Welcome to Getting Granular

The podcast where digital marketing experts from the agency Granular talk about the latest trends, tried and true best practices, and share their unfiltered thoughts about the digital marketing industry.

PPC Origins – Anna Borchert


We sit down with Anna Borchert to find out how a poetry major winds up as a paid media expert and what keeps her inspired in this field. She shares some thoughts on the future of audience-based targeting and how data feeds are exciting! Tune in and get to know more about the Granular Team.


What you’ll learn in this episode of Getting Granular:

  • Anna’s background and introduction to PPC (1:13)
  • What keeps her interested (2:55)
  • How audience-based targeting will evolve in the industry (4:24)
  • Her personal approach to paid media (6:44)
  • Setting expectations with clients on ROI (8:13)
  • Some insights based on her expertise in eCommerce and social media (9:19)
  • Her favorite channels to work with (11:23)
  • Her favorite aspect of Granular culture (12:53)


Announcer: Welcome to Getting Granular, the podcast where digital marketing experts from the agency Granular talk about the latest trends, tried and true best practices, and share their unfiltered thoughts about the industry. Whether you’re here to learn how to grow your business, improve your digital skills, or just want to hear some Midwest PPC experts rant about digital media, you’ve come to the right place.

Matt: Welcome to the Getting Granular podcast. My name is Matt Freider. I’m the marketing operations manager here at Granular, and today we’re going to be talking to Anna Borchert. We have been doing team interviews, so Anna is up next. So we’re just going to dive right in after a quick introduction from Anna. Go ahead.

Anna: Yeah, so I’m Anna. I’m a paid media manager here at Granular. I’ve been here almost about a year. I’m really enjoying it so far. I’ve been working in the industry for a little over four years at this point. My industry’s have kind of been all over the place. I’ve worked at one other agency where I started as an intern and then ended up leaving there, but I’ve worked on eCommerce, B2B and B2C clients.

Matt: All right. So one of the questions that we always like to start off with is how did you get into the PPC world?

Anna: Yeah, so it’s kind of on a whim. I was working at a couple of various coffee shops at this point a couple of years after college. I was a poetry major, so I had no purpose in life at that point, and I stumbled across an internship at an agency and actually just ended up on a whim applying, interviewing, not even sure what PPC was. When I left I was like, “This sounds cool. I don’t really understand it, but sure.” So I started working there and ended up really loving it. Started working there full-time and it completely changed my life learning everything about all the ads I’d always seen on social.

Matt: Yeah, so you kind of saw social first and then kind of went in that way?

Anna: Yeah, I did. So I have always been a very adamant social media user. I’ve noticed paid social ads. Never really like knew what they were. I was just like, “Hey, I looked at that pair of shoes and now I’m seeing them all over Facebook. That’s kind of creepy and kind of cool.” So I never really thought about it much beyond that, and then once I started at this internship I didn’t even know that social was a part of it with Google and Bing, because they didn’t focus on that at all. So I didn’t actually learn about the paid social aspect until about a year later. So I was more focused on Google and Bing at that point, and thought it was really cool how they could even do that.

Matt: Yeah, that’s something we keep hearing all the time with these interviews is people just like falling into it. I haven’t heard a poetry major turn into a PPC expert. I think that might be a first. But hey, you got to start somewhere. So what is it about paid media that makes you kind of stick with it and want to keep going?

Anna: For me, it’s a lot of the psychology behind it. I’m really interested in how people do things the way that they do and why they do things the way that they do. So I mean, as I kind of said, I’m a big social media user and I always think about how I use social media in terms of my strategies. So it was kind of like a how is a 25-year-old girl who’s interested in fitness, how could that work for a bunch of different clients? So, that’s how I think about it.

Anna: And then also just there’s so many different things that are always changing. I mean in the past four years since I got in the industry, the landscape has really changed. So there’s always new platforms opening up, which can be really cool opportunities for different clients who may have never heard of it, and then also just if they want to stick with Google or just stick with Bing, there’s always so many things that change on these platforms that it’s a never ending test, and I love testing things.

Matt: Yeah. You kind of just covered my next question, which is great. I always like to kind of say, “Hey, let’s go back and look at what the landscape looked like when you first started.” A lot of people around Granular, four, five, six, seven, all the way up 10 years, 12 years experience in this, so it’s always kind of interesting to take a look back and what it looked like when it started with Yahoo and Google, and then Yahoo is like almost not non-existent. It’s really changed a lot. So, where do you see the kind of industry going? What are some things about the future that you see kind of on the horizon there?

Anna: Yeah, I know that like Google and primarily Facebook have really been pushing these, and Bing is getting a little bit more into it, but more audience-based targeting. I think that’s going to be really the next big thing. I feel like there’s still a lot that Google and Bing can do with it. They’re a little bit more of the in-market or when you create custom affinity audiences seem to work well, but when you can actually target people based on their interests and their behaviors and then also the demographics.

Anna: So with Bing incorporating the LinkedIn pilot, I think that’s really powerful, because if you’re looking for say like a job targeting campaign, if you’re trying to hire new people, I have a client who is doing that, or also just target specific people who work at companies. Those are really powerful ways to reach an audience that you currently can’t do on Google. You know?

Matt: What are some of your favorite kind of audiences that you use right now and what are some audiences that you would want to see?

Anna: Yeah, after Facebook got rid of a lot of the targeting, that was kind of upsetting. I know that there’s obviously a lot of reasons that they had to get rid of those different targeting options and they’re starting to introduce a little bit more of that back, but for certain clients, income targeting can be really good if you’re trying to do higher end furniture or higher end products that someone who makes $20,000 might not be able to afford. I think that’s a really important one. Some more of those like demographics that Facebook got rid of and are slowly starting to bring back in.

Anna: You can do a little bit of that on Google. I just wish that there was more opportunity for that. One of my clients is a fitness studio, so just trying to get people who are searching spin classes is going to be a lot different of someone who is willing to pay $20 to drop in versus someone who is looking for something free. So having that kind of overlay and being able to focus more specifically on what users are interested in I think is going to be the biggest change. So, that’s something that I like, at least.

Matt: So at Granular, one of the things that we always kind of focus on and definitely push is kind of service and the way that we like to do things, the way that we like to set up things. Can you talk about some of your own kind of personal approaches to kind of setting up paid media accounts?

Anna: Yeah, so that’s something I always do since I’ve worked with such a variety of clients. I mean, I’ve worked with lawyers, I’ve worked with mental health clinics, eCommerce businesses from your mom and pop beauty store to a multi-regional chain, is always just kind of doing a deep dive into their business. Because every business, no matter if it’s in the same industry, is going to be completely different. You could have one retailer that’s going to be completely different from the next, so really just getting to know their business on every end that I can. So diving into their analytics if they already have one set up, or just their website to try and gain as much knowledge as I can about their business, and then finding those main competitors to kind of see what they’re doing differently, what they could be doing better, and what they’re already doing better than their competitors.

Anna: So that’s kind of where I start off, and then obviously from there, every client is going to be different. But seeing what we need to build out, what we already need to do, what they’ve already worked on in the past.

Matt: I know one thing that I run into, and I mentioned this in the last podcast, I’m going to sound like a broken record eventually. I just got off the phone with a client today before we walked in the studio to record, and the person asked, “How long is it going to take for me to see results?” So, ROI is always on the mind of clients. It’s the first thing they ask. They want to know it before they even get into an engagement with us. What is your kind of personal approach to reporting ROI and kind of setting those expectations?

Anna: Yeah, I think it’s obviously going to vary based on the client. Some clients are going to have a longer conversion path or just a longer time period where they need to research things. For something like medical, you’re probably not going to make an appointment right away when you first land on the website. So for something like that, I usually like to say it’s going to be two weeks, at least, two a month, because people need to learn if their insurance is covered. All these different aspects that are important to a person.

Anna: Where it’s more of a B to C business, so more eCommerce, things like that I definitely can see right off the bat it’s usually just Google or Bing or whatever platform they’re on, taking the time to learn the account and actually show. So definitely it varies based on the client, but I usually like to say sometimes between like three to four weeks just to give time.

Matt: Something about the Granular team that’s kind of interesting is everybody has a different specialization, or they have a lot of background experience in a certain area. What kind of specializations do you have?

Anna: I’ve been primarily focused on working with eCommerce businesses. So whether that ranges from something as specific as their data feeds to more of their social strategy, I’ve spent a lot of my years in PPC working on eCommerce businesses.

Matt: eCommerce can be kind of a complex area. I used to work in it as well, and I don’t really hear a lot of people liking working with data feeds. What’s your kind of approach with that?

Anna: What I really like about data feeds is that there’s so much to them. There’s a lot that can go wrong with data feeds, whether it’s just something as simple as a product being in the wrong category, or something as exciting, as I like to say, as making custom labels for top products. There’s so many different ways you can organize data feeds and making specific organization know habits for clients is what really makes me excited about them. I know not a lot of people like data feeds, but your data feed is a structure for your shopping account, and if you don’t have a good data feed you’re not going to have a good shopping account.

Matt: You mentioned earlier that one of your specializations is in social media, as well. Can you kind of dive in a little bit more about that?

Anna: Yeah, so for social, that’s kind of what brought me into the landscape. While when I started at my internship with PPC there wasn’t a lot of social media to it, I didn’t really know that paid social was a part of PPC until about a year in, but that paid social is what really captured my eye when I first started seeing ads and started seeing being re-targeted, too. So, that’s something that just opened my eye, and the more creative aspect is what really captured me. So, that’s where I started to focus in after I kind of gained my bases on PPC as a whole. I started to focus more on how can we use social media since it’s such a big part of everyday life for clients, whether it’s B2B, B2C, or eCommerce.

Matt: What are some of your favorite channels to be working with?

Anna: In terms of eCommerce, I think that Pinterest is the biggest platform out there. You can do everything from very basic searches of looking for a recipe that things like Hello Fresh can really work well. Otherwise there’s people who are looking for engagement rings or just things for their home. Those are going to be the biggest players in terms of the eCommerce space.

Anna: In terms of B2B and B2C non-eCommerce space, I would say that Quora is probably one of the biggest players out there. People might not consider it more of a social platform, but if you can find the question and be the expert in the space, that’s one of the biggest players out there.

Anna: I also think that Twitter is very underutilized. Twitter is where people find 90% of their news. Since they expanded out of 140 characters people are on Twitter all the time. If it’s as simple as live tweeting an event or just checking out trending news that’s out there, people are on Twitter and they’re searching for it. It’s just how you use Twitter that’s going to be the most important part. So I think all social platforms have their place. I don’t think that Facebook and Instagram are necessarily the largest. They are the most used, but all platforms out there have ads, and you can use that as long as you’re smart about your strategy.

Matt: Granular as a company takes a lot of pride in our culture. If you follow us on social media, you kind of see some of that. You’ve been here about a year. What are some of the aspects about the Granular culture that kind of makes it different than other places?

Anna: What stood out to me about Granular is that they actually mean their culture. There’s a lot of agencies out there that are going to have ping pong tables and that are going to have all the swag and be sponsored by Google, but working at Granular has really made me see that they’re invested in their people. If we’re a little bit overwhelmed, we can talk about it. You’re not going to get a lot of pushback if you have to deliver bad news to a client, Granular actually is transparent. If there’s an issue, we’re going to bring it up to you rather than hide behind anything, saying like, “Oh, your account is great, your account is great,” when it’s really not. Definitely the transparency is something that brought me to here.

Matt: Thanks for listening to the Getting Granular podcast and our interview here with Anna. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out on any PPC tips, tricks, or news from the digital marketing world. This is Matt Freider, your host. Thanks for getting Granular with us today.