The difference between Stagnation and Idleness

Stagnation
A deliberate recurrence of events during which the main focus of conversation is the repetition of said event and conversation. The view of a regular event as being part of an infinite loop of sub-humanity when in fact the act of walking down the same street every day, for example, is not one that should be considered contrary to the entirely natural belief that every day should bring something different.

Idleness
A deliberate effort to avoid the new and different in favour of reclusive, tedious, introvert self-repression. The act of inaction – being presented with opportunities that would delay the eventual feeling of boredom but right before create the feeling of satisfaction. Idleness can destroy friendships, leaving them as a simple “I know them” exercise where they are, in their truest form, relationships that surpass just knowledge of trivia and move into a shared personality based on the avoidance of idleness – sharing an experience with a friend.

A post inspired by the amazing Welsh scholar, Patrick Smith

PPC and Game Theory

Game Theory, part of economics that deals with the interaction of competing behaviours, and PPC have a lot more in common than you might think. The entire idea of PPC being more like a bridge between marketing and IT isn’t true in the slightest, since the theory of behaviour (which, granted, a lot of marketers rely on) and auctions (bidding) are found within economic theory.

Game theory in particular has a lot in common with the practise of PPC because of the sort of interactions involved. A PPC campaign is created by an individual who has expectations of a searcher’s behaviour, but the model by which those ideas engage with the searcher is very much up to the network and the publisher.

A typical example is when to bid more for certain terms and when to bid less. The PPC expert will examine the term, the conversions, the AOV, the volume of searches, time of day and variations of search term in order to find the optimum bid to create high volumes of traffic at a decent volume. However this idea competes with the user expectations, since users don’t act in the way that economists would like. In economics you expect self interest, however in the pool of results on a search page there’s not a great deal that indicates which would be of the most benefit and semantics within ad copy cannot be converted into a bidding metric with great ease.

Here’s an example of competing arguments within ads.

A user is searching for clothing and types in a generic term. The system itself doesn’t have a lot of information since users don’t typically type in their budget or more details about what they want. A PPC expert would have an ad appearing designed to get the most clickthroughs possible, relying on the historic conversion rate of the term, cost per click, ROI, basket value (dependent on how well the site upsells), etc.

The user clicks and sees that the average price is maybe £20 for their product so they bounce off and that’s a wasted click. It’s no ones fault because the user shouldn’t have to search for budget terms (even “cheap” as a term doesn’t mean much because it’s a value term not a price term most of the time).

With the “model”, it seems like this is great because you’re still making margin on the other visits who do convert at a £40 basket value, for example, so the model says this is the equilibrium and that it should remain. The PPC expert doesn’t touch it because why would you risk good margin and volume?

But the canny professional will test the game of searcher and site by testing some ads, something that can’t be broken down within the model. If you say in the ad that the item of clothing starts at £20 for example, you no longer have people clicking and being put off by the £20 price because they are aware of the price on the site. So immediately you are having an impression share for your generic term but avoiding clicks from the wrong users which is something too few professionals think about.

The model is flawed because it doesn’t know the reasons behind bounce and abandonment – it’s breaking down success into metrics and ignoring the economics. The economics state that there are infinite number of “markets” for each bid because while people are searching they have expectations that aren’t present in the query – such as what they’re willing to spend, if they’ll actually convert, if they will be a valuable customer, etc.

If you’re a PPC amateur, or an economics nut, then I suggest looking at game theory and PPC together because it’s really very interesting.

I am my own worst client

So I own a few domains plus the official Dead Ringer Digital website. When a client wants to know about site structure, page layout and content I always have a solution and it always works in favour of that site – it’s easier to find things, easier to enquirer and so the visitor is happy and the client is happy.

When I ask myself about my own websites, I completely draw a blank. This seems to be common in creative businesses as well as other professions.

Doctors self diagnose and it rarely goes well

Employers rarely recruit in their own image

A digital agency will bring someone in to help them with their own campaign

Any other examples?

My solution to this is to approach the site as I would any other and work out what I as a user would want to see but doing that is like removing part of your brain.

The Youth of Today

I use the whisper app now and then and a user posted a message saying “Are there any physics on here?”

This caught my interest so I asked what they meant – and it turns out, after a lengthy discussion, that:

1. She meant psychics
2. Psychics exist
3. Leprechauns don’t
4. I’m an arsehole

Wiping out myths one ignorant teen at a time…