People often don’t recognize problems. What they recognize are symptoms.

And which symptoms are most pressing and important to them, aren’t necessarily the concerns that are most important to the organization.

What problem X means to an employee might have a lot more to do with the fact that he has to put in a lot of unpaid overtime or his next promotion has been jeopardized, than with the real nature of the problem or the best fix for that problem.

So when companies advertise solutions via PPC, they need to keep all that in mind. Specifically, they need to ask themselves:

  • How does the searcher see this problem?
  • What symptoms are most important to them
  • Will they recognize my labels for the problem as being valid
  • Will they recognize my solution benefits as relevant to their lives and careers

And so forth. If they don’t ask that, they run the risk of writing ineffectual PPC ads. This Win of the Week contest is a great example of that:

So picture this: you’re a sales manager, and something has forced you to reevaluate how you handle your Incentives and Commissions for your team. Ok, now think, what is most likely to have brought you to that kind of reevaluation?

Answer: Poor, or at least disappointing performance from your sales team.

So… knowing that, which PPC Ad do you think best speaks to your perceived symptoms and concerns?

Yup — Ad B, with its messaging around “Reward Your Sales Team Right.” And that’s why it managed to nearly double Click-Through-Rates over Ad A, boosting them by a solid 94%.

Now, I’m sure the advertiser thought that automating and systematizing sales incentives was what the prospect OUGHT to have cared about. But that’s not really what the prospect thought his problem was about, is it?

So make sure your PPC Ads speak to what your prospects THINK their problem is.