AdWords Ignores B2B AGAIN

I will be so thrilled when I never have to write a piece like this again… however, today is apparently, not that day. Google AdWords launched a brandy new web site section aimed at helping businesses see a clearer line from their business goals through to options in AdWords. What is wrong with that Julie, you might be thinking? In concept, absolutely nothing until you realize that NOT ONE of their goals addresses lead generation or B2B PPC.

Think I’m kidding?

The first 4 choices of marketing objectives fall under the category of “Drive Action”:

AdWords Drive Action Options

See a theme here? Hint: It’s not B2B or Lead Generation.

There are two other categories that kind of sound like they might include B2B and/or lead generation: Influence Consideration & Build Awareness. What happens when you click through on them though?

Influence Consideration, it turns out is all about video ads. The Success Story highlighted for this type of goal is New Balance. What did they do? They created video content and used lightbox product ads which increased social media engagement. So, retail again, got it. The resources listed in this section:

Adwords Influence Consideration Resources

Gotcha – do more video.

Ok, what about Build Awareness? Surely that must be a good option for everyone? This one at least has the Google Display Network as a major component, which can and is used by B2B and lead generation seeking PPC campaigns. Except that all three Success Stories here are all about YouTube advertising (and also retail).

AdWords Build Awareness Success Stories

The Resources links in this section do point to an AdWords support article about the GDN. The side menu actually acknowledges Lead Generation!

Lead Generation Menu Choice

This page starts out thusly:

One of the most common goals among business owners is to drive sales and generate leads. This often means running direct-response campaigns that encourage customers to pursue a specific action — such as buying a product or signing up for a newsletter. (emphasis mine)

Ok, so AdWords does know that lead generation is “one of the most common goals among business owners” cool. Then why, oh why do they never acknowledge it as a main, common or even legitimate goal for using AdWords? I find it mystifying. There are obviously plenty of businesses, large and small, who are using AdWords right now for B2B and/or lead generation purposes. It would seem wise to at least throw them a bone and mention them even once.

I tweeted yesterday:

Melissa Mackey wrote a similarly themed post today and you should definitely check it out (not just because she quotes some of my tweets on the topic!).

What are your thoughts? Some have suggested the lack of visibility or mentions is due to B2B not being as easy to case study as retail. That seems like a pretty lame reason to me, especially for a company like Google which has access to gigantic advertisers who seem to willingly provide case study information for other sectors. Others are wanting Bing Ads to fill this void. That would be great, but AdWords should show this massive sector some love too!

I’m not usually a bit GIF user in my posts, but this one is crying out for this one:


In Melissa’s post she talks about how the lack of information, data or cases that are directly applicable to B2B clients makes it harder for us to get them on board for using PPC in their marketing mixes. From her post:

Just this week, I dealt with client questions around this very topic. I had pulled some information from Think with Google that was as close as I could get to B2B. The client said, “Isn’t there anything closer to our business?” I had to say no – and it caused them to question why they were doing PPC anyway, even though their PPC program is crushing every other marketing effort in terms of efficiency and lead generation.

I couldn’t agree more and have experienced this first hand. It is frustrating to say the least.

Love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Sound off in the comments and/or hit me up on Twitter (@NeptuneMoon).


  1. Not too long ago my Google rep offered to help with new business initiatives. I had been trying to build a case for an auto dealership to consider an Adwords audit. The dealership appeared to be spending a fair amount of money on Adwords, and it looked like their campaigns were being managed poorly. So, I explained this to the rep. I felt that if she could provide me with some case studies (with Google branding) that focused on best practices such as ad relevance and its impact on performance, then I could combine that with my screen shots showing how their ads and campaigns were currently being managed and the combination would provide very powerful impetus to winning this business. The rep said she would see what she could find and a week later I received a monthly estimate for the clicks and cost. I couldn’t believe it. The dealer was already spending money, maybe not as much as the estimate but my problem was getting a foot in door. I wanted the additional credibility that I felt Google could provide for me. I am a Google Partner and Google case studies validating my partner qualifications and knowledge would seem to be worth much more that an estimate. But an estimate was all the help Google could provide to me. So, I am working on my case study(s) and still trying to get my foot in the door.

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