PPC Origins – Mike Fleming

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 – Mike Fleming

EPISODE SUMMARY

Meet Mike Fleming, a veteran Granular team member who was doing PPC when there were flip phones! He talks about how his attraction to knowledge has led him on over a decade long journey through the PPC landscape. He also shares valuable insights on client management and how paid search is a lot like being in a cockpit.

SHOW NOTES

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

  • How Mike got started with PPC ( 2:44)
  • A little advice on self-teaching PPC (6:08)
  • How being able to use both sides of the brain is key to success with paid media (10:18)
  • He reminisces on what PPC was like 10 years (13:57)
  • Speculation on the future of paid media (16:51)
  • How devoting yourself to gaining knowledge is a top priority for client strategy (21:40)
  • He shares some wisdom he has gained over the last 10 years on what clients really want from a PPC Manager (25:47)
  • He talks about his interest in marketing psychology and how it can improve ad copy (33:23)
  • What brought Mike to Granular and what he loves about the culture here even as a remote employee (34:59)

EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION

Narrator: 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 back for another episode of the Getting Granular Podcast. I am your host for today, Matt Freter. I am the marketing and operations manager here at Granular. Today we’re going to be continuing with more team interviews. Today we have Mike Fleming. He’s actually in from Ohio today in the Granular offices, so I’ll start with a quick introduction of him and then we’ll just dive right in. Go ahead, Mike.

Mike: Hey, Matt. Thanks for having me. Yeah, that’s right. I’m here from cold Canton to cold Milwaukee, even colder Milwaukee, if you will.

Matt: Yeah, you can’t get away from it.

Mike: Yeah, yeah. Thanks, so a little bit about myself. I’ve been doing PPC for 10 years. Self-taught back in the early days when only Google was just a thing. We didn’t have all these new platforms and stuff. As you said, I’m from Canton, Ohio, known for the Professional Football Hall of Fame and that’s about it. That’s about the reason people will come to Canton, Ohio.

Matt: I’ve actually been there twice.

Mike: Oh, have you?

Matt: Yeah.

Mike: See, now that’s above average.

Matt: Yeah, yeah. I know. I’m weird. It’s always like when I’m traveling to and from my hometown, Baltimore to Milwaukee, you always got to pass through it. It’s kind of like a quick little detour, so I always have to do it.

Mike: Right, right. Yeah, but it’s not bad. It’s an hour from Cleveland, two hours from Pittsburgh, two hours from Columbus; so, still in the heart of the action there.

Matt: Right.

Mike: Yeah, I’ve been working remotely for about nine years now. One of the great things about our industry I guess is you can work from anywhere. I guess that could be an advantage or a disadvantage, but I see it mostly as an advantage overall… yeah, so a little bit about me.

Matt: Great. I mean that’s something that’s kind of unique to Granular is the being remote, working from home aspect of things that I think we’ll dive into a little bit later, but it’s just you and another team member, Jason, who’s already been on the podcast before. You guys are a little bit unique, but you guys still come in in the office on a regular basis, which is great.

Matt: The first question that we always like to start with when it comes to our team member interviews is, how did you get into the PPC space?

Mike: Well, pretty unique, I think. So back 10 years ago, my 20s was me hopping around jobs, not being satisfied or content with a career, and not feeling challenged and those sort of things. On the side, I was working on writing and producing music and just really enjoyed doing that. As the internet got larger… well, I don’t know if larger is a great term for the internet… but as digital distribution got larger with certain industries, I started studying, well, how do you get your music out there, basically?

Mike: I picked up this book called The Future of Music, and it talked about digital distribution and how anybody, anywhere can grab a hold of your stuff, listen to it, and consume it. I was just kind of… I don’t know if this sounds kind of cheesy, but I was kind of floored by that. I was kind of like, in the olden days, you had to get a record deal to get your music listened to and things like that, and now it’s just like anybody, anywhere can listen to your stuff? That’s crazy, right? I was just so intrigued by that concept and the challenge of getting people to consume your content or like it and become fans of it.

Mike: So, that book really sparked my interest in just the internet in general. Soon after that, I learned you can actually get a job in helping people do this and helping companies do this. That was really kind of an eye opener for me where I was like, that might be a career. After all this time I struggled with like, what am I going to do with the rest of my life? I need to be challenged and I need to enjoy my work, and mostly had jobs that I didn’t; felt like, man, this could be something that I would really like to do.

Mike: So, soon after that, I got a certification in PPC, started looking for jobs, which, at that time, there weren’t a ton of agencies especially in the Akron/Canton area; that’s not a hub of digital marketing. There was three agencies at the time, so I got into those for interviews and connected with them. Of course, at the time, anybody that showed interest in digital marketing, these agencies were just hungry for people, right? There was a lot more demand, the industry was growing, but you didn’t go to college to get a degree in it, right? So it was like, anybody that would teach themselves and show interest and want to do it, you pretty much had opportunity.

Matt: Yeah, we always hear that a lot, of, I’m self-taught, because at the time, when you turn back the clock, there was no really degree programs. It’s just kind of whoever kind of figured it out is the person that that agency is looking for. It was kind of like that land grab almost, of, okay, digital is a thing now, we got to go find people that know how to do it. No one has the education, so it’s like, we just got to find all these people.

Matt: Can you talk about some of the steps that you took to kind of teach yourself? Or, you said that you got a certification, what did that self-learning process look like?

Mike: A lot of reading, and honestly, 10 years later, it’s probably more reading, because there’s more platforms, there’s more things to keep up on, but that’s right in my lane, just personally. I’ve always been someone that was attracted to knowledge, and especially when I thought about, how could I be competitive in the workforce? It was an area where if the industry relied on me learning knowledge and applying it, in relation to other people, I could do that. I could do that well. I could put my nose down and learn the knowledge and apply it faster and more efficiently than, I thought, most people. So, not only did I like that and was intrigued by the industry, but it felt like I had a competitive advantage just because that’s what it took to be good at it. So, that’s why I stuck with it.

Matt: That makes a lot of sense. We’ve done a few of these podcasts, and if you’re a listener and have heard some of these, you’re starting to hear a theme of, everybody had just been kind of betting themselves. We keep hearing the story of, okay, I was doing this, I was doing that; I was working in digital; I was building websites, or working on SEO or content; and then everyone’s like, “You know what? I’m just going to bet on myself and I’m going to learn this,” and it’s kind of a like weird kind of theme that always is woven throughout all these interviews, and I’m glad you kind of articulated it the way that you did. I mean, it’s just a good way to do it.

Matt: When it comes to PPC and paid media, there are some people that are kind of squeamish about it. They say, “Google knows way too much about me. I’m getting ads on Facebook that… I was just talking about this one product with one of my friends, and now the ads are showing up.” There’s some uncomfortableness that goes around paid media. How do you kind of approach that from a professional standpoint, as you’re kind of on the other side of that?

Mike: Yeah, I mean, there is kind of this tension right now, right, of the privacy versus user experience. So, if you take Facebook, for example, the question is, how much data do you want to give Facebook as a user and have them access to, and what do you want your experience on the platform to be? The more data they have about you, theoretically, the better the advertising and targeting will be of the ads that are shown to you.

Mike: For example, with remarketing, if they have data about what websites you went to and stuff like that, then they can show you products you might still be interested in instead of something random. Of course, as you mentioned, users get squeamish about, “What? How much do they know about me? Are they taking my photos? Are they sharing them?” Ultimately, I think when it all shakes out, what I hope is that… I hope there’s not much regulation in terms of government forces forcing platforms to do things, and I think maybe we see steps by Facebook to do this, but I hope the way it shakes out is that they just get more transparent because they realize the users want them to be transparent, and if they are transparent, I think the users will appreciate that and be more okay with, okay, it’s not a problem for you to use my data to make my experience better so I don’t see dumb ads that I don’t really care about.

Matt: Right. That’s kind of like the negative aspect of PPC that I always like to ask. When it comes to paid media, what are some of your favorite aspects of it?

Mike: Well, I think for me, part of the reason why I got into the business was, paid media engages both sides of my brain. I’m naturally a left-brained person, analytical, but I also wrote and produced music, and so I do have sort of this right brain thirst to operate in creativity, and paid media does that because it’s a lot of numbers, it’s a lot of analysis; what does the data tell you? It’s also creativity. I mean, what’s going to move the dial on the data? It’s going to be what kind of story you tell. It’s kind of be how effective you are psychologically with your audience in driving them to perform an action, whether it’s a click or a conversion.

Mike: So, I think that part of the actual execution of paid media really is attractive for me, and then on the client side, dealing with clients, I think it’s really helped me grow as a person. When I was first starting out in the industry, I was pretty pathetic at communication. I thought it was all about results and moving the numbers and going up and to the right, and didn’t realize that a big part of managing PPC accounts was communication and having the client feel like you care about their business, care about their account, and ultimately, if the numbers don’t go up and to the right, that it might be okay because there might have been business reasons for that, right? It might not have been my fault. As long as the story is told of why things happen the way they did, you’re probably going to keep that client, and you’re probably going to have success in the future.

Matt: That’s a great way to put it. There’s a lot of things that happen in the business world when you’re running a campaign for six months, 12 months. Even in a short timeframe like that, there’s a lot that can happen: seasonality of the business, having the right creative, maybe the business is in the news for something negative and that impacts sales. There’s a hundred different things that can happen, so that’s kind of a good way to put it.

Matt: So, when you are trying to… you’re going to be in a spot where you have to bring some negative news about a campaign at some point, what is your kind of personal approach to that?

Mike: Transparency. If you made a mistake, you made a mistake. Like I said, clients typically care about how you care about them, right? So, if you do make a mistake, mistakes happen. That’s actually one of the things I learned early on. I remember making mistakes early on in my career and being so concerned about it, and so concerned about how my performance would be perceived, that I was kind of skirt around the issue and that kind of thing, and realized, no, if you’re just honest and transparent like, “Hey, we made this mistake. This is why. This is what we’re going to do to fix it right away, and we’re all over this,” typically, people are okay with it.

Matt: So, I’m going to go grab the keys to the DeLorean and we’re going to kind of take a look back at the PPC landscape here.

Matt: So, you’ve been working in the PPC game for about 10 years, so think back to when you started. What did that look like?

Mike: Yeah, I mean, there was only search, pretty much. No social media platform advertising. Keywords only; no audiences, no remarketing. It’s like, they search for something; you’re either there or you’re not. Even the amount of ad space that was there; now, you’ve got up to three headlines, two description lines, it seems like eight to ten extensions that are possible; so, sometimes on mobile, you can scroll pretty far before you find an organic result.

Mike: Well, and that’s another thing: mobile, right? I mean, 10 years ago, it was mostly desktop. There was, I want to say when I started, flip phones?

Matt: Oh yeah.

Mike: Right? So, mobile traffic wasn’t very large, so that’s a huge difference as well; just all the cross-device stuff going on, and people on their phones more than their computers, and that kind of thing.

Mike: Then, no automation. I mean, back then, you were making bit changes every day. That was a large part of your job. How many keywords you had in your account was a large thing; now, it’s kind of like keywords aren’t as… they’re important, but they’re not as important.

Mike: Then, just more manual work overall, less strategy, because when you don’t have more than one platform, what platform are you going to use? Well, the one, and so now it’s more about strategizing: what kind of business is this? Understanding the business, deciding what platforms their audiences are on, what kind of techniques work on what platforms. So, I would say it’s a much wider landscape than it used to be.

Matt: So, when you’re starting out and you’re kind of working with these keywords, everything’s very limited… was there a particular moment or a particular new tool or anything that kind of hit you, and you said, “Okay, now things are getting serious. Now, this is really interesting.” Do you remember any kind of moment like that?

Mike: I would say the first thing that comes to mind is remarketing becoming a thing. That was like, “Oh, wait, we can just reach these people that have been on our site pretty much anywhere on the internet?” That was probably the biggest moment that sticks out to me.

Matt: It seems like such an obvious concept nowadays.

Mike: Yeah, nowadays.

Matt: You were like, “Of course I would want to serve ads to people that were on my site,” but back then, it’s like, “This is sliced bread, a brand new thing.”

Mike: Yeah.

Matt: So we took a look back at kind of the past and what it is now; what do you see happening in the future? What are the major trends?

Mike: Well, kind of the opposite of what we saw in the past, right? In the future, I think that with more platforms becoming a thing… I mean, just recently, Reddit came out with cost-per-click options. Quora is a question and answer platform most people haven’t heard about that is kind of a mix between search and social, in a way; their platform is growing. They got 300 million users.

Mike: So, as new websites come out, new apps, new programs, they’re all looking to monetize their traffic in some way, just like Facebook or Google does, and so, I think more competition just keeps every platform honest. Obviously, you have Google and Facebook being the two big players in the space right now, but LinkedIn is growing. Quora is growing. Reddit, obviously, like I said, came out with this new platform, and who knows what tool or website is next, right?

Mike: I’ve got, in the last couple of years, two new clients on Pinterest; first time ever had clients on Pinterest. I’ve done projects where we promote a business’s presence at a trade show, for example, on Twitter, on a conference hashtag. There’s all these options out there, right? That requires each platform to be honest, right? Just sort of the free enterprise concept of, competition is good, right? It keeps them on their toes. It keeps them innovating and things like that.

Mike: Then, I think more automation combined with more platforms… it allows PPC managers to be more high-level strategists than just tuning knobs and gears like kind of we used to 10 years ago. High-level strategy, where should we be? Testing platforms against each other, testing ad types against each other and things like that.

Matt: You touched on other platforms kind of having that cross-platform competition. Can you dive into that a little bit? What do you think is going to happen if you were to try to play predictor here?

Mike: So, I think it does go back to the it depends kind of default answer for a PPC manager.

Matt: Always.

Mike: It depends on the business. Like I said, I have some businesses that their best platform is Pinterest because of who they are. One of them sells a subscription for wine, and another one is a home and housewares content business. I mean, is there a better platform than Pinterest for that, people looking for ideas? So yeah, it just really… like I said, it requires us to be knowledgeable about all these platforms and what the audiences are and what kind of business works best where.

Matt: I know Google is one of those platforms that’s really, really pushing automation. You’re kind of seeing it everywhere. You kind of touched it on a little bit. What’s next in that automation road map, if you will? I feel like automation is in every platformed road map. What do you see happening there?

Mike: Well, I mean, I see it progressing step-by-step, and not only it getting better, but other platforms adopting it, as well. Some people are hesitant to use it or don’t want to use it, including myself. I just don’t use it by default; I test it, see if it really works on each platform. Ultimately, I welcome it, because to be honest, it’s difficult to keep with all the platforms and changes going on. So, it’s like the more automation can take work away from me, the better, because there’s plenty to do.

Matt: One of the things that we like to stress here at Granular is working directly with our clients. It can be easy to get lost in some of the numbers and some of the data. What is your personal approach to working with clients?

Mike: Well, I think with experience, you start to understand what kind of products and services work best on which platforms. Like I’ve said, it allows us to be strategic in what platforms and audiences we prioritize, so overall, what I try to do is devote a really good portion of my day and my week to reading and studying and keeping up on what’s new, and things like that, and then staying organized and prioritized on every account.

Mike: That’s one of the keys is, you can get lost doing some kind of optimization that might help, but it might not be the number one thing that could help right now. So, knowing what’s going on continuously and what’s new helps to prioritize, what is the number one thing that will help my client right now, as opposed to the million things that I could do to help my client? Does that make sense?

Matt: For sure.

Mike: That’s really my personal approach, is… ultimately, we sell knowledge. That’s what we offer. A lot of the platforms, it’s easy to click a button, but you’ve got to know what button to click and when to click it, and our clients don’t have time for that, right? They’re busy doing their jobs as marketing managers or as business owners, and so, I see my job and to really care about a client is, I need to know. I need to know things, and that’s really what we sell, because in the end, if it takes me five hours to get to know what button to push, and only five minutes to push it, then that’s how it is. Sometimes that is how it is because it is so easy to push the button, but knowing what button to push and when is the key.

Matt: That’s a great way to put it. I often think about running even just an AdWords if you’re in the Google platform… it’s almost like being in a cockpit of a plane. There’s so many buttons, levers, numbers flying around, and if you’re not a professional, you don’t even know what to do. You can start hitting buttons and see what happens, but then you’re playing with your credit cards attached to this. It’s going to start costing you money.

Matt: When you’re in that cockpit, what is your personal approach to kind of setting up and running the inner workings of an account?

Mike: Well, like I said, just prioritizing. There’s so much you can do in any particular point in an account, and the question is, how beneficial is it to the client? How beneficial is it to moving the numbers in the account? You’re always kind of analyzing. Is this going to take me an hour? If it takes me an hour and it doesn’t have that much of an effect, is it really worth it, right?

Mike: An example I think of is account structure. How many campaigns can I create? I mean, ultimately, I could create an ad group for every single query that’s performed, right? That would take forever, and is there really a payoff in that? So, it’s always kind of balancing the time you spend with the effect that things are going to have.

Matt: There is a human element that comes into running paid media accounts. You actually have to go back and talk to a client and report and have that relationship with them. Can you talk about your personal approach to working with clients?

Mike: Yeah, definitely. I wrote a blog post recently about this on the Granular blog. I think the title, if I’m remembering correctly, is This Is What You Really Want From a PPC Manager, and it’s just stuff I’ve learned over the years about what clients really want, ultimately. Like I talked about earlier, when I first got into the industry, my mindset was, as long as I make the numbers go up and to the right, my client is going to be happy, and that actually wasn’t true.

Mike: A lot of studies have shown that the number one reason the customers leave businesses is because of perceived indifference, and basically what that means is, they don’t perceive that you care about their business. So, even if the numbers went up and to the right, they perceive that someone else could do that as well and…

Matt: And cheaper.

Mike: And cheaper, and they’re not… because they don’t feel cared for, and so they perceive that someone else will make them feel more cared for and would be able to do that.

Mike: Ultimately, I’ve learned over the years my first priority is that clients will feel cared about, and I’ve found that there’s really five ways that I’ve been able to do that. Number one is I understand their business; so, a lot of times, managers will get a new account and just figure, well, I’ve just got to figure out what keywords to pick and what platform they should be on, but really it comes down to understanding what the client’s business does; what makes it tick; who their audience is; what makes them tick; what makes them purchase; what they’re concerned about. It’s good old-fashioned marketing, right?

Mike: A lot of times, PPC managers can get into it and be all about numbers, kind of like I was at the beginning, but it really is marketing. The numbers are just telling you or giving you a message, or giving you insights into the marketing.

Mike: Number two: I’ve found that when times get tough, I need to up my game. So, if something happens with a client or there’s a mistake made, or maybe they made a mistake on their end… their website went down, or you never know what can happen… that it’s in those moments that I need to up my game so they feel like when it’s urgent, they feel cared about.

Mike: Number three: be proactive in diagnosing issues and offering solutions. I’ll never forget one feedback I got from a client that came to us was, “My last agency, they were nice to us. We liked them, but it was like we were always the ones that had to ask why something was wrong, or why a certain thing was going on, or can we test this, or that kind of thing.” They said, “We just felt like they weren’t proactive at offering us suggestions and ideas,” so that was something I learned from that.

Mike: So, being quick to suggest new ideas, as well, is something else; not only diagnosing, but quick to suggest new things to test. That goes back to what I said earlier, is reading a lot and knowing, what are the possibilities?

Mike: The last one is, they hear from me often. I learned that probably in my second or third year. I worked at an agency where the management was really about numbers in terms of hours spent. It’s like, if we went over hours on an account, then you need to shut it down. So, I went pretty far over hours on this one account, so management was like, “All right, shut it down for a few months.” We even communicated that to the client. “We’re way over hours so we’re going to take a break.”

Mike: Well, ultimately, the client left because it’s like, when they don’t hear from you for three months, it doesn’t matter what your justification is, they don’t feel cared for because they haven’t heard from you in three months, right? So, I’ve always made sure that my clients… even if it’s just a check-in, even if we are over hours, so to speak… even though at Granular, we don’t worry too much about that… even if we are “over hours,” that they at least hear from us, that we’ve got our eyes on things and we’re paying attention.

Matt: That last one of being quick to suggest new ideas or new tactics is something that… I will probably cover this when I’m in your seat at some point on the podcast, is… I actually worked with Granular from the opposite side, being the client, and that’s something that I really appreciated out of the Granular team was, every time I had a meeting or any time there was just a check-in email or a check-in call, there was always a new idea that was brought to the table of, “Hey, this just came out on XYZ platform. It allows you to do XYZ. Let’s try it out. I think it’s going to be a fit.” Sometimes it wasn’t, sometimes it was, but always having those options was super important.

Matt: One of the great things about the Granular team is just about everybody has had experience in different avenues, different verticals, different industries, and there’s a lot of knowledge sharing that happens. Every Tuesday, the team comes together, and we check in, share knowledge, see if anybody needs help with anything because everybody has their own kind of unique skill set or specialization. Do you have any specializations of your own?

Mike: Well, I’ll throw two at you. One is Google shopping; I’ve never seen shopping campaigns that I didn’t improve pretty drastically if I got my hands on them. I’m sure, and I know they exist, but I haven’t had a situation where, within a few months, I’ve seen pretty drastic improvements and results. I’m working on a pretty large retailer account right now where we’re transitioning over to a more advanced strategy with shopping, and seeing great, great results from that.

Mike: The second thing is, I found myself really into marketing psychology. So, one example of that is I’ve been writing a blog series on the Granular blog entitled Improve Your PPC Ads, and it’s basically just different techniques or methods, psychological principles, that I’ve tested out, that have improved results, and calling out that principle pretty frequently. So, I’ve read a lot of books about that. Also, along those lines into on-site optimization, usability, conversion optimization… knowing the things that detract visitors from staying on your site, completing the conversion, things like that.

Matt: Yeah, it’s definitely that art and science part of running paid media… it’s a little bit of both. You’ve got to understand the psychology and let that inform design or creative.

Mike: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matt: I remember reading one of your blog posts and it was about writing copy for ads, and how there is some little changes that you could make that can actually have a pretty instant and quick and really profound change to those ads just by using the word “because.” You want to share a little bit of that? You don’t want to give away all the secret sauce because we want people to go read it.

Mike: Right, yeah, no. Yeah, I believe the principle there was, giving a compelling reason; so, when we market, not just saying, buy our stuff because we’re great, but you’re giving a compelling reason to your customers of why they should purchase from you, or why they should purchase at all, because they also have the option of not purchasing. Using the word “because” is just a little trick; so, if you just say, buy our product because, and you fill in the blank with a compelling reason… the keyword there being compelling; not just a reason, but a compelling reason, which means you have to understand what makes the customer tick and what they really want from your product; it’s not just a product, it’s the reason they want it.

Mike: If you can come up with a compelling reason, that typically leads to good results, or better than what you’ve been getting if you had a less compelling reason.

Matt: So being a remote part of the team, this question has a little bit more kind of juice to it. What brought you to Granular?

Mike: Well, I was at an agency, and that agency had a client that was 40 percent of their revenue; not the greatest situation that you want to be in as a business, because that client left the agency, and so they had to cut staff pretty drastically; left me out of a job at the time.

Mike: I was brought to Granular because one of my focuses not only is reading and staying up on the industry, but using the PPC manager community… online, especially, and offline at conferences and things like that… to stay connected, and to learn from others. So, naturally, when I got laid off, I just kind of went to the community and started talking to people, and that led me to Granular needing people, and I had a couple connections here at Granular, and I just reached out, and from there, the relationship solidified, and I started with Granular just a month after I was laid off. Yeah, it was a pretty quick transition.

Matt: Yeah, I know. It’s crazy, I feel like Twitter is the home base of the PPC community, because everybody is just sharing tons of information. It can be a little daunting, but it’s great… and conferences and all that kind of stuff. I feel like there’s not many industries that are this young that have that much content and community behind that.

Mike: Yeah, what’s cool and odd about it at the same time is the community is so helpful to each other. You would think in a lot of industries, there’s this strategy of, don’t share your secrets because you’re in competition, right? Yeah, our industry is the opposite of that. It’s like, we know there’s room for everybody kind of a thing, and we know that relationships are really the most important thing. That’s proven itself time and again.

Matt: Yeah, you’re right when it comes to that there’s a lot of room; something I’m going to probably cover on a later podcast, talking about e-commerce, but one of the numbers that always kind of sticks out in my head is, it’s about 10 percent of all retail sales happen online, so 90 percent of retail sales don’t happen online.

Matt: I have a hard time believing that number is going to stay the same. It’s going to grow a couple percentage points every year, every quarter, whatever it may be, so there is a lot of room, and there’s so many companies that just aren’t on paid media yet and probably should be, or there are so many companies that don’t even exist yet that will end up being major players on PPC. It’s kind of mind-blowing how big it’s already gotten, and it’s still like the tip of the iceberg.

Mike: Yeah, I mean, I know it’s not 10 percent in my house, not because of me.

Matt: Amazon.

Mike: Yeah.

Matt: So, what is it about Granular that you like? Culture is a big thing at Granular. We take a lot of pride in that if you follow us on any of our social media channels. What’s your favorite part about it?

Mike: Well, I’m probably going to sound like a brown-noser, but that’s okay. This isn’t anything I haven’t said in the past, but I worked at three agencies and this is definitely the best managed agency I’ve been at for two reasons. Number one: they care about relationships with clients, and number two: relationships with employees; so, in the way that Granular does business with clients, in the way that they network, in the way they sell, in the way they provide a culture. It’s just been a great fit for me.

Mike: Like I said, I’ve learned a lot from going through three agencies and the way that they do things, and this is definitely the place where people, I think, are treated the best that I’ve seen so far.

Matt: So being a remote worker, how do you experience the Granular culture often through a webcam?

Mike: Well, I make sure to communicate often, not to assume anything, but communicate, communicate. Obviously, we do Skype; that helps, because you at least see people. Then, I don’t live too far away; it’s just a direct flight, a quick hour flight. So, I come to the office about once a quarter just to hang out and do meetings and that kind of thing. So, overall, there’s a good connection and Granular does a good job of creating opportunities to connect, whether it be outings or our fantasy football league, of course… which, by the way, I was the champion this year.

Matt: I was just about to mention that.

Mike: So, yeah, you’re right. It’s a challenge. It is a challenge working remotely to stay connected culturally, but ultimately, I think we do enough of it as remote employees and employees, and ultimately, I think we’re more productive because of it.

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