Managing PPC in the business-to-business sector is not as easy as it is in the retail sector. PPC managers are often faced with unique and interesting products and services which need to be advertised very creatively in order to get the item to be sold. Below are three scenarios that were unsuccessful with PPC campaigns. There is a lot to learn for the upcoming year.

1. Promoting underdeveloped B2B products

Sounds crazy? Well a client did try producing a few prototypes and advertising the product before it was fully developed. This was an educational product with a niche B2B market and the PPC campaign was quite a challenge. But because the brand name at the backbone of this product was strong, the challenge was undertaken. Keeping the best practice in mind, the account structure was created, a decent budget was given, demand driving keywords specific to the industry were explored and the advertisement was designed by focusing on the benefits of the brand.

When the advertisement was released, interested visitors were directed to a website that displayed only a few of the products from the many that were actually planned. The website was only functioning at a foundation level, was trying to figure its way out of bugs and was quite incomplete.

When recapping the failed project, there are two conclusions that were drawn:

a) The niche was not suitable for carrying out a PPC campaign
b) It was too soon to launch a campaign for a product not fully developed

Mistakes to learn from:

• When launching a PPC campaign, make sure the product is in its right phase. While PPC is a good way to create hype about a certain product, its purpose and the timeline linked with it has to be carefully considered.
• You might want to give it a try and observe the consequences. This approach is fine but make sure your expectations are clearly laid out, compared to the actual results, and explained that the failure is possible.

2. Creating a PPC campaign for a product that is at the end of its life cycle

Although statistically PPC can guarantee an increase in B2B sales, it cannot make miracles happen. Therefore, if you are trying to promote a product which you are well aware is not demanded by customers anymore, or if your company is failing, any advertising or marketing methods cannot guarantee success.

Let us look at one example where a company experienced a penalty from Google as a result of negative SEO practices, their website completely vanished from search results and they experienced a drastic loss in revenue. The company crowd-sourced its PPC in an attempt to save some money but instead, they lost all chances of PPC having a positive impact on their business. Although the PPC could be lifted by 25% from its original position, the business continued to suffer from its SEO and PPC mistakes and was forced to close down gradually.

Mistakes to learn from:

Undertaking a PPC campaign is a lot of fun when a business is doing great and you are able to give the business an added lift with your PPC efforts. However, PPC also involves facing the unstoppable. Therefore, if PPC is the only hope left for a business to survive on, its failure is almost unstoppable, making the challenge quite an emotional one.

3. Advertising for businesses that do not have competitive budgets

Every major brand has a number of mini brands running alongside and trying to compete in their advertising with paid search results. PPC managers have to creatively advertise these small brands with a competitive budget.

A big tech brand decided to use paid search to reach its target market but had very high expectations. They were looking for particular industries demanding certain tech solutions; hence making their target markets very specific. After several advertising efforts, adjustments in landing page content, the ideal lead still could not be reached.

The client gradually gave up due to the heavy budget. This it was concluded that the volume of keywords needed from this big brand could not compete with the miniscule budget provided.

Mistakes to learn from:

Create a realistic budget. If you want to compete with big brands, your goals should be possible to achieve in reality. PPC managers should dig deeper into ways for creating unique campaigns. Open budgets are always better.

Therefore, stakeholders should be informed about the benefits of an open budget. It does not mean that all their money will be drained out, but it helps in staying competitive when really required.