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Bonus Episode: Amanda Farley on Attribution & the Client - PPC Ponderings Podcast

Bonus Episode: Amanda Farley on Attribution & the Client - PPC Ponderings Podcast

10/25/19 UPDATE: Hello Facebook Agency Visitor Person!  We’re delighted to have you visit this awesome post. About a year ago, ZATO stopped offering Facebook Ads solutions so we could focus solely on what we do best: Google Ads. Because of this, we’re always interested in partnerships with great Social Advertising agencies (like yourself, wink wink!) and we offer referral fees for signed clients!  Anyway, back to it, and happy reading…

Post Summary

Our final guest interview bonus episode on attribution is up! Be watching for our second (and final) Core episode on Attribution to go live before move on to the next ponderings topic.

In this episode, you'll hear the rest of the conversation Amanda and I had that we couldn't fit into our full Core episode on attribution as we all ponder digital attribution together.  If you haven't already, make sure to catch the first full length episode here: Episode 2 - Attribution Concerns & Pitfalls

You'll enjoy this conversation with Amanda, because she so clearly keeps the client in mind as she discussed the ramifications of utilizing attribution correctly. Her agency heart comes out in a great way as she strives to balance Google best practices with client expectations. Give this episode a list, and ponder the attribution models that can be used in your Google Ads account and how they may influence your clients.

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Episode Transcript

Chris Reeves (00:02):

Welcome to the ZATOWorks PPC Ponderings Podcast, where wediscuss the philosophy of PPC and ponder everything related to digitalmarketing.

Chris Reeves (00:11):

Today's show is a bonus episode of our full interview withthe Vice President of Growth at Aimclear, Amanda Farley. Our conversation withAmanda steered heavily in the direction of attribution, implementation and how lookingat the big picture can affect your business strategy.

Chris Reeves (00:26):

If you haven't heard Amanda in our second official PPCPonderings episode yet, go give it a listen. Otherwise, please, enjoy ourbehind-the-scenes conversation with Amanda.

Kirk Williams (00:38):

Thank you, Amanda, for joining us. Really excited to chatwith you here about attribution.

Kirk Williams (00:45):

Let's just start out with the big one. How would you defineattribution? What is it?

Amanda Farley (00:51):

Attribution at its core is really how you're going todecide to attribute value based on either your ad channel or your efforts. Ifthere's four steps in the process and everything that was in the journey gets25%, or you give more weight to the first touch or more weight to the last. Ialso think it's important to note that like this isn't necessarily a perfectmath. It's more of just a way to look at the data to make smarter marketing andad channel decisions.

Kirk Williams (01:21):

All right. And so then, why should we care aboutattribution?

Amanda Farley (01:25):

I think, at the core, there's two ways to look at it. WhenI think about attribution, I think about in channel, so for optimization. So,if you're in Google, you're in Facebook, how are you optimizing your ads? Andthen, I also look at reporting. How am I reporting back on ROAS or revenue orleads? I do look at those things a little differently.

Amanda Farley (01:43):

For attribution in channel, it can really change howyou're optimizing for your conversion performance, which is critical forsuccess, right? With any paid campaign. But on the reporting side, those modelsare also really important because that'll show you what's influencing what, soyou can make smarter marketing decisions.

Amanda Farley (02:03):

Part of one of my favorite conversations, I'm sure a lotof other PPC marketers have had, they're using last click in their reporting,but Facebook's not driving anything. But, then, you turn Facebook off, andthen, everything else tanks, because they weren't looking at the rightattribution, so yeah, it makes us smarter marketers. I think there's a lot ofvalue to it.

Amanda Farley (02:20):

And yeah, it's super complex but also... It's not ascomplex either, though, as some people think. It's not going to be perfect, butyeah, it helps us be smarter, I guess.

Kirk Williams (02:32):

Yeah. No, that's great. What are some of the ways thatattribution can be, maybe misunderstood? What are ways people maybe can, maybeunderstand things incorrectly about it, maybe use it incorrectly? How can it gowrong?

Amanda Farley (02:48):

Part of the challenge I see especially in onboarding ofclients is they don't know that that's even a thing in their reporting system.So, it's all just set to last click default. There hasn't been a lot of thoughtto it, which is really challenging when you think about longer customerjourneys.

Amanda Farley (03:05):

If you have a 12-month marketing cycle, from like firsttouch to when they actually become sales qualified, and you're just looking atlast click attribution in ad channel and like, "Well, why isn't Googlejust instantly giving me leads?," well, you're not thinking about the factthat it's a 12-month buyer cycle.

Amanda Farley (03:24):

Things can definitely go awry, just depending on the stateof an account in which you get it, who's managing it, and then, whichstakeholders or what type of business it is.

Kirk Williams (03:33):

Yeah. We've seen that as well. I mean, you mentioned thetime, just the time leg that can happen. Someone could start their interest inSaaS a year or so and they're interested and they want to buy this tool, butit's really expensive. And so, they just take a while, and then, they forgetabout it. And then, oh, work kicks in. And then, oh, summer vacations are here,right?

Kirk Williams (03:55):

That can happen a lot, especially in B2B or even... Man,gosh, you have people who are the key decision makers, but they're not alwaysthe ones investigating, doing the research and that. So, sometimes, there canbe multiple touch points.

Amanda Farley (04:09):

For multiple people, because you have technical buyers. Soyou're like purchasing departments, procurement. Whoever's going to be runninginterference, I guess, to like give sign off. But then, you have who actuallygets to approve the system. And then, usually, the user isn't the decisionmaker, they're the ones coming in and saying this is what we need, this is whywe need it. Here's the budget we need.

Amanda Farley (04:31):

So, you've got three to four, sometimes, potential peopleincluded in the buy process. So, it's not even just saying user you're trackingin an account from a lead perspective.

Kirk Williams (04:40):

Yeah. And they're probably using their phone when they'retraveling. They're probably like... And then, they're using their workcomputer, and then, maybe they're at home on another computer, maybe their workcomputer is their main computer. And then, their partner is looking up othertype stuff. And so, then, all of a sudden, all this other audience, weird stuffgets in there as well, or whatever. Yeah. It gets complex.

Amanda Farley (05:01):

It's good you bring up devices because even in deviceattribution, I see this a lot where the user starts their journey on mobile.And I think just in the digital industry in general, we like to talk a lotabout mobile experience and are we fast for mobile and mobile, mobile, mobile.But conversions, even on eCommerce sites, I'm seeing like 70% of conversionshappening on desktop on some of my e-commerce clients. And B2B definitely 70 to80%, attorney style stuff, 70, 80%, final conversion is desktop.

Amanda Farley (05:33):

So, it might start on mobile from like a researchperspective, but when they're ready to purchase or ready to take action, that'shappening so much more in desktop than I think we give it credit for.

Kirk Williams (05:45):

Yeah. Yeah. We're seeing similar things. I have seen e-commobile conversions increase more recently, I feel like. I think people, theyare shifting somewhat, but absolutely, desktops, in my opinion, desktops, notreally going anywhere, especially in a business context. When we were lookingat redesigning our site, we just designed our site this year, when I say we,I'm taking credit for the individual who we hired to do that, who did all thework.

Kirk Williams (06:15):

But one of the things as we were looking at that isthere's so much about mobile first, mobile first, mobile first, whichespecially SEO people are familiar with, with Google pushing that. And man, wewere looking into our analytics because we really wanted to think throughthat... And, at least, for our website, agency, you know, B2B, I think exactlywhat you said, 70, 80%, something like that was desktop. It was a pretty no-brainerthing for us to make sure that we design desktop first in mind, not mobilebecause that's our user base.

Kirk Williams (06:48):

So yeah, whether it's e-com, whether it's B2B, whatever,for attribution or for design or any of those things, man, look into your ownstats, probably not just taking what Google or others are telling you online,but check out your own stats.

Amanda Farley (07:04):

I like to add... And depends on your rep, and I knowthat's kind of thing, right? With, all ad channels, but Google specifically,you might have to play the roulette of whoever your reps are depending on youraccounts, figure out who will do it for you, but you can get Google to actuallyrun those vertical trend reports. I don't know if you've seen those where theygive you the seasonality trends, and they also have the device trends.

Amanda Farley (07:26):

And I like to look at those for campaign strategy planningon like time of year to increase budget, is there increase in searches, butcompetition's a little less, or just to monitor the device piece. And yeah,I've seen just desktop, and there's definitely seasonality within B2B, butthen, the desktop piece like accounting services, HR services, IT services, allkinds of stuff where it's just like, yeah, it's like 70%, wild.

Kirk Williams (07:56):

Yeah. Let's talk models, attribution models a little bithere. Maybe go through some of those models, defining some of them that you'reaware of. At least, they can be utilized in Google ads and talk through those.

Amanda Farley (08:12):

Yep. So, first touch, so that's why all the credit goes towho got there first, right from an ad perspective, was it Google, or if you'relooking in the path or assisted conversion path in Google analytics, was itorganic and then, a paid ad organic would get all the credit, and then, you'vegot last touch, which we like to talk about a lot, I think, in PPC, becauseGoogle, for a long time, got all of the credit because that was default oneverything was that they were the last one, they were the deal closer, so theyget all the credit.

Amanda Farley (08:43):

And then, if you look at linear, that's when everything isequal across the board, and then, also position base where you give more creditto the first, or the last touch of the journey. And then, I did want to note,and I'm going to do kind of a shameless plug shout out to Tanner and theAimclear team, because he built out a custom attribution model that we've beenusing for revenue reporting which is so awesome.

Amanda Farley (09:08):

Not to discredit organic or direct, but to better seewhich page channels are pushing the envelope. And it's awesome. It's like oneof the coolest things I've ever seen. He's an absolute data wizard, and it'sjust so cool.

Kirk Williams (09:21):

That's awesome. So, is he utilizing like internal data,and then, is he doing that through SQL or...

Amanda Farley (09:27):

Power BI.

Kirk Williams (09:27):


Amanda Farley (09:27):

Like on scripts. Yeah.

Kirk Williams (09:30):

Okay. Very cool. Very cool.

Amanda Farley (09:31):

Super awesome. Yeah. And-

Kirk Williams (09:33):

Smarter than me.

Amanda Farley (09:35):

Happy to share some time if you're interested because Iwas like, when he showed me, I was like, "You built this whole thingyourself," this is so cool.

Amanda Farley (09:42):

And then, obviously, there's the new... What do they callit? The DDA which is basically the automated smart bidding of attributionmodeling, and... Yeah. I think from a Google ads for perspective, and I'lljust... because I do think this changes by channel. So, for Google ads, Iactually am a big fan of last click for optimization purposes for mostaccounts. However, you have to look at all the different models to decide whatworks for you on that side of things.

Amanda Farley (10:15):

In reporting though, I like to look at position, orcustom-based modeling to show cross channel influence, but that's more about,again, pushing for the conversions at the channel level versus macro reporting.But that's going to vary. And I think that's what's important is that you haveto evaluate it for your business. If it's e-commerce, position base can be areally great tool to be able to link those things together.

Amanda Farley (10:44):

Time decay, I guess is another one, which, honestly, frommy side of things, I don't use as much because it just doesn't apply and thedata is just never there to back it up to make sense. And I like to let thedata tell me which model I should use, and just use the model comparison tool,and even just monitoring, like how many days to conversion. Especially withmore complex sales, and this also would go into like healthcare and big emo...

Amanda Farley (11:09):

Like when you're making a big emotional or financial investmentin anything, like this surpasses like B2B versus eCommerce segmentation. Likeif it's a larger purchase in general, it's not realistic that you're just goingto be like, oh, Google, I've never even seen this before. Convert, lead, ta-da.And you're going to see more cross landing page, cross content channelactivities. I also like to look at peripheral tracking.

Amanda Farley (11:37):

For example, I was working with a color bar where theydo... Basically, it's like pop in, pop out like hair color. So, it's like 60minutes now, go get your hair dyed, and that was multi-location. And we wererunning a four month sprint campaign kind of through the end of quarter fourinto the beginning of the year to support like holiday rush times, andconversions and book and sales were way up, which was awesome. But what was unexpectedwas that there was 30,000 new email subscribers or something crazy, like anunexpected influence action on the main site that had nothing to do with thedirect campaign things. Right?

Amanda Farley (12:17):

So, it was, yeah, it was an attributing value, but yeah,and if we weren't looking at that bigger picture, like that could have wenteasily missed. And I don't know, speaking of bigger picture and justmulti-channel, or just attribution in general, it's, you can't look at PPC in asilo. That's like attribution by influence, not necessarily a technical thing that'sin an ad system.

Kirk Williams (12:41):

Yeah, no, I love that. I think that's a super importantpoint. Especially this podcast is geared towards PPC-ers, and it is definitelytempting for us to be siloed in our thinking. I mean, there's some level wherewhat we're responsible for is the PPC channel, for sure. At least, for us. Ithink Aimclear does multiple channels in that.

Kirk Williams (13:03):

For us, it's tempting to be siloed in our reporting andeverything, and in some ways, because that's like what we're being heldresponsible for. Right? And in some ways, okay, like we're not held responsiblefor SEO. And yet, nothing can harm PPC more than exactly the scenario you justdescribed which is someone else messing something up and wrecking somethingthat had nothing to do with our management.

Kirk Williams (13:26):

And so, there's also that level of, I think attributiondoesn't simply include looking at your own numbers. It does need to broaden outinto like what is best for the business overall. And that actually, even thoughit's tempting to just focus on our own channel and our own numbers, yeah,exactly, keeping a big picture look at the whole business, because that'sreally what the client is most interested in. So ironically, by helping themgrow that whole business not simply your channel, I think the right client isgoing to see that and value that as well. You had mentioned...

Kirk Williams (14:03):

Okay, so, you kind of mentioned this difference betweenoptimization and reporting in terms of attribution, kind of how you thinkthrough that. You had even described liking different models. Can you expand onthat a little bit more?

Amanda Farley (14:15):

Yeah. So, for reporting, I recommend for anyone to look atthe data like in Google analytics and in your reporting channels to figure outwhich model makes sense for your business or for your client, because it is notapples to apples, but typically, this is going to change depending on whatwe're working on, longer, more complex journeys, position or linear reporting,or the Aimclear custom model, if we're reporting on ad channel, performancespecifically is like a great way to look at the data to attribute how are weinfluencing revenue, exactly revenue. Or Salesforce leads, not just formsubmissions, but how did those go all the way into the sales team, into, yourpoint too about the bigger picture of reporting across the organization.

Amanda Farley (15:05):

And I preach this a lot because I've worked with companiesof all sizes. There's data muddiness too with all of this. And as PPC-ers,we're being held accountable to revenue and leads and grow ads without alwayshaving visibility access, or control over like all of these other influencingfactors, it's pretty complex siloed stuff, but like I'm a big fan of identifythe roadblocks and just note it. So, everyone's on the same page. I can onlytrack to this. And as long as we all agree, like you can't hold me accountableto sales if I don't have access to all the sales data, or even insight to thesales process.

Amanda Farley (15:45):

If you guys give me feedback, I can [inaudible 00:15:47]most qualified leads possible. But even that is tough if, depending on whattheir internal systems are which are so much bigger than just PPC. And yeah,like I've done a ton of projects where I've just helped clients like guidingthem through and consulting through complex data. They're like, well, we havethis, we have this, we have this. And we're trying to report on this, and we'rerunning this channel stuff over here, and we're trying to connect it over tothis thing. Right?

Amanda Farley (16:11):

We're still working in somewhat of like a gray box ofsometimes data that can't be connected. So, we can look at influence, we canlook at... We can come up with as many workarounds and connections as wepossibly can, but at the end of the day, there's just, sometimes, stuff thatcan't happen because of internal systems.

Kirk Williams (16:30):

That's fantastic. You had mentioned... I'd like to fleshthis out a little more. You had mentioned just the idea that some models workbetter for different situations, different people, different businesses. Canyou go into that a little bit, and maybe... Because there might be peoplelistening who are wondering what model is best for their situation. Are theresituations where certain model are a better fit?

Amanda Farley (16:55):

Yes. I would say like if you are only responsible forGoogle, for example, and the data says that your top performer in ads and inanalytics is last click, use it. I'm not saying don't use last click. However,if you're running higher funnel stuff too, or you've got like display or videoand other campaigns running, then, maybe looking at a position-based would makesense so that you can show the influence of your YouTube campaigns on yoursearch campaigns.

Amanda Farley (17:29):

So, just even within Google's ecosystem itself, I thinkdepending on what you're running, you could evolve that to make sure thatyou're really showing that, yes, this does have influence. Like Aimclear's beenknown for its ability to report and optimize brand performance marketing. So,really looking at brand halo effects that happen, because our model is wesandbox, and then, scale.

Amanda Farley (17:55):

So we'll go all in all channels like test, and then, we scaleit out. But we look for brand halo effects. Like how do we reach the maxpenetration where you actually increase brand level search and brand level typeof product search that didn't exist before you ran in that market. It's takingit up to a whole other level, and you can report on brand level, higher levelfunnel advertising, still do some of those... I know we talked a lot aboutbottom funnel, like direct correlation of conversions. But yeah, if it's a newproduct line that's coming out, like nobody's searching for it. So, you have tohave other initiatives.

Amanda Farley (18:36):

So, depending on the campaign type, I think it could bedifferent. If it's e-com, like I said, I really like position-based typically,if it's a longer journey. But you also optimize against different conversionsets, right? Because if you have a low funnel conversion that's maybe thecontact form for a demo, but maybe you have a higher funnel campaign running,but the conversion is something else, just because it's higher funnel doesn'tmean that last click actually would work for that.

Amanda Farley (19:02):

I know that's kind of, probably not always a popularopinion, but I think, in our industry, it's not a popular opinion because ofwhat happens in reporting, not necessarily what happens in optimizations. Butat the end of the day, looking in your account and doing the comparison on yourcampaigns and understanding how long is my journey, like the view throughwindows, two of conversions, I like to back those up most of the time as muchas the systems will let me, just to capture as much data that I can. And thatcould change what kind of model you want to test.

Kirk Williams (19:35):

So, out of curiosity, since in Google ads, you can set theattribution model at the conversion level. Do you all do that in your accounts?I'm curious. Do you have your different conversion... Exactly like you said. Ifthere is a specific conversion, let's just say, it is a download a PDF, let'sjust say, we're thinking kind of SaaS, that sort of thing. So download PDF, notreally a huge conversion action. But it is a specific action they're taking.So, you have it as conversion action.

Kirk Williams (20:04):

Do you set that as, let's say, a first click, and then,set a demo as the last click attribution model in your accounts? Or do youpretty much keep all of them with the same model or...

Amanda Farley (20:14):

You know, I hate to say it depends, but it does. No, Ithink like PDF, you could totally do a... I think first click works. And I alsothink position-based works because the chances are that they saw another adthat brought them back, which, then, they converted to that PDF. Right? I'm notsaying there's one model that works more than others.

Kirk Williams (20:33):

Totally fair enough.

Amanda Farley (20:34):

It just depend on the goals. But, yeah, I would say ifit's a higher funnel conversion... Because I'm a really big fan of conversionsets too, or even tracking certain conversions, but not optimizing for some ofthem, just so I know it's happening, but, like I'm not telling the system tooptimize for certain things. So, yeah, I think if you're talking uber lowfunnel, you know...

Amanda Farley (20:58):

But again, I've seen nuances. I don't know if you've seenthis. I have legacy accounts, they have one structure running. The conversionswere set a certain way, and it's performing. And the minute you try to tweakit, it tanks. But then, a totally very similar base campaign in anotherlocation could have a completely different setup that performs completely differently.Like it's really bizarre.

Amanda Farley (21:25):

And especially with a lot of the match-type updates andjust some of the other things that we've seen recently within the Google adsystem, best practice for me is like are we delivering the barrels of moneythat clients are asking us to deliver? Like if it's a lead generation orwhatever, right? Are we driving the end value, and are we showing influencebrand performance marketing halo effects that go into the end value that aclient's hiring you for? So, I don't know if you saw that on your end, but...

Kirk Williams (21:57):

Yeah. I mean, we definitely try to be careful aboutchanges, especially as we've started using more and more smart bidding. We'venoticed that, even with changing attribution model, I'd be curious if younotice that. But we are a little bit more cautious in, even just changing ourattribution model on a conversion now. And it can depend on what thoseattribution models are, what you're changing them to.

Kirk Williams (22:21):

But let's say we are taking a client that we get, they'reon last click. They have a lot of... They have plenty of data. We're going toswitch them to DDA. We do want to think through doing that well, because it ishaving an impact on the smart bidding, because how the bidding algorithmassigns value which is, then, how it assigns bids is like changing. Right?

Kirk Williams (22:48):

And I'm curious to know, I'll throw that one at you. Likedo you all have certain best practices? If you do get an account, legacyaccount, and you do want to go through... you know, it's running, so it'sactively running. It's using smart bidding. Do you have some tips or bestpractices in terms of changing your attribution model on, let's say like thetransactions are like a really crucial conversion now. How do you all think ofthat?

Amanda Farley (23:14):

I ask where I'm allowed to test, and then, I like to startin like a sandbox environment and not mess with what's working and flow roll.

Kirk Williams (23:23):

Yeah. That's a good advice. I mean, that's definitely somethingto consider, is an attribution model, you're like... Especially if it's a keyone like transactions where it's pretty much being used by every campaign. Likeliterally everything. If you take over something like that and the account isspending and it's bringing in some sort of conversions, but like you said,there's a whole lot you should change. I think that's a great approach is youprobably want to think through what are other... Maybe other things that we cantest, or try, and not simply just flip the switch on a complete account,account change here.

Kirk Williams (24:04):

I think it's a tough question. Sometimes, there have beentimes where we're like, man, I'm a little nervous what's going to happen, butclick.

Amanda Farley (24:13):

Well, and anytime you do a change too, you're going to runinto learning curve. Like even with budget pacing, we've been seeing that moreand more, where it's like, if you make two drastic of like budget pacingadjustments, it messes with the learning piece. And then, like, it messes withROAS. So, we've been trying to... Instead of us just like ramping instantly upfor Black Friday, we're like slow doing that to keep our ROAS numbers as we'rescaling it up as best we can without tripping it back into learning.

Amanda Farley (24:45):

So, yeah, even with that, it's like you know you're goingto trip the learning switch at some point. So, if you go in and you change theattribution model, like first seven days might be rough, but on the other sideof that seven days, you could be in a totally different environment. And that'swhy I'm not like one attribution model over the other. It's like let the datatell me what to do, and then, I test sandbox, scale up basically. And thingsare about to get a lot more muddy with no cookies in our future.

Kirk Williams (25:18):

I was literally just going to ask that. My next questionwas, okay, so now, what impact does like privacy... We already some level ofthings like dark social map, but exactly what you just brought up, you startgetting cookies out of there, which is really a core way that remarketing andother audience-based targeting, so that you can attribute value. Right? How isthat going to impact attribution? Maybe talk us through just your thoughts onprivacy and attribution.

Amanda Farley (25:50):

Yeah. I think there's a couple different ways to look atthis. On the attribution cross channel, if you're looking at bigger pictureinitiatives, not just attribution in one certain ad channel or another, I thinkpart of it's going back to the marketing basics, right? So, it's going to haveto be streamlined offers... Back in the day, it was different. I don't want tosay coupon codes. But it's like using different codes and different offers anddifferent messaging, where you can, then, attribute cleaner than you wouldwithout it.

Amanda Farley (26:22):

And not that there isn't some of that happening now,right? With codes and things, but I do think we're going to have to be smarterabout that when we get into more walled environments where we know did thisinfluence this, influence this. Like there's going to have to be some biggermarketing thinking behind how we're going to look at the value of things. Thisis how I look at it. This is my personal opinion. Some people might disagreeand that's totally okay.

Amanda Farley (26:49):

Loss of cookies means a couple things. One, we're going tohave to rely on the channels, but all of the channels still have the data. Yes,they're modeling it differently. Yes, it's going to be more gray. Yes, we can'tmaybe do it in the same sense that we normally did because they're going to...Like fla... I don't even know if [flex 00:27:06] is really going to be a thing.That's a whole other discussion, but-

Kirk Williams (27:11):

It's already dying, and it's not even really happened.

Amanda Farley (27:13):

Yeah. When I think about Microsoft, I think peopleunderestimate the power of Microsoft's data. Microsoft is a powerhouse, theyown LinkedIn. Like Microsoft 365, ClickDimensions. When you think about the B2Bdata that they have that is their data, to some degree, like we're going to beable to buy that through their advertising networks. They might call it onething or another, they might have to generalize it. I'm not really sure how...Like right now, it's like job functions and stuff in the network, but there'ssome power to the data that they own that's their channel data from theircompanies.

Amanda Farley (27:50):

I think when you look at Google, similar thing. They'vegot all these platforms, apps that they own the data. Just because they'reprivatizing some of it, doesn't mean that they don't have it, and they're notgoing to sell it to us to some degree, they're just going to cloak it, soit's... It's just not going to be as cool as like Facebook ads where in 2016,when you could literally target somebody that just bought a dog yesterday, andthen, also had a... they also stopped at the smoothie shop, and oh, by theway... It was just so exact. So-

Kirk Williams (28:22):

I remember a story about that. Right? Some guy targetedliterally only his roommate back on Facebook. I think it was a little newsarticle where it talked about some guy who knew exactly the exact audiences todo, and he targeted one person with it, his roommate. I thought that was sofunny.

Amanda Farley (28:38):

Yeah. Yeah. And like-

Kirk Williams (28:39):

Those days are completely gone.

Amanda Farley (28:41):

Yeah. Those days are gone, but more important than thinkingabout your channel side strategy would be first party contact data. Ifcompanies are not already collecting first party data and managing it in a safeway, that is their customers, their prospects, assuming you have opt-ins andall the compliant things that you should have, that's going to be part of themachine, I think, of when we go to a specific channel to market. It's the crosschannel piece that I think is going to get the muddiest.

Amanda Farley (29:13):

Although, as of today, you can support your Facebookaudiences technically in Microsoft right now. So I do have questions aboutwhere that's going to eventually go, but anybody that was like set it andforget it model and getting away with it, I think that's gone out the window ormaybe getting things for like a 10th of the price. But we will see, and we'llshare war stories throughout.

Kirk Williams (29:39):

One of the great ironies to me of privacy and data, and atsome point, we're going to have a privacy podcast episode, we'll probably bringthis out more. But one of the greatest ironies to me is that, as things... Aspeople become more privacy-focused, as we're going to have more regulation... Imean, all of this stuff is happening, right? Those who are winning, and notjust winning, those who are going to pull away, like there's winning, and then,there's just complete dominating like the basketball team who wins 120 tothree, right?

Kirk Williams (30:12):

And those people are these big companies who have justbetter access, better resources, better ways of gathering and utilizing firstparty data. It's just kind of an irony to me that the ones who will win, and Imean, like win big, I think, against the small businesses are like the real bigcorporations, especially platforms and that who have the ability to have allthis data where it's really not going to impact them almost at all.

Kirk Williams (30:40):

And again, it's actually going to help widen the gapbetween the have and the have nots with data, because they have access to allthat. And the small businesses had been relying on a lot of that third partydata provided.

Amanda Farley (30:54):

I've been seeing that a lot too just from like client tohand of increased price, like just the way that the Google overall pricing hasbeen, just like the continued increase across the board. Even when you aredoing all of the things that you should be to optimize, and I think you'reright. I think the gap is just continuing to grow.

Kirk Williams (31:15):

Yeah. It's changed a lot. So, let's wrap it up. Anythingelse on attribution that you want to make sure that you get the chance to throwout there that we didn't talk about? Give us what you get.

Amanda Farley (31:25):

I think, at the end of the day, my recommendation withattribution is that you need to make sure you're looking at the whole picture.Whether you're in channel and you're optimizing campaign to see what's going towork best, and you're testing first click, or you're testing maybeposition-based because it's some e-com campaigns where that makes sense. Don'tdecide on one or the other. And also, definitely, don't just do one forreporting, because I think that gets us in a lot of trouble in PPC. Well,Facebook doesn't work, or Bing doesn't work, but as soon as you turn it off,that's a thing.

Amanda Farley (31:55):

So, definitely look at all the data tests, sandbox yourtests, definitely sandbox your tests.

Kirk Williams (32:02):

Perfect. Thank you so much. Thanks for joining us.

Chris Reeves (32:09):

This has been a bonus episode of the PPC Ponderingspodcast. Keep checking back for more interviews and our next full episode.

Chris Reeves (32:17):

If you like what you hear, please, consider sharing thiswith your network. Leaving us a review on Apple podcasts. Until next time, maythe auctions be ever in your favor.


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Kirk Williams
Owner & Chief Pondering Officer

Kirk is the owner of ZATO, his Paid Search & Social PPC micro-agency of experts, and has been working in Digital Marketing since 2009. His personal motto (perhaps unhealthily so), is "let's overthink this some more."  He even wrote a book recently on philosophical PPC musings that you can check out here: Ponderings of a PPC Professional.

He has been named one of the Top 25 Most Influential PPCers in the world by PPC Hero 6 years in a row (2016-2021), has written articles for many industry publications (including Shopify, Moz, PPC Hero, Search Engine Land, and Microsoft), and is a frequent guest on digital marketing podcasts and webinars.

Kirk currently resides in Billings, MT with his wife, six children, books, Trek Bikes, Taylor guitar, and little sleep.

Kirk is an avid "discusser of marketing things" on Twitter, as well as an avid conference speaker, having traveled around the world to talk about Paid Search (especially Shopping Ads).  Kirk has booked speaking engagements in London, Dublin, Sydney, Milan, NYC, Dallas, OKC, Milwaukee, and more and has been recognized through reviews as one of the Top 10 conference presentations on more than one occasion.

You can connect with Kirk on Twitter, and Linkedin, or follow his marketing song parodies on TikTok.

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