The Pratt Digital team recently attended the almighty Hero Conf, an annual PPC conference held by the legends at Hanapin Marketing. Now that we have fully recovered, we thought we’d check in and catch you up on our favourite takeaways from the event.

So grab a cuppa and settle in, as we take you on our whistle-stop tour of all things segmentation, personalisation and automation.

Audience Segmentation

Segmentation was a huge focus of the event this year. With new technologies forever complicating the marketing funnel, it is important for marketers to ensure that their strategies remain customer-centric.

Becky Simms from Reflect Digital honed in on the idea of Behavioural Economics, using Lab’s unique persona model to segment users based on certain characteristics. They even have a pretty neat quiz you can take to find out if you best match the Monkey, Lion or Dog persona.


Monkey, Lion, Dog segments


This practice helps to define the values and motives of different segments, allowing marketers to create ads bespoke to the individual.

Another approach Becky presented was to test ad copy based on Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic language groups, tailoring copy in a way which drives emotion and action.

We really feel like kids in a candy store with all of these potential A/B tests!


Lottie Namakando from iCrossing shared the idea of using ‘ABC’ to deliver consumer led strategies. Layering different variables (Audience, Brand, Context) enables marketers to target different audiences with bespoke messaging, without restricting reach.

To demonstrate, meet Audience A and Audience B…


Audience Segments A and B


Both audiences are using the search term ‘Holidays in Spain’ (Context). However, once you overlay this with their demographics (Audience), their intent becomes entirely different. Using this customer data to inform ad copy could boost CTR and CVR.

A.Family Holiday Ad

B.Romantic Getaway Ad

You could personalise the ads further by layering the user’s Brand interactions. This search term is pretty top of funnel, so ads should focus on raising brand awareness, promoting USPs and brand values to these new users.

AI & Automation

It wouldn’t be a PPC conference without a sprinkle of AI, and Frederick Vallaeys, CEO of Optmyzr, showed us some great ways in which we can use Machine Learning to automate our day-to-day processes.

The important thing to remember is that AI isn’t gunning for our jobs. However, Digital Marketers need to continually inform their Machine Learning in order to fully reap the rewards.

Close Match variants are a great example of this. Google uses Machine Learning to determine which search terms are close enough to your Exact Match keywords to be valuable. But what if you want a little more control over this?

Enter, the Levenshtein Distance.

Marketers assign a numerical score to determine how close the query is to the keyword. One point is added for every letter that is changed, added or deleted. This distance further informs Machine Learning by providing it with a benchmark to filter through the Close Match variants. A perfect example of AI and marketers working in harmony.

Levenshtein Distance

Smart bidding is another example of AI taking the PPC world by storm; but this technology is nowhere near perfect. Take Black Friday, for example. CTR and conversion rates suddenly spike, but just as the Machine Learning wraps its head around this and adjusts bids accordingly, the sale dies down along with all of your traffic.

Marketers need to inform their Smart Bidding by inputting business data such as promotion schedules and seasonality. Just give the machines a heads up before slashing all your prices.

Final Thoughts

This year’s Hero Conf was a good-un, and really got us thinking of ways in which we can take our accounts to the next level. Were you at the conference this year? What did you take away from it?

Want some PPC takeaways of your own? We’re running our very own PPC Workshop at Buxted Park Hotel this November, where we will be teaching the South-East how not to waste money on their Google Ads! To find out more, click here or get in touch.