This month, Finch’s CEO Bjorn Espenes is speaking at not one, but two, conferences in Germany focused on how programmatic technology is now making a huge impact now in Paid Search and Shopping.

The first event is an eCommerce focused event, eCommerce Expo Berlin on Feb 2 at STATION Berlin. He will presenting at 13:10 on Stage D. Attendance is FREE so if you’re in the area and involved in eCommerce you should attend.

The second event is PPC Masters on Feb 16 at Spreegalerie Alexanderplatz, is the “conference for everyone who deals with clicks” focused on SEA and AdWords. Bjorn speaks at 14:30 in Track 2.

Susanne Schult-Pfau, a Team Leader with PPC Masters, interviewed Bjorn to get a better sense of his upcoming presentation. Read on. You can also read the interview in German here.

PPC Masters Interview with Bjorn Espenes

Susanne Schult-Pfau, PPC Masters: It’s really cool that we can welcome you at this year’s PPC Masters conference. Have you been to Germany before? If so, did you like it?

Bjorn Espenes, Finch: Thank you! I am very excited to be part of this year’s conference. Yes, I have been to Germany many times before, including our annual customer event at Oktoberfest in Munich. I do like visiting Germany very much – the people, the food the beer all sits very well with me.  We have a Finch office in Munich and have enjoyed going there over the past years to help grow our business in Germany.

PPC: What are you expecting of a German PPC conference?

BE: I have very high expectations based on my interactions with German clients, our team at Google and also with many of our competitors. This will be my first time at the PPC Masters conference but I have heard very good things. What makes a good conference to me is learning from others and have my knowledge challenged, and of course meeting people and forming relationships with others in our industry.  

PPC: The title of your session is “5 Ways Programmatic Will Change the Paid Search Industry.” What makes this topic so important and relevant for our participants?

BE: How companies buy advertising is changing very fast, initially Display advertising was where Programmatic buying was now dominant.  Finch used many of the same principals but expanded on it, then pioneered a programmatic solution for both Search and Shopping and expanded on it. Programmatic for Display is about using data to serve up the right ad to the right audience at the right time and at the right price, we use those same principles for Search and Shopping.  However, when applying Programmatic to Search and Shopping, it opens the door for additional ways to take advantage of that data. One of these ways is by building and managing campaigns using technology which obtains more granular data that you’re able to act on. Another is the ability to systematically influence Quality Scores to obtain a competitive advantage. Additionally, recent changes in attribution models make the use of Programmatic inevitable because of the growing complexity. I think it is fair to say that those who resist change by not taking advantage of this change will be extremely challenged to be competitive.  I hope that my session will challenge current ways of thinking and introduce a way to completely change approach and results. The results we are seeing from this are nothing short of amazing.

PPC: What do you think about the newest PPC changes (cessation of ads on the right, new green ad labels, expanded text ads)?

BE: I do think these changes are very good for the industry. Google is known for constantly testing new ways to improve both the quality for advertisers and end-users. Although I will admit the change to expanded text ads created a lot of extra work for us! 

PPC: Could you ascertain how these changes will affect performance?

BE: I like the removal of the ads on the right side will in particular because it drives quality focus on the remaining ads. There are fewer ads showing and it increases the need to be accurate when competing for the top spots to make it financially viable long term for advertisers. There is so much data, so many changes and these have compound effect making it impossible to stay on top of this manually. This is a perfect example of why Programmatic is becoming a required ingredient. 

PPC: Do you think that the proportion of SEO and SEA has altered because of the newest PPC changes?

BE:  Everyone can see the amount of space organic results have lost on the SERP (search engine results page) over the past 2-3 years – I think you find the answer there. Additionally, the Search ads and Shopping ads have been gaining extensions and features that make them stand out vs SEO measures. Constant enhancements for paid ads will keep driving an increasing percentage of the traffic through the those ads. This makes sense as the search engines are not making any money on organic clicks, so they will always have an interest in driving traffic to the paid ads.