Why we do what we do

Many people argue that customers – particularly in business – buy as much into why you do what you do, as much as what you do itself. I agree. There’s a wonderful lecture on this by Simon Sinek* which is well worth 15 minutes of your time. So I thought I’d share with you why I ended up offering an advertising service, after 20 years apparently on the other side of the fence as an Editor. Let’s face it, if you’d told me ten years ago that one day I’d effectively be running an advertising agency, I might have quit on the spot and become a missionary.

Of course, the misleading part is the tale which has been spun over the years by trade publishing companies that somehow ‘editorial’ is the opposite to ‘advertising’. No it isn’t! They’re just two different ways of achieving the same thing, as every marketing manager knows. With one, the magazine tells its readership about something, in a way it chooses and in its own time. With the other, you get complete control over the message and its timing, but you pay for the privilege. Either way, they’re just hiring out the attention of their circulation.

Now Google Search has come and plonked itself into the middle of the marketing mix, squashing everything around it. And just as with a magazine, you can ask Google to feature your content, but they’ll decide how it’s presented, and what priority it’s given. Or you can pay to circumvent the process and put your message right at the top of the search results.

The lazy analogy would be that as Google AdWords is the equivalent of advertising in a magazine, then ‘search engine optimisation’ is somehow related to the editorial side of things. But I don’t believe it is. In fact, for those of us who find the whole process of efficiently distributing information to be the most interesting part of business marketing, pay-per-click advertising is a fascinating and largely logical process, whereas SEO is just a bit of game-playing, albeit one with some procedural basis.

That’s why I love running Google AdWords campaigns – and why, despite Google’s best efforts to simplify the whole thing, most people prefer to get geeks like us to do it. Google AdWords has almost no skill requirement in common with traditional advertising, and it’s a huge mistake to hand the campaign over to a conventional advertising agency, however good they might be at generating nice artwork or negotiating rates with sales reps. The search term research and message-crafting required by Google AdWords has far more in common with an editorial skill set, and the monitoring and campaign development requires a combination of statistical analysis and IT wizardry …which we realised was exactly what we had here.

And that’s why we run Google AdWords campaigns for industrial and scientific companies: because we love it, and because we can do it rather well.

*Thanks to the Velocity blog for reminding me of this presentation.

To start a Google AdWords campaign on 1st June for as little as £600 a month, with absolutely no input required from you, call Tony Rand on 01462 489060 or Rob Hancocks on 01234 782821.

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