February 2016 saw the third PPC Masters conference in Berlin, with 350 PPC professionals attending, including two crealytees. The venue at Spreegalerie was original, a defunct factory with great atmosphere in the heart of the city, giving real energy to the conference.
Two channels, in English and German, with speakers from 14 countries meant there was always a choice of talks. Though the conference might not be worthwhile for real veterans of PPC, it provided some great insights.
- Strategies need to be cross-channel, and include organic considerations
- The context of mobile needs to be understood more than ever as mobile traffic continues to increase
- Market contexts are often overlooked, each have peculiarities beyond language
The conference warmed up with talks on more basic topics, the second talk on the English track focused on the different behaviours in device and shopping across markets. It also touched on the need to understand how mobile traffic behaves in each market. Some markets see extremely low mobile conversion rates such as Germany, which needs to be understood as part of the buying process and not necessarily a failed area. This theme of understanding how different devices and channels relate to each other underlined all following talks, as well as taking into account offline and organic traffic, and turning this into one coherent strategy.
Whether one is analysing mobile data, or setting up new remarketing strategies, the effects of other channels should be taken into account. Steen Rasmussen and Mads Bøgh stressed how remarketing strategies need to have the same goal across all channels, in Youtube, Facebook, Search and shopping, in order to be as effective as possible. They explained their model of the buying process not being a funnel as commonly described, as different people are doing different activities. Martin Loss from Google stressed the need for and, developments in cross-device tracking, due to increasing use of mobile for browsing. He demonstrated that due to reduced overall click-depth and visit duration on desktop from those who had already been on mobile, we can prove that they were using the mobile device to browse, then finished the process on their computer. More than one speaker touched on the fact that mobile searches are markedly different to desktop and evolving, becoming increasingly conversational, such as “where can I buy…”. Not only do mobile queries led to desktop purchases, they also lead to in-store purchases. Others use their phones in-store to check prices or product reviews, and in this way mobile queries in search indirectly contribute to offline sales.
So what were the takeaways?
Firstly, a need to understand the actions and targets of all channels, which could lead to increased inter-agency communication, or more likely clients reducing the number of agencies they use. The need for PPC agencies to handle multiple channels is increasing.
Secondly, mobile needs to be understood in context and developments are being made in the tracking end to help with this. Google rolled out a beta test recently.
Thirdly, market context is also important. What works in the UK may not work in Germany or Italy. Their behaviours are not always what one might expect; their device usage and activities by day, their responses to promotions are all unique to them.