonality. – Josh Devlin
  • No different targeting methods. I just monitor what I’m doing and tweak that. I might have different ad copy and display ads. – David Prochaska

Q5: For those managing teams, how do you handle employee vacation time and associated client management?

  • My team is entirely competent to manage any of the accounts. So if the primary analyst is out their accounts don’t miss a beat. – Andrew Bethel (@AndrewPPC)
  • Make sure the client knows the primary is out for X-time, but that specific people (or person) will be in charge with direction. – Nate Knox
    • Serious? Is it really necessary to inform client? I guess depends how close the primary has communicated with client? – Kirk Williams
      • The relationship matters, but it normally just comes up in convo. They always appreciate the heads up. I’d rather let the client know ahead up time instead of let them receive a random auto-OOO email. – Nate Knox
      • I would no matter what, I’d be annoyed as a client to call up and find my primary point of contact away. – Josh Devlin
  • We just shift tasks around. We’re all more experienced peeps. – Heather Coooan
  • Vacation is important and tasks are (usually) simple, so it’s never an issue to let someone be out. – Nate Knox
  • Acct teams, backups, OOO warnings, OOO messages, fire prevention. – Lisa Sanner
  • Seriously that’s where training & consistent acct structures & Optimizations cycles come into play. Plus regular update meetings. – Bryant Garvin
  • Your team is a resource that needs to be managed, Christmas period is more of an issue than summer. First come, first served. – Jim Banks
  • I think so, yes. Clients generally appreciate knowing who is handling their accounts. – Katie
  • Also where automated rules and alerts can help. – Matt Umbro
    • Scripts for daily metric emails can really help a lot! – Andrew Bethel
  • Keep the client up to date on any possible PoC changes and plan ahead for impact on managing the project/sharing work. – Anthony Coraggio (@AnthonyCoraggio)
  • Those saying “let client know ahead of time” if you are doing your job communicating to begin with this should never be an issue. – Bryant Garvin
  • Has anyone ever been given heat from a client for someone going on vacation, whether or not a problem came up? – Nate Knox
  • A lot of it is about training, delegation & trust. I took one month sabbatical last yr. My Point It team didn’t miss a beat. – Lisa Sanner

Q6: What is one PPC feature/item that you are hoping to learn more about this summer? Why?

  • Scripts, specifically for weather. – Nate Knox
  • I’m trying to master excel vlookup. I always have to look it up and figure out what I need to do before I can use it. – Heather Cooan
    • That’s a good one! I always write that on my to-do list. Sign me up for vlookup mastery. – Nate Knox
  • Excel and automation. – David Prochaska
  • Scripts! Seem to be a great. – Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
  • To echo many here, definitely scripts. I’m also really trying to fine tune my knowledge regarding Google Shopping especially with the transition. – Matt Umbro
  • Not strictly PPC but I’m looking forward to the new GA course on eccomerce analytics and learning about the new UA features. – Josh Devlin
  • I want to understand why Shopping Campaign exports are structured like shit in AdWords editor. – Andrew Bethel
  • Google Shopping. There is that auto upgrade thingy coming up in August. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
  • Wrapping my head around shopping campaigns and any questions my clients will be drilling me on about them! – Erin Sagin (@erinsagin)
  • I wouldn’t mind having a first time crack at scripts too! – Josh Devlin
  • I don’t understand Shopping campaigns well enough yet I think. – Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
  • Definitely drilling into Analytics and the new eComm features. – Anthony Coraggio
  • Attribution modeling and multi-channel attribution. Want to give social ads and display more love. – Lisa Sanner
  • I’d also like to further hone my remarketing skills…so much potential here but I feel I’ve just grazed the surface. – Matt Umbro
  • Remarketing in general. Just being a damn ninja about it. – Elizabeth Marsten
  • I’d love to figure out seller rating extensions…like really know what you have to do to get them to activate. – Heather Cooan
  • My big Summer project is refreshing all of my image ad creative. Its the least important, most important thing for RMKTing. – Andrew Bethel

Resources

More PPCChats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.

Participants

Check out the PPCChat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• James Svoboda (@Realicity)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• Andrew Bethel (@AndrewPPC)
• Anthony Coraggio (@AnthonyCoraggio)
• Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)
• Cassandra McClure (@imcassy)
• David Prochaska (@DavidProHQ)
• Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
• Erin Sagin (@erinsagin)
• Heather Cooan (@HeatherCooan)
• James Hebdon (@jphebdon)
• Jim Banks (@jimbanks)
• Josh Devlin (@JayPeeDevlin)
• Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
• Leo Sussan (@lsussan)
• Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)
• Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• Michael Cestaro (@Vertical_MikeC)
• Michelle Morehouse (@michellemsem)
• Nate Knox (@nateknox)
• Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
• Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
• Thomas Rasinen (@Rasinen)
• Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
• Tyler Purcell (@tylerpurcell)
 

Summer Streamcappin, Had Me a Blast – Summer Streamcappin Happened So Fast

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; WebRanking SEM Manager in Minneapolis, Minnesota, #PPCChat Streamcap Grabber, SEO Blog Author. Connect with me @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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