Use governance model to optimize PPC work: HP exec

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NEW YORK - It is important to understand your customers and segments and to build a campaign around that understanding, panelists at ad:tech New York's "Pay-Per-Click Search Marketing Insights" session said.

Bill Tancer, general manager of global research at Internet monitoring service Hitwise, San Francisco, gave statistics that can help plan a PPC campaign.

"Over 75 percent of the top 100 search terms driving traffic to all sites are of brand or navigational origin," Mr. Tancer said.

He said companies that are proactively monitoring their brand in search receive more than 85 percent of traffic on their own brand.

Charting seasonality of your brand versus generic terms associated with the brand can reveal inefficiencies, Mr. Tancer said.

"Use a generic curve to adjust keyword buys, brand listing content and site content," Mr. Tancer said. "Also, measuring the volume of searches on branded terms by the number of search terms containing branded terms reveals how brand attributes ebb and flow."

Daina Middleton, worldwide interactive director at Hewlett-Packard Co., talked about the company's governance model.

"A company needs a governance model to optimize pay-per-click activities," Ms. Middleton said.

HP's model has four parts.

First is marketplace portioning to ensure appropriate actions throughout the portfolio like maintaining coverage and tracking competitive activity to remain a leader in the search space.

Second is test and learn. This is where marketers not only test and learn for themselves, but where they share their knowledge with one another.

Next is making sure that there are standards to a consistent approach.

Finally, there is the integration of SEM with other media vehicles to provide a consistent customer experience. SEM should be synchronized with search engine optimization.

"Our governance model has optimized PPC activities across the organization," Ms. Middleton said.

Bob Schnyder, director of marketing at Sunstone Circuits, Mulino, OR, talked about the challenges of audience segmentation.

"The No. 1 challenge is figuring out where to begin," Mr Schnyder said. "It is key to cater to the specific needs of each segment."

The benefit of a segmented approach is that it results in more targeted messaging, he said.

"Without the metrics it's just branding," said Josh Greene, director of online marketing and business development at DiscoveryStore.com , Florence, KY.

Mr. Greene stressed the importance of knowing your channels. He said that its not just about the big three anymore, so its important to mind the other smaller channels as well.

"Pay-per-click is not just search content," Mr. Greene said. "Depending on what your selling shopping comparison engines could be an option as well."

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