Fun with Funnels

Seth Godin has an interesting post today about the “funnel” that is customer acquisition. Our work and research in the world of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising has left us with many of the same thoughts and questions as the ones Seth seems to be thinking through.
The notion of pay-per-click advertising is a wonderful one. Why pay for a billboard and hope for the best when I can simply pay only for those who express an interest in my product (by clicking on my Google ad)? As long as I am converting a certain number of those folks, I should be fine, right?
It’s not that simple. First, let’s remember that those who click today might not be ready to buy until next week. That said, a Web site should not only sell; it should carry the water through the entire sales cycle. Second, PPC ad copy should limit inappropriate prospects. If a user searches for ‘bass,’ our copy should distinguish between bass (the fish) and bass (the drum). Silly example but true. Also, let’s not forget about click fraud and how that should be accounted for. I wrote about this not long ago.
When it’s all said and done, this entire process should be supported by a glorious spreadsheet. PPC is a science, not an art. Building a good model is our best bet!