How would Aristotle PPC? (Part II)

Eudaimonia, that word that’s right out there with the Tetragrammaton for its elusive inability to be defined. “Happiness” is probably the most common way we translate Aristotle’s classic concept into English, although some seem to prefer “flourishing.”

But–like the Supreme Court’s classic definition of pornography: “you know it when you see it”–Eudaimonia is a concept we all recognize when we see it. It’s the guys or girls who are working hard, with a good spirit and smile, doing the right thing at all points, and they’re being rewarded with the classic trappings of success. You know, the guy with the great job, great salary, great boss, great partner, great family, house with a fence and 2.1 kids, who is smiling and helpful and kind and wouldn’t hurt a fly and never even dreamt of taking advantage of anything. He probably tithes 10% of his income to the best charity there is as well. You know the type? Well, you may not know anyone like that–does he or she really exist?–but you do know of that image, and you do know lots of people who come somewhat close to that ideal.

That ideal is Eudaimonia and, of course, Aristotle didn’t quite describe it in these terms. Not even close. (This is a creative and flexible interpretation. Hey, I am having fun after all!)

So, Eudaimonia is basically what–Aristotle argues–we should strive for. Not necessarily the house with the white picket fence but more so, this good behavior by society’s norms, on the micro-level, and being a good, upstanding member of your society.

Now, let’s apply this to Pay Per Click digital marketing.

In short, Eudaimonia is a great target for all campaigns–and client relationships. Let’s explain each, one by one.

First, for campaigns. Clients often want campaigns that are “profitable” and they have lots of ways to define that; the “ROAS” is one typical one, for example.

But is it really just profit? No, not at all. Often they want branding as well, for example. Or they just want people talking about a certain issue, in order to shape a dialog. And so forth.

So you don’t really just want a profitable campaign, but a campaign that is “flourishing” all around.

And such a “flourishing” of a campaign–just like Eudaimonia itself–isn’t a quick button. It’s a never-ending, constant work in progress. You have to improve the ads every day. Narrow the keywords every day. Run small experiments every day. And so forth. Flourishing is hard, but you just want it strong and resilient, and constantly getting stronger and more resilient, in all directions, always.

And this, indeed, is the heart of Aristotle’s interpretation of how to achieve the state of Eudaimonia: it’s not a destination, but the journey. You need to constantly be working on it and towards it, and always be alert in every way to every detail. It’s an optimization game… with your life.

And client work? The same general analysis applies here. But it’s not just the campaign you want to work well, but your client satisfied overall with your performance. What’s your communication like? How do you deal with problems? How fast are you? How kind and respectful are you? And so forth.

And the “flourishing” of the client relationship similarly requires constant work, in all directions of the relationship, constantly. No resting on your laurels here!

In short, Aristotle has too-smart and too-complex. (Is it possible to be “too” much of both?). But these ideas show that he understand the BIG PICTURE of the client’s aims and the campaign’s aims, beyond the immediate, short-term, “let’s get some cheap clicks quickly!”. And that’s perhaps the most important reason why Aristotle would be a smack-down awesome PPC.

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