243 people from 12 countries, mostly from agencies
The abbreviation PPCEE (read ˌpipiˈsi) is a combination of words PPC (pay per click) and CEE (Central & Eastern Europe). Although it would not pass the radio test, we had the ambition to become the wildest international meeting of people from online advertisement world in Central & Eastern Europe region. Conference speakers and topics attracted 243 participants to Bratislava, every third from abroad.
In addition to the countries shown in the chart, some participants came also from Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, or even Norway, South Africa and the USA.
The audience consisted not only of PPC specialists, but also leaders of PPC or performance teams, marketers or company executives. The majority (59 %) of attendees work in the marketing agencies.
What was this conference good for?
We know, how hard it is to follow new trends in the rapidly evolving field of online advertising alongside working for clients. We see significant difference in know how and experience between inidividual markets (for example Czech republic vs. Slovakia). It is not depending only on market size, but also impacted by activity of local community. As the members of CEE Digital Alliance (former Blue Alliance) we do not respect the countries borders when networking or sharing know how. As a leading digital marketing agency, we feel responsible for driving knowledge on the market to the next level.
4 key thoughts from the presentations
1. PPC without strategy? Rather not!
Ondřej Sláma, who leads research and development at the Czech agency Adexpres, spoke about the irreplaceability of the strategy in any digital campaign. In a case study of the crowdfunding campaign he showed the huge added value of a marketer who is not stuck in the world of tactics, but devotes time to strategy. He described the whole course of this campaign, from setting up communication lines, through projection of results, creatives design, project management to campaign evaluation. He didn’t forget to mention also mistakes. While it is convenient to follow your experience and learned paths in an advertising campaign, you will hardly succeed without a strategy.
Online marketers or PPC specialists will get more and more often involved in the process of creation a marketing strategy behind the table with “classic” marketing in the future. The ability to control any advertising system will be as a commodity considered similarly as the ability to effectively paste the advertising spaces such as billboards or citylights.
2. With all the automation in a game it is crucial, what the robots munch
Dalibor Klíč is responsible for big ecommerce players in Google portfolio. As he stated, 75 % of all conversions (orders) in biggest online stores come from feed based campaigns (and most of it from Google Shopping). Feed is structured list of products and categories with parameters such as name, price, stock availability, etc.
Konstantin Kasapis from leading Austrian agency Slopelift supported this claim by case study of Hervis sport chain and with similar work for dm drogerie markt in the past. Just by tweaking the feeds they delivered the increase of sales in tens of %.
Google Shopping was launched in several CEE countries in 2019. Both presentations show that feed quality and feed management (such as AB tests of product names) are now the decisive factors with serious impact on the chances of your ecommerce campaigns to win against the competitors. Therefore, we consider this knowledge to be crucial not only for small and medium-sized e-commerce sites (e-shops, travel agency sites etc.). If you don’t have the skills to work with feeds and the capacity to create and edit them, quickly search for them.
Besides the data feed, what can we do to help the campaigns with automatic bidding to be more effective? For example, by designing the target audiences and campaign targeting. Automated systems would most likely find out the best available targeting on their own in a finite time. But you would be a fool and loose lots of money, if you wouldn’t help the systems with the assets you already have.
Daniel Kafka and Peter Pleško from Czech agency Fragile showed the audience, that remarketing targeted to all visitors would be definitely less effective, than the remarketing targeted to visitors with some interesting micro conversions (page scrolling, above aversage session duration, interaction with elements as slider, deeper purchase process visits).
Lászlo Szabó from leading Hungarian agency Growww digital presented using reliable data from 900+ audited advertising accounts, that using of automation can increase the campaign effectivity by up to 40 % without increasing budget. For example, if you use expanded text ads (ETA) or responsive search ads (RSA) in Google Ads (where the final ad is automatically generated from the text you provide to increase your clickthrough rate), your clickthrough rate may double (followed by the increase of visitors).
Regine Hemre from Norwegian agency Synlighet unveiled how granular you should specify the audiences for display and remarketing campaigns. Collected audiences of target group members can be used already during upcoming Black Friday. You can also easily target the clients of your competitors.
Mojmír Mesároš nailed it down. He showed us how to push the target audience in Facebook through so-called ad funnel to bring conversions at the end of the funnel. He shows a different creative to different parts of the funnel (from cold to hot) and uses different types of ads. The charm of such precisely set ad funnels is that in the end you will only need to think about where to find other people you “throw” into the funnel from above.
Let’s stay a while with robots and automation. When we allow them to optimize the campaigns, it can easily happen that although they are effective, the client is not satisfied. “Robot” led campaigns sell what is easy to sell, but not what remains in client’s stock. Adam Šilhan from igloonet knows that it is useful to check what the automation brings from time to time. His script makes it easy to see if campaigns are selling what the client wants to sell.
Tomáš Komárek‘s speech had similar tone. He prepared a guideline to avoid mistakes in evaluating the performance of individual text ad templates. At first glance, data can be misleading and deceptive without the detailed segmentation and also affected by the position or placement (Google Search, Search Partners …) of your ad. The best ads in your Google Ads account could receive more of less relevant impressions and may seem worse than the rest. Before you stop them, it pays to look at them through different segments (position, placement…).
3. Profit, profit, profit
Previously stated claims are clear also for the biggest Slovak airline tickets seller Pelikan. As Gergő Demjén agreed, the feed based campaigns are massively used there.
“Over the last year, we’ve completely rebuilt Google Ads accounts in Pelikán. From 300 campaigns we are now at 15. Automation, creating high quality feeds and landing pages have been crucial. In addition, we have an internal Business Intelligence team to overseer and be data-driven when evaluating the campaigns. We consistently count Markov’s cross-channel attribution model even to the single keyword level to determine the attribution of any marketing channel and campaign. Instead of PNO, ROAS, or CPA we focus on profit. The result is more than 50 % YoY growth of profit from Google Ads campaigns,” revealed details about strategy at Pelikán.sk Performance Manager Gergő Demjén.
The trend is clear. From vanity metrics in performance marketing such as conversions or cost per acquisition (CPA), we are increasingly getting to what clients are most interested in. Profit. As accurate as possible. Analysts and online marketing specialists take the effort of subtracting canceled orders from analytics and are more often sending there not approximate, equal % margin for all products, but the exact margin for each product. Not only in ecommerce. Obsession with precise accuracy can also be seen in B2B. Check out the best lecture from the recent PPC camp in the neighboring Czech Republic by Jakuba Kašparů.
Marketing agencies (especially the performance marketing agencies) are evaluating profit not only on client side, but also on agency side. Róbert Lelkes from Slovak agency Riešenia.com introduced dashboards for monitoring profit in an agency using Google Data Studio. The more clients an agency has, the more important such a reporting becomes. Bulgarian Gennadiy Vorobyov from Netpeak agency showed how to deal with management of 500+ clients’ campaigns. It will not work without detailed reporting segmented by clients and by employees. Needless to say, the agency’s profit (and therefore the long-term win-win relationship) is also beneficial for the client.
You can increase profit also by saving the unecessarily spent money. Andrej Salner from Basta digital introduced the script, which automatically turns off your brand campaigns in Google Search, when nobody else appear on your brand keywords. Did someone tell you that brand advertising is extremely effective in Google Search? Yes, but if you do not face your competitors, by eliminating it you will save some (hundreds / thousands according to brand awareness) money. Thanks to the script by Basta digital, the ads will be automatically turned on if a competitor has infiltrated into your “space”.
4. Where to grow and how to scale?
If you feel that you have already exhausted the local market, the idea of expanding abroad is emerging. Is it really hard to imagine?
Inspiring techniques used by 21 online stores under the Berlin Brands Group were presented by Head of Performance Marketing Matej Tomašovský. The purely Slovak team manages performance campaigns in 8 markets thanks to various improvements, such as unified category IDs across all language versions.
Alina Tutulan from Slovak ui42 digital emphasized the need for genuine local market knowledge in the expansion, which you cannot easily provide centralized. In her native Romania, shopping behavior after Christmas is diametrically different from Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary. Shopping doesn’t go down despite the days off. In Romania, the same is true for brick and mortar stores, which are open even during public holidays. Do you know the specifics of the markets where you are going to expand?
“The most positive thing about PPCEE is that the knowledge and experience gained at the conference has spread throughout the region. Bratislava as a conference venue is well accessible from all CEE markets. That is why we are looking forward to autumn 2020, when Bratislava will become the capital of online advertising in CEE,” said Jan Laurenčík, Managing Director of Basta digital, organizer of the conference.
Some other reviews of PPCEE and also the official photos can be found on ppcee.eu website.