At the 2017 Digital Marketing Conference in Salt Lake City, Aaron Levy, Senior Team Lead at Elite SEM, discussed the challenges faced when bridging the gap between us and the robots. In his presentation Aaron explained the challenges digital marketers face in understanding customers and their search intention.
Understanding Your Customers
Levy used the example of someone searching the term “used golf clubs.” From this keyword, we might see a high monthly search volume around the keyword, but we are unable to determine anything about the people searching that term. Are they poor, rich, a penny pincher? As marketers, we need to look at various components. Two of those that Aaron discussed were what he termed Actigraphics (what you do, and how) and Psychographics (why do you do things).
To better understand customers, their purchasing habits, and how machines compared to humans, Aaron ran three experiments which he identified as SEM 2.0, SEM 3.0, and SEM 4.0. For the first experiment, he set up a bid campaign to determine if eCPC worked—which it did. First point won for the robots.
Next, he looked at messaging and what resonates with different audiences. For this, Aaron examined IF statements (no gender or location) along with geo specific and non-geo specific headlines to see which won out. What he found was that local headlines won out—point won for humans.
The Results Are In
For his last experiment, Aaron went for pure automation using Smart display campaigns which allowed him a simple solution to manage complex variables and opportunities to broaden his customer base and earn new conversions. Here he combined three optimized technologies: automated bidding, automated targeting, and automated ad creation. In the end, who won out? Aaron called it a tie between human and machine because both came with their own strengths to the experiment.
From his 3 experiments, Aaron resolved when it comes to humans vs machine, both bring a different strength and leveraging those strengths is where we are going to find our wins. As digital marketers, using the data and resources provided from Google and tools is important for reaching customers but we must remember to incorporate the human touch to our campaigns.