What is Pay-Per-Click Marketing?

Siya Mabiza
Latest posts by Siya Mabiza (see all)

With the rise of digital and its capabilities, we now have a new way of reaching the markets we want to influence from a marketing perspective, and these new techniques are purely led by technology. You would have heard of words like “Pay-Per-Click”  or “PPC” or “Digital Paid Media”, these are all the synonyms for “Pay- Per-Click Marketing” which merely means paying per click for an action or click on your advert.

How does Pay-Per-Click Marketing work?

Think of a bid auction where bidders indicate how much they willing to pay for an item that is bid for. normally the highest bidder wins the item.

Digital Paid Media, PPC, Pay-Per-Click

Now in the context of Pay-Per-Click Marketing, advertisers also enter into “bid auction” where they indicate how much they are willing to pay per click (which is referred to as “bid”) for a space to show their advert. The highest bidder wins the advertising spot, only difference being, this auction happens in real-time and takes into account factors like; ad quality score, audience targeting and amongst that, contextual targeting factors that come into play.

Why should you invest in PPC Marketing?

There’s a myriad of great reasons why one would invest in PPC marketing and the obvious one is to reach your audiences online where a billboard wouldn’t have achieved that per se. To break it down into simple pillars, here are the reasons why:

  1. Highly Targeted – Unlike traditional media where the execution has always been a “one-size-fits-all” approach irrespective of content and location. With PPC marketing you can show your ads only to/for the intended audience. You can filter by location, device, time, interest, behavior and even weather conditions for fast-food retailers. You define your audience targeting and your messaging as you wish.
  2. Trackable Results – Since PPC marketing ads live online, you can literally track every action, reach and even sentiments for your marketing campaigns. With cookie targeting and data collection tools like Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics (previously known as Omniture), you can collect data about your audiences and track their digital touchpoints on any media platform or device.
  3. Remarketing – To the point above about cookies and data collection platform, you can use the same data to remarket or retarget users who previously interacted with your adverts or have made any engagements on your digital platforms. This gives you the power to keep your users engage and further push them down the sales funnel by showing them sequential messages of your marketing campaign.


  1. Cost-Effective – You determine your own spend. Unlike traditional media where advertising spots are set to a fixed cost e.g. Newspaper marketing spots or 15-second radio adverts will cost you a specific amount irrespective of volumes. With PPC marketing, you only pay for what you get e.g. if you paid R1,000 for an ad that went out to 50,000 users and today, same time, the volumes of users dropped to 20,000, you’ll only get charged for the 20,000.

And this is just a drop in the ocean of what you can really get from PPC Marketing. With the rise of AI (artificial intelligence), marketing automation and geo-location targeting platforms, one can only imagine what you can do with PPC marketing in the future. Would you say traditional media will become a thing of the past? Yes, but at least not yet, we still need traditional media for offline activations in areas or geographic spaces where digital platforms are still lagging because of poor network coverage or lack of infrastructure or even an issue in terms of cultural traditions especially in the deeper regions of Africa.

In conclusion, PPC marketing is fast becoming a way of thinking and execution in most organisations where costs, data matter. It is a channel that should decide and control most of your marketing budget. Therefore, it’s a necessity for companies to start investing in talent and agencies that can move the companies forward. A happy customer will gladly do more for the organisation so keep them engaged!