PPC ROI- Products, or Services?

Lets discuss the effectiveness of PPC for two different marketing spheres. Services, owing to their intangible nature, are far harder to market using PPC than tangible products. Products on the other hand, face a lot more competition, branding and trademark issues whilst being marketed by PPC.
So, which would you prefer to market using PPC, a product, or a service? And most importantly, on which of the two can you promise more ROI?


  • Kevin Lee

    For any marketing tool, technology staffing or effort there is a marginal profit that is either positive or not. The highest marginal profit activities have the highest ROI.
    So, which of these is best depends how bad the status quo is.

  • Jeff Ogden

    Regardless of the product or service, focus on the outcome or business result that the prospective customer receives. Think of motivation, friction and call to action. Then and only then design a PPC campaign with an integrated landing page and offer.
    The difference is not the product or service, it is how one markets it.

  • Gianluigi Cuccureddu

    It doesn’t matter. Both can have high ROI and low ROI.
    Externally it depends on: Brand equity, actual product/service, proposition etc.
    Internally it depends on: landingpages, keywords (long tail), ads, e-commerce topics and so on.

  • Kristine Maveus-Evenson

    PPC and its ROI depends on the popularity of said product or service. For example an “Digital Camera” (a product) is a popular search. While a “Nuclear Warhead Device” is not. Therefore the ROI would be different.
    Again, “Carpet Installation” would be a more popular service search than “plant watering service”
    Success in PPC is really three-fold. The first is knowing your keywords and choosing them wisely. (Make your budget work wisely for you. It should not be based on volume, rather the quality of the traffic!) The second is to make sure that the “message” of your PPC ad is enticing enough to get people to click through to your site. This is where testing needs to be your friend. Don’t just slap up an ad and hope it is effective. Test it. Change the headline. Mix it up and see what is getting the best click through. There is no excuse for sloppiness.
    Finally, once you have visitor on your site, the page content had better be what the visitor is expecting. If the landing page is filled with gibberish or has oodles of options, and doesn’t look professional, all your work is for not. Of course this will translate to a low ROI. Do your homework here too. When possible work with eye mapping. Where are people navigating when they come to your landing pages. Help them make their buying decisions!
    Do these things and bring compelling VALUE (not benefits) into your messaging and your ROI will be high.
    Speak garbage and talk in benefit statements and your ROI will always be below the curve.

  • Vicki O'Neill-Ropos

    Interesting question…PPC is only as effective as the time, effort and research it supports. Whether a product or service, ROI will result when realistic expectations are established based on the overall objective.

  • Ben Doyle

    I have no preference of service or product marketing. As long as the data is available it is equally possible to provide excellent return on from PPC search marketing. The key is capturing the right variables and understanding all the costs of sale and then testing every aspect of the campaign – keywords and combinations; ad copy and calls to action; landing pages; offers; and placement. Clear goals for performance and dedicated attention to detail makes an effective campaign.

  • John Flynn

    Well that is an easy one for me because I prefer organic SEO and I not a big fan of PPC. But I do see the need for PPC and in cases like car dealers I will use PPC to send the customer to a landing page where there is a very good call to action. “Save $500 off your new car”.
    The offer would state that the customer has to bring the printed offer into the store (to show ROI) and present it as soon as they walk in the store.
    This seems to be doing well with car dealers and they are taking money away from traditional marketing and putting it into inbound internet marketing.
    I have something on my blog about this:

  • Brian Davi

    It will depend on the market. Markets with a high barrier to entry obviously have less online competition and at times can be easier to get an ROI through click. In my perspective, working with new products or services can have the highest ROI, because the market is growing and the competition isn’t always internet savvy…..at first! Not always the case, but I have seen this in many different verticals.

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