Last week I was attending a SLC|SEM event here in Utah and they had two Google reps in town to talk PPC & AdWords. Pretty average stuff about the multi-screen experience and how helpful enhanced campaigns will be. However, in the Q&A one Google rep kept talking about her “smaller clients.” So I asked, very directly, how much monthly spend did these “smaller clients” have?
She hesitated and allowed the other Google rep to handle the question (evidently he used to be her boss). He then proceeded to dance around the question with the grace of a ballerina. Who would have thought such a simple question could be viewed as a landmine to avoid at all costs. He wouldn’t give any number, range or even hint at answering the question. So I decided to ask my fellow PPC professionals what they considered a “small” PPC advertiser. Results below:
As you can see, the distribution is pretty even. The average is $6,783. So how small were those “smaller clients” the rep kept talking about?
How Much Do You Need To Spend To Have A Google Rep
Ryan Hutchings helped during the Q&A by saying that hypothetical company spending $2 million/year (that’s $166,667/month) would, hypothetically, have a rep. That range was confirmed by another attendee who has a dedicated rep and I spoke with a third attendee who said they have a rep on about $75,000-$125,000/month in spend.
Google Is Out of Touch With Small Advertisers
This huge disconnect concerns me. I thought that Enhanced Campaigns were disproportionately unfair to large, sophisticated advertisers, but Google didn’t seem to care because the “long tail” of smaller advertisers would provide a significant boost to the bottom line and these large, sophisticated users would stick around despite the inconvenience. However, it seems like Google doesn’t even know what a “small” advertiser is. Their reps are totally out of touch with the realities faced by small advertisers. Do they have clients who may only have budget to run their ads for 3-4 hours/day before exhausting their budget (on keywords without high volume mind you)? Do they know what it’s like to need 3 months of data to validate a test with a ninety-whatever percent confidence level? No. And I’m guessing that the product team doesn’t and the executives don’t either.
With several clients that fit into the range indicated by the PPC professionals I surveyed, I’m concerned for their future success with AdWords. I’m actively testing alternatives like Bing, LinkedIn PPC, and Facebook Ads. And with smaller budgets, I can move all or most of their budget off AdWords if it proves viable.
Do you think Google is out of touch? Are you looking for alternatives to AdWords more earnestly now? I’m hoping to start a discussion here or on Twitter via the hashtag #ppcchat. Sound off!