Anu has worked in Paid Search since 2008, with experiences in agencies, brands and tech companies. She’s also the founder of London’s PPC Live meet up.
In this episode we discuss:
- Why paid media isn’t all spreadsheets and data
- How the PPC Live event started and why ‘done is better than perfect’
- PPCChat and how that became a podcast
- The role of traditional ads in PPC success
- The future of Google ads
Anu is passionate about ensuring that Paid Search is done right and for the benefit of each individual business so as to ensure business goals, not just channel growth.
She is heavily involved with the wider Paid Search community, which has led her to host the podcast #PPCChat Roundup as well as set up an in-person PPC meet-up in London called PPC Live UK (next event is 26 October 23). She loves seeing search managers learn, grow and find new things to test.
Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World by Rand Fishkin.
Black History Month
This is the first in a mini series of podcasts for Black History Month. Throughout October, we’re celebration some of the best black marketing talent from the UK, with episodes of the Strategy Sessions.
Strategy Sessions Host – Andi Jarvis
Make sure you subscribe to get the podcast every fortnight or sign up for it here to have it emailed when it’s released.
If you enjoyed the show, please give it a 5* rating.
This transcript has been done automagically using Happy Scribe and hasn’t been checked by a real person, so there may be some hilarious mistakes where the AI can’t work out our accents – I’m sure they’re trained on just the American accent.
[00:00:00.000] – Andi J
What piece of advice do you wish you’d have had 10 years ago?
[00:00:04.850] – Anu A
The biggest piece of advice I would have wished I’d had is to bring all of myself into a role. And what I mean by that is that paid search, digital marketing, some people might look at the industry and think, Oh, it’s maybe it’s for nerds or it’s for creatives, or it’s for this person, it’s that person. I think that because paid search and digital needs a whole bunch of kinds of people, we need the thinkers, the strategic people, the people who will just do and test things. We need the creatives. We do need the nurse, the data people, the people who have a bit of a flare. We need a whole variety of characteristics and even degrees. That’s something I’ve had discussions about as to what degree did you do before getting to digital? You’d be surprised at the variety that there is in there. So don’t ever disqualify yourself because you think that you don’t fit the right narrative of what it takes to be a digital. Bring yourself, bring the best parts of yourself and anything that you’re missing out on, you can learn as you go.
[00:01:20.400] – Andi J
Brilliant. Thank you for that. That’s a really good introduction. Because I think marketing, if any subject needs people of different backgrounds and different thinkers and different skills, it’s got to be marketing. We’re a people discipline in the end. We’re about people trying to reach other people to make them take an action. So if we don’t get that, we’re missing out hugely. Hey, and welcome to the Strategy Sessions. My name is Andi Jarvis. I am the host of the show and the Strategy Director at Eximo Marketing. The voice you just heard to start with is Anu Adegbola. Anu is the guest on today’s episode. It’s episode number two of Season 4 and also the second in our Black History Month mini-series. Anu is a Search Consultant with Mindswan PPC. It’s her consultancy where she works with companies to basically help them sell more stuff. But she’s also a community builder. She founded PPCLive, London’s only dedicated PPC events. And she’s also got a podcast which rounds up the #PPCchat discussion, which used to be big on Twitter. Before Twitter, well, disappeared and became X, but went rubbish. And also it’s now on Slack and we talk about that in a minute.
[00:02:32.470] – Andi J
So you don’t really need to hear anymore from me, do you? That’s it. You know who that is, you know who I am, so I’ll shut up and let’s get back to the interview. Welcome to the Strategy Sessions. Anu, thank you for joining me. How do you describe yourself? Because you are a PPC expert, you’re a speaker, you’re a community activist, or a community founder, maybe is a better description of that. But if somebody was to meet you in a lift and you were to say, Okay, my name is Anu Adegbola, who am I? What would you say next?
[00:03:07.560] – Anu A
I’d say I’m someone who likes learning about people and bringing people together. I think that’s really manifested itself in my activities in the past couple of years. I like hearing discussions and different people’s points of views about topics. And I never like putting myself in a box of this is who I am, and that’s it. I’ve loved seeing how I’ve evolved in different roles, in the way in paid search, and realising that I can define what I want to do. So yeah, I love learning about people. I love being in different environments. I don’t like being bored. And so if you look at CV, you’ll see that clearly, because I’ve moved around quite a bit in different roles. I’ve gone from agency and to in-house, and I’ve worked at a few marketing tech companies now, and I love it. The traditional trajectory of the career path of most marketing people, they’ve stayed at agency. I’ve gone from junior, mid level senior, and they’re going to be the CMO of a company or that point. I have just defined myself and made sure that I’m happy where I am and where I see my motivation dipping, I look for my next opportunity.
[00:04:39.320] – Anu A
I look even if it means creating it, which is what I’ve done lately.
[00:04:43.160] – Andi J
I love that. Now I’m going to let my bias come galloping out of me and right across this video call that we’re doing. And I’m going to say my first controversial statement of the day, I wasn’t expecting somebody who is a PPC expert, a Google ads expert, to say I’m a people person. Because again, you can hear my bias, most ads experts love the computer and dislike the people element of it. I’m hugely generalising, just to get the conversation going a little bit. But ads and Google Ads, particularly, is a discipline that involves spending a lot of time looking at a screen, looking at data. It’s one of the reasons I’m hopeless at it and never get involved in it, because I love being out there and talking to the people and doing the thing. So do you find there’s a tension in that, in loving the people element of it, but spending a lot of time just stuck with data, reports, all that stuff?
[00:05:44.790] – Anu A
Yeah. I don’t know whether there’s attention or just I’ve evolved with it over time. I would say that one of the biggest things that attracted me to paid search was that interview that I had with my first PPC role, they were like, Yeah, do you like Microsoft Excel? And my eyes lit up. And I was like, You are going to pay me to play with Excel all day?
[00:06:09.570] – Andi J
Hell, yeah. Be still my beating heart. No, right.
[00:06:12.730] – Anu A
I’m like, Yes, finally, I found my people. Because I would also say as much as I like hearing and chatting with people, people can be a drain on energy as well. And sometimes, do you know?
[00:06:31.410] – Andi J
Listen, when you are consulting, you can’t pick and choose. With your friends, you can pick and choose who you spend your time with and who you draw your energy from and put energy into. When you’re consulting and you’re having to manage the client expectations and that difficult guy, and it’s always a difficult guy.
[00:06:52.370] – Anu A
It is a difficult.
[00:06:53.690] – Andi J
Always difficult people. And you come out at the end of the day and you’re just completely rinsed out. But people are complex, aren’t we?
[00:07:03.230] – Anu A
Difficult, interesting. People are complex. I’d say data is easy. You just need to figure out, know what you’re looking for, and know what to work with it, make sure you have the right tools in place that is pulling the data, put the levers in place to pull it. You cannot know what your conversions are really saying unless you put conversion tracking in place. So as long as you put the levers in place to make sure you’re tracking the right thing, data can be very easy. Sometimes when my day is just looking at the data, my brain just says, Oh, this is going to be an easy day. Easy flow day behind the computer, just dealing with the laptop.
[00:07:43.800] – Anu A
I like the mix. Again, if I did data 24-7, I’d find that boring. If I did dealing with people, I’m only doing community building 24/7, then I find that energy sucking to the point where I’m like, Oh, I hate this. I’m not going to do this anymore. I do a mix of both. I like doing a mix of both, Michelle.
[00:08:08.650] – Andi J
I say to my wife a lot of the time, and she works for a company, so doesn’t have the privilege of being able to do this, but I use the phrase, I manage my energy, not my time. I’m the only person in this consultancy. So when I’m busy, I’m busy. And that can mean really long days sometimes, and it can mean weekend work and evening work and stuff like that, I wouldn’t force on anyone else, but I’m doing it because it’s me. But when I’m quiet, even not when I’m quiet, even when I am busy, I’m sometimes like, Right, I’m going to the gym. It’s 1:00 AM. Not 1:00 AM, sorry, 1:00 PM. 1:00 PM, yeah. I’m going to the gym at 1:00 AM. I’m not that stupid. But it’s 1:00 PM, I’m going to do two hours. I’m going for a run. Or my favorite, if I’ve got a problem, I just go for a walk. I live by the sea, and I’m like, I’ve got to solve this problem. I’m going to go walk by the sea for an hour. And you can see her looking at me when she’s working from home going, So you’re going for a walk, and this is client billable work.
[00:09:04.190] – Anu A
[00:09:05.710] – Andi J
[00:09:07.360] – Anu A
Be thinking about their problems and strategizing in my head. It’s work time. The best ideas do not come when you’re sat behind a computer.
[00:09:17.630] – Andi J
It doesn’t. No, they just don’t. They just don’t. That’s not how the brain works. You get out and you do the thinking. I love doing that. Before we geek out entirely and talk about the ones and zeroes and the data and PPC stuff, let’s talk about some of the people elements of what you do, because it’s much more comfortable ground for me, at least. So you started PPCLive, which is a community for the PPC community. Tell us a little bit about that. What was behind it? And why did you think let’s set up an event? Because it’s not usually a get-rich-quick scheme, is it, if you go for that?
[00:09:52.380] – Anu A
Oh, it is not a get-rich-quick scheme. I’ve seen companies who are making good money, good revenue, and then they have good money to invest in an event who have gone, This is not working out. I talk less of one person who going, Hey, I don’t know. Let’s see what people are going to give me to help me put this event together. No, it was more like one of those things where I started doing something before my brain caught up. I was like, Are we really doing this? I was at an SEO event and something I would caveat. I love coming to SEO events. I go to Brighton SEO on a regular basis. I can’t believe I’ve not gone to a reach of Wally’s women and tech SEO yet. I will be.
[00:10:43.800] – Andi J
There next year. I won’t, but a superb event and a brilliant community.
[00:10:48.310] – Anu A
Amazing community there. And in April of last year, 2022, I was at Joe Turnbull’s SEO London event that she runs, like a meetup as well that she does every few months. And I loved it. I was hanging out with friends, learning more stuff about SEO. And as I was walking by, I spoke to one of my friends, Chima. You know Chima?
[00:11:13.560] – Andi J
Yeah, absolute legend.
[00:11:15.470] – Anu A
Amazing legend. I went to her and I was like, Oh, where’s the PPC version of this? I’d like to know there should be a PPC version of it. And she looked at me and said, Yes, Anu, you’re the PPC person. Why are you asking me?
[00:11:29.790] – Andi J
And I was like- And sometimes the answer is really obvious, isn’t it? It’s here, but you can’t see it right in.
[00:11:34.030] – Anu A
Front of your face. Someone points it out and they’re like, Oh, well, another brilliant lady is doing it on her own back for SEO. And I thought, Why can’t I? It can’t be that hard. It is hard. I wouldn’t advise it to anybody. It is not easy. But you have to be a certain person. I feel like I am that certain the person who I use my network, I must say, love the network I’ve built on LinkedIn and Twitter and got people advising me, people referring sponsors to me, even if they couldn’t sponsor. And just the amazing support. Even I’ve got set up a Buy Me a Coffee account and people have put money into that as well to support. It’s just something I dared to do, and it worked. It stuck. I did the first one and loads of people showed up, and the second one and the third one. The fourth one, I feel like the novelty wore out. Maybe we had just the core, maybe 20, 30 people that showed up. But still, I gave it my all. I’m now going to be announcing partners that really want to invest based on that whole, I give it my all no matter the audience size of it.
[00:12:50.540] – Anu A
So there’s potential for this, and there’s nothing else like it. It is London’s only PPC networking events that exist at the moment.
[00:13:02.510] – Andi J
It’s crazy to say that there’s only one in London. And it’s wild, it’s ridiculous. Now, this episode is going out on Tuesday, the 10th of October. Can you tell us who your partners are?
[00:13:16.860] – Anu A
I’d rather say not yet.
[00:13:20.590] – Andi J
That’s okay. I was only trying to get a sneak freak. I was going to then break the embargo and let them know.
[00:13:26.060] – Anu A
[00:13:28.290] – Andi J
Fine. But building communities is tough work. And running events is tough around your full-time day job. But when you put those people together in a room, you said, Oh, only 30 people. 30 people gave up their evening to come to an event that you put on. Take the word only out of that. I think it’s fantastic that people did that. And every great event started, most great events started as a small event. You’ve got to Brighton SEO, their strapline is we’ve come a long way from a room above a pub.
[00:13:58.950] – Anu A
Oh, Bob. Yeah.
[00:13:59.640] – Andi J
You have to build from somewhere. I think it’s great that people get off the backside and go and do these things and that you’ve done it. If you’ve got someone else who’s thinking, I’d love to start a community for me, or what advice would you give to them about that? Whether it’s a PPC community in their area or email marketing or whatever, what advice would you say that you’ve learned over the last year or two since starting?
[00:14:24.430] – Anu A
It is an overused and over said phrase that… I hope I don’t butcher it, but trying out something before it’s perfect is better than nothing. Trying out with something. I have evolved so many times with the different events I’ve run. Sometimes I think back, Oh, my God, if I knew now what I knew at my first event, that first event would have been much better. But it doesn’t matter. The first event is going to look different from the second and third and fourth and fifth. You’ll get better. So trying out whatever you’ve got, whatever resources you’ve got at the end of the day, what you need is a location, maybe at least a minimum of one speaker that’s willing to give up their time, and Eventbride to sell your tickets, whether it’s free or you want to put a price tag on it. And then maybe some funds to push into it. And this community stuff, loads of companies want to be involved in it. Someone I know who is up north wants to start a PPC event, and Microsoft are like, Yeah, sure, we’d love to partner with that. We’d give you our location for free thing.
[00:15:40.500] – Anu A
Because loads of these big companies, they have a lot of bureaucratic issues from being able to just do an event so quickly. If you have one person who’s like, Don’t worry, I’ll organise everything. Just give me a location. Just give me a venue spot that we can use. Because those can be very expensive. The companies will sell their venue spaces. That can be the expenses. If you just partner with a company, you look on this website, if they’re talking about, Oh, we’d like to. We love our community, we want to do more of our… Those are the people you target and say, Hey, one way of loving the communities, give us a space to have this event going on. So don’t worry about you. You are not an event organizer. You are not 100 % sure how things are going to run from A to Z. There is loads of you can start and you can learn from that first event. And one of the best advices I was given by this guy called Georgia, who runs Sheffield DM, I don’t know if you know them.
[00:16:42.770] – Andi J
Yeah, I’ve spoken of that. Evolved. Yeah, I mean, he’s not evolved, Evoluted.
[00:16:46.240] – Anu A
Sorry. And they’re part of Evoluted. Because he was one of the first people I spoke. And I was like, Georgia, I’m thinking of doing something like this in London. What do you think? He’s like, Do it. If you don’t like it, you stop it. It’s not the end of the world. It’s not the end of the world. If you try something and you didn’t like it and you just go, Well, that didn’t work out. Lots of people have done that. It’s not been the end of the world. You move to another path or something like try something. Something that we say about a big thing in paid search is test and learn. Test something and learn. Don’t just do a hypothesis of this will not work. Test it out. If it works, great. If it doesn’t work, you learn something. You learn something about what to do or what not to do, and that’s what you need to do in events. Test it.
[00:17:31.370] – Andi J
Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn. That’s a great little phrase, overused by a manager I had 15 years ago, but it stuck with me because he was right on that one thing, at least. Absolutely. So you run PPC events, but that also comes from the fact that you’ve worked in paid media for a little while, right? And you also have a podcast about PPC. If you’re watching the video just over your left shoulder, there’s a little PPC chat. There you go.
[00:18:02.690] – Andi J
But if you’re not watching, there’s a link in the show notes you can click in and go and find the podcast. So tell us about the podcast as well. And why is it your second favourite marketing podcast after this one?
[00:18:15.820] – Anu A
Of course. Well, BBC Chad was born out of this great… Well, it used to be a Twitter conversation that used to happen every week. Twitter has been having issues. Let’s not even going into that.
[00:18:31.270] – Andi J
Listen, I’m going further. I’m going further. Marketers love declaring things dead. Twitter is dead. And not just because it’s rebranded to X. I open the app, I look at it, it’s a holy mess. And then I close it and I’m like, What happened to this platform?
[00:18:46.940] – Anu A
What happened? So many potential. So many potential. The shit show. Absolutely. So we now have it on our Slack. We have the Slack discussion that happens every week, Tuesdays, 5:00 PM, UK time. And especially when it was happening a couple of years ago, it was really brilliant for me. For me, it was a personal connection, because when COVID hit, all of a sudden, we were stuck in our houses. I wasn’t having PPC conversations with anybody anymore, really. I was just desperate for that outlet, and PPC Chat gave that to me. Loads of great marketers on there, PPC experts on there, a lot of them from the US, led by a lady called Julie Bacini, and she will lead a one hour chat, but she’ll ask about five or six questions. And whenever you answer, when it was on Twitter, whenever you answer, as long as you put in the hashtag PPC Chat in your answer, you are in the discussion. And we just talked about everything, getting to PPC, whether you want to talk at conferences, how you did Bid strategy, ad copy stuff, the whole variety, great conversations that we were having. And after one of the chats, somebody was like, Oh, no, I missed it.
[00:20:01.560] – Anu A
I wish there was a way of someone just recording this, and I could just go back and do it. I might be like the light bulb. You could just see a light bulb go over my head going, Well, I know I love to talk. I love to talk with probably clear already from this episode. I was like, Why don’t you do the round of and then give your points of view and some of these questions that Julie is asking. And that’s how it hit off. I’ve hit like 263 episodes because it’s like, Yeah, week in week out. Julie is very… And it was, as you must know, when you start a podcast, you need to be able to know that the topics are going to keep coming. Your ideas for topics are going to keep flowing. I’ve pretty much just relied on Julie on that. She’s been amazing. Julie has come out with, as I’ve said, over 200 topics to talk about. And so I just record those episodes. I give my point of view on the questions she’s asking and wrap it up in a 30 to 40 minutes episode per week.
[00:21:05.410] – Andi J
I love to talk. And as my mom would say, I could probably talk to myself in an empty phone box.
[00:21:10.880] – Anu A
But I couldn’t podcast- That is what I do. I do talk to myself in an empty.
[00:21:15.080] – Andi J
Phone box. But China, if you were doing… I have nothing but respect for people who do solo podcasts to knock out an episode a week or two a week. You’re like, Really? It’s just a lot.
[00:21:27.850] – Anu A
Of work. It just came… You need to have a system. You need to have a system that you know is going to work for you and also be kind to yourself. I will admit there could be a lot more than 263 episodes. There are some episodes that have skipped either because I’ve decided, Hey, I need a holiday, or I’m just not feeling like it today. But that has been very few and far between. Because with podcasts to keep your audience going and interested, you need to keep showing up and set the rise to the expectations that you set. But for me, it’s a schedule. Tuesday evening, Wednesday morning is dedicated to PPC Chat Roundup. I know I’m either going to be recording it. I’ve got tools that really help me with quick editing. Sometimes I’ve brought help on to help me with the editing. I’ve got tools like, yeah, it used to be Anchor, but now Spotify bought them, so Spotify for podcasters. Spotify for podcasters, right? Yeah. They make that simple. I put it on one platform, it gets distributed across all the different platforms. So I had a system. For someone who does that, something that frequently and you’re going to do something that consistent, you need to have a system.
[00:22:50.820] – Andi J
So my last people question, you take all your PPC knowledge and you move it onto the stage and you talk at events about this. So not just the you all night, but you talk. How do you communicate? I’m fascinated. When I talk at conferences, I talk about big picture stuff. I talk about people and how people work and that thing. I don’t get too technical into marketing.
[00:23:15.630] – Anu A
[00:23:16.350] – Andi J
Always amazed and astounded when I see really great SEO and paid presentations that managed to tell the story of what happens without getting into the weeds of it. Because as a subject, it is really easy to get into the weeds of, into the accounts and down to the micro detail. But when you watch a presentation like that coming from the stage, it’s just really difficult to follow and sends most people to sleep. How do you take a complex subject and break it up and present it back to people? How do you do that when you’re speaking at events? To be fair, for.
[00:23:51.500] – Anu A
Those that have managed to do it, those of us that do it, I would say it’s a skill. I wish I were saying that it’s a skill. It’s a great skill. I’ll pat myself on the back a little bit there and saying that I’m grateful that I’ve got that skill. It takes a lot of preparation. That’s why I’m like, speakers are unsung heroes. I’m very grateful to all the speakers that have come to PPC Live UK, and I try to show them that gratitude by taking them for dinner or taking them for lunch or giving them a little swag pack, because it takes preparation. It takes… You will write a first draft, second draft, third draft, fourth draft of your presentation. And then what I’ll do is that my first draft will be jargon-full and will be loads. And then I’ll look at it from an audience of like, if I was a client, let’s say, doing client relations and I was the client looking at this presentation, will I be able to follow it? If the answer is no, I start scrapping things. I start formalizing things. One thing I would do, give a shout out to Brighton and what they do that’s amazing with the speakers.
[00:25:04.140] – Anu A
They give them speaker training, but they also give them guidelines of what the presentation should look like. Don’t go deep into having 20 bullet points on one slide. They’re like- Bullet points. -you know the bullet points? We hate it, right? Be picture heavy. This is a presentation. People are more visual. Show graph or show a nice picture. We’re in the world of memes. Put it through a meme to express what you’re trying to say. At the end of the day, you want people to listen to you and not be reading your slides. That’s one thing, one thought process and advice that I always keep in my head. You want people listening to you and not reading your slides. You must be the person that knows the topic you’ve chosen inside out to the point where you can write one word on a slide and you’ll know what to say, and you’ll know how to tell the story, and you’ll know how to take the audience’s mind on a journey and go through that. It’s not about what you put on the slides. It’s knowing the topic that you’re going to talk about inside out, so that even when you prepare, you can even go on tangents.
[00:26:21.690] – Anu A
You know how to go on tangents and bring yourself back because you know the topic so well and you know how to take that audience on a journey.
[00:26:31.190] – Andi J
Brilliant. The advice I was given and I give to people, you are the presentation. If you got slides, whatever behind you, that’s a supporting act for you. You’re the presentation. If the slides don’t work, you’re still there. Present. Go for it. And then that’s just when you need to use it for a certain reason. I love that humanize it. I’m a big fan of it.
[00:26:51.680] – Anu A
Yeah, humanize it.
[00:26:53.420] – Andi J
So as we get out of humans and into robots, the paid ad world has changed hugely in the last decade, as lots of things have. And 10 years ago, people using AI, not AI tools even then, whether but using automation in paid accounts were probably relatively unusual and often frowned upon maybe as like, What are they doing? Now it’s the other way around, I think. What’s changed in that decade and what’s your view on is it a good thing or what’s happened there?
[00:27:23.690] – Anu A
What has changed into people being more like they want to do or it’s okay to do automation? Is that what we’re trying to get to? I’m personally glad people finally caught up. I’ve been pro-automation from the beginning. I’d always like to call myself a lazily efficient person, because if I can do something in half the time, I’d rather do it in half the time. I’ll speak into a friend over the weekend, Billy Gina, she’s also a big name in the SEO community. And she was like, I’d rather spend like a day or even 30 hours creating a template that will allow me to do something regularly and it will take me five minutes. That task I now need to do regularly. That’s me to a T as well. I don’t like in paid search world changing bid strategies and doing manual changing the bid from 60 pence to 70 pence. And when you start getting big accounts, because that’s the dream, especially if you’re an agency or even as a consultant, you want to get that big account that gives you a lot of budget that really allows you to make the most of Google ads and its accounts.
[00:28:37.360] – Anu A
So that means you’re dealing with loads of keywords, loads of different campaigns. Trying to manage that manually without using automation is a waste of your knowledge, a waste of your capability, and it’s a waste of the client’s budget and their management fee, what they’re paying you. So it’s all about finding the best way of using automation. And that’s the key. It’s not just about using automation. It’s about finding the best way of using automation that will work for your account, because it’s not a one size fits all. It’s not a set it and forget it solution. You still need to teach it a lot of things because there’s very much a garbage in, garbage out system as well. So yeah, it takes a lot of teaching the automation what it needs to be doing well and making sure you’re keeping an eye on it, where you can help a lot with the heavy lifting.
[00:29:36.210] – Andi J
But the role of the person in managing that is still not disappeared, though. It’s changed, it’s evolved, but it’s still there.
[00:29:42.970] – Anu A
It is still there. I mean, people are still… We’re talking about how Google might change a lot of the way the search, the way that Google ads are… We are going to have to do Google ads and do paid search, and how you wouldn’t be able to bid on a keyword, and how that’s not too long to go. But I generally think how quickly that comes about is very much, and it depends. Even with the likes of ChatGPT, something that is not going to be new information to anybody listening to this is that this information is not up to date. It’s about two years late. Pretty much everybody knows that. How about the information that is new today? Talk less of the fact that it’s still trying to catch up with the two years’ information in a year’s time. Will it really know the information that got created today? I don’t know. I also think even with SGE, search, generative experience thing, people are going to be searching using all these phrases and everything. I don’t know. Every once in a while, I still just search for Ryan Reynolds. I don’t necessarily know what I’m searching for.
[00:30:59.590] – Anu A
In the West Side.
[00:31:00.840] – Andi J
Ryan Reynolds, probably.
[00:31:02.460] – Anu A
It’s a short term. We are still going to be doing the short term of recipe for cake, recipe for lemon tart, we’re still going to do the short phrase term searches as well.
[00:31:18.890] – Andi J
I think. One of my favorite things on busy public transport is looking over people’s shoulders and looking at how they’re using their phone. Not for scandalous reasons, but just how people use social media and how people engage with Instagram or what they’re searching. And it’s fascinating to do. Probably illegal, but don’t.
[00:31:35.960] – Anu A
Tell anybody. I was going to say that sounds tad creepy.
[00:31:39.290] – Andi J
Only when it’s busy. I’m not like when you’re wedged up against someone. But what I want to go back to you said about new information while you were talking about ChatGPT, but you dropped something in there, which was new information to me about this talk that you’ll not be able to bid on keyword soon in Google Ads. Is that the way the industry is going? What’s happening with that?
[00:32:01.290] – Anu A
Yeah, you’ve not heard about that. Well, to be honest, Google has not released anything or made any indication towards that. But it’s one of those the way… Forecasting is a mystery thing, but you can make guesses. You can be like, based on the journey of what it was like 10 years ago and where we are and what that journey looks like in the future, we have a lot less data to play with. We used to have a lot more in terms of search queries, like even though we’re bidding on certain keywords, whether it was broad, phrase, exact, we could always still see the exact search term that came through based on those match types. Even exact right now, I hope I’m not going into too much jargon for your business. No, no, no. Even like exact match, everybody says this is not exact anymore. That’s the most famous phrase that came out of the last couple of years, because exact can now bring in a variety of terms. And you’re like, I want to only bid on the exact keywords, and Google is not even allowing that anymore. And then Google is hiding a lot more search keywords.
[00:33:17.510] – Anu A
We’ll see maybe, I don’t know, 10, 20 % of our search terms, and then there’ll be a whole grouping of other. And then it would show the stats for other. We’re like, What is other? And there’s this whole, Oh, data privacy. We’re doing it for data privacy reasons. We’ve already had that happening for a while now, and they very much are pushing using only broad match with either PMax or broad match, if you’re going to do keywords by using PMACs campaigns or performance max campaigns, or what’s it? Smart bidding. So Google Smart bidding- Is.
[00:34:00.830] – Andi J
This more of… So rather than the old way of doing Google ads would have been to tell it, I want you to bid on A, B, C, and D, and these are the variables I will give you in terms of bid and cost and that thing, and you’d be very restrictive. What Google is looking at now is a very different ads ecosystem where it’s more like, Tell us what you want to achieve and just trust us to do everything else.
[00:34:27.420] – Anu A
Absolutely. It’s just literally tell us almost like the theme. Give us a theme of what you want to bid on. And then even the ad copy, you have the ability of like, as well, just give us a theme. We can create ad copy for you. Just give us your landing page. We’ll create that copy based on that. And then nobody likes that. A lot of us don’t know.
[00:34:49.780] – Andi J
But not even the AI written ad copy. Okay, the AI generated videos that it throws up when you use performance marks are horrific.
[00:35:00.940] – Anu A
[00:35:02.110] – Andi J
[00:35:02.320] – Anu A
Seen any of those? I’ve not seen any yet. I need to investigate that. I need to find out.
[00:35:06.990] – Andi J
Who can do that. Tell me if I get this wrong. Performance Max is the newish Google product that takes this approach. If you give a set of some parameters, we do everything for you. But it uses the whole Google suite of products, doesn’t it? So if you don’t upload video, it’ll then just go to website, look at what you do, use an AI tool to throw this video together, and hey, Presto, you’ve now got YouTube ads going up, which for some brands might work if you don’t have that. But I’ve seen some examples of fairly premium brands with some, let’s call them not premium videos being used on YouTube ads. And you’re just like, Oh, the brand manager is going to be crucifying somebody.
[00:35:49.670] – Anu A
Honestly, absolutely. I’ve seen it in some conference talks that I’ve seen where they’ve shown us the example of the videos, the images that the Google has created for PMAX. And I’m like, Oh, that’s dangerous. That’s dangerous. Always make sure you have your assets in place and give it the access that you want the campaign to use definitely.
[00:36:14.010] – Andi J
The future of Google’s revenue is still heavily dependent on ads, so you don’t see a poor future for this, a negative future. You think it’s going to change, but there’s still going to be a great future for ads for businesses out there to be able to reach their customer.
[00:36:31.160] – Anu A
Absolutely. I mean, we’re going to stay digital unless something dramatically changes that we can’t foresee right now. People are still online people. People like that mobile connectivity to the world to search for things. I don’t think that’s going to change, and it’s just about using it well. But one thing that has never changed, though, is that it’s still about… Something that we said right at the beginning of this episode is knowing your customers. Know your customers, know where they are, know where they’re not. Don’t necessarily be the person where I need to be on every platform. I need to be using every new shiny tool. That’s why I love putting these events together. You’re talking with human beings who are like, Okay, this is what’s going on. This focus groups almost sounds like something that’s very archaic and something very old fashioned. I think we should really… I hope companies are still doing that.
[00:37:30.790] – Andi J
Do your focus groups. Talk to people. I love a focus group. If you’re not doing focus groups, my contact details are in the show notes. Now, I said it on the last episode, and apologies to anyone who’s listened to the last episode and this one, but I’m going to make the same point. I went to an e-commerce conference in Athens at the beginning of this year, and I asked the question to the audience. During the Q&A, they’re asking me questions, I asked them a question. How many people have spoken to a customer in the last six months? Not read a report, but actually spoken to one. It could be on the phone in person, whatever, six people. Six out of 300 people had spoken to a customer. And I’m just like mind blown by this. Just incredible stuff. That’s why when you started with being a people person, I was like, This is a superpower in your world if you love talking to people and getting out from behind the screen.
[00:38:26.090] – Anu A
Yeah, get the feedback. Even if it’s like… The talking is more important, but at least base level. To send surveys out, do the feedback forms. What do you think of how we’re doing things? What do you think of the platform we’re on? Even in my community group and our WhatsApp group, I’ll do polls every once in a while saying that, where should we expand to? What resources do you want? Because you can just start down a rabbit hole of thinking you know exactly what the customer wants, spend hours and a lot of money and a lot of things are like, Oh, we’re going to do this, and it’s going to be this shiny new toilet and our customer will love it. And it just falls flat on its face. Flat. Just because you didn’t talk, talk to your customers. You did it.
[00:39:14.420] – Andi J
Absolutely. I think if I don’t get it tattooed somewhere on my arm, it’ll probably end up on my gravestone when I die. Like here lies Andi Jarvis. All he ever used to say was talk to your customers. And then the day I was born and the day I died and that’s it. And that’ll be my gravestone. And do you know what? I’d be happy with that. I wouldn’t be mad about it at all. I would not be mad about that.
[00:39:36.350] – Anu A
[00:39:37.500] – Andi J
So we’ve been through the Googly bit and the techy bit, but now we’re going to come back to people. You’re a consultant in this world and you work with clients and a freelancer, however you define yourself. But when you come on to working with an account, what problems do you see fairly regularly with accounts? And also tell what a good customer looks like. Is it account size or industry or whatever? But what problems do you see when you start working with clients?
[00:40:09.230] – Anu A
The biggest problem, the only thing that really, for me, separates a good and a bad client, and I’m really glad you asked this question because that is a lot of what I’ve been talking about on LinkedIn lately, about spotting the good and the bad client and what to do, what to promise, what not to promise, that thing. For me, the difference is someone who comes and doesn’t necessarily know anything about paid search, and they’re just like, Oh, I want to be on the Google search. But they don’t know why. They’re not necessarily doing anything else in the ecosystem, in the marketing ecosystem. And they’re just thinking that PPC is this magic wand that’s just going to fix their traffic problem. We’ll show on Google. I might find some Google- Is it not? No.
[00:41:05.180] – Andi J
But Google said…
[00:41:06.250] – Anu A
No, sorry. Go on. The amount of people come to me, but Google said, told me to turn this on, so I turned it on. And I just want to slap them from across the screen. But even with those people, what I then go is that, look, let’s take a step back. All the first thing I’ll do with you right now is a training project. Let’s do some basic training, one-hour training of like, what PPC means, how it works, what you need to be doing before, doing after you’ve turned your paid search campaign on, what you need to make sure is in place, the foundation that you need to put in place to ensure that PPC will work. I know even that to give PPC the best chance, it’s not even about ensuring PPC will work. It’s about giving PPC the best chance. Because I’ll say this a million and one times, you cannot guarantee clients any results. You cannot say that, Well, this is exactly what’s going to happen. That is it. That will definitely work. But you can put things in place to give paid search a very good chance. You need to be doing SEO well to give PPC a good fighting chance.
[00:42:21.910] – Anu A
Then you’re doing email marketing well, that can also inform what customers are responding to so that you know what you actually put in terms of the copy of your PPC, CRO. Oh, my God. Making sure the landing page that we’re sending people to is actually going to convert, because clients no longer are all about the clicks. That was 2002 tactics. I would just give me the clicks. Clients want to be like, What revenue did I get from this click? What profits did I get from this click? Everybody’s trying to reduce the cost and make sure the revenue is high. To be able to make sure that you are making paid search as efficient as possible, there’s a lot of different channels that need to be running well and need to be informing paid search. You need to be talking to those departments. They shouldn’t just be happening, but you need to be talking to each other to be saying, What’s working? You might even find that something’s wrong in PPC and figure out what the problem is by talking to the SEO team, by talking to email marketing team, by talking to the CRW, and you’d be like, Oh, now I know why PPC has gone wrong as well.
[00:43:31.700] – Anu A
Sorry, coming back to your question as to the difference between a good or bad PPC client is the matter of having a client that will trust you as well, will trust you, that even if they might come with their biases, they will still listen to you, know you to be the good PPC expert that you are, and be ready to be educated and understand the things that need to be done before PPC to be given a good chance to work. The bad clients are the ones who are not willing to listen and who are just going to be bugging you every other day and complaining about everything not working the way they thought it was going to work. So yeah, those people, be careful.
[00:44:18.440] – Andi J
They’re not just bad clients, they’re bad people. Anyone who’s not willing to listen in any form, facet of their life is usually a person that’s going to suck energy out of you. That just tends to be how it is. Now, I was told many years ago by somebody in the SEO world, I asked them the question, not on a podcast, just generally in a chat with a beer in my hand. What’s the one thing that can have the biggest impact on SEO? And the young lad stood for a minute and thought, and he went, TV advertising.
[00:44:52.020] – Anu A
[00:44:52.830] – Andi J
And you know what? I think he’s right. Brand awareness basically has a big impact on SEO. And it’s a couple of years ago, this conversation, but I stand by. And anyone who wants to challenge me on that, I’m happy to have that debate about it because it actually drives up lots of things. What about in paid media? Does TV advertising or out-of-home and old school traditional advertising channels, does that have a big impact on paid performance? Is that a good factor?
[00:45:26.660] – Anu A
Huge. We would do. I was really lucky to work at an agency where the brand we were working on, they would tell us TV schedules of when their ads were going on TV. Without a fail, we’d see spikes in volume, especially impressions, because that’s the first thing. Because all of a sudden, someone sees an ad, and especially the very intelligent, I’d say, brands that go in the TV ad, search for this and you’ll find our brand. Because all of a sudden, you talk to your PPC advertising team saying, Make sure you bid on that term. Now we’re going to show on that term that we’re going to put in the TV ad. We always got an influx of impressions and clicks. As long as we were very much being integrated, integrate very well with the TV advertising, with your paid search campaign, and with the landing page, you always get good performance around that. And it might not even be the brand. There’s this guy who is this famous money saving expert, and I used to work for a financial company. And we’d also, even whenever he talked about… Whenever he talked about… And or ifThey’d work with him and they were like, Look, we’ve created this thing.
[00:46:49.580] – Anu A
And if he mentions it in one of his programs, we’d always see an influx of performance, of volume, and click-throughs to the site, and mostly conversions during that time period. Absolutely, yes. Absolutely. The best branding, I think, still is TV and PPC works best when you’ve got good branding going on. Ppc is cheaper for you, the cheapest for you if you’ve got strong branding and strong TV advertising going on for you, absolutely, impact.
[00:47:30.800] – Andi J
Definitely. Who’d have thought multichannel marketing was the way forward? I mean, here we are in 2023. Who’d have thought? Look, as we’re coming towards the end of this, I want to ask you a little bit about education. You touched on degrees at the beginning, but I also noticed from creeping your LinkedIn profile, you’ve done the mini MBA in marketing with Mark Ritson. I’m a graduate of that programme too, I’m a big fan. And Ritson is previously of this podcast. Them, swore a little bit more than you did, if I’m absolutely honest. But that’s okay. Well, I.
[00:48:04.250] – Anu A
Just feel humble that I’m on the same podcast that Mark Ritson has been on. I’m like, Yay, look at me now.
[00:48:10.710] – Andi J
I’ve made it. So what took you to do that particular programme and what did you take from it?
[00:48:20.140] – Anu A
The mini MBA course. It was something that I took on when I was in a CMO role with Brain Labs, and it really opened my eyes, gave me further understanding about multichannel marketing and the importance of it. Really great with thinking about marketing strategy. One of my biggest lessons is something that we’ve said at Nuzim at this podcast already, like know your customers. He was very big on that. Even as a marketer, even if your grandma uses the product they’re using, you don’t know the customer until you ask them. You cannot start guessing on their behalf. And even if you were a customer, I think what was really great is that he said is that even if you were a customer before you became that brand, don’t assume your personal experience is what now you should be basing the brand strategies on, because you just miss out. You just miss out. It’s always still important to talk to the customer. So I bet you and him will have gravestones next to each other saying the same thing. We’re not… Not too far from them in terms of the communicating. He was very big on that.
[00:49:33.780] – Anu A
Talk to your customers and do the research first in terms of a brand before you start taking action on something. Because you need to really do a lot of educating yourself when you start a new role, when you start in terms of being, especially in any marketing role, no matter the seniority, it’s very important you really educate us to what needs to be done. Know the audience, know industry well, know the demographics well, know the marketing trends well, really educate yourself on what will work before you start implementing stuff. And just knowing how to do that and balancing the different channels well together. Yeah, those are my huge, big takeaways from his course.
[00:50:23.730] – Andi J
I don’t agree with everything Mark Ritson says, but I agree with a lot of it. And certainly, like you that customer centricity of putting them at the heart of everything you do, it is easy to say sometimes, but when you’re in a busy role in a big company, it can be hard to keep them the customer front and centre. But without them, we have nothing. We literally have nothing in market. We don’t even have a discipline. The clue is in the name, marketing. It’s about the market. There’s a lot of lessons there from Ritson’s course that I’m a big fan of it. And if anybody does want to ask any questions about it before they sign up for it, give me a shout. I’m happy to talk about it and tell you why I loved it.
[00:51:04.960] – Anu A
What was your biggest lesson from him?
[00:51:10.390] – Andi J
That’s a very good thing. I think some of the pricing stuff was probably my favourite element of it. I have no formal training pricing at all. I did marketing a little bit at undergrad. I’ve got a postgrad in marketing. And in an undergrad and a postgrad, we didn’t even talk about pricing, let alone study it. So it was really interesting for me to look at some of the different ways. I’d been often read up on lots of different ways of pricing, but having it explained to you, I thought it was mind-blowing in terms of some of the ways you can approach pricing, especially in a consumer world. I think in B2B, there’s still a lot more of, Let’s have a guess and see. Yeah, okay, we think we can charge that. But certainly that consumer type of approach to it was probably my big takeaway from the whole program.
[00:52:00.560] – Anu A
Yeah, you’re very right. I almost forgot about that in terms of his module on pricing. But one thing I also took away from that, what he talked about is how he came up with the pricing for the mini MBA and how he did research and he did the whole talked and looked into what MBAs were actually charging, what are the mini MBAs were charging, and all that stuff. Talk to the customer, do your research, know what they’re going to pay for. And if you get the price point right, you will always get more customers.
[00:52:35.870] – Andi J
And did you do the quick calculation after you did that module? Or while he was talking, when he punched in the number of people who’ve done the mini MBA by the amount he’s charged and go, Oh, that’s a big number, right?
[00:52:46.870] – Anu A
Okay. Yeah, I did.
[00:52:49.040] – Andi J
There’s a lot of work. It’s a bit like when you hear concerts and artists and musicians, and you’re like, Ed Sheeran sold out 75,000 people at Wembley at 150 quid a ticket. You do the maths and you’re like, Ed Sheeran has made a fortune. You go, Well, yeah, but there was 400 people working on the show. There’s the higher cost. You got all that to come out. But still, the big number, the top number was a big number.
[00:53:15.490] – Anu A
Yeah, it’s impressive and impressive number, definitely.
[00:53:18.170] – Andi J
Yeah, fair play. There’s a lot of work goes into it. And more importantly, I think a lot of value comes out of the other end, a lot of value. So it felt like really good.
[00:53:28.130] – Anu A
Investment to me. At Ed Sheeran concerts or the Mark Ritson and being a bit?
[00:53:33.650] – Andi J
Erm… Well, I’m going to dance with my eyes closed around that question. And Little Ed Sheeran reference for you there, listeners. This is where I’ve just gone full Allen Partridge. Allen Ritson and Mark Ritson, Anu, what have you done to me?
[00:53:52.300] – Anu A
Oh, God, what have happened? What just happened? I hope you’re not editing this now.
[00:53:56.730] – Andi J
This day is- No, we’ll not edit this out. We’ll leave this in and just let it be the disaster. We might even use this bit in the promo for the episode, if we’re absolutely honest. Allen Ritson, my goodness. Anyway, right, quickly move on, save myself. Before we finish and before I’m going to jump in a cold shower and try and save the rest of this episode, tell me a book you think people should read or a resource you would direct people to find out more about marketing. It doesn’t have to be about PPC, it could be marketing, or it could just be a book that’s really influenced you. We’ve had everything as diverse as some really great marketing texts like How Brands Grow through to Ottolenghi’s cookbook. We’ve had everything and everything in between. So any book that’s really had an influence on you that you think people should read?
[00:54:43.030] – Anu A
A book that I recently, and for me, it’s more like the Audibles book. Whether you listen to the audiobook book version or read the book, my favourite marketing-related book that I’ve read is by Rand Fishkin, Lost and Founder. From the name you might think to yourself, Oh, Anu, that’s just the founders. No, it is not. If you actually, as an employee, want to understand the pressures and all the thought process that founder takes and why it might look… Even though I’m not giving any excuses for founders who do this, but some founders, they might seem like they’re not paying attention to their employees’ needs, and they really should. If you really understand what is going through a founder’s head in the way that Rand has expressed it, he shares the salary brackets that he’s taken from his companies. He is so transparent in what he shares in this book that I think everyone should read it, whether you’re a founder, you’re a hopeful founder, or you’re someone who is the employee of a company, you just want to understand why some founders think the way they do and why they might seem so stressed, but you don’t see what they’re doing.
[00:55:59.100] – Anu A
And you’re like, Oh, I’m the one that does all the work. Why are you stressed? Read this book. You’ll understand why some founders just look stressed and why it’s really important to sometimes put yourself in someone else’s shoes for a minute and just realise it’s not easy being a founder. It’s a big shoulder. You’re carrying a lot on your shoulders. And with home life that happens, that doesn’t escape. He shares about the influences that his home lives have had on his work. And it’s like everybody. Our home lives affect what we do, how we perform some days. And for most founders, you’re not allowed to have a week moment. You’re not allowed to have a day off. It’s your business. You started this. You need to be on top of it every day. So yeah, Lost and Founder by Rand Fishkin, definitely read it. Very eye opening into the world of being a founder.
[00:56:53.390] – Andi J
And did Rand read the audiobook or was that somebody else who.
[00:56:57.280] – Anu A
Had the audiobook? He did. He did. He did. It was brilliant. Kids. I loved that. That was one of my favorite things. It was like Rand telling me his stories. It’s like Rand telling you his story.
[00:57:08.650] – Andi J
Love it. Now I can’t listen to audiobooks because I switch off. My mind suddenly disappears and all of a sudden, I’m like, 25 minutes after what’s just happened? I’m awful for that. I read the book. I’ve read also of this parish, she’s been on the podcast. I’ll put a link in the show notes, but do get the book. I read the book and it was fantastic. But yeah, I might go and listen to Rand.
[00:57:29.480] – Anu A
Reading because that’d be fantastic. Absolutely. Yeah, exactly. I think you’ll bring a different perspective and different… You love the guy a bit more. You’re like, Oh, Grant. Oh, a little bit. You’ve read the book. You know what I mean? He has some chapters that really hit you, right?
[00:57:46.770] – Andi J
Yeah, it’s beautifully written, but it’s hard, hitting, and really insightful. So you’re right. Absolutely. Brilliant book. It’s in the list and there’s a link in the show notes if you want to click and go and buy it. So that’d be great. Anyway, Anu, thank you very much for your time. It’s been wonderful having you on the podcast at last, I suppose. It’s been a while before I decided to get you off, but thank you. And how do people contact? If anyone wants to get in touch about the events or anything, how do they get in touch with you? What’s the best platform?
[00:58:18.820] – Anu A
My platforms are LinkedIn and Twitter. Yes, I’m still on there no matter how frustrating they can be. But just get me on my name there, Anu Adegbola, or at my handle at the marketing, Anu, my first name. And yeah, I’ll sneakly bring in a plug here. The next event is on October 26th. So you said that this episode should come out before then. Before then, yeah. Those are your tickets. At this stage, the ticket prices will only be 20 pounds. Yeah, we’d love to have you there. Even if you’re just a novice at PPC, please come and join us. We’d love to help you out. And this is not like sales pitch. This is not people trying to buy you into PPC. We want people to understand why PPC is important and why it fits into the marketing sphere.
[00:59:14.150] – Andi J
Perfect. I’ll put a link to that in the show notes as well, so you can just click the link, go and buy a ticket. And if you can go, do go, because they’re amazing events. I haven’t been, but I’ve been asking about them, and I’m told they are fantastic. So brilliant. Anu Abegbola, thank you very much for your time.
[00:59:29.540] – Anu A
My pleasure. Thank you very much, Andi.