Managing Your Paid Search Portfolio 

How to manage your paid search portfolio

No one benefits from a siloed approach to digital marketing — not brands, not their departments, and especially not their customers. A focus on one channel can not deliver optimal results a brand expects nor reach all their potential customers throughout the moments that matter. It is important to create a holistic and agile paid search portfolio strategy that captures the nuances and adapts to the changes of each channel. 

By constantly running tests across channels and analyzing campaign results and customer data, marketers can more effectively consider how to best use each channel to reach their overall objective and fully engage with customers, new and potential alike. A diverse portfolio that unifies real-time data and consumer insights from every channel will help brands successfully navigate through the competitive landscape, fluxes in pricing models, large brands dominating the ad space, and the impending cookieless world. 

Impact of the Cookieless World

The loss of third-party cookies will have the highest impact on paid search advertising and how marketers target, track, and measure their campaigns. Although Google postponed its deadline to deprecate third-party cookies until late 2023, the cookieless future is still a very real future. To survive in the cookieless world, a diverse paid search portfolio will help marketers capture new opportunities, pivot quickly, expand their reach across channels, and continuously gather data to better inform marketing decisions in the future.

We are already seeing Apple’s iOS updates impacting performance on Facebook. Audience sizes are decreasing by 50% for many categories, limiting the reach of ads. Facebook CPMs have increased dramatically and overall traffic seems to be declining as the platform continues to navigate the recent iOS privacy updates.

Facebook and Google are the two main paid media channels, though each are becoming increasingly more expensive to advertise on. As the two platforms innovate solutions for targeting and tracking in the cookieless world, marketers should have other channels so their paid search strategy is uninterrupted. 

As such, it is important for marketers to diversify their paid search portfolio so they are not losing valuable data and customer engagement by relying on one channel. While brands should keep channels like Facebook and Google active to be ahead once privacy solutions are ready for development, results could be sacrificed by relying solely on one channel. Try testing out different campaigns across different channels and consider expanding more into marketplaces.

Including Marketplaces in Your Paid Search Portfolio

Marketplaces like Amazon can help you navigate the fluxes in the digital landscape, as Amazon operates within its own ecosystem and is roughly isolated from the ongoing privacy changes. 

Amazon has been growing more aggressive as an advertiser itself across search engines. Once a user clicks on Amazon’s ads, they are directed to Amazon’s website and shown more ads — for more Amazon products. Through a dynamic paid search advertising strategy across Google, Amazon can entice more shoppers onto its own platform and serve them its own ads, causing a chain reaction that seeks to keep consumers solely within the Amazon ecosystem. As such, Amazon’s conquest is causing a spike in Google’s CPCs. 

While it may be hard for smaller businesses to compete on Google, they can benefit from Amazon’s conquest with a deliberate Amazon and marketplace strategy themselves.

How Can SMBs Benefit From Paid Search

SMBs can benefit from paid search advertising with a fine-tuned portfolio approach that prioritizes on capturing and engaging high-value customers

Advertisers don’t have the level of clarity on audience targeting that they had last year in acquiring new-to-online shoppers and engaging their current audiences. With the current updates on privacy regulations, brands often have to keep spending in order to make some sense of the data. Knowing where to increase spending is difficult because campaigns cannot be as targeted as they were last year. Bigger companies have the luxury of throwing large sums of money into their paid search campaigns to drive results, but the right strategy and partners can help SMBs close the spend gap.

Looking at available channels as a portfolio is important, as it also has implications for managing a vendor landscape. Digital marketing should not exist in silos; insights from one channel can influence your approach, strategy, product offerings, and potential audiences for another.

As e-commerce is reaching all-time highs, diversifying platforms that house your paid search campaigns is increasingly more important to reach the influx of online shoppers wherever and however they shop. As the customer journey becomes more nuanced across several online and offline channels, a seamless and frictionless brand experience is crucial to maintaining customer loyalty. Testing different media mixes and messages across different channels will only improve your overall performance as you learn exactly what resonates with your audience.

A vendor model that involved having one agency for paid search, another focused on social media, and a third for Amazon use to work in the past, but it may be time to bring all these channels together to glean deeper insights and drive better results. A portfolio approach is not applicable just for ad spend, but for a relationship with other agencies and vendors.

How NetElixir Can Help

Data and real-time customer insights will help marketers pivot quickly to capture growth opportunities, capitalize on emerging trends, and address changes in their customers’ needs and expectations. Access to continual data will also help marketers better understand their audience’s buyer journeys, allowing them to target potential customers more effectively at every turn. Although access to data marketers have historically relied on is changing due to the impending cookieless world, NetElixir can help brands make the most of their first-party data and optimize campaigns to target, win, and engage high-value customers.

Request a consultation to discuss your paid search portfolio and discover potential growth opportunities to survive and thrive in the changing digital landscape. 

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