Thinking like Jason Bourne to Improve your PPC

I love all of the Bourne movies and I’ve seen them more times than I even care to count! (Oh, and for the record, the fourth one really doesn’t count because it doesn’t have Matt Damon in it.)

One time I even watched a behind-the-scenes director’s commentary to learn more about the movies. The director discussed how they went about creating the character of Jason Bourne very deliberately so that he would embody certain traits that were important to the overall plot line.

Maybe I’m too connected to my work, or maybe I’m just crazy, but afterwards I couldn’t help but thinking that Bourne’s character actually has a lot of parallels to effective PPC management. Follow me here…

Use Common Tools

Jason Bourne isn’t James Bond, and the director works hard to make sure that that comes through in every scene. Throughout all of the movies, Jason Bourne fights off the bad guys with simple tools that wouldn’t normally be considered weapons — a ballpoint pen, a book, etc.

In his hands, these common items become deadly because he has the skills needed to make them work for him. Jason Bourne is basically the everyman with really advanced training.

Just like Bourne, your PPC can be successful as long as you have the know-how to make it work. You don’t need really expensive management tools and custom API automation. All you need is an understanding of PPC best practices, some helpful tricks and a lot of hard work to turn your investment in PPC into positive ROI. A lot of SEM companies and big agencies will convince you that they have tools and resources that you would never have access to as a little guy (and sometimes they really do have an impressive arsenal of tools). However, when it comes down to it, nothing beats an honest understanding of PPC and a willingness to put in the ongoing work to make it succeed.

Act Quickly

Speed is the name of the game in the Bourne movies as chase scenes abound. Bourne is never one to linger about and wait for something to happen — he’s always on the move quickly getting to safety and achieving his objectives.

The world of PPC is fast moving as well. Data is generated in real-time and decisions have to be made quickly in order to capitalize on new opportunities. This is especially true for seasonal businesses because failing to make a move at the right time can leave your PPC account just as dead as Bourne would have been if he had just decided to take a stroll and enjoy the scenery.

Respond to New Developments

As Jason Bourne’s memory starts to come back and he reveals additional layers and plot twists, he reacts to this information and seeks out the people and information that he needs to discover the truth about his past and expose the mission. These reactions to new developments are what keep viewers on the edge of their seats as they watch.

PPC never stands still. There are new industry developments every day as Google and Bing announce program changes and roll out new features, agencies put out case studies and white papers, and the advertising landscape changes shape. Responding to these changes will determine the future success of your advertising efforts.

Place your Trust Wisely

As is the case with any action/suspense movie with a government cover-up plot, you never really know who you can trust. Jason Bourne is careful to discern who he can trust and how far he’s willing to let that trust take him.

With PPC you need to rely on the metrics, but you also need to understand that the metrics can lie, or at least conceal the rest of the story. Always take the numbers you’re given with a grain of salt and don’t be afraid to probe deeper if they don’t seem to add up or make sense with the overall picture. The reporting functionality of any search platform is fallible, so it’s a good idea to evaluate data from different sources to weed out any outliers.

Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about marketing theory and SEM trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!

Originally published at