local media insider

Do we really need to sell Google AdWords?

Say it isn't so...

Alisa Cromer

Whether or not  to sell Google AdWords was hardly a question at the 2013 Digital Agency Summit, produced by BIA/Kelsey and LocalMedia Association.

The majority of speakers voted "Yes, but... "

Here are the cons: Margins are thin - the least of any digital service, and most of them are have thin margins to begin with.  Plus media executives don't like the idea of training merchants to advertise somewhere else.

But don't count out selling Google AdWords just yet. Even leaders like Chris Lee, President of Deseret Digital, consider Google AdWords "foundational."   

So does Greg Walls, head of reseller services at Hearst-owned LocalEdge, which has hundreds of digital sellers on the street, and Amy Stein, Director of Training and Development for the Local Media Association. 

So this week we report  Ten Tactics to Sell Paid Search Profitably.

According to Stein, who provided these tactics, the shortlist of reasons to sell paid search fit under one category: Retention. The biggest loss of revenues is losing the customers slowly, then more rapidly, to providers that offer what merchants need, and AdWords is a basic need, more like water than steak. Here's what selling paid search can do for your digital and multi-media teams:

1. Add "stickiness" to campaigns

Experts say that  low dollar AdWords campaigns on 12 to 18 month contracts ad "stickiness" to campaigns when high margin packages go dark.

Organic listing distribution and optimization is hard to maintain over time  because once presence is "fixed" the first time (listings corrected and claimed, profiles written and distributed), the bulk of the work is perceived as "done."

Paid search on the other hand, deepens the relationship over time. 

2. Provide  measurable ROI 

BIA/Kelsey research shows that next year merchants plan to invest more in channels that have a measurable ROI - and cut those that do not, to the apoint of actually reducing  number of channels.  The number one reason for chrun is lack of measurable results.

3. Solve a nagging problem for SMB's

in the last six months the organic search space has become hyper competitive, bumping out most merchant web sites (See "How many local business websites fit on the head of a pin").  Paid search can be the only option.  Fixing this issue is foundational and allows merchants to move up the food chain of marketing options. 

4. Allow your company to provide  a single source contact - another service preference of  local SMB's  according to BIA/Kelsey. If you are not selling AdWords,  you leave the door open for another digital agency who does - and would be happy to supply a full suite of digital services, leaving the legacy media buy out of the mix. 

For more on how to make paid search work for your sales team - and advertisers - see  Ten Tactics to Sell Paid Search Profitably. Many thanks again to Amie Stein who presented many of these at the Summit.  

Finally, like other digital marketing strategies, paid search is not just about clicks but post click activity. We included a list of  How to  provide measurable results - whether from Google Adwords or other kind of campaigns, and an ROI Calculator

To scout third party white label services for  SEM services used by other members of LocalMediaInsider, see the full list  at MediaExecsTech under Agency Services.

The author, Alisa Cromer is publisher of a variety of online media, including LocalMediaInsider and  MediaExecsTech,  developed while on a fellowship with the Reynolds Journalism Institute and which has evolved into a leading marketing company for media technology start-ups. In 2017 she founded Worldstir.com, an online magazine,  to showcases perspectives from around the  world on new topic each month, translated from and to the top five languages in the world.

google adwords, search, BIA/Kelsey, LocalMediaAssociation, Amie Stein, SEM, search marketing, digital agency