3 Ways PPC Is Like the Divergent Faction System

By Sarah Wyland | Mar 24, 2014
More Articles by Sarah

I was admittedly one of the millions of people who headed to the theater over the weekend to see Divergent. I sped through all three books several months ago, bought my IMAX ticket in advance and was more of a middle school fan girl over Theo James as the tough, almost fearless Four than a twenty-something professional. Leading up to Divergent, my monthly book club got together to discuss the book – which led to a debate on which factions we would belong to. Of course, we all wanted to be Dauntless, but according to the ever-so-popular Buzzfeed quiz, we were typically Abnegation or Erudite.

My Divergent-filled weekend led me to think about how PPC is actually a bit like Divergent’s faction system, given the way we divide and conquer our campaigns. We like to get granular here at Marketing Mojo. But while Divergent breaks society into groups by traits such as bravery, intellect and selflessness, we go granular based on keywords and audience.

Divergent Wallpaper

Campaign Structure

Campaigns in AdWords are structured much like the futuristic society in Divergent is divided into one of five factions. Under each campaign, we break our ad groups into groups based on like-minded keywords. In a campaign for corn seed, for instance, we may have ad groups for different types of corn seed such as “sweet corn”, “white corn”, “Indian corn” and “peaches and cream corn” in the campaign.

Like the Divergent, we base our ad groups on similar traits. Instead of putting those that are courageous and strong in Dauntless and those that are selfless and simple in Abnegation however, we create our ad groups on things like types of corn or functions of marketing departments.

Choosing Ceremony

Remarketing Lists

Each faction in Divergent has a specific purpose. Abnegation is  the governing body of the factions while Erudite is the keeper of knowledge and produce society’s doctors, lawyers and teachers. Dauntless is sworn to protect the factions and serve as the police system, while Amity provides food and Candor acts as a peace keeper.

In turn, each remarketing list we create has a purpose. We want to remarket to those who have visited specific product pages or downloaded resources in hopes they will return and convert. These people are “special” in the sense that we have chosen them to receive certain ads, much like the factions one chooses in Divergent are special in what they believe in and their roles within the society. We create remarketing lists based on audience behavior, much like factions are based on a person’s traits.


In Divergent, there is a saying: “Faction before blood.” The idea is that if one chooses to leave the faction they were born into for another faction on Choosing Day, they will forever choose their new faction over their former family.


As grim of a sentiment as that is, we have a similar sentiment when it comes to budgets at Marketing Mojo. We make it our goal to give our clients the best possible performance for their budget, whether it’s $500 or $50,000.

To do that, we make decisions based on how campaigns are performing. We may allocate more funds to a campaign with a high conversion rate and take away budget from campaigns that aren’t performing as well. We may like a campaign more – it may have a great display banner or clever ad copy or be for a product or service we champion – but if it’s not performing well, we make necessary changes which could be anything from a new landing page to cutting the budget. Performance before favorites in favor of results.

Unlike Divergent, our tendency to break apart campaigns and ad groups and remarketing lists based on similarities works for the good of the entire account. Even if it isn’t always as cool as jumping off a train, Dauntless-style.

Can you think of any other ways PPC may be like the Divergent faction system? Leave a comment below or tweet me at @Sarah_Wyland!

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