Google Partners Program – Update

Category : Knowledge Share

PIC has maintained Premier Partner status for several years.

Starting in February 2022, companies need to meet the Partner requirements and be in the top 3% of participating companies within a given country to become a Premier Partner. Below are the areas that Google Premier Partners are judged.

The performance requirement helps ensure that you can effectively set up and optimally run Google Ads campaigns to achieve the greatest results for your clients. The current threshold is 70% optimization score. PIC’s current optimization score is 75.8% .

Your Google Partners registered Ads Manager account needs to maintain a 90-day ad spend of $10,000 USD across managed accounts. Our current spend is $4377,905.97 .

Ads Manager account needs to have a minimum of 50% of your account strategists certified in Google Ads, with at least one certification in each product area with campaign spend (for example Search, Display, Video, Shopping, or Apps). We currently have more than 1 user certified in Search, Display, Video, and Shopping.

New Partner Benefits currently seen in as a Google Premier Partner include Education & Insights, Access & Support, and Recognition & Rewards.

For more information, check out the guide for becoming a Google Partner!

PHP 8.0 Features

Category : Knowledge Share

PHP 8 has been officially released to the General Availability on November 26, 2020!

This new major update brings many optimizations and powerful features to the language. I will discuss the most interesting changes here.

Here are the main features :

  • PHP JIT (Just in Time Compiler)
  • New PHP Functions
  • PHP 8 Performance Benchmarks

PHP JIT(Just in Time Complier)

Among the major new features of PHP 8 is the JIT compiler, which improves performance significantly. Earlier PHP was not compiled but interpreted line by line. With JIT compiler (Just in Time), this is changed. It works by compiling parts of the code during runtime – and in doing so acts very much like a cached version of the code.

JIT for Live Web Apps

According to the JIT, the just in time compiler implementation should improve PHP performance. But would we really experience such improvements in real-life apps like WordPress?

The early tests show that JIT would make CPU workload run faster. However, the RFC warns like the previous attempts – it currently doesn’t seem to significantly improve real-life apps like WordPress. With JIT enabled, the code wouldn’t run by the Zend VM, but by the CPU itself, which would improve the calculation speed. Web apps like WordPress also rely on other factors like TTFB, database optimization, HTTP requests, etc and so we shouldn’t expect a significant boost in PHP execution speed when it comes to WordPress and similar apps.

New PHP Functions (For Developers)

1. str_contains
2. str_starts_with() and str_ends_with()
3. get_debug_type

1. str_contains

Before PHP 8, strstr and strpos were the typical options for developers to search for a word inside a given string. The problem is that both functions usage can be confusing for new PHP developers. See the following examples:

Earlier Method

Updated Method with PHP 8.0

2. str_starts_with() and str_ends_with() (New Function)

In addition to the str_contains function, two new functions allow to search for a word inside a given string: str_starts_with and str_ends_with
Example :
$str = “WordPress”;
if (str_starts_with($str, “Word”))  // outputs TRUE
if (str_starts_with($str, “word”)) //outputs  FALSE
if (str_ends_with($str, “Press”)) //outputs TRUE
if (str_ends_with($str, “press”)) //outputs  FALSE

Note : This is case sensitive. We will know it more when we will use it.

3. get_debug_type (New Function)

get_debug_type is a new PHP function that returns the type of a variable for the given input. The new function works in quite a similar way as the gettype function, but get_debug_type returns native type names and resolves class names.

Example :

The above example will output something similar to:


The above example when used with get_debug_type() will return native types.

Example :

The above example will output something similar to:


3. PHP 8 Performance Benchmarks

If you’re wondering how fast PHP 8 is, there is an answer. Kinsta benchmarked 20 PHP platforms/configurations on 7 different PHP versions (5.6, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, and 8.0).
PHP 8.0 emerged as the winner in most platforms that support it, including WordPress and Laravel.



In this post, we covered the most interesting optimizations and features coming with PHP 8. The most awaited of which is surely the Just in Time compiler, but there’s so much more with PHP 8.

For more information, check out this article.

Zero-Party Data

Category : Knowledge Share

With the pending death of the cookie and the increasing concerns over data tracking, a new buzz is ‘zero-party data”. Zero-party data is data that a customer intentionally and proactively shares with a company.

Some benefits of zero-party data include that the quality and accuracy of responses is generally quite high. Zero-party data is also very relevant, inexpensive, and compliant.

We have to convince people to give us this information so that we can continue to market to them. That is the challenge. We already do this with gated content and offers, but now we need to find ways to get this information from people earlier in the process to find the people we send “awareness” messages to.

Some methods for gathering this information include gamifying the internet through quizzes or interactive ads and offering compensation for participation via content or access. Interactive content is an oft-mentioned trend for 2022 so we can expect to see more methods like these. Other direct ways to gather information that can include our explanations of the why and what of our data collection are social media polls, registration & email lists, in-store incentives, and preference centers. A key aspect of information gathering with zero-party data is honesty and transparency. We want to tell people why we want their data and what we are using it for.

There are, of course, cautions and considerations with zero-party data collection. Really consider and plan how the data will be used. We don’t want to waste the chance to collect information from users but also don’t want to overwhelm the consumer with information requests. It’s important to build a relationship with potential customers.

So what do we do with the zero-party data we’re collecting? People who are already using tools such as HubSpot have the tools to use smart content for information collection. Email marketing is another oft-mentioned trend in 2022 with increased usage. One reason for this is the ability to target messages with segmentation and smart content. Use the responses to create a profile and build an audience of similar people with what third party data still remains. This should still be working toward the ultimate gold of getting their zero-party data.

For more information on zero-party data (and other forms of data collection), check out this article from the Treasure Data blog!

Facebook Group – Best Practices

Category : Knowledge Share

Facebook Groups allows friends, acquaintances, or complete strangers to discuss and share information about topics both narrow and broad. Pages and Groups are effective at connecting with fans of your business but they serve different purposes.

Pages are public facing profiles that anyone can access. These are more promotional. Comparatively, Groups are created around areas of interest and can be public, private, or invite-only.

Businesses can participate in Facebook Groups through a few different methods. Networking with brand ambassadors is typically only used for large brands but can be useful for smaller brands in some niche situations. In general, businesses should stay away from using Groups for selling products. However, there are Groups specifically for this purpose often referred to as a “for sale group”. An excellent, universal use of Facebook Groups is creating influence by helping users solve problems or to give them advice.

Now that we know what Facebook Groups are and the ways they are used, let’s look at some best practices for creating a Group!

Set Group rules. These help ensure your Group stays on topic. Some examples include no spam, no buying or selling goods, and so on.
Prioritize your Group’s discussions. Your group is only worthwhile if people are consistently engaging and interacting within it. Keep the conversation going and introduce new conversations to increase or maintain engagement.
Don’t monopolize the conversation. As a Group administrator, you want to get the discussion going but you don’t want it to be all about you. Make sure others’ voices are at the forefront of the conversation.
Avoid link-dropping and direct selling. You shouldn’t directly push your products in your Group. If a user is interested in your products or services, encourage a one-on-one conversation outside of the group via Facebook Messenger, a phone call, or email.
Optimize content for engagement. Groups naturally appear higher in the feed. The more active and engaged your community is, the better. Use polls, surveys, quizzes, and ask open-ended questions in your posts to encourage response.
Experiment with different post types. Variety within your Group’s interactions with you helps maintain engagement in the Group.
Continually work to improve your Group. Consider the opinion of the members of the Group. What are members often talking about? What’s a common pain point for members?

Latest Facebook Group Features Update: February + March 2021

The 6 Sweetest Facebook Advertising Features Right Now

Monthly Reports

Category : Knowledge Share

Now that PIC has a Customer Satisfaction Director, we want to make sure reporting on any given client follows a standard format. This way, all the contextual information the Customer Satisfaction Director, team members, and clients themselves need to keep up to date with the status of the account can be found in one place.

Let’s take a look at how to accomplish this using the steps below!

Step 1: The Task
This is a good example of how the task should look.

Key information to include in the task set up include links to the client info PowerPoint and Dashboard. Make sure the Company Record in HubSpot is also included as a list and provide the email addresses for client contact.

Step 2: Client Information PowerPoint
The client information PowerPoint should give team members who enter any given project fresh a brief idea of what metrics are most important to the client. This highlights which KPI’s and goals are measured for each client.

Make sure to include Seasonal or Annual Events which could include anything from holidays to sporting events to upcoming weather phenomena.

Step 3: The Dashboard
The Dashboard should have all of the important KPI’s and goals highlighted in the client information PowerPoint described earlier. If the Dashboard does not have the proper statistics present, the person doing the monthly reports should add the widgets to match the client information PowerPoint.

It is recommended to review the Dashboard for notable statistics that are not in the client information PowerPoint that may be worth reporting on and adding to the monthly report.

Step 4: The Company Record
Go to HubSpot > Contacts > Companies and type in the name of the client to find their record. On the left side of the record, you will see Monthly Report Information to fill out. This includes an Intro, Statistics, and the URL to the Dashboard described above.

Step 5: Manager Review & Add to List
Below the Monthly Report statistics are two options. One says Received Monthly Reports and the other says Send Monthly Reports. If the client is supposed to receive a report each month, the first option will always say “Yes”. When the monthly report is ready for review, the account manager will select “Send” under the second option.

When “Yes” and “Send” are selected in the company record, the client is added to the “Monthly Reports” list in HubSpot. Once a client is added to the list and these settings are Saved, automated next steps are triggered. This is why you should not select “Send” and Save those changes until the report is ready!

Step 6: Automation & Task Duplication
The automation is set for members of the “Monthly Reports” list to send the monthly report email to the contact emails provided by the company record with the client notes filled in. After the automation sends the email, the workflow clears the company records.

The workflow delays its next step for 10 minutes and then sets the Receives Monthly Reports filter from the previous step back to “Yes”. The section for Send Monthly Report stays cleared and once again will need the account manager to manually select. This makes sure the account manager has the chance to review the details before the next monthly report is sent. Clients are unenrolled and allows them to be re-enrolled next month or as needed.

There you go! The above 6 steps provides a guide for creating and sending Monthly Reports to clients and allows for standardized collaboration between account team members, clients, and the Customer Satisfaction Director.