1. Automated AdWords report for better agency management

There are few marketers in Pune with hands on experience in campaign management. Most of us have agency management experience, but haven’t managed spends independently. Campaign management gets difficult when agencies don’t share MCC account access – for obvious reasons.

How to then manage your digital efforts is the question, and where should be your focus when giving out targets. For starters ask your digital agency to setup an automated campaign report with below columns to your email ID.

1. Avg position

2. Cost

3. Conversions

4. Cost per conversion

Below screenshot from my MCC account shows how easy it is to setup this report under a minute.

Your account’s reports can come to you separately so that 2 client’s reports aren’t mixed and the agency can also rest assured that they are following their policies.

You can select the frequency of reports – daily or weekly. That way you can rely on automated reports and not worry about fudged numbers.

2. Focus on % of genuine leads

Targets such as cost per lead work well when they are coupled with qualification numbers – how many leads you got vs how many were genuine. For real estate, number of site visits & number of sales achieved are the only important metrics for a business manager – and digital channel has a reputation of being less costly. Do some math:

For a spend of Rs. 1 lac  if target is 100 leads at Rs. 1000 per lead, then 50% genuine leads will mean actual cost per genuine lead is Rs. 2000. Your chances of getting site visits are from those 50% genuine leads.

So the number of genuine leads should be more for your campaigns to be cost effective as compared to offline channels.

More real estate players are going to be doing Paid digital campaigns in 2016 than in 2015. Many of them are going to be first timers and most are going to be reliant on agencies.

The search inventory – number of people searching for apartments or your brand term – is not expected to grow by huge numbers. More mistakes, more poorly designed campaigns will be there in the market, and more money will be wasted.

Marketing leaders that I met in the past few weeks have shared some interesting pain points. One of them is CPLs. Some are getting CPLs of approx. 1500 for apartments worth Rs. 50 lacs. Those in the know will notice this is way high. Some are getting CPLs of Rs. 3000 for a property worth 1.5 Cr, which is still ok but the number of qualified leads is simply too less.

A well-known shortcut to achieve higher lead volumes is fudged form fills. I have faced it myself for one of my campaigns and hated it. But this can be overcome with a lot of hard work.

3.  It demands fiscal discipline

Search campaigns for real estate demand a lot of discipline – examples- you have to have really tight campaigns in terms of choice of keywords, amount of bids you are ready to place on which keywords, negative keywords and controlled reach of your broad & phrase match keywords.

There are MANY more negatives, but just to give you a start, if you are marketing a property worth 1 Cr, then please add keywords like 3 bhk below 80 lakhs, apartment under 1 Cr in negatives.

Likewise, if you are in the affordable homes segment, then you might want to add some strong negative keywords that don’t trigger your ads for search terms like premium competitor brand names or premium homes or high cost units like premium 3 bhk or 4 bhks.

Below is an example ad that I saw.

Search term – premium apartments in pune

Ad displayed – Budget homes

Even if the marketer’s goal here could be branding, can’t really see valid reason to trigger a 1 bhk budget home ad to an audience that’s searching for premium apartments.

Display campaigns are as it is loosing the faith of many advertisers, but I have found display performing really well in many cases. Regardless of ticket cost, display campaigns give results if set up well.

Try focused placements, interests & remarketing for starters. If you are in the rental business, then make sure your audiences are correctly selected from rent subset and not the top option, likewise for commercial and residential products.

Specially in remarketing, try bucketing the lists separately for 2,3 or 4 BHKs and remarket separate ads to them. Sometimes I have found remarketing display campaigns that have not excluded the converted leads but that number is anyways very small. So first focus on the big mistakes that you should avoid, then go chipping at smaller ones.

4. Rising costs

Brainstorm with fellow marketers to see where you can save costs, can be as small as focusing on improving average positions for hero keywords or ads. Better average positions mean higher lead volumes and lesser CPLs.  Also you can save costs by trimming non performing campaigns regularly from your account, optimizing them and then restarting. Focus on the top 3-4 non performing campaigns and then drill down to other ones. Look at the number of impression shares that you are getting. See how you can improve that, it will increase your lead volume.

Add to it, companies that have funded cash reserves showing ads like-

Above ad very well achieves it’s objective of being present on most of searches regardless of purchase intent, eating up one ad position that could have been occupied by a marketer with stringent budget. Above ad, must be getting a lower quality score and must have had to spend higher to get that impression.

There’s so much to do with paid campaigns :). Trying to learn how to improve campaigns is a lot of hard work. I have been fortunate in getting insights from digital marketing leaders in the recent couple of months and it has given a perspective on just how far I am from calling myself a digital marketing expert. It’s a long road still remaining.

Are you facing similar pain points

  1. Agency management
  2. Account performance
  3. Disciplined spends
  4. Rising costs

Would like to know more from the digital leaders in next meeting.

Currently leading digital sales at Rohan Builders, I like to dirty my hands with AdWords & other paid campaigns for it’s properties. These days, I spend time learning AdWords hacks, networking with digital leaders. Can be found on twitter.com/PuneMarketers

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