When I decided to write this blog about what I have learnt in my first two months here at Summit I wasn’t sure what direction to take. But I felt it would be beneficial to focus on what I have discovered about performance marketing and more importantly, what I wish somebody had told me prior to entering the marketing field of work – it might even be good insight for professionals that have been in the sector a long time to see performance marketing from the perspective of a newcomer.
So here is a bit about me; I graduated from university last summer with a degree in marketing. Although I had no idea what area of marketing I wanted to be in or if I even wanted to go into a profession related to my degree, working in the Paid Search team at Summit is giving me invaluable experience that I can use in everyday life and future job roles.
So, read below to see the 5 things I’ve learnt in my first two months at Summit.
What channels are included in performance marketing?
After graduating from university last summer, I felt I had a good grasp of performance marketing. I thought it mainly consisted of organic channels such as SEO and content, as well as including a bit of PPC too; but how naive I was! I had no idea Paid Search and Paid Social came under performance marketing too, never mind how interlinked and important the role of each channel was.
During my time at university, I felt as though much of the course content revolved around organic marketing, which is why when I started my role at Summit it was such an eye opener to realise just how much work went into each performance marketing channel, including paid!
If I could tell any marketing newbie what I know now, I would say to spruce up on your knowledge of all performance marketing channels, including those you may not have learnt about at university.
The way in which users search
Having access to the different ways users search online has been one of the most interesting parts of my role so far. Before starting at Summit, I was unaware of how granular account keywords had to be in order to catch consumers search queries. With the help of SQRs (search query reports) you can view every search term that consumers type in on Google to get to your client’s site and products.
The way people search is fascinating. Some users know exactly what they want, and we can recognise this by the terms they search with. However, other searches can be much more vague, and these users are often a lot earlier on in their buyer journey. This is why it is crucial that we constantly monitor keywords via SQRs and have every possible term and keyword a user may search for in a client’s account; so, we can guarantee our ads will appear at every point when a consumer is searching online.
Creating PPC Ads
Leading on from my previous point, seeing how much works goes into creating PPC ads and ensuring users see it has been one of the more creative tasks within Paid Search. The consideration that goes into keyword generation, creative generation and company best practice can be challenging and a lot to take in at first, but personally, it is one of the most rewarding tasks when you see the ads that you created at the top of a Google search page.
Before joining an agency, I never understood why when I searched for a brand, i.e., ASOS, that Pretty Little Thing would appear in the top three searches on the Google search engine. I quickly learnt that this was because of competitive bidding; and companies pay a lot of money to appear in their competitors searches, who knew?!
How to use Performance Marketing specific software
New software can be daunting for anyone but when you suddenly have access to years’ worth of client data – it is a whole new ball game! Prior to starting at Summit, I had no idea how many software programmes were utilised within a marketing agency. Apart from Google Ads, I had never heard of any of the software I now use in my role, including Google Ads Editor, Microsoft Advertising, Google Merchant Centre, (Summit’s proprietary technology) etc. After taking time to navigate myself around the different interfaces, I soon realised that such a variety of software programmes are necessary to help us make the most informed decisions with the help of computer learning, whether that be pushing or pulling spend, upping CPCs, checking campaign, keyword and ad group status or the overall monitoring of accounts.
Top Tip: For anyone graduating or considering going into a Paid Search job role, research and familiarise yourself with the types of marketing interfaces companies use, such as Google Ads and Bing Advertising – because they don’t tell you about it at university!
The importance of communication in a remote world
I wanted to add this final section in to ease the minds of graduates who are panicking about starting their working life in a global pandemic. I have got to be honest, entering the world of work in a pandemic has been a whirlwind, but the people at Summit have made it such an enjoyable and inclusive experience. Since my first day, it has been drilled into to me that no question is ever too silly and the only way to learn is to ask away. Both teams I have worked within have regular Microsoft Team meetings throughout the day, including morning catch ups, 1-1 manager meetings, buddy up meetings and team task meetings. This ensures consistent communication within team, and this is vital when we are all delivering work for the same client. It allows us to stay in the loop with what tasks our colleagues are getting on with, to lean on each other for support if we are short on time and need to delegate our workload and vice versa, and to generally check in on one another – as no “how are you getting on today” goes unappreciated.
For more insight into what it’s like to start work at Summit during a pandemic, check out this blog post from our Summit apprentice, Jak.