Recently, I wrote a personal blog post about my predilection for cover songs that bear no resemblance to their originals not ever thinking it would have any relevance to any of my professional blogging activities. Then, after seeing the amazing Slash version of The Godfather Theme Song, a few brain cells of mine rearranged themselves and I came up with the following post idea that I wish to share with y’all.

Clearly, the original movie theme is a masterpiece. To produce this masterpiece, the music had to be composed and arranged. Then, a whole bunch of musicians had to be hired, studio time had to be booked, and many takes had to be recorded before the music was properly mixed into the final version (a long, slow, and expensive process).

Yet using just his guitar, his band (GNR), and a whole lot of ingenuity, Slash took the essence of the original piece, broke it down into its core melody, and created a distinct and IMO a richer, fuller sound than the original…all within the context of his live performance.

Which reminds me of a client I used to work with a while back…

The original engagement involved pure hardcore lead generation using a series of dedicated thematically relevant landing pages. The campaigns worked great and I converted traffic at a remarkably high rate. Converted leads were nurtured via email and the sales piece, though clearly relevant to the success of the business, was kept separate from the lead gen piece, and my account objectives didn’t include sales.

We eventually started getting some good sales data, and I was able to see ROAS based upon my efforts. It was very strong in some areas and very weak in others. With their sales data, a third-party bid management system, and my ingenuity in using it, I could construct a strategy to bid to ROAS for each and every vertical so that it would be profitable.

A couple problems, however:

1)       We could never get the technology implemented properly. I got fragmented data that was unactionable.

2)      The client didn’t perceive their business as one that involved a long lead nurturing process. They wanted to forgo the lead generation and email nurturing strategy in favor of one that pushed quicker, immediate sales. Unfortunately, the pool of keywords that could generate quick revenue at any one time was far shallower, and in going for the quick sale, they would miss an awful lot of leads that would lead to later sales and guaranteed ROI.

In the time since I stopped working with the aforementioned client, I’ve gotten very deep into utilizing Marin Software and its extremely efficient bidding algorithm for a very complex multinational campaign that I’m working with. Instead of using revenue as my target, I’ve been given multiple sets of Lifetime Values for use with the many different Geos, and I use the Marin Dimensions to micro-segment the data, push the different segments into the various bidding folders, and bid each to a specified ROAS calculated by dividing Lifetime Value over Cost for each segment.

Once I implemented this strategy on Marin, the client revenue skyrocketed, and with the knowledge garnered from this exercise, any other account on which I apply the same methodology will achieve similar results so long as the raw materials for success are already present.

Which brings me back to my former client. I see they’ve permanently forsaken lead generation in favor of a shorter sales cycle. If I had them on Marin with a hardcore lead generation strategy bid (via Marin bidding) to a pre-determined sales ROAS using mega-segmentation via Marin Dimensions, once the newly accelerated lead flow began to gestate, their revenues would skyrocket. However, from my outsider perspective, they appear not to have evolved much from where I left them, which is too bad because PPC technology has evolved and they had the opportunity to evolve with it.

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Todd Mintz
Todd Mintz, who has been with 3Q Digital since March 2011, has worked in search engine marketing since 2000 and has used Google AdWords since it began. He also is very visible in the SEM social media space and is a curator/contributor at MarketingLand. He was one of the founding members of SEMpdx (Portland’s Search Engine Marketing Group), is a current board member, and writes regularly on their blog.