A PPC Lesson from “The Internship”

“The Internship” stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as two middle-aged “dinosaurs” who are forced to become interns at Google when technology renders their former jobs obsolete. Whether or not you have had the chance to see the “Wedding Crashers” duo in their most recent comedic project, you can probably pick up on the theme of “The Internship” as a classic underdog story.

This summer blockbuster isn’t a story with a geeky kid who prevails over adversity with a bully or a Quidditch team that overcomes all odds to defeat their cross-town rival.  In “The Internship”, the moral of the story is that it is never too late to start.  Vaughn and Wilson learn they need to utilize the skills and assets that they already possessed in order to have a shot at a job with Google.  The same can be true for a PPC campaign.  In PPC, it is important to utilize your expertise and knowledge of your customer to shape a new paid search campaign.  Even if you feel like an out-of-touch dinosaur and fear your competitors already have a strong presence on Google, it is not too late for you to get started with PPC.

Google Campus

At the end of the movie (not a spoiler, I promise), Vaughn and Wilson’s characters are finally in their element in a climactic scene where they use their sales skills to pitch Google search advertising to a local pizzeria.

Of course, their pitch was light-hearted and fun, yet even though they built great rapport with the pizzeria owner, the owner was still resistant to change. In this conversation, there were a few FAQ’s that were similar to many of the questions we get at 435 Digital regarding PPC.

  • Why bother?  We are already established in our community?
  • Our business is getting by with what we’re doing now, so why change?
  • We’re a small business; do we have to spend a certain amount?

Vaughn and Wilson’s answer for the pizzeria owner was simple:

 “Everybody’s searching for something.  They are searching for you.  Just let us help them find you”

At 435 Digital, we partially agree with this statement. However, we know there are many more benefits for small business owners for using paid search (but we understand why Twentieth Century Fox didn’t include all of these in the scene).

From our experience at 435 Digital, our top reasons why small businesses, much like the pizzeria, should be using PPC are:

Measurability:  Unlike traditional advertising (print advertising, radio advertising, etc.) within Adwords you can track how many eyeballs were on your ad, how many people clicked your ad and how many conversions your ad earned you and adjust as needed.  For the pizzeria owner, this means he can track how many people saw his PPC ad and how many people ordered pizza online after clicking on the ad.

Flexibility:  Campaigns, ads, and budgets can be adjusted within seconds for seasonal ads, special offers and other updated business goals. For the pizzeria owner, this means he can run a special ad for 15% off during a big sports event for all online orders.

Scalability: Location targeting, language targeting, ad scheduling and other tools within Adwords give small business owners the power to target only the people that make sense for their business.  For the pizzeria owner, since he only has a certain amount he can budget for paid search, he can choose to only advertise in the evenings from 4 pm to 9 pm when he knows his target market is most likely to be looking for easy dinner options.

No matter how you slice it, if you aren’t currently utilizing PPC, chances are your competitors are online taking your potential customers. But, as we learned from “The Internship”, it’s not too late to start something new.

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  • dean jackson

    Here’s a tip I’m using for my local biz its called day-parting. we saved a lot of money but scheduling our ads to appear during only business hours of the day. I guess there’s a report (under the dimensions tab if I remember correctly) that allows you to analyze CPC and cost per conversion by hour of the day so you can just advertise during peak hours. We actually started a process of increasing our bids during those peak hours to push out our competitors during that time and we ended up reducing overall costs by doing this as well since its more targeted. I’m actually having my friend simon manage our adwords account, if you want to speak with him just email him at simon.b@resultsdriven.org or 302-401-4478. Tell him your friends with Dean Jackson.