CXL Institute Growth Marketing Minidegree review Part 11

10 min readNov 22, 2020


Understanding Google Ads and Account Based Marketing

We kicked things off by understanding the Google Ads metrics and that not all metrics matter. Also, understanding that advertisers need to understand that they can achieve 10x returns but might not be able to achieve low cpc because of their industry or the product they are selling.

It is all about understanding the logic but not being rigid about it.

Iceberg Effect

It is important to understand the granularity of the targeting and placements of ads. It is with this thought that one should be aware of the Iceberg Effect in Google Ads. It refers to the point where a lot of targeting and refining elements are clubbed together and it gets difficult to see the granularity and relate the element through which we got a positive effect.

The simpler your campaign and ad group structure, the quicker you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t.

Understanding the Research tools

There are many research tools in the market for PPC but we first need to understand the core value behind using each of them.

  1. Keywords planner: A Google native tool that can be found within the Google Ads platform. This will help in providing the first hand keyword suggestions based on your website URL or a competitor’s url, pinterest, wikipedia or reddit url. This is a great native google ads tool.
  2. Display Planner: A once loved tool is not available to use without creating an ad. Display planner is something similar to Keywords planner but should be more directed towards understanding the placement, audiences and demographic targeting. This is again a native research google ads tool.
  3. Spyfu or SemRush: The thing that we are going to care most about when it comes to using a tool like SpyFu or SEMRush is what kind of net new keywords that we haven’t found through the Google Keyword planner that we can use and actually add to our account to target, to get more impressions and also more clicks, which will hopefully lead to more leads and therefore more sales for us.
  4. What Runs Where or Moat: What Runs Where basically allows you to seethe type of ads, so the actual creative that the advertiser and that competitor is using in addition to the actual location, the placement of where that ad was seen, and also even breaks down the type of ad network beyond just Google Ads, plus the landing page they’re using to send traffic to.

The tools should be used to drill down on the keywords that we can target. Don’t take the projected CPC and clicks to be a stone carved number as these metrics completely depend on individual accounts.

Not a Game of Ice and Fire in Google Ads

Product, Price, Place, Promotion — The 4P’s of marketing might not have evolved in terms of their definition but they certainly have evolved in terms of their linking with other marketing activities.

Jonathan’s next lesson was focussed on matching the intent of the traffic to the type of PPC campaigns and how through many years and clients after they have developed the PPC temperature check or The Ice to Volcano test. In all simplicity it states that there needs to be uniformity in the intent and the core CTA of the ppc campaign. You need to understand the customers position within those 3P’s and then decide the last one — Promotion.

Source: KlientBoost Youtube channel

Smoke Testing

Variety is the name of the game. You can basically create a lot of variety within one type of offer and call to action. You can also experiment with smoke testing. Smoke testing basically means that you’re creating something that looks from the surface like it’s very impressive, but on the back end, you actually haven’t finished it.And the only reason why you’re doing this is to actually get a gauge for what your visitors care about and where they’re going to convert at a higher rate.

Search and Shopping Targeting

Search originates in its core from the keywords part. Therefore it is crucial to understand the degree of targeting from the keywords perspective. There are 4 types of matches:

  1. Broad match: Not a focussed approach but an attempt to get as many clicks as possible
  2. Broad match modifier: This places a plus sign at the start of the keyword. However, the combos of words don’t matter, as long as the keywords are in there you want to trigger your ad.
  3. Exact match: This is the most restrictive, and this is going to give you the least amount of impressions and also the least amount of eyeballs and chances for clicks; this is called exact match.Exact match basically tells Google that you can’t put anything in front of the bracket or after the bracket, and it has to be within the bracket in that order.
  4. Phrase match: It tells Google to put anything in front of the quotes or after the quotes and you want your ad to show, but you can’t change up the order within the actual quotes.

Negative KW’s: You can create a list of KW’s that basically tells Google not to target these. Your ad will not show up if any of these KW’s are a part of the search term.

You can also add a remarketing layer for your ads through audiences. You can then run it in observation mode where the bids can be changed.

The Shopping targeting options are restricted to the the catalogue of products listed. However, you can still use:

  1. Dynamic Search Ads: these type of campaigns basically allow Google to scan your domain and come up with what it thinks are relevant ads and also relevant search terms to trigger as well, too.
  2. In-market audience: They are basically shopping actively for your type of products or services. So if you wanted to test out, let’s say going broad match, for example, and then adding a layer that’s targeting on top of this, you can.

Display and YouTube Targeting

Within the display network you can target audiences basis demographics, audiences, the combinations of audiences, topics and individual placements.

  1. Audiences:
    a. There are in-market audiences that as per Google have a higher propensity to convert and are in the market looking for products and services closely related to your website.
    b. We also have affinity audience who are not necessarily looking to buy but are interested in the topic.
    c. There is also an option to create custom intent audience. They are basically combinations of audiences that you’ve created yourself, where you can say hey, they’re interested in home decor and they’re also interested in Pinterest and they’re also interested in this other website for example.
    d. Similar audience mirrors and mimics the demographics, the interests and behaviours of the actual audiences that you’re building. This is closely related to the concept of Lookalike audience in FB.
  2. Demographics: Focussing on the age, area and other demographic fields.
  3. Keyword: Google will automatically pull keyword groups from your URL that it thinks might be the best for targeting.
  4. Topics: topics are basically groupings of websites or YouTube channels or mobile apps that are about that topic.
  5. Placements: These are individual websites, YouTube channels, YouTube videos, like actual individual apps that you can target or even app categories.

Jonathan then gave an overview of the Google Ads interface layout and briefed about some of the important sections like recommendations, ad preview and diagnostics tool, the filters and custom columns.

A great refresher in ad account set ups, campaign builds, filters and keyword audience marked the final chapter in this course. The scripts were a new insight that I hadn’t used with Google Ads.

Understanding the world of Account Based Marketing (ABM)

Steve Watt for CXL

Steve was the instructor for this course and I think I may have found my new mentor for ABM. I was blown away by the amazing link and the explanation Steve gave for helping me understand ABM. As a sales professional stepping into marketing I felt close to this topic as compared to any other so far.

We started things off by understanding ABM. He explained that ABM is
A sustained, coordinated, strategic approach to identifying, engaging, closing and growing the accounts that we know we should win.

This strategic explanation focussed on every aspect that one needs to understand about ABM.

ABM is multi-threaded, multi-channel.

The flipped funnel is a great way to understand the approach to ABM. It starts with identifying the accounts we need to go after and then figuring out the decision makers within each of these accounts. The account specific insights combined with the an understanding of adopting a multi-channel, multi-touch engagement channel will definitely result in high value closures.

Flip the funnel approach to understand ABM

What are the factors to consider for the right ABM strategy

  1. Deal size
  2. Complexity of your product or solution
  3. Size and complexity of customer / prospect orgs
  4. Number of customer / prospect stakeholders
  5. Strategic importance of particular clients
  6. Current perception (if any) of your firm
  7. Competitive environment
  8. Internal factors (budget, talent, alignment)

The different types of ABM

Source: ITSMA

Top performers employ a blended approach to ABM combining minimum two types of ABM strategies.

Pilot is the start for all ABM activities. Steve explains that everyone has to be aligned on the objective and goals of the ABM approach. There has to be executive, financial, sales buy-ins before ABM pilot is started.

Furthermore, it is important to understand that ABM metrics might not be the same as traditional MQL’s. What really matters is to move your targeted accounts from A to B.

So after we understand how many accounts we need to target, we dwelled into understanding how the list of accounts and priority can be assigned. Some of the key points:

  1. You can start by analysing the Fit, Intent and Engagement of these accounts.
  2. Prioritise the accounts through Predictive, Intent, Trigger and Behavioural aspects. This will help in segregating the accounts in one:one, one:many and one:few segments.
  3. This can further be refined through Gates and Weights model. Chalk out factors that can classify as gates to identify the top tier accounts and so on. Weights can be assigned then to cluster the accounts. These weights can be assigned basis resources, next-steps (in-person or content or digital only). A good approach is to cluster through a mix and don’t rush into building the account list build.
  4. IAP>ICP. ICP sometimes turns into Average Customer Profile. Look beyond CRM and take the ever changing nature of your product and environment into consideration.
  5. The best approach for you is going to depend on the sizeof your market, the size and complexity of your deals, the size of your sales team and so many other considerations.The ideal account for you may not be the same as your ideal customer.

So then after this it is all about how are we speaking to within these accounts?

Researching is key to understand the nature of the accounts. This helps in developing the content and outreach plays. Steve stressed on the point that the top tier accounts might need a lot of research but the one:few or one:many might not need that deep a level of research.

Steve also stressed on the use of intent, social media and organisational mapping tools to enhance the research quality. We need to understand where these accounts are today and where do we need them to be in the shorter and longer term. That will define the play and the strategy we can test and implement. Also, bake in testing from the very beginning.

Don’t optimise for the sub system. Optimise for the ultimate objective. Optimise for the win.

Learn to test with the channel and cadence and get creative with that. It’s not just about a phone call but where do you place that phone call in the entire play that will matter.

Steve Watt for CXL

We then dwelled into an excellent piece written by Steve talking about the ABM Hype cycle. To be honest, I was starting to get on one and then was saved by this graph

Steve Watt on ABM Hype Cycle

Steve explains that it is very easy to be trapped in this hype cycle but a well thought after approach and avoiding the measurement risks can lead to a successful ABM execution and achieve the pilot success.

Measurement risks

  1. Ensure that the objectives are clearly defined and the measurement is aligned with the objectives.
  2. Understand what are we measuring? Channel or overall performance. Always remember that you are measuring overall performance and the overall economics of the win. The channel economics define the efficiency and the speed at which we execute.
  3. Always be testing and learning.

Steve then shared some great tips on the tools and how to move ahead or move into or hire an ABM team. The tools really helped in understanding the various areas where tech can greatly help. Try to get a good understanding of the features but don’t rush for the tools.


These tracks gave an insightful look into Google Ads and ABM. I especially enjoyed the ABM track and might have found my next career move. This motivated me to learn more about ABM and how Steve explains how to move into the ABM career.




Startup Growth | Business Development and Sales | Creative thinker