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Lunch & Learn: Modern Search – Upgrading Your Accounts for Machine Learning Success

by Tug Agency | 13.07.2023

Kicking off with our latest Lunch & Learn on modern search best practices, Ian Khan, our Paid Media Account Director, introduced the concept of ‘Hagakure’. 

Hagakure is the name of a classic piece of Japanese samurai literature, which roughly translates to ‘hidden behind the leaves’, and when placed in a digital marketing context, refers to removing all boundaries and limitations in digital ad campaigns to leverage innovative machine learning.  

When it comes to modern search, the Hagakure structure represents maximising the potential of machine learning and automated bidding by removing restrictions caused by large accounts, segmentation and over-optimisation. This all works to boost end-to-end measurement and data integration. 

Strategically Implementing Modern Search Best Practices 

But how exactly do marketers put these modern search practices into action? 

Ian guided us through specific steps to simplify account structures, which included consolidating traffic into fewer and larger ad groups and campaigns, as well as broadening match types under Smart Bidding. He also offered six KPIs for well-optimised, machine learning friendly PPC accounts, which ranged from avoiding low-traffic landing pages to removing manual bid adjustments. 

With regards to implementing smart bidding; “It’s not just about turning it on, there’s a lot of work behind getting it to do what it needs to do,” said Ian. Simply activating smart bidding features isn’t enough. 

It’s also important to focus on data and tracking. In Ian’s words: “Data is the only thing that makes machine learning work,” meaning tracking goes beyond just analysis as the data we collect from clients is imperative to feeding machine learning algorithms for successful modern search. 

How Does It Benefit Clients? 

With modern search, marketers need to focus on ROAS (Return on Ad Spend), even if estimated conversion values are based on benchmarks, to ensure all activity is driving business growth for clients. 

A steady flow of search data can be used as a source for valuable insights and scaling opportunities. It can also be used for reliable forecasting and identifying market signals from automated bidding. 

“Now is the best time to shout about this,” said Ian. Buy-in from clients and stakeholders is important to advise and assist in improving data collection and cultivation. With this type of support, marketers could help clients reach digital marketing maturity, ultimately improving campaign performance. In addition, as modern search becomes more prevalent, marketers may need to assist clients with developing best practices for data management and addressing concerns about internal barriers. 

If you want to learn more about what Tug Agency can do for your business, don’t hesitate to contact us