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PPC Advertising Mistakes and Memorable Movie Quotes that Remind Us of Them

PPC Managers disagree on lots of things, and whether The Godfather I or The Godfather II is a better film might be one of those things. There’s one truth, though, that holds true across the AdWorld: managing PPC campaigns can be painstakingly stressful.

Take a look in the mirror! How many of your gray hairs and bald spots are the result of managing difficult ad campaigns?

Whether you’re a seasoned PPC specialist or newcomer, you probably understand by now that there are lots of opportunities for your campaigns to go haywire (newcomers might just have fewer bald spots). But trust me, after a while, you’ll start feeling like Mr. Potato head.

Mr. Potato Head
Source: Giphy

As you can tell, I’ve been on quite a movie binge lately. So as any good content marketer would do, I reeled in 4 famous movie lines that remind me of the most common and avoidable PPC mistakes advertisers make when managing their campaigns.

So the next time you see your new intern making a mess of their campaigns, write them a super passive-aggressive note quoting these movie lines. Don’t tell them I sent you.

1. “Whao whao whao. Nice shootin’ Tex!” – Ghostbusters

Leading off is a quote from one of my all-time favorites, Ghostbusters.

This iconic scene from Ghost Busters perfectly depicts the difference between carrying out a proper targeting strategy and winging an audience together last minute. Eigon’s overzealousness burned down the mini bar aaaand pretty much the entire banquet hall. In turn, careless targeting will burn a hole in your budget.

While you might not have a Particle Thrower to burn down the house with, it’s easy for any advertiser to get carried away with the wide selection of targeting options available on AdWords.

AdWords provides a mighty arsenal of targeting tools – and as Spider Man’s Uncle Ben once said: “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

Be responsible and take the time to create a drawn-out targeting strategy before you pull the trigger. Don’t know where to start? Here are a few helpful resources to make sure you’re targeting the right way:

Use these tools wisely. Don’t be Eigon. Control your Particle Thrower.

2. “Wax on, wax off” – Karate Kid

Up! Down!

Wax on. Wax off.

A/B Test. Use Ad Rotation.

Monitor. Optimize.

PPC managers are wayyyy too eager to scale their AdWords campaigns. After all, we are some of the most intelligent people.

However, you have to learn the ropes and dish out the dirty work of optimizing your campaigns, before tackling a huge battle.

Measuring, monitoring, and optimizing your ads is a tedious process (sorry non-AdHawk users), but the result will feel even more rewarding than this epic crane kick.

Crane kick your competition! Source: Giphy

It takes grit, persistence, and patience, so the next time you do your daily PPC checkup, listen for Mr. Miyagi whispering in your left ear saying, “First learn stand, then learn fly. Nature rule, not mine.”

3. “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” – Gone with the Wind

No list of movie lines is complete without a quote from Gone with the Wind. You might be thinking “Oh Jon, you’re so predictable” but that’s the point! These quotes are here to remind you to avoid these mistakes.

Okay, back to the point.

In this famous scene, Leigh tearfully asks, “Where shall I go? What shall I do?” Rhett realizes that their stormy relationship has wholly drained him, prompting one of the most iconic burns in all of film history.

Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

Rhett understands that investing in a sunk cost will only dig him a deeper hole.

Okay…but how the heck does this apply to PPC?

This is the line I use when I’m asked, “Why aren’t we getting any conversions? It’s been a whole 12 hours!”

Cold as ice. Source: Giphy

You might also have campaigns that you’re running that you really want to succeed, but there are times when you just have to cut a campaign short.

Testing is integral, so a common best practice is to let your campaigns run for a long enough period to gather significant amounts of data (via ad rotation or a simple A/B test), then let the numbers speak for themselves. Give it one to three months.

Here are also a few reasons why your keywords might not be performing well:

Problem 1: Low search volume
Solution: Specific keywords with low search volume means low performance. Be sure to use the keyword planner to make sure people are searching your keywords.

Problem 2: Your audience is too broad
Solution: Ultimate Guide to Geotargeting

Problem 3: Not Implementing Match Types
Solution: Ultimate Guide to Match Types

Don’t fall in love with your keywords, fall in love with the data. Know when to call it quits!

4. “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” – Wizard of Oz


Now that I’ve got you thinking about data, it’s integral to understand VANITY METRICS DO NOT MATTER. There are a lot of metrics that look pretty, but ultimately don’t contribute to the bottom line.

While a low CPE (cost-per-engagement) might lend you a brownie point from your boss, the most important metric is how many conversions the engagements drove.

This also applies to Facebook #Likes and Instagram hearts. Unless your ads are making an actionable impact and driving someone down the sales funnel, these are mostly vanity numbers.

Here are a few non-vanity metrics you should be looking at:

  • Lifetime Value: The total profit projected to generate for a future relationship with a customer.
  • Click Through Rates (CTR): The percentage of people who see your ads then click on them.
  • Conversion Rates: The percentage of people who click on your ad and convert.
  • Cost per Conversion (CPC): The price of each sale, email capture, or lead, depending on what metric you’re measuring.

Don’t be fooled by the black arts of large numbers; the power lies in the right ones.

Oh and before you go…

If you’re having trouble with your ad campaigns, we’re here to help. AdHawk consolidates your Facebook, Instagram, and AdWords advertising campaigns all onto one dashboard. To see how we can help you, click here to get started.

Thanks again for reading – see you again next time!

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About the Author

Journeyman of the wild wild west of Digital Advertising. Also doubling as an unofficial Taco Bell ambassador. Tweet at me @JonJmPark