We entered 2012 with a growing client base on 5 continents and a great team in place. We analyzed our industry trends, our clients and their needs, our strengths and experience, and it dawned on us that a huge opportunity was developing that we were perfectly positioned to capture.
First, the PPC management industry has historically been beaten up from many players with lots of promises and slick sales approaches, but with little to offer when it comes to adding value and delivering on it. To overcome this, we developed an Audit process to give prospective clients a preview into who we are and what we do. The Audit product we released this year is unlike anything else in our industry; it is very detailed and covers every aspect of AdWords from conversion tracking setup and data validation, bidding recommendations, campaign structures, ad group structures, and much more too numerous to include here.
Usually we deliver this analysis inside 24-48 hours to the prospective client so that we can overcome any hesitation they have to engage with us due to their horrible past experiences with PPC vendors. The feedback we have received on our approach has been nothing short of incredible.
Second, we saw a clear vision that online advertising should be viewed as a “sales commission” and not as an “advertising expense.” If you are using AdWords and are selling a product, it is possible to measure the revenues and/or profit for each click you pay for. This information is golden to optimize your budget for sales and/or profit. We have yet to find anyone who does this in full scale, other than Finch that is.
For 15 years the team at Finch has been developing software to automate, enhance, optimize, and control eCommerce environments across many platforms (Google, Amazon, eBay, PayPal, Salesforce.com, Overstock, comparison shopping sites, etc.) and was recognized multiple times for innovation from those platforms. It is one thing to have a vision of what can be built, but it is something completely different to deliver a product that delivers predictable results for all customers. Here are some of the innovations that the Finch team delivered in 2012 that specifically helps eCommerce (or anyone who can measure sales or profits from their ad budget):
- Cost per Value (CPV): Using revenue data from your ad spend to optimize how much to pay for the next click to maximize revenues while holding your cost line.
- Ad Group structure: Creating an ad group structure that isolates keywords by match type and enables ad copy optimization at a granular level prioritized by search volume/revenues.
- Keyword expansion: Creating an automated way to enhance the keyword bank based on what people are searching for AND buying; capturing the long tail of keywords (that are converting) while increasing the percentage of exact match clicks purchased from AdWords.
- XML keyword feed: 15 years of writing eCommerce applications really helped us on this one. Keeping keywords and ad copy current is a big deal for any sizable eCommerce company and is usually done manually by an internal team. This area is usually filled with errors and friction, yet the Finch product enhancement -- only having been released to select clients -- has generated compliments that usually a company only fantasizes about.
There is a massive opportunity in front of us that we will continue to pursue in the year to come: How to turn an “advertising budget” into a “sales commission.” Something that is so simple to explain conceptually is so hard to make happen. The challenge is not to write software to automate tasks, the challenge is to make it simple and remove friction: Making it easy to be a client, making it easy to control the outcome of business decisions, and making it easy to make more money. It was an amazing year in terms of accomplishments for product development, but the excitement of what is to come in 2013 surpasses what we have already done.
The best part? The Finch innovations from 2012 showed up directly in our clients’ market share and bottom line. Best wishes for a prosperous 2013!
The Finch Team