Sunday, August 25, 2013


Hi there - if you're looking for the latest updates, visit the Zero Budget Marketing blog over at Wordpress as we've moved to that blogging platform. (If you're a subscriber via email, you'll still get your email updates, so you don't need to do anything.)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Three things I didn't know about Google Adwords campaigns (that you might also like to know)

I've been running (mostly small) Google AdWords campaigns for years now. I've been tinkering and testing and largely getting good results - but Google changes things all the time. Plus there's always elements that I see and wonder what they are and never quite get around to learning about.

So I've been off at Google Engage Bootcamp for Agencies 101 - and it was well worth it. I've had many things reinforced but also learned quite a few things that I didn't know (or hadn't had the time to figure out!).

Here's the three top-line items that bear repeating. If you already knew them, big ticks to you. If not, I hope you find them useful!

1. Taking back control over which ads Google displays

When you set up a few ads within a campaign, Google automatically starts to display one more than others quite quickly, basically serving a lot more of one advert than another. This always annoyed me as I couldn't easily work out how to override it.

You can take back control within a campaign by looking at the bottom of ADVANCED SETTINGS, then scroll down to the bottom of the page look for "Ad Delivery" and then "Ad Rotation" it is quite tucked away!

This then gives you four options - one of which is automatic Google optimisation of your ads based on clicks which is the default setting.  But you can also elect to have it rotate evenly so YOU can decide what you want to turn off and on, rather than rely on the overly enthusiastic Google algorithm.

2. Negative keywords

I knew they existed but hadn't ever used them. (If you don't know what they are, they're basically keywords you DON'T want to appear for). Turns out they are very simple to add. When you're "adding" keywords, you just add a negative keyword (or phrase matches) all in the same spot.

So your keyword list might look like this:

Low budget marketing tips
Creative marketing tips
-pyramid selling
[zero budget marketing]

(The top two are broad match keywords, the third is your negative keyword you don't want to appear for and the final one is an exact match).

3. You can track 'conversions' inside AdWords - and it reports different results to Analytics

I was of the mistaken belief that goals had to be tracked in Analytics - no, you can set up goals in AdWords too. And they will give you different results. AdWords will record a conversion for AdWords as the "conversion" is recorded within 30 days of the click, regardless of the LAST thing that was clicked to create the sale. Analytics will track up to a year but Analytics counts as the "converter" the LAST thing clicked prior to the sale.

To set up conversions, you click on the top menu "Tools and Analytics" and then "Conversions". You then click an "Add conversions" button and you'll usually be choosing "webpage". Basically you get some code to add to the page you are tracking as a conversion (like a thank you page) and then you can track your conversions.

Friday, August 16, 2013

What is marketing strategy? And more importantly - what ISN'Tmarketing strategy?

A term I regularly hear used and abused is "marketing strategy". Most people, even smart business and/or marketing people, use it incorrectly.

The most common error is that people use "strategy" when they mean "tactics" or "campaign". Many also seem to think a strategy needs to be hugely complex, or delivered in a language that's so hard to comprehend it would make the management consultants on House of Lies look plainspoken. And marketing textbooks tend to give long definitions that can leave you scratching your head.

So here's my 'line in the sand' on marketing strategy:

Good marketing strategy - What it is:

- A clear direction for how you'll be working to achieve your objectives
- Something that ultimately can be summarised to a page (or better still, a paragraph)
- A brave or bold choice that you need to stick with for AT LEAST a year
- Something that all your tactical marketing activities must tie back to
- Articulates what's special or different about your business (or how you're going to become special or different) 

Good marketing strategy - What it isn't:

- A goal (your strategy is how imagine you'll reach your goal)
- A bunch of tactical activities on a calendar. You need these too, but that's a marketing action plan, not a strategy.
- A lot of big and waffly words
- Only about the size of your budget
- Something you can ask someone to define for you, or make a firm recommendation about, after a brief meeting!

Glad I got that off my chest...