I am constantly writing about how to measure the local marketing programs brands run with and through their indirect sales channels. It can be tricky because there is a wide range of on and offline through-partner marketing techniques, which apart from being numerous, have varying degrees of difficulty when it comes to measurement.
Above all, achieving comprehensive analytics for an indirect sales channel is inherently difficult because of the fact that it is just that – indirect – and the brand does not have unobstructed access to the end-customer. That being said, there are some marketing programs brands can run through channel partners that are innately scalable and measurable. Your time is valuable, so let me quickly tell you:
- Why You Should Consider Running Local PPC for Channel Partners
- The 4 Main Reasons Local PPC is a Powerful Tool for Channel Marketing (with specific examples)
Why Think About Running Local PPC for Channel Partners?
“For consumers, local search is a near-daily ritual – 4 in 10 individuals use local search once a day, while two-thirds use local search at least 3-4 times per week,” according the StreetFight Insights, a hyper local research and analysis firm. With so many people relying on local search for discovery of local products and services, it is important to have your channel partners and your brand occupying the digital real estate that all those eyeballs are passing over. That could be why some 72% of advertising professional respondents to a Hanapin Marketing study said that they will increase PPC spend in 2014. A further reason marketers are looking to PPC has to do with Google’s latest move to limit keyword referral data in the organic search terms report on Google Analytics, meanwhile AdWords customers can see if keywords are working.
I want to take a second to mention that organic local search optimization it extremely important, however, a 2012 Google study on the Impact of Organic Ranking on Ad Click Incrementality found that “89% of the visits to the advertiser’s site from ad-clicks are not replaced by organic clicks when the search ads are paused.” That means even if your channel partners occupy good position in organic local search results, paid ads will still greatly benefit them as the inbound traffic they can achieve by running local ppc cannot be substituted by a good or even number one local search ranking. Besides that, appearing multiple places on the page gives legitimacy to brand and local partner. So if you are at all convinced about the attractiveness of local PPC as a means of channel marketing, read on and I will get into specifics.
4 Reasons Why Using Local PPC for Channel Marketing Makes Sense and Examples
1. Ultimate Control – You will have no problems with compliance because you as the brand control all the PPC ad copy, daily spend limits, times when the campaign operates, and how partners apply co-op marketing funds.
Example: You as a brand have very particular messaging about a product or service being sold through your local partners; you will be the one to control the combination of the 85 characters of ad text. The campaign starts, stops, and can simply be paused at a moment’s notice. Daily spend can be adjusted by the brand, but if partners want to be able to control the PPC budget on the fly an integration with the Adwords dashboard and the channel marketing software used by brand and partner to coordinate local marketing would be necessary.
2. Unparalleled Analytics – Brand and channel partner know with certainty the amount of interest the ads are generating by the amount of clicks they produce and the percentage of customers that go onto complete the action desired.
Example: Brand develops a PPC campaign to generate leads for their distributed network of financial advisors. The idea is that searchers are forwarded to landing pages where they will find content and calls to action regarding the brand and the affiliate financial advisor; the action to complete is filling out a form to capture leads the financial advisor can call on. Both brand and partner will know exactly what the search volume is for targeted keywords, how many people click the ad, and how many people go onto fill out the form.
3. Partners Get What is Important to Them – We can talk about clicks and form conversions all day, but channel partners want phones to ring. Click-to-call for mobile searchers eliminates the gap between discovery and contact for local channel partners. It is a potent tool when considering a 2013 survey commissioned by Google and carried out by Ipsos, The Role of Click to Call, showed that 70% of mobile searchers use click to call in verticals such as Travel, Restaurant, Finance, Retail, Technology, Local Services and Auto.
Example: A brand sets up local-mobile ppc for its channel partners along with mobile websites (yes, you should be very aware of how your channel partners’ websites render on mobile devices). The brand cranks up PPC spending to reach the top of mobile paid search results and increase the call-through-rate of ads. At the same time emails go out to channel partners educating them with inbound call scripts that have to do with selling the product or service being pushed.
4. Qualified Traffic – Brands design for their channel partners the keywords that trigger the PPC ads thus prequalifying the traffic that sees and clicks on ads. People that are looking for what channel partners are selling see ads highly targeted to their search terms.
Example: If a brand is selling enterprise software through a local value added reseller (VAR) they will design combinations of keywords with location identifiers like “CRM Software + Los Angeles” to capture those searchers specifically looking to work with a provider in Los Angeles.
I urge you to continue to educate yourself about local PPC as it applies to driving sales through channel partners. It is an ever evolving tool that offers unparalleled transparency in terms of measurement so you know in real-time whether your channel marketing is making the desired impact.
Great read, Jon. Our TPMA team at http://www.marketingadvocate.com just completed a commissioned benchmark report w an independent research firm on inbound marketing trends in 2014. Interesting to note where paid search plays, given your post: http://ascend2.marketingadvocate1.sgizmo.com/s3/