GinnyMarvinName: Ginny Marvin
Title: Contributing Editor
Company: Search Engine Land and Marketing Land

What’s the first metric you check when you start work for the day?

I’m not doing much day-to-day campaign management these days, but previous day revenue would typically the first thing I check. Of course that depends on the client; daily PPC revenue can be near meaningless for some companies.

What’s one metric you rarely bother to check? 

CPM. I rarely run CPM based campaigns in PPC.

If you had 10 million dollars to invest and you could invest in Google
or Facebook stock, which would you pick, and why?

You didn’t say how long I’d have to invest. Long-term, it would be Google, but thinking short-term gains, I’ll bet on Facebook. Facebook’s stock trend is looking good; advertisers are satisfied and so is Wall Street. Facebook is now showing it can give Google a run for its money in mobile ads, and FBX in the News Feed has been a game-changer for them (even Google wants in now). There is also the new Instagram ad inventory to consider. I think Facebook has finally hit its stride with ad products, and there are still big international growth opportunities. Any social network has the potential to be MySpaced, and Facebook’s “teen problem” could become an issue at some point if advertisers find a better alternative for reaching them. For now, though, there aren’t any other scalable options in social that can compete with them.

Long-term, however, Google has so much depth and breadth on the revenue side in terms of ad product and inventory possibilities, not to mention increasing product diversification outside of search ads.

That said, I’m not one to listen to for stock tips, and in no way am making buy recommendations here.

What do you think will be the most important marketing platform in 10
years?

I think digital as a whole will continue to attract bigger budget allocations, though with channels like connected TV, we’re already seeing a blurring of traditional and digital marketing platforms. And this year, we saw digital companies such as Google, Yahoo, and Twitter make pretty dramatic inroads in attracting brand budgets and get better at positioning digital on par with, or at least a necessary complement to, television.

With digital’s track record this far, it seems odd to even mention specific platforms in terms of a 10 year outlook. That said, I think we could see Google and Amazon battling it out for the “most important marketing platform” 10 years from now. Chromecast is just one more sign of how Google is adapting to changing media consumption habits. Amazon is right there on the diversification front and already proving to be a quiet giant in its ability to generate ad revenues.

Pinterest is still in its infancy, and may still get gobbled up in an acquisition, but an image-based platform has so much potential for marketers, and I think we’re just on the cusp of seeing what it’s capable of.

I’m clearly not good at choosing favorites.

What’s your favorite advertising campaign (e.g. Betty White Super
Bowl ad, Got Milk billboard, etc.)?

I may be particularly attuned to them as a Mainer, but L.L. Bean always has strong holiday-season campaigns. This year’s “Keep Them Guessing” ad this was humorous, touching and spot-on brand-wise, nailing home the lifetime guarantee that is the company’s hallmark. But, WHY is the ad only on the L.L. Bean website and not on the company’s YouTube channel?

What are the three most important qualities of a good account manager?

A good manager understands a client’s business and how search campaigns can support and grow that business. There are so many nuances client to client that can impact how campaigns should be executed. Good account managers can see the big picture and articulate that to the client, and have the analytical perseverance and curiosity (don’t under estimate the importance of curiosity) to dig into campaigns and continue to optimize performance.

The best PPC managers get both the marketing/sales side as well as the math-based aspects of campaign analysis and management. And they leave their egos and unexamined assumptions at the door.

It’s still very challenging to hire experienced paid search managers. The thing I found most important in hiring is not a person’s past work experience in search, but whether they will be able to “get” PPC. If they do, they can learn as long as you’re willing to invest in their training.

What’s the one marketing lesson you wish you had learned earlier?

Just one? Every time I learn something, I wish I’d learned it sooner. But the biggest one is probably that, if a client doesn’t have adequate budget or design resources for a test, don’t do it. It will fail. It will sour the client on ever testing that channel again or ad type again, and they’ll lose some trust in you. It’s a hard lesson to learn because you want to introduce clients to new opportunities, but if the creative is terrible or they won’t get enough traffic to make a dent, it’s just not worth it.

If you could invest in one marketing technology company, which would it be and why?

I’ve already proven I’m not good at choosing a favorite. I won’t name a company specifically, but marketing automation generally speaking is the first area that comes to mind. Not only because there has been so much IPO and M&A activity in the space recently, but because there is still big market opportunity for both established and emerging companies to grow, merge and expand their service offerings. The amount of data companies are generating and have at their disposal, automation is a necessity and will only become more vital for marketers in businesses of all size to stay competitive.

It would be great to see these companies focus on making the integration process less terrible. Anyone who’s done a marketing automation integration knows how little fun and joy there usually is in the process once the sales contract is signed. The technology is supposed to bring great efficiency and power to the marketing process, yet getting it up and running well is often a monumental and exhausting task. There’s opportunity there.

In three words or fewer: the future of digital marketing is…?

Uncharted, thank goodness.

Be sure to follow Ginny Marvin at Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, and on Twitter

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