PPC And Digital Marketing Nightmares You Won’t Soon Forget

Happy Halloween PPC mad scientists and marketing experts!

From campaigns that hit you like sharks in a hurricane to ads that appear from the dead, this year, digital marketing can be a scary place to work.

Digital PPC and Halloween stories might scare you so badly that you’ll need to take a week off. (And who wouldn’t want one of those?)

Prepare yourself!

PPC Legendary Disasters

The phrase “This ad was disapproved” (sunburst sword) can instill awe in the heart of even the strongest digital marketer. We’ve all been there. And we’ve all struggled.

But PPC’s nightmares can be much worse. If you are unlucky…

I know what you did last campaign

Do you know what is the scariest type of horror movie? The person you don’t know you are in. pawha!

Emmanuel Perez He found himself in such a nightmare …

“I received an account from a co-worker who I quickly discovered was buying ads without a clear understanding of how the system worked.

Google ads were for agencies. I found a broad term for cars – nothing else.

Your CPC doubled when he took over, and your CPA more than tripled after he took over.

Another campaign was targeting ads from local merchants in the United States. Another co-worker had ‘+’ modifiers inside exact match brackets and was confused as to why he hadn’t shown ads for about two months.”

Looks like someone didn’t spend enough time learning about what PPC is and how it works. horrifying.

Especially if it’s out of your wallet.


We are glad Emmanuel was able to work it out.

Hi PPC Pro. Do you want to play a game?

Hi PPC pro. Or, as you are sometimes called, a paid media guru. You need to make a choice. Listen carefully:

You are in a chair in front of a computer screen. There is a script that runs on an account linked to your unlimited credit card. Give it a try, and you just might make easy money while looking like a genius to a client.

Or it could be the worst decision of your now short career.

Do you want to play a game?

Did some new ppc. Frederick Valais, Co-Founder and CEO, OptimyzrThis horrific story revolves around:

Google used to provide sample code to show how to make bid changes using ad scripts. The code looked for all converted keywords and increased their bids by five percent.

Of course, a lot of advertisers like to run scripts automatically every hour so if left unchecked, this script will raise bids by about 50% in 8 hours. It will triple by the end of the day.

Imagine the horror of a scripting newbie who was testing code without adding some safeguards first! “

Many new pay-per-click professionals fail to consider these risks and jump at the chance of an easy win without hesitation.

But not you. not now.

game over.

Children of the Atom: PPC’s Nightmare

Jonathan Kagan, Vice President of Research at 9Rooftops, just knows how much PPC can be a nightmare. However, his scariest story is much like PPC Newbies of the Corn, where danger is very close to home.

“One time we had a former employee who knew he was going to be fired. As a last ditch effort, he created hidden bid rules that increased bids and budgets by 1,000% per day.”

And this wasn’t the only horror story Kagan was able to share.

We audited a YouTube account and discovered that the agency handling the previous account of ours had shown bikini-clad ads for protein shakes just on kids’ videos. On one occasion, Google ran a YouTube campaign on our behalf and mistakenly confused a list of negative keywords with a target list. “.

The moral of these stories? Watch your campaigns and employees like babies in a cornfield!

Natural Disaster: The PPC Method

Sometimes, PPC dangers creep up on you like a murky fog with giant bugs hiding within them – you have hours of watching them, weighed down by a sense of impending doom.

Other times, it’s more like Sharknado. It’s scary, fast, dangerous, but also weird. Not the good kind of stranger.

Amy Bishop (Owner, Cultivative, LLC) had Sharknado PPC experience once.

Oooh, I saw some scary scenes. A few months ago, I saw a PPC campaign with one ad group targeting over a thousand broad match keywords that were relevant, but indicated absolutely no intent to buy or experiment.

Many keywords were single keywords. (I’m anonymizing the industry here in order to protect the organization because it’s a specialized industry, but for the purposes of this example, let’s say it was business bookkeeping software.)

The equivalent terms in the account would be things like “bank,” “payroll,” and “business expenses.” They spent a lot of money with no conversions to show for it. Sad, but not surprising.

Pay-per-click campaigns… It’s child’s play

Sometimes the sweetest and most innocent things hide a much deeper evil. This campaign is starting to look like the perfect situation. Unfortunately, like the Chucky doll that came out of the box on Halloween night, things went too fast for us Marketing Director Heather Campbell:

This is not a story for the faint of heart. This horrible tale involves the campaign structure (or lack thereof) of a maker of specialized B2B tools.

Sit back. close your eyes. Imagine the best campaign structure you’ve ever configured: geotargeting. schedule time. Ad extensions. Multiple ad groups. negative keywords. All the right things you’re supposed to do…

she is beautiful. Almost angelic!

When I was able to access this new account and peek behind the open door, I freaked out. My blood was cold. I shook my head to brush off the cobwebs…

There is no way I just saw that.

There was one campaign – no ad groups. No targeting. No parting today. No negative keywords.

And worst of all, they’ve been triggered by using the broad keyword “widget” instead of the long-form keywords to better identify and qualify internal leads! Not to mention wasted ad spend on bad, irrelevant traffic and leads.”

(Author’s note: You still win when you mention tools. To this day, we have to make sure an emotional support monster is around before having these kinds of subtle conversations.)

Urban Marketing Myths

From Bloody Mary to Slender Man, urban legends have always been around, whispered from generation to generation with a raised eyebrow.

For those of us in marketing, there are some darker, scarier, and more common myths to be wary of.

Figure 11

6 + 5 = 11 … 4 + 7 = 11 …

Is the number 11 a blessing or a curse? What does it all mean? Turns out it means different things to different people.

Matt SnodgrassCommunity Manager at MarketingProfs, tells the story of a brilliant idea that turned into a PR nightmare—one that still haunts him to this day:

“Many years ago, in 2011, some members of marketing thought the 11/11/11 roadshow would be amazing. Because when would be the next time we were going to see that date, right?

Unfortunately, what the savvy marketing professionals failed to realize at the time was the global audience.

While Armistice Day is not widely celebrated in the American market, it is an important event for colleagues in Europe.

They didn’t realize it until our inboxes started filling up with unhappy emails from the international community.”

Unfortunately, this marketing team wasn’t the only one to make a mistake like this. If you plan to do any marketing during the holidays, make sure you are aware of these 14 Marketing Mistakes.

Trade Show: Conjuring

You move in and put up your signs. Things are going well.

When the trade show is over, you ditch all the extra MarCom stuff and pack up like you dream of a nice long bubble bath and some Michael Bublé.

This is when things go horribly wrong.

Suddenly, you have to make the things you thought were gone in order to rise from the dead.

Or, at least, that’s what happened to us Project manager Christina Robichaux.

“In my event days for a leading tech company, we were responsible for all MarCom materials for the entire event.

While we were cleaning up, the customer told us we no longer needed the streamers, so we should recycle them.

About an hour later, the same customer came running, frantically looking for some banner. She needed her to attend an event at the CEO’s house that evening.

After some questionable dives, we found the sign. It was sandwiched between other banners, and somehow, it wasn’t damaged by the time I spent trashing it. The CEO never knew the difference.”

Yikes. Nothing like a little extra work conjuring up streamers to bring the president’s party to life?

(Author’s note: We’re really glad she’s on our side, and that she likes us.)

The Marketer’s Sixth Sense

Now, dear friends, we have to prepare for this latest terrible marketing story. Hug your loved ones, bring a blanket to hide under, and get ready for the scariest story ever.

This one is haunting Marketing professional Adam Rimmer to this day. “I almost talked to people in person at an event once,” he says. “Oh! That was terrifying. Leave my computer security for real-world interactions. No, thanks!”

Yes, after more than a year out of the real world workforce and convention scene for many of us this is a truly terrifying thought.

We hope you are not too shocked! Oasis…

Happy Halloween everyone!

More resources:

  • SEO horror stories that will seriously scare you
  • 7 marketing disasters turned into valuable lessons
  • 7 things I learned managing SEO at a digital marketing agency

Featured image: Shutterstock / Romolo Tavani

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