Tips on how to use PPC campaigns to improve your internet marketing from Kasim Aslam

  • I think the Google ecosystem is the most valuable, it's also the most competitive.
  • I'm not going to tell you that PPC is the end all be all and the only marketing channel you need. But I will say that it ends up giving you the predictive indicators necessary to make longer-term decisions with all of your other channels.
  • It's about being relevant. If you're relevant, you will pay less and rank higher. Google wants people to trust their ecosystem.
  • I work on revenue driving, and there are agencies out there where that's not necessarily the key performance indicator.
  • So, no matter how long you've been doing this, and it doesn't matter if you're a dentist, or an arborist, or a mechanical engineer, there are phrases that are going to be more valuable to you and paid traffic is going to unveil what those phrases are.
  • We build a geo-fence for almost every single campaign that we run. You can get really granular in your geo sculpting.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

[just click to tweet]


I'm not going to tell you that PPC is the end all be all and the only marketing channel you need. But I will say that it ends up giving you the predictive indicators necessary to make longer-term decisions with all of your other channels.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Doug: Well, welcome back, listeners to another episode of Real Marketing Real Fast. Today, we're going to focus on the really fast part. Today, I've got joining me in studio Kasim Aslam. He is an exceptional guest, and I think you're really going to enjoy what he has got to say today. He's the founder and CEO of a company called Solutions 8. It's a digital marketer certified partner. He's an Infusion Soft certified partner, and an official Google partner. He's the author of the number one Amazon best-selling book called The Seven Critical Principles of Effective Digital Marketing.

Through solutions 8, Kasim has spent more than a decade helping over 500 organizations grow and scale using his unique and proven proprietary process, The Digital Business Builder. He has worked with the largest privately owned bank in the US, The Gates Foundation, and ran an Academy Award contending documentary. He has helped launch and market the National Association of Children Helpline and has worked on a contract basis with the United States Army, Intel and Pearson Education.

Kasim has been published across a myriad of networks and publications including Sierra Magazine, Search Engine Journal, Social Media Today, Emerge Path and exploreB2B. Well, welcome to the Real Marketing Real Fast Podcast. I'm super excited to have you on the show today.

Kasim Aslam: Thanks for having me, really appreciate it.

Doug: What was interesting, I was looking at your bio and your background, and I just love your topic in terms of PPC or pay per click advertising. Remembered, looking at your picture, you're a lot younger than I am. I remember my first ad campaign with a company called Overture, which I guess Yahoo eventually bought. And that's where it became Yahoo. So, do you want to explain, just give me an overview of what you do and what type of work you do in the pay per click space?

Kasim Aslam: Sure, we drive paid traffic. I'll use just about any medium. My favorite is Google ads. I think the Google ecosystem is the most valuable, it's also the most competitive. So it has a pretty bad reputation right now. Everybody you talk to about Google ads, their immediate knee-jerk reaction is, “Oh, well, Google's too expensive.” My rebuttal is, well, yeah. Because it's what works, markets are efficient, and that's everybody's going.

Doug: Yeah, it is interesting. We don't want to talk about all the free stuff today, I hear that lots of that as well where people say, “Hey, I can get SEO free.” No, it's not free, you have to hire someone. It's a six-month plan. And then you need to start tweaking from there. You've got a cost. I guess the paper per click model for me, I like it because I pay and I get results, like the same day.

Kasim Aslam: Oh, I actually, I contend that PPC is far more cost effective than SEO and we actually use pay per click advertising in order to point our SEO muzzle if you'll allow that analogy. Because SEO is a semantics game. If you start optimizing for key phrase A and then six, nine, 12 months later depending on how competitive your market is, find out that key phrase B is actually more effective, now, it's like riding a really big ship in terms of where you're sailing. Where PPC, within a matter of sometimes days, but let's say weeks or months, I can tell you which phrase is more advantageous. And now we know what to go after from a long-term perspective.

I'm not going to tell you that PPC, the end all be all the only marketing channel you need. But I will say that it ends up giving you the predictive indicators necessary to make longer-term decisions with all of your other channels.

Doug: Well, and I think, from my understanding, and I'm not a PPC expert. My understanding is that Google is looking to deliver the most relevant result for the searchers. They're going to look at your website. So, having your site optimized and having the right content there is going to support your efforts, and when you're trying to help your clients drive clicks for the best value.

Kasim Aslam: You're absolutely right. PPC and SEO are actually the same game. It's about being relevant. If you're relevant, you will pay less and rank higher. Google wants people to trust their ecosystem. It's self-interested, but it ends up being self-interested in a really high integrity way in my mind. So, they're going to present the resource that they believe to be the closest thing to the answer. That is true both in the paid and the organic realm.

Now, they're contextually different. Paid, you can use high commercial intent is what we call it. High commercial intent language; buy now, download this, try this, guaranteed, et cetera. With organic, it's almost always top of the funnel based content. It's learning and thought leadership. So, they're different approaches but in the same funneled line.

Doug: So, what do you think the biggest mistake is that business owners make when they look at this as a new media channel? They're probably doing email to their house list. They probably have some social channels, and they want to see more revenue in the door, or more leads. So, they say, we should do pay per click. So, where do they fall down?

Kasim Aslam: Gosh, what a great question. I can tell you the biggest mistake that everybody makes, and this includes agencies, by the way, is they don't properly track their conversions. Google is a trillion dollar application now. And they've spent literally billions perfecting this system. And the system is meant to be self-optimizing.

If you tell Google what works, it's amazing because Google will begin to give you more of what works. They have demographic profiles and psychographic profiles, and really advanced algorithmic studies. They're not going to let us in on the secret sauce. But what I've seen is when you start to tell Google, “Hey, this is what qualifies as a conversion. And this is the conversion value.” Then over time, your campaign will actually self-optimize. It's a dangerous thing for me to say because it's not a promise, I've seen it happen, it doesn't always happen. But what's interesting is, I cannot begin to tell you, our primary lead magnet, call it, is a free audit. So, we audit people's campaigns all the time.

Almost all the campaigns that I see, and I truly mean almost all of them, like 90%, they're not properly tracking their conversions. These are either even agency booked campaigns. Forms of completions don't result in a separate thank you page so the URL conversion can be tracked, and they're not tracking phone call conversions. They're not using call extensions that could be tracked, they're not using call tracking tools that allow them to see which ad group of phone call's coming from. Or if they have live chat, they're not tracking their track conversions. It's a catastrophic error.

If you don't properly track your conversions, and this is any paid channel, this isn't just Google. You might as well be running television or radio because you're now basically in the dark ages of advertising to where you're just blasting a message out into the ether that is the traffic and hoping that you have conversions, but you can't tell where it came from.

Doug: Well, that's not the answer I expected. I appreciate your insight in terms of tracking, and I don't understand why people would want to spend any money without tracking it. But, wow, that's amazing. That's the biggest challenge, they're not tracking.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

[just click to tweet]


I'm not going to tell you that PPC is the end all be all and the only marketing channel you need. But I will say that it ends up giving you the predictive indicators necessary to make longer-term decisions with all of your other channels.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Kasim Aslam: You know what's worse, so many of them are tracking, and you don't realize they're tracking it correctly. I'll give you a really good example. Shopify, the best way to track a web-based conversion, and stop me if I dive into minutia here too much, Doug, but I'm a super nerd and I love this stuff. You can do an on-page roll, which means that if somebody presses a button that tracks your conversion and it's a JavaScript event. The problem with that is they can be off by as much as 30%.

So, the most reliable way to track a conversion is to identify a thank you page. Somebody fills out a form and ends up on the thank you page, and you tell Google, “Hey, this URL registers as a conversion.” Then what Google is going to do is say, okay, anybody who makes it to this URL through this conversion path is a conversion. Here's what's really interesting, take an application like Shopify, which is the most prolific e-commerce application, I think, in the SMB world.

Shopify allows your users, your prospects to revisit the thank you page. The page is alive forever. And that page is used for order confirmation. So, somebody wants to go back and say, “Oh, hey, what did I buy? How much was it? When is it coming? What's the tracking code, et cetera. Then, in certain instances, depending on how your site is set up, they can revisit that thank you page. Well, what I've seen and I've seen this multiple times with large organizations, they end up over-reporting their conversions, and it can be double, triple, quadruple the amount because through both Google and Facebook, if you set that up as your thank you page, that's your conversion point, well, now, you have people that are following the conversion path. They're being tracked via session ID, and it looks like they're converting again and again and again and again.

So, now, here's somebody who if they're tracking their ROI, their return on investment, they think that they have two or three or four times the conversions they actually have because their conversion tracking isn't properly set up.

Doug: Wow, that will keep a few people up at night.

Kasim Aslam: Yeah. That's the type of thing that we have to go in and fix. And it's actually, it's hard to be the good guys because, people approach us and say, “Well, can you do any better than we're currently doing?” When you have to convince them that they're actually not doing as well as they think they are, that's a tougher sell. Would you rather have a kind lie or an inconvenient truth? That's one of the very first things that I check with new campaigns is how are you tracking your conversions?

Another really good example is so many … And I bet you, 90% of agencies are guilty of this. For agencies that do track phone call conversions, what they do is they just use napkin math. They say any phone call that lasts more than 30 seconds is a conversion. That boils my blood because there's no way that's true. You talk to any salesperson who takes phone calls, and they'll tell you that that that's so far from the truth, that it's now worthless data.

What we do, we actually have a full-time employee that spends their entire day listening to phone call conversions, and scoring those calls. If somebody calls in, you need to spend the time necessary to determine what actually qualifies as a conversion. If you're in real estate, is this a motivated seller? If you're selling physical goods, is this somebody coming in and asking questions about a good? If you're a school is it somebody with admissions question? Or is it somebody looking for directions because that's no longer a leader, right? That's an entirely different type of prospect.

So, we spend the time it takes to score that lead via phone call, and then we pipe the manual information back in AdWords. Now, that is super tedious, as I'm sure you can imagine. But that's one of the reasons that I think we perform so much better than everybody else performance. Because saying any phone call that lasts longer than 30 seconds is a lead, well, now you're giving Google false positives. And Google's going to optimize against those false positives and give you more of that, which means you're just going to get more people asking for directions, for example.

Doug: What you're saying is you're fighting against Google will serve you a better audience that will convert higher by not tracking your data properly.

Kasim Aslam: That's exact. Google is the most powerful online engine, and it's a double-edged sword. It can be used to your favor, but it also can be used to your detriment. If you give Google false positives, you're going to get a whole lot more of those false positives.

Doug: For listeners that are already in this space, what should they be looking for to correct what they're doing?

Kasim Aslam: Gosh, what a great question. I think the step number one is, make sure it's trash in trash out. So, make sure the information you're getting is clean. That's not hard to do. It's a little tedious, but what you do is you walk through and you test purchases or lead intake depending on what we're talking about, and you test it through each available conduit.

If you take phone calls, see whether or not your AdWords campaign is tracking phone calls. You can do as much … Cost yourself a buck or two, and actually click on the ad if you need to. You don't have to if you're working with a really good agent who can show you how to host it. But make sure your phone calls are being tracked. And if you call two times, make sure you see two phone call conversions. If you call two times and see one, you know that you're underreporting. And if you call two times and you see four, you know that you're over reporting. Do that with every single form on your website, do that with every single communication conduit. So, if they can chat with you, then you need to have conversion tracking set up in your chat.

Chats really interesting because chat will have what's called a conversion lift, meaning having chat on your website increases the possibility that somebody converts in a different manner. I think it's because chat makes people think you're more engaged. But then chat, of course, will yield its own conversions. A chat conversion might be worth something different than a form conversion.

When you're tracking all this data, what you want to begin to do is to score the data you're tracking. I'm sorry Doug, I'm bouncing around a little bit. Let me back up to answer your question directly. Make sure your data is clean, number one. Number two is making sure that it's being stored in a location that it's easy for you to track throughout the entire life cycle of these prospects. More often than not, for most people, that's a CRM, but it doesn't have to be.

I'm really bullish on that statement because so many people are terrified of CRMs because they're big and clunky and heavy, and you have to have your employees buy in, and get trained and spend all this money. It can be something as simple as an Excel file or Google Sheets, or you can go get something free like Podio, but you want to take all of your clean data, you want to add it to a CRM, and then you want to begin scoring those prospects. What's the lifetime value of this prospect? How much is this lead worth? Did these people actually close? How long did it take? Did this person buy this product? If so, is it recurring? Are they going to come back, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera?

Once you have the lifetime value of what these conversions are worth, you can pipe that information back into Google ads and other conduits as well, but we're going to focus on Google for now. And Google will begin to conversion optimize according to the information that you're providing. It's not hard, it's difficult. One of the things that make us one of the best Google Ads agencies on the planet isn't that we have buttons and people don't have. It's just that we follow the rules. That's actually kind of a hard thing to do. You're walking a tightrope, but we're willing to walk it and it yields significant results. Was that a good answer?

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

[just click to tweet]


I'm not going to tell you that PPC is the end all be all and the only marketing channel you need. But I will say that it ends up giving you the predictive indicators necessary to make longer-term decisions with all of your other channels.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Doug: Yeah. I'm just laughing because of you and your comment that you follow the rules. We have done work with clients in the financial and venture capital space. We got on the phone with some of the legal guys at Google and said, “Hey, we want to be compliant, tell us how to play.” They got really quiet. It's like, “Are you guys there? No one's ever asked us that. It's like, well, we'd rather find out in advance what we need to do to be compliant because we want to use your platform, but we want to make it compliant. We don't want to have our clients banned or any issues because they're scrutinized by the FTC, and the SCC and FINRA and all these guys.

It ended up being a great conversation because we just figured out what they need and then we just gave them what they wanted.

Kasim Aslam: That is awesome. I tell my clients all the time, we're not going to outsmart Google. I promise you that. Anybody who tells you that they have secret sauce or they've figured out how to get around Google's whatever. They're either lying or if they do have something, and I've seen a few asterisks to that statement, they are on their way to penalization. That's an absolute promise. Just play by the rules and you're going to do really well.

Doug: Yeah, that's funny. Looking at the changing landscape, that once upon a day, you had a website and you drove traffic, and people were driving traffic to our homepage. And they figured out that wasn't the most efficient way. So, they started driving to a landing page. Now, we're way down the road of using sales funnels and multiple steps and touches, and going back to something you said, the question is, what is a conversion?

If you're looking at traffic, and you're driving into a landing page, and maybe you're doing a lead funnel and giving away something up front to get somebody signed in, how do you measure the different types of data? Because a conversion when they download your lead magnet, a thank you page comes up says, “Hey, they converted, they get the lead magnet.” But what I really need to know is at the end of the day, what traffic that download the lead magnet are the people who pulled out their credit card and bought the … Fill in the blank.

Kasim Aslam: Gosh, that's just such a great question, Doug, you're just right on point. It's a necessity to track that so we can determine the value of a prospect or a lead. I can tell you, we have large enterprise B2B clients. They have a two-year sales cycle. So, if somebody downloads … We have a client, they do rugged machine engineering four Mil-Spec applications. So, the next time Lockheed Martin builds the next Apache helicopter or whatever it is they're building, these guys will go in and they'll create some of the wiring or the screens, or the computers, and it can take them two and a half years to close the deal.

So, if Lockheed comes to their website and downloads a white paper, that for me is a massive win. It's a strong indicator of interest. It requires a long-term nurturing, including remarketing, and it's an entirely different paid play than if somebody goes to your Montessori School and downloads the six reasons that Montessori might be right for you, which is another one of our clients.

I think it's very item specific. It depends on your business, your sales cycle, your prospects. Really, at the end of the day, we can't make business owners better at their business, we can just help expose what's good, and what's bad about them. So people need to … Forgive me if I sound a little bit combative, people need to take responsibility for their own sales cycle because Bill Gates said that if you apply automation to an inefficient system, all you do is make it more inefficient. If I drive a bunch of traffic to a business that doesn't know what a white paper download is worth, I'm not going to help either of us, right?

I'm assuming when you and I partner up as vendor client, that you know your space as much as I know mine. To your point, for folks that aren't applying the same or the correct levels of value, well, we're probably going to find out pretty quickly where some of the inefficiencies lie. I hope that doesn't come off as combative. I'm not trying to be snarky, I just want to try to answer your question the best way I could.

Doug: No, fair enough. I look at your site and I see that you do some coaching consulting as well. I had two hats on there when I was asked that question. One was specific to our conversation. And the other one was about a conversation that you didn't hear, and that was your coaching work, thinking, lots of times clients don't know what a conversion is. They think, “Hey, somebody clicked on my landing page, that's a conversion.” It's like, yeah, it is but is that-

Kasim Aslam: Is that the conversion we want?

Doug: Is that what we want? It's like no, at the end of the day, we need to get qualified people who can make the decision, have the money and buy.

Kasim Aslam: Yeah, you're absolutely right. I work on revenue driving, and there are agencies out there where that's not necessarily the key performance indicator. Branding agencies, they want to go play the Don Draper game and they'll report on things like Facebook likes or Instagram followers or reach. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I don't want to poke those guys in the ribs. I will say that I consider them to be vanity metrics.

My strong opinion is someone who's good at what I do … My dad says, if you're good with a hammer, everything's a nail. But we're all in business to make money. So, it makes way more sense for me that marketing's focus tends to be the return on investment. And to your point, I like to work with business owners that are aligned with that paradigm. I actually have a difficult time with the vanity game. I don't know how to play it, I'm not any good at it.

When I am consulting with the prospect, I like to get down to … I only want one or two KPIs. I'm not here to report on 500 different things, that doesn't help anybody. It's just tedious, and that's extra work. So, I want to get down to what moves the needle, what will help you grow? We're digital marketer certified partners. And so, I bought into their narrative heavily. I always say, how do we double? Can you double in size as a business? If you can, I want to work with you. If you can't, then honestly, some forms of digital marketing might not be right for you because you have limited scale. You're going to invest so much time, effort, money, energy, trying to prove this concept that has a very distinct ceiling. You need to be really careful with that.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

[just click to tweet]


I'm not going to tell you that PPC is the end all be all and the only marketing channel you need. But I will say that it ends up giving you the predictive indicators necessary to make longer-term decisions with all of your other channels.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Doug: Often, I get that feedback from people, but in most cases, that's not true.

Kasim Aslam: Sure.

Doug: It's like, “Oh if you run this, I'll have too much business.” Not likely. It's going to take a while to figure it out. So, just relax and we're not going to push the button and you're not going to have a lineup around the city block on the very first day.

Kasim Aslam: Sure. Sometimes I'll have the opposite problem, especially when I'm dealing with an entrepreneur who's very clearly a salesperson. One of the questions on our onboarding form is, well, how many clients can you handle? Or how many leads can you handle?” They always say, “Oh, as many as you can send me.” They put their thumbs to their belt loops and lean back a little bit. Like, I don't know who I'm dealing with. In my mind, I'm like, all right, you'll see. I have lost clients who have been overwhelmed by the lead flow.

What's interesting is digital leads are fickle. We live in the age of an educated consumer that's used to instant gratification. So, if you don't pick up your phone … There was an MIT study done over 20 years with I think, 100000 inbound leads. What they found was if you fulfill a lead within five minutes, you're 1000 times more likely to qualify them, than if you fulfill them in 10 minutes. By an hour, it's essentially dead.

Now, it's industry specific. Of course, it really depends on what industry we're dealing with. But it's something to take to heart. If you can't field leads, if you don't answer your phone, if your secretaries don't call people back, if when a form fill comes and you don't see it right away, your competitor will. And I think that that's a fact. If you're spending 20 bucks on a click, or $100 on a lead, we got to be on those things. If we're not, then it's a competitive ecosystem and you could potentially be priced out of it by human capital.

Doug: Well, I'm always surprised when I'm looking for a technology solution for a client. And I'm going through the preliminaries of putting together an RFP and start reaching out to companies. How many actually respond?

Kasim Aslam: I know. Yes, that is-

Doug: Seriously, why do you have a website? If you didn't intend on ever showing me a demo, then do the world a favor, and take your page down?

Kasim Aslam: My favorite is when you get a response a week later, like, “Oh, hey, sorry, I just saw this.” It's like, yeah, I bet you did. Not going to work with you.

Doug: That's funny. One of the questions here, one of the points I saw here is to never start an SEO campaign until you've run PPC. So, do you want to explain that to our listeners, why?

Kasim Aslam: Yeah. I have a favorite example. We have the highest performing real estate investment campaign on the planet. It's actually, I own a sister agency to my primary agency, Solutions 8 built specifically for real estate investors for that reason. My favorite example to use is “sold my house fast” as a key phrase, versus “sell my home fast.” Now, those two phrases to you and I are semantically equivalent, right? They basically mean the exact same thing.

However, if I were to start organic optimization on those phrases, they're highly competitive. Because of the way Google ranks things, I need to choose one or the other. I understand Google does have semantic considerations, but for the most part, you have to choose the phrase you optimize, because it's too expensive to try to optimize both.

If I were to choose one or the other, I'm now looking at nine to 12 months in organic use before I'm ranking on the top half of the first page, which is where 67% of all the traffic is. Here's where it gets really interesting, was when I was running PPC to those phrases, they produced about the same, and they cost the same per click, they had the same conversion rate. The leads appear to be about the same quality anecdotally. So, I figured, okay, these are about the same phrases. But when we started tracking which phrases resulted in a closed deal, we found that people that use the word home were far less likely to sell their house than people that use the word house.

Now, anecdotally, I think it's because people that use the word home have a stronger psychological test into the property. Maybe that's true, maybe it's not, I'm not a psychic, who would know. But the fact that I figured that out help us point our muzzle from an organic perspective. So, we said, “Okay, we're going to start optimizing to sell my house fast, versus sell my home.” That's one example of maybe 100 billion, right? Every industry you're in is going to have phrases that produce and phrases that don't. What's really funny about it is the person I'm working with, who's now my business partner in the real estate realm, he'd been doing this for almost a decade, and he had no idea. And he's one of the smartest guys I know in the real estate world.

So, no matter how long you've been doing this, and it doesn't matter if you're a dentist, or an arborist, or a mechanical engineer, there are phrases that are going to be more valuable to you and paid traffic is going to unveil what those phrases are. You will be shocked at how many faces are producing what we call, phantom leads. They're leads that look really good but never actually result in any monetization.

Doug: Okay, so this is unpacked a little bit. So, you're using Pay Per Click ads really as … You're using them to drive revenue. But it really is proving your concept of this term actually converts better. So, if you're going to do SEO, and your social and write content, you've now got hard evidence of which term to use, house versus home.

Kasim Aslam: That's exactly right. If you don't mind me adding to that, the other thing that PPC does is it allows you to identify conversion path. If you're tracking your data appropriately, and you're using analytics the way that you should, you can start to see what phrases people come in on, and what phrases people convert on and they're not the same phrases.

People might enter your funnel looking for, what is my house worth, and then convert on fair cash offer for instance. Well, when I figure that out now from an organic perspective, I can position my organic ranking so that from my top of the funnel traffic acquisition, I'm going, “What is your house worth?” And then once they get into my funnel, now, my nurture's built around for cash offer. But I'm not optimizing for a cash offer because I realize, even though I get a ton of conversions out of it, my conversion path starts elsewhere.

There are so many phrases that we're actively optimizing, we don't realize that that's not the top of the funnel phrase, and organic optimization is a top of the funnel game. The only thing you're doing with organic optimization is traffic acquisition. From there, the entire rest of the narrative ends up being on site, remarketing, conversion based, lead magnet based. Traffic acquisition is where organic optimization lives. And in order to determine what works for traffic acquisition, you need to know what your conversion path is, and that's another thing that paid traffic lets you do.

Doug: The benefit, the additional benefit's well beyond, like you said, the advertising and driving the revenue to look at other media and use that intelligence. We've worked with an agency that use Pay Per Click to monetize and to track email campaigns. So, we would run access to a large financial publishing newsletter. We would run a media campaign but we've had them set up a Pay Per Click campaign first and then we would be able to show them with hard evidence that you're getting 100 searches a day on your company, now you're getting $2500. The only difference is there's more awareness because we're using a different channel. But people get the information in their inbox. They open their email, and then they go to Google to search.

Kasim Aslam: That's genius. I love that. I might steal that from you.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

[just click to tweet]


I'm not going to tell you that PPC is the end all be all and the only marketing channel you need. But I will say that it ends up giving you the predictive indicators necessary to make longer-term decisions with all of your other channels.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Doug: Go ahead. It's just another way of us being able to validate what we're doing. Because with the email side, people go, “Well, how do you know my email went out?”

Kasim Aslam: Right.

Doug: Then the vendor will send me reporting, which I don't trust? So, here's all the tools and the ways that we track the backend to make sure the vendors are doing what they promised to do. Plus, whoever your agency is, this is what you want them to do. We're going to set this up, so we're going to run this campaign on this date. And then we're going to be a look at the searches on your keywords and topics that we put in the creation of the email.

Kasim Aslam: Yeah, it's funny, I love the cross-pollination approach there to using multiple tools in order to kind of … You're calibrating, right? What's the word I'm looking for? Using cartography when you're trying to figure out your geo position.

Doug: Yep.

Kasim Aslam: I think that's really sharp.

Doug: You brought it up, so that's a great question. Do you do any work on the geo side?

Kasim Aslam: In what context? I'm sorry.

Doug: Where you would use multiple campaigns. So, somebody may provide you data in terms of their physical databases. This is where my customers live-

Kasim Aslam: Oh, absolutely.

Doug: Or these are my highest converting customers, so, I want to focus on my advertising in that region, that area.

Kasim Aslam: Yes. We build a geo-fence for almost every single campaign that we run. You can get really granular in your geo sculpting. What's interesting about it, is it's still not an exact science. Google appears to be a little bit better at it than Facebook does. And I think it's because Google's mobile game is better, and they actually have an iOS. So, Facebook, a lot of mobile data … This is anecdotal, by the way, I can't prove this. But my opinion is Facebook is relying on mobile data that it gathers through the Facebook app, which is installed on smartphones. But the apps access is limited at best. Google owns Android. So, Google has an operating system and its ability to gather and track that data just seems to be a lot stronger.

When I set a geo-fence for Facebook, I always … What's the word, over engineer, I guess. If I want something within a five-mile radius, I'll do a 10-mile radius. Because Facebook's geofence has never proven to be perfect. Google, we can slice it down by zip code or even by, if you want to, I could figure that one side or the other of a streetlight.

What's interesting about geolocation is the same way with key phrase sculpting. You end up finding a lot of really idiosyncratic behavior as far as which geographies are performing and when. One of our clients is the largest lighting manufacturer or distributor on the planet. It's really interesting to see the data built around time and location. Where people are in the country and the world, but where people are in the country and when they purchase. People on the East Coast, purchase their lighting supply information in the morning, or their lighting supply products in the morning and a lot of these are B2B sales. And people in the West Coast purchase them in the evening.

I cannot begin, for the life of me to explain to you why that is. I don't think I'll ever know, but it's great that I do know because I get to do dynamic bid adjustments for those times and dates. And those are things that you want to start to figure out from a pay perspective. Because again, it informs the entire [inaudible 00:28:17] campaign. Imagine if somebody wanted to start doing cold calls. You start hiring appointment centers, or you engage your call center. Now, I can show you my paid data that shows you, “Hey, in the East Coast, let's do our calls in the morning, in the West Coast, let's do our calls in the evening.

Doug: Yeah, great intelligence. There you go, again, just another example of how this not only drive your business, but it actually can help you drive decisions with real data across all the media they use.

Kasim Aslam: Mm-hmm (affirmative), absolutely.

Doug: So, what are you most excited about in the coming six to 12 months?

Kasim Aslam: Oh, man, what a great question. Google's playing with proximity, and this is going to get really interesting. If you're a brick and mortar location, you have a very tough time measuring conversions. I'll give you an example. One of my clients has, it's a multi-location, handmade furnishings store. Super high ends, they're in all of the 90210 type locations you'd expect. But all of our conversion path that data is very vanity based. Did they spend over X amount of time on your website? Did they go to the Contact Us page? But Google just recently rolled out location conversion data.

Now, we can't fully optimize by it. But it's an indication that what Google's going to allow us to do is to start using onboard location information in order to track conversions. A year or two ago, they rolled out … It's actually a piece of hardware that you can put in your showroom, that tracks when somebody walks in. They ended up killing that initiative or at least backpedaling on a little bit because I think it just wasn't working the way it was supposed to. But I think within the year, I think by mid-2019, Google should be, and don't quote me on this, I'm just guessing, but Google should be releasing something allows us to track conversion paths for brick and mortar.

If you think like if you're a Jiffy Lube, for example, or a Costco or whoever, Barbecue [inaudible 00:30:01] that's an absolutely complete and total game changer. Because now I know while this person visited your ad on this day. And then on this day they actually walked in. And we really can't see that right now. There are some people that claim to, Cox Communications says that they have some sort of proprietary algorithm they're not sharing with anybody. I think they're lying through their teeth because I've seen it doesn't work. But I do think it's on its way. When that rolls out, it's just going to be a whole new wave of business for me, and honestly, it's going to be so much fun to dig into. I think there's going to be a lot of mistakes made, but it's going to be a blast to play in that ecosystem.

Doug: Well, how do you see the reverse working, where you're actually geo-fencing and grabbing people's ad idea of their phone and then marketing and remarketing to them?

Kasim Aslam: Well, so this is really interesting too. I think that you'll notice that both Facebook and Google pulled back a lot of personal information after Zuckerberg's “interview” with Congress. I think that Google and Facebook both are terrified of a congressional hearing. They both have very distinct monopolies. There's an antitrust suit coming someday. There are extreme privacy concerns. So, where they already have the ability … Google did a demonstration where they showed that they can tell a woman is pregnant before she's told her husband with relative ease actually. Twitter knows when a flu outbreak is going to happen before anybody else. That's why they've partnered with like FEMA.

So, their ability for predictive analytics A, and then their ability to, like you just said, capture personal information and reverse engineer the marketing process, that's there, it exists, and it's easy. It's not even anything they need to build. The problem for them is the implications are unknown and far-reaching. Google is run by lawyers, and anybody who's ever been inside of Google can tell you that. If you go up to Mountain View and you hang out with those guys, everything proxies through an attorney.

So, I think the reason they're pulling back on some of those marketing initiatives a little bit is just that they know the ball's going to drop at some point and they want to be on the right side of it. So, I wouldn't expect to see them get too bullish on that narrative first. They're not going to be the first ones to reach. As a matter of fact, their interest based segmentation only came after Facebook did it and got away with it. So, somebody's going to have to make the first mistake. We're going to have to see first blood. And then after the smoke clears, you'll start seeing other people dip their toe into that ecosystem.

Doug: Yeah, fair enough. We're diving down that area for a very specific niche. So, I thought I'd ask. What are some of the bad advice you hear people give with regards to what you do?

Kasim Aslam: Oh, my goodness, vanity metrics is definitely one. This comes from the Facebook advertisers. They like to tell likes and shares and posts and comments as though that's somehow linked to monetization. Now, if you can link it to monetization, if you can show me the data that proves that, I'm all about it. Well, that's definitely one of them. There's a lot of agencies out there promising viral content. Like, “Oh, we'll take you viral.” That's interesting to me because nobody can guarantee any of that. Any guarantee at all, to be frank, I think is something to approach with trepidation.

What I tell people is, I can tell you what your cost per acquisition is going to be after the end of 90 days. All that means is I can tell you what a lead's going to cost you. Maybe that cost is invaluable. If I tell you, “Hey, this lead is 100 bucks, your net profit on it is 90, well, we just lost that game.” But if it's 10 bucks, and your net profit is 1000, well, then we're winning. So, anytime you hear guarantee, I'd be just cautious. I'd also stray away from any agency that makes you sign a long-term contract. We have a 90 day upfront commitment, just because that's how long it takes to make PPC work. And after that, one month to month forever.

That's the way that I think it should be because so many things change so quickly, and so often. If you lock yourself with anybody for any reason, you and I both have seen … You remember Netscape? Companies go away overnight. Truly, literally over. I'm not even being dramatic. So, the entire map, a model of the internet can change tomorrow, and you don't want to be locked in with someone that only knows how to do something one way. That answer your question, Doug? How am I doing there?

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

[just click to tweet]


I'm not going to tell you that PPC is the end all be all and the only marketing channel you need. But I will say that it ends up giving you the predictive indicators necessary to make longer-term decisions with all of your other channels.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Doug: Yeah, it did. I stole that question from Tim Ferriss. And I just thought it was a different approach to dealing with … because we're all in our industry and have our expertise, and we're out in meetings and out at conferences and we hear people say things that make you cringe. You're going, “Man, that's just bad advice.”

I appreciate that. I think that listeners, what you're hearing here is that lots of times as business owners, we're at fault. We are painting a picture for the digital marketer in this case, and applying pressure for them to give us numbers of well, what are my ads? What's my conversion rate going to look like? And how much money am I going to make? To listen to the answer, the answer is it's going to take 90 days, and then I'll tell you.

Kasim Aslam: If I knew the answer, I'd be so much wealthier than I am. I love that when people come in, like, “Well, what can I expect?” “I have no idea. If I knew that, I wouldn't be selling PPC, I would be buying businesses and then exploding them.”

Doug: You can expect transparency and honesty and good reporting. You can expect my full attention with integrity. And then from there, we're going to have a discussion.

Kasim Aslam: Yeah, gosh, that's really well said. I'm going to steal that from you too, Doug. You're a wealth of things that I'm going to steal.

Doug: Where can people find you?

Kasim Aslam: Oh, all over the place. My core agency is called Solutions 8. It's S-O-L 8. com. If they are interested in help with their paid traffic, we offer free PPC evaluation. You can take us up on that at any time. Do a fair bit of … I'm trying to be nerd famous. I don't know how well I'm doing. But you know –

Doug: What does that mean?

Kasim Aslam: I want to be on stage because I have that sad, pathetic personality trait that likes being listened to. If you find yourself at DM conferences at all, hopefully, I'm there. I wrote a book if anybody wants to check it out. I'm pretty proud of it. The Seven Critical Principles Of Effective Digital Marketing. It's probably the most annoying book title ever. But I split tested it online with 30 other titles, and that one won.

Doug: There you go. I'm looking at the cover, the cover is pretty cool. I like the black and red, looks good.

Kasim Aslam: I got my first really bad review the other day, and it's because I used the term big boys table. The reviewer, who did not read the book decided that that wasn't gender neutral enough, and I just don't know how I feel about that. You just can't make everybody happy. I'm not trying to be exclusionary, it's just a colloquialism. I was being funny.

Doug: That's funny, I guess that'll be the next line of fire. We'll have lawyers, then we will have political correctness advisors, they'll have to look at everything before we publish it.

Kasim Aslam: Yeah, I swear, that's where it's going. Honestly, that's where we are now. There's just no way around it.

Doug: Yeah, I've seen your book. So, where else? Is there any place … I know you're not looking for us to go like your Facebook page. I tell people that, as you can pay your vendors and your staff with likes, then get lots of likes. But until then, is there a social media platform that you prefer?

Kasim Aslam: LinkedIn for sure. Connect with me on LinkedIn, happy to answer any questions you have. Love to engage with people there. I like LinkedIn as an ecosystem because people still operate with a certain degree of dignity and respect. Unlike Facebook where you disagree with somebody and it's just I'll [inaudible 00:36:53] to go after them and their children and their mother-

Doug: It's amazing. It's funny because I've witnessed it when people that are close to me have published something that you would think could be an all-inclusive position.

Kasim Aslam: Right.

Doug: And it's something that my site had published something against hate. All these people came out with threats. It's like, dude, did you read the post? This was against hate and inclusivity and all you haters showed up. You're right, social media is an interesting place right now. But, yeah, I'll stick with LinkedIn and Twitter, thank you very much.

Kasim Aslam: Yeah, just search for my name and happy to engage and chat. Honestly, I just love to help. I'm not an attorney, I don't go by the hour. If anybody wants to anything, reach out. And if we can connect, that's great.

Doug: Well, there's one thing you can help me with.

Kasim Aslam: Yeah, love to.

Doug: Who're one guest that I should have on my podcast.

Kasim Aslam: My real estate partner, Greg Bilborough. Probably one of the sharpest cats on the planet invented something called The Golden Ratio, which is really worth digging into. As a concept, I think every single thing … I won't tell you what it is either. I'm going to really cryptic here, but every single business should have their own Golden Ratio. And this is something that Greg has championed and put in place for all of our real estate client’s needs. He is the reason we have an insane retention rate. I've never seen it in the agency space, and it's because of him.

So, you should definitely have Greg. I'll give you another one, actually, Calvin Correli. Another client of mine, he owns a company called Simplero. I think Simplero's positioned to be the next HubSpot. All in one marketing software. An unbelievable suite of services. Insanely cheap. He actually doesn't charge enough. For 100 bucks a month, you can get what you would have to pay 1000 for. It's just everything that you need to run an online business. Calvin is brilliant. He knows David [inaudible 00:38:36] He was one of the first Ruby on Rails developers ever. Truly like … People throw the word genius around a lot. He really fits that mold. I think you should have them both.

Doug: Well, awesome. I appreciate that. I appreciate your time. Thanks so much for being so generous and sharing.

Kasim Aslam: Yeah, Doug, this was an awesome man. Thanks for having me, and thanks for your listeners too.

Doug: There you go listeners. For those of you who don't listen quite that fast, I normally listen to most podcasts at 1.5 because the speakers are too slow. I don't think that was the case today. So, if this is a little bit fast for you, don't be afraid to slow it down. As usual, we'll transcribe all the notes. Our full conversation will be transcribed. We'll have links to any of the examples that were given and we'll make sure that we've got links to Kasim's website as well.

So, don't be shy, put some questions in the chat box. Sign up for our newsletter, follow us on the social media channels, and we'll be sure to get his podcast interview out to you soon. So, thanks so much and look forward to serving you on our next episode.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

[just click to tweet]


I'm not going to tell you that PPC is the end all be all and the only marketing channel you need. But I will say that it ends up giving you the predictive indicators necessary to make longer-term decisions with all of your other channels.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Get in touch with Kasim:

Find out more about Kasim:

Links to other related podcasts and or blog posts:




Share your thoughts, comments 
and post your questions below:


No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By browsing this website, you agree to our privacy policy.
I Agree