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What is Your Competitor Paying for Their PPC Ads?

Sorry I’ve been M.I.A for the last 2 weeks… Leon & I have been furiously preparing for the launch tomorrow (Yes – I still have 1 hour left in today – Monday). Unit the 1:00 pm launch (EST), here’s a great conversation that I had yesterday with a Marketing Department Head and former colleague…

Mike P., a friend from my days in print advertising, recently took over the marketing department of a company who is just now starting to advertise online – His first comment was… “Everywhere we look we are coming across Camp X ads for their products and services and we are trying to get a handle on what their online spend is, their response rate, cost per click, etc.”

PPC consultants know that after “How do I get better results from my campaign?” it seems like the #1 question on everyone’s mind is “What’s Competitor X paying for their ads?”

That seems like a fair enough question… but in all honesty, it’s the wrong question.

It just so happened that I did know one of the eBusiness Managers for the Camp X and more-or-less had an idea of her ad budget, so I asked Mike:

“When you look at magazine and newspaper ads, you know that umber of runs, distribution, position, content, etc –make the costs are vary just within the variables of one print copy. And you wouldn’t ask that question for print, why would you ask it for online advertising, that has similar variables.”

“If I told you that Camp X is spending $500,000K a month on online advertising, 60% of that budget goes to PPC, and their cost per click ranges from $0.03 to $60.00 per click, could you really do anything with that information?” (BTW, my friend’s TOTAL advertising budget is $2MM a year)

“What if I told you that I could give you Camp X’s top keywords and ad copy for your market, could you really do anything with that information?”

Though the second question may seem a granular to a VP or CEO, the SEM expert KNOWS that the meat of any PPC campaign is in three places

  • Keywords
  • Matching Ad Copy
  • Relevant Landing Pages
  • & the Know-How to Access / Build Them

Mastering these three items will put the most removed marketer on the right track in PPC marketing.