The two worlds of top flight sport and pay-per-click marketing seldom collide. However, there is at least one very valuable lesson that marketeers can learn from first class athletes like
Wayne Rooney, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Jonny Wilkinson and Andy Murray.
All these professionals use a particular technique of as part of their training strategies. It has been used by sports pros for decades (the great Muhammad Ali was a fan) and is known as goal visualisation. The athletes purposefully and repeatedly imagine a future moment of success in detail. Whether it be scoring a goal, kicking a try or crossing the line in first place, these athletes spend time and effort thinking about the end result again and again. They focus on the sounds, the smells, the colours and the whole experience of winning. Visualising the victory in as much detail as possible is essential to their success. If you want to find out more about the psychology behind it there is a great article on the Sport Psychology Today website .
What has this got to do with Pay-per-click?
Well, starting by thinking about the end result is the strategy that all Adwords Marketeers should also adopt if they want their campaigns to actually work.
It is surprising how few actually do this. Many people think long and hard about the ad copy or the keywords or the audience, but while this is all well and good, the proper stating point has to be the planned effect on the business’ bottom line. The cash or sales that a campaign eventually generates are the equivelent of the goal that the sportsperson visualises. Only by thinking about the required profit can we know how much to spend, how much traffic to generate and how many conversions to try and get.
While there are a myriad of other details to attend to and a fair mix of science and art in PPC campaigns, any that do not start with a vision of what counts as success are bound to fail or only achieve success accidentally through dumb good fortune.
So, take a leaf out of Rooney’s playbook and when next you are thinking about running a new adwords campaign start by asking yourself: How much profit do we want to earn? Then work the figures backwards using sound data from past results (or best estimates from industry averages if you must) to figure how many sales you need, how many conversions, allowable cost per conversion, how many clicks, what the average costs are and therefore finally, how much it will cost you to achieve your goal.
If that sort of number crunching isn’t something you can do yourself there are plenty of adwords professionals who will be happy to help. ( If you do choose to work with an agency, make sure they include their managements costs in the calculations too).