As you know we have recently re-branded as RocketMill. While the design team were beavering away at the website, it fell to me as Group Head of PPC to develop our PPC strategy. So here is my guide to creating a strategy for a new brand and getting out alive.


PPC Strategy Toolkit

 1. BIG PAPER. Bigger ideas require even bigger paper. Ensure your idea:paper ratio is correct.

2. NOTEBOOKS. To write things in. Duh.

3. CALCULATOR. Yes, this project is all very exciting but you still need to control cost.

4. HIGHLIGHTERS. To mark the best ideas and well…highlight things.

5. POST IT NOTES. Because some ideas just wont fit on your big paper.

6. COLOURED PENS. Colour coding is the future.

7. TIPP-EX. Because some ideas seem good at the time but in hindsight? Not so good.

8. TEA. For sustenance.

9. BRAND HANDBOOK. Every brand needs continuity.

10. DIARY. To keep track – launch date will be here before you know it.


Step 1. Get your big paper and pens. 

As with most projects I work on, I started by getting a huge bit of paper (for huge ideas) and scrawling anything down that came to mind. And I mean ANYTHING. It’s better to come up with some bad ideas than discard good ones through fear. You think it’s a good idea to include a cartoon walrus in your ad? Write to down! (That’s what the tipp-ex is for, should you change your mind).

Write down all the areas you want to market, the platforms you want to use (in our case, Google search,  Google display network, LinkedIn and Youtube) and any other relevant points.

Step 2. Expand.

Using post it notes, add extra details onto each area on your big sheet of paper. Expand with keyword ideas, advert ideas and any additional information. Using highlighters, identify and highlight any focus points or areas to concentrate on.

If you think of anything extra that you need to consider, ask or arrange, write it in your notebook to form a kind of to-do list to follow-up later.

Step 3. Drink tea.

Teabag, boiling water, milk. Sugar optional. Gulp.

Step 4. Refine.

Get another big bit of paper and copy all of your best ideas onto it – you will end up with a more relevant, refined collage of ideas. Discard anything that is unrealistic or, in hindsight, seems a bit rubbish. Take the brand guidelines into account and make sure you’re staying in line with key messages.

Step 5. Organise.

Get yet ANOTHER big bit of paper. Copy your best ideas onto it again, but this time, group them into sections. My sections were display, re-marketing, search, LinkedIn, Youtube and adverts. This allows you to look at each area separately, and in detail. Expand on each area with budgets, to do lists and points to consider. Whip out your calculator and make sure you’re not making the company bankrupt with unrealistic budgets. If you have any points that don’t fit into a category, consider whether they are necessary or if you need to create a new category for them. By grouping ideas, you can treat each section as a mini-project to make the whole strategy manageable.

Step 6. Plan.

Now you know what you have to do, work out how long each section will take and write deadlines in your diary. I made sure I had time for first approval, first set of changes, second approval and final changes. Make sure you leave space for error – It’s much better to be ready a week early than a week late.

Step 7. Get a fresh pair of eyes on it.

Ask someone to have a look through your strategy and make sure you haven’t missed anything. Talk through any ideas and iron out any creases. You might have made a pun in an ad that seems like comedy gold to you, but may not really make any sense. It can be helpful to show someone outside of your industry to see how clear your adverts are, and how relevant your keyword suggestions are.

Step 8. Let everyone know what you need.

If you’re relying on anyone else for certain bits of your strategy, let them know as soon as you can because they will have their own bits to be getting on with. I needed to speak to other teams about landing page content, placing re-marketing codes and designing image adverts. All of these things have different lead times and require a different amount of time so clarify deadlines to make sure everything runs like clockwork.

Step 9. Get on with it.

Once you’re ready to go, just go. Prioritise your tasks and get stuck in. This is also no time to be stubborn, if you need help, ASK. Call the support numbers for the platforms or speak to colleagues if you’re not sure on something. Although you’ll be working in different groups, remember it is an overall team effort. It’s a bit like each of you is drawing a section of a picture and when you’re finished, they all need to fit together. You all need to be on the same wavelength so communicate and keep an eye on what’s going on in other departments.

Step 10. LAUNCH!

Make sure the site is all done and dusted before launching PPC (because otherwise the ads will have no where to go, duh). Make especially sure you stay on top of keyword bidding to start with to encourage better performance in your account. Bid especially aggressively on mobile  campaign keywords, as you are only showing at ‘the top’ in positions 1 or 2 on mobiles. Broadcast the launch on social networking sites and get feedback on your work.


It took me a good few weeks to complete this process – it’s best to give yourself plenty of time so you can just sit and think without being under pressure.

You can find RocketMill on YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. Get in touch and let us know what you think – If you have any questions about RocketMill, PPC, or re-branding in general, please feel free to tweet me at @BenGarrity.

Thank you for showing an interest in us and I hope you like what we’ve created!