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What is the time frame to experience positive returns on PPC campaign?

We are so used to the word - Instant. Instant Coffee, Instant Noodles, Instant Soccer results via mobile and etc.

We are also accustomed to instant gratification in search. We can set ads  live in the morning, and within a few hours know how consumers are  responding.

This type of quick availability of data and response time is what has  set search apart of the best direct response tactic in marketing on the  planet (at least coming from a search marketer's point of view).

However, not everyone buys after their first click. It may take  several days, and various marketing touchpoints before the consumer is  ready to make that step and purchase. In fact, many factors will come into play. Factors including but not limiting to, your brand value, price of the product, urgency of needs, seasonal or festive influence and etc.

Without understanding the latency of your consumers and the impact of  seasonality and promotions, you can't be 100 percent certain of the  decisions you're making about the performance of your ads.

To help make this point, iClick Media look at some client data to see how  latency impacts their sales based on the different types of businesses  they run. One company is driven primarily through sales and promotions.  The other business has consistent demand, and slight seasonality.

The amount of latency in their orders is very different, and  therefore the cadence that you can make decisions about the marketing  dollars spent is typically easier to forecast. However, there are  periods where this data shifts by 2 percent (or more), which can impact  results that otherwise wouldn't be explained if this data wasn't  monitored.

iClick Media First Visit Graph

About 30% of sales are driven on day 0, or the same day as the initial click, and between 20 and 30 percent of the sales volume doesn't come until 21 days or more after the initial click. This long latency period makes it difficult to make decisions on the first day of a campaign launch.

However, if you understand this data is how your customers respond to your ads, you can forecast from these results. Help educate senior leadership on the expected latency curve.

Also, when promotions and sales really started to kick in around the holidays, the amount of sales that came within 24 to 48 hours of the initial click doubled. This is a significant shift, and gives great insight into consumer behavior, and the impact sales can have on driving immediate revenue to the top and bottom line.


When thinking about your search spend or launching your new Pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, it's important to understand this data, and bake it into your forecasts. You can also compare this data to other marketing tactics and identify how consumers respond to various media tactics. This can help make decisions about what tactics to invest in if you need to make your sales numbers within 10 days versus 21 days.

Search is all about having more data than your competition, and using it to your advantage. Order latency is one tool that can make a difference in your campaigns.

iClick Media