Here’s what we cover in the Amazon campaign webinar:
- Why campaign structure matters on Amazon, along with common mistakes
- Strategies for implementing more advanced audience-based campaign setups
- Keys for deploying campaigns across smaller vs. larger product catalogs
- How and when to shift campaign tactics to best align with product lifecycles
Watch the replay:
Read the full Amazon campaign best practices transcript:
Sarah Whedon (00:04):
Hello everybody! Welcome to this live webinar with Teikametrics. This is Amazon Campaign Best Practices for Evolving Product Life Cycles. We’re so excited to see so many people logging in for this webinar. The webinar is being recorded, and we will send it to you. That usually takes about 24 hours to get out, so you can watch for that in your inbox in the next day or so.
Sarah Whedon (00:33):
We do invite you to ask questions. There is a chat bar on the side. You can open that up and type in questions. We’ll be taking questions at the end, but feel free at any time that a question occurs to you to go ahead and type that in. We don’t want to lose track of those questions as we move onto other topics.
Sarah Whedon (00:57):
So, we have two of us actually on this call today. The voice you’re hearing right now is Sarah. I’m Sarah Whedon. I’m part of the Marketing team. I’m responsible for a lot of webinars, blog posts you might have read. You’ve probably gotten emails from me. I have in the past also managed accounts as an ecommerce strategist for Teikametrics. So I’m bringing that experience as well today. And we’re also here with Laura today.
Laura Pattison (01:36):
Hi, thanks Sarah. My name’s Laura Pattison. I’m the manager of ecommerce strategy at Teikametrics. I am sitting out in our Seattle office. So we have a new Seattle office in case you haven’t heard, which is great. We’re on Amazon, so it’s great to be around the corner from them. Even though we’re all work from home now.
Laura Pattison (01:54):
So recently joining the team. I actually worked with an agency prior to joining the Teika team that used the Teikametrics, tool which was a great introduction-
Sarah Whedon (02:06):
We’re going to talk about why campaign structure matters, and common campaign structure mistakes, common misconceptions about campaign structure. We’ll talk about Teikametrics best practices for campaign structure, and in particular that is how to utilize a mirrored campaign structure or a more advanced audience-based campaign structure, and also when to shift campaign tactics in order to best align with product life cycles.
Sarah Whedon (02:41):
So your strategies, your campaign structures are not going to be static. They’re going to shift to align with changes in your product life cycle and your business goals. I’ll reiterate that this is being recorded. We will send out to you by email the recording of this webinar. And that there is a chat bar. You can expand that and type in any questions that you have, and we will be answering questions toward the end of the webinar.
Laura Pattison (03:21):
Great. So why campaign structure matters. I think that we all know that a messy campaign structure can create ambiguity in knowing what performance actually looks like. And results of poor campaign structure can lead to misspend. You can be overspending or underspending if your campaign structure isn’t correct. You won’t be matching your user intent to appropriate targets, therefore your historical data, that data that you’ve paid to collect and is used in make bidding decisions is less accurate for each individual target.
Laura Pattison (04:01):
Without proper campaign structure and application of negatives, I’ll go through that as well, negative keywords, you’ll also spread data out more than necessary. We call this thinning or dilution of the data, where you have a very specific key word to match user intent, but that actual search query is being matched to maybe a broader phrase match.
Laura Pattison (04:23):
So we want to be really, really cognizant of a power structure in that form of spend, and truly understanding how to bid to the value of each target. We also have muddied data. Again, if you’re not properly matching things up, if you don’t understand how you should be funneling the traffic, you’re going to muddy your data. And that’s really painful.
Laura Pattison (04:47):
I mean, not only are you paying to see sales at your conversions, but you’re also paying for data essentially and paying to understand how performance looks. And therefore we want that to be as clean and pure and actionable as possible.
Laura Pattison (05:06):
Finally, missed opportunities. If your campaign structure isn’t clean and neat, you won’t understand what expansion opportunities there are. You won’t be able to negate key words or targeting options in specific areas until you understand if you have coverage in another campaign or ad group.
Laura Pattison (05:30):
So it really comes down to control. The question is complexity versus simplicity. A complex campaign structure can be really beneficial and squeeze every dollar out of every section of your account. But until you are absolute pro at maintaining that, simplicity is actually going to get you more at a better efficiency than you would mismanaging a complex account.
Laura Pattison (05:56):
So we’re going to approach this mostly as, what are the best practices to keep things simple? And to consider all nuances while not complicating your account. So we want to get that into the optimal state and focus on that simplicity and ability to manage.
Laura Pattison (06:18):
Sorry, a little lag there. What are common campaign structure mistakes? We see most of them. Onboarding new clients or having clients ask questions. It’s tough out there, and there’s a lot of differing opinions. We look to the data to drive those. So we’ll go through that.
Laura Pattison (06:37):
A lot of common campaign structure mistakes. Not running automatic campaigns. Automatic campaigns are scary. You’re giving Amazon control to do some of that matching. And that’s a terrifying thing sometimes. We want to run automatic campaigns. They help us identify and mine new opportunities, and understand the way that users are searching that maybe we haven’t identified in our keyword and ASIN research.
Laura Pattison (07:03):
Not running manual campaigns. This is probably a bigger flag. But definitely something that we should be shifting everything that we learn from automatic into manual. Running catch-all campaigns. We should be very specific. You should no be jumbling together, I like that word, dissimilar products with dissimilar margins or dissimilar goals.
Laura Pattison (07:30):
Putting the same product in multiple campaigns without a distinct purpose. So just trying for different keyword coverage and things like that. If you’re very intentionally funneling specific traffic to that campaign, that’s not a concern. We’ll actually recommend that. But we’ll do so very intentionally.
Laura Pattison (07:47):
Not distinguishing between competitor, branded, or generic and non brandable used as synonyms. Distinguishing between those at the campaign level or ad group level. If you have someone searching for your specific brand, the user intent is much stronger than non brand or generic. And so we want to separate that out to be able to, again, understand the value and bid more specifically to that value. So again, having those combined goes back to that concern of muddying the data, not truly understanding at the target level what performance is.
Laura Pattison (08:24):
So similar to running a catch-all campaign, grouping products with widely variant margins or goals together. Again, we should be able to see at that level what performance looks like for a specific product or group of products.
Laura Pattison (08:39):
And then finally, using inconsistent naming conventions. This is more critical than you would like to think. It can really help with reporting, quickly identifying where there are issues. And if you’re inconsistent with that, it can really slow you up. So what a simple way to reach some efficiency in managing your account.
Laura Pattison (09:02):
So common misconceptions about campaigns structure. I have a feeling we might get some questions roll in from this one. But how structure impacts internal competition and ability to serve for placements. So, we’ve run tests to ensure that this is the case. And from everything that the data is telling us, you’re able to serve side by side sponsored product ads out of the same ad group. Definitely out of the same campaign.
Laura Pattison (09:33):
So we’ve had recommendations or discussions around, “Do we need to have the same keyword in multiple ad groups in multiple campaigns in order to serve for multiple placements on the same SERP?” Well each of those auctions is independent. And so we are able to serve even out of the same ad group.
Laura Pattison (09:53):
It’s highly unlikely if you’re selling shoes, say, for example, that you’re going to serve a size 11 and a size 12 next to each other. But you are definitely able to serve from the same group. So you might see different child ASINs if they vary enough. So no concerns there. You’re not limiting your ability to serve for multiple placements.
Laura Pattison (10:14):
Catch all campaigns, reiterating there. We’ll cover more of that in a moment. And then I always like to translate this. I think a lot of my contacts that I speak to have probably more Google and Bing experience. It’s just an older platform. People have adopted that at a higher rate. And so a lot of ecommerce managers are familiar with that. So I always like to translate for those who are familiar with Google and Bing, some translations and differences between those campaign structure recommendations and Amazon’s.
Laura Pattison (10:48):
So Amazon has multiple placements on the SERP that you’re eligible to win. Multiple placements on the SERP, unlike Google and Bing. So that’s important to keep in mind. Auction differences. So Google highly favors click through rate. That’s really important to them. And of course, we understand that’s where they make their money, on a PPC auction type.
Laura Pattison (11:09):
So click through rate is very important for Amazon. It really comes down to user experience, are you relevant, and conversion rate, even. Amazon makes money at the time of the conversion. So whether or not you’re going to purchase that product does play a role in winning that auction. Is the user going to convert? They’re more likely to win that auction placement.
Laura Pattison (11:35):
And that’s just as important, as we know that bid is not the sole factor. So other things to keep in mind, we’ll look at products and how to post those appropriately for those auction differences. Ability to play and pay for short-tail keywords. Really vague short-tail keywords are very expensive on Google. We know that because we’re getting people in the conversion funnel.
Laura Pattison (11:59):
They are shopping to understand what they’re looking for. They’re shopping to research on Google more than they are on Amazon. Amazon, they’re searching to purchase. And so we see higher conversion rates, which allows us to play and pay more aggressively for short-tail terms.
Laura Pattison (12:17):
There are fewer levers to target specific consumers. So on Google you’ve got your mobile, your device modifiers. Mobile versus desktop. You’ve got demographics. So parental status, age, household income, gender. All of those things are ways that you can target in Google. Often don’t warrant breaking out into specific campaign structure. But we don’t have those levers on Amazon to play with. So that’s not something that we necessarily need to consider.
Laura Pattison (12:50):
Location is only available for targeting on DSP. So that is one place. If geo is a really big deal for you, consider your options for DSP. And then grouping by categories rather than products. That’s something you do on Google. On Amazon, we want to focus on the actual product. Because that’s what’s serving them the ad.
Laura Pattison (13:14):
Great. I didn’t see – yeah.
Sarah Whedon (13:15):
Laura. Sorry, I was just going to say I appreciate that you mentioned that people may have questions, in particular about these misconceptions. Maybe there’s something in here that you have heard before, or some other piece of advice that you’ve heard about Amazon advertising that you’re not sure about. So just want to throw in a quick reminder that the question bar is open. We are receiving questions and will be answering those at the end.
Laura Pattison (13:49):
I didn’t see any, so I thought that was a good sing, Sarah. But definitely don’t hesitate. We’d love to address those. If we get a ton of them, we can certainly address as many as possible on the call and follow up maybe in a blog format.
Sarah Whedon (14:03):
Laura Pattison (14:03):
Send them our way. We’d love to debunk. We can play a little Myth Busters.
Sarah Whedon (14:09):
Laura Pattison (14:10):
All right. So Mirrored Campaign Structure or Audience-based Campaign Structure. We’ll talk about the two of those. Sarah, did you want to add to this section at all?
Sarah Whedon (14:21):
Yeah. Well, so you just covered some things that we don’t recommend. Some misconceptions. What we really want to spend our time here on, I think, is what we do recommend as best practices. And those are mirrored campaign structure, which is the most basic structure, or an audience-based campaign structure, which is more complex.
Sarah Whedon (14:41):
For both of those structures, you’re going to be utilizing both automatic and manual campaigns. And so Laura, do you want to go ahead and talk about how that works?
Laura Pattison (14:52):
Yeah. So the mirrored campaign structure is going to be essentially a one to one. An automatic and a manual campaign. Automatic campaigns, as I mentioned earlier, are there’s no keywords. All ads are served based on relevant customer searches.
Laura Pattison (15:10):
It’s 10 AM here. I’m only on the second cup of coffee. So limited control, Amazon chooses. So again, we’re putting a lot of control in Amazon’s hands. We can adjust bids based on that to keep our efficiency, but for the most part what we want to do is take our learnings from those automatic campaigns and translate them into manual and be really specific with the bidding.
Laura Pattison (15:31):
Then you have that mirrored manual campaign where we’re taking those learnings and our research and being very intentional with the keywords or the targets. So manual campaigns are keywords that we’re matching to the search terms. We can also very specifically identify ASINs that we want to target.
Laura Pattison (15:50):
We have more control. We can choose keyword match types and default bids for these. And again, because they’re more consistent the more control we have over the specific keywords, both through keyword and match type, the more accurate we can get the bid. Because we understand the value of that.
Laura Pattison (16:08):
If you have multiple user intents matching to a single target, that’s going to be more relevant to the automatic campaigns. Those broad match types. You can’t define consistently what that user intent is, and therefore their value. So we want to have that broader bucket through automatic and broad match, or phrase match keywords, and then translate them into exact. Because that’s where we’re going to continue as they drive that efficiency more consistently.
Laura Pattison (16:38):
Again, we can be efficient with automatic and broad. It’s just a little less consistent, and we’re going to have lower volume. So we want to translate that over and continue to build up what we have in our manual campaigns.
Laura Pattison (16:54):
So the benefits of using that mirrored structure. Explore and exploit. As I just mentioned, it’s pulling from automatic into manual. Pulling from the mining opportunities that are provided through automatic and broad match, and pulling into manual.
Laura Pattison (17:10):
Improve advertising efficiency. So as you’re doing that, you’ve got that really consistent tight matched manual campaign, which provides efficiency. And then you can bid more conservatively on your broader stuff to be efficient there.
Laura Pattison (17:26):
It’s effective for smaller budgets. So you don’t have this really grandiose structure that you have to maintain and spread a small budget out across so many different campaigns and ad groups. So it really helps you to stay concentrated on what’s driving the value for your campaign.
Laura Pattison (17:45):
And then in categories with less brand loyalty, simplicity can help. While there is some brand loyalty and there are ways through Subscribe and Save that you can increase lifetime value, Amazon is a slightly less brand loyal space than others. People don’t always pay attention to who the seller is. You may see that they’re searching for top brand names, like Kleenex or a Coca Cola. Who is actually selling this is a little less a focus, especially with something like a Prime badge.
Laura Pattison (18:18):
So keep it simple, and realize that that can have an impact as well. Either defending your brand, or targeting competitors. Keeping that really simple and aggregated in this mirrored structure can help keep you efficient.
Laura Pattison (18:40):
I think I went backward. Here we go. So the mirrored campaign structure, again, one auto campaign to one manual campaign. And we can see, apparently we are now making foam pillows here at Teikametrics. We would have a [crosstalk 00:18:59]. What?
Sarah Whedon (19:00):
You didn’t know that about our business?
Laura Pattison (19:02):
I did not know that. So that’s good to know. We’re expanding. So the Teikametrics foam pillow, if we saw research and realized that’s a competitor, if that’s our brand we want to have that in our manual campaign. We also want to have the Tempur-pedic competitor in our campaign, and then we want to have the really generic memory foam in our campaign. Likely broken out at the ad group level.
Laura Pattison (19:27):
But again, we still have just that one to one where the memory foam in our auto is the memory foam in our manual, and we can understand that. And again, the biggest thing is pulling from auto into manual to continue to improve that efficiency.
Laura Pattison (19:44):
So when to use the audience-based structure. So this is a bit more expanded than the mirrored. This is going to be the four to one structure. Well, three to one structure. You’ve got three manual campaigns to one auto. You have four total campaigns to one parent ASIN or product line.
Laura Pattison (20:06):
So you should be using this when you’re well established on Amazon. You do have more of a budget, like I said, to spread out over more campaigns. And you want to get more granular in how you’re allocating your spend. This can also help capture competitor market share. We’ll be focusing more on competitors in this space.
Laura Pattison (20:29):
So back to our foam pillow example. And obviously we don’t make foam pillows, but we’ll have a branded campaign. We’ll have a competitor campaign, and we’ll have that generic or non brand campaign to one auto campaign. So as we are seeing new targets come in with success on auto, we’d be funneling to one of these three campaigns.
Laura Pattison (20:56):
This can help us set different goals. Branded, obviously we know, should be more efficient. And we own that space. They’re closer to conversion. They’ve identified us as the brand. So we have expectations that we’re going to see more efficiency there.
Laura Pattison (21:11):
For competitor campaign. Again, we’re acquiring market share. And so we may have a slightly higher ACOS target to be more aggressive on our competitors. And then for non brand, that’s going to be the core and really the bulk of the volume coming in. And so we want to separate that out and make sure we’re consistently hitting that target without pulling in brand and competitor, as we know they can perform differently.
Laura Pattison (21:42):
The other helpful piece here is for competitors. Let’s say maybe there’s only a specific set of products, or flavors, or sizes, or colors that are really competitive for one specific competitor. So maybe Tempur-Pedic only makes a king size pillow, but we also have twin available. And so for that competitor, when we are targeting Tempur-Pedic, I would want to test a full sized pillow and the king sized pillow. Do we do well positioning directly against the same product that they offer, or do we do well where we have the full sized pillow as well and we’re giving the user another option?
Laura Pattison (22:28):
And that’s really how I look at it, is I’m going to really concentrate the competitor products that I target against my competitors. I’m sorry, my products that I target against my competitors, and understand, how do I play there? And maybe add one thing in where it’s not just a one to one match. Where we’re not directly going head to head. But I have another option that may interest the consumer. And so that’s what I want to test. And that’s why I want to break this out, because I can be really specific with the products I’m targeting here.
Laura Pattison (23:02):
Again, all within the same product line or parent ASIN. So the top three organic result by conversion share. Keep in mind, conversion share we see conversion rate much higher for a brand entirely across the board. Again, depending on the category is the likelihood that they’re specifically searching by brand or care about your brand. And so we do see tools and home improvement is a lot more neck and neck, which indicates lower brand loyalty or less concern around the brand that they’re purchasing.
Laura Pattison (23:45):
So just a nice piece for you guys to note. I’ll let you take a quick look at this, because one of these categories is probably very specific to you, which is good.
Laura Pattison (24:00):
All right. Again, we’ll send this out. So if you wanted to study that a little bit more, we’ll come back to it. All right, so the Flywheel Effect. Advertising kickstarts the flywheel effect and impacts organic ranking. If you’ve attended a webinar before, if you’ve read any of our blogs, or gone to our website, I’m sure you’ve seen this time and time again. Ads feed into the total data understanding that Amazon has about your product, which helps us to optimize spend, which helps them understand how well organic is going. And it just feeds into this flywheel to continue to build momentum for your product.
Laura Pattison (24:41):
A little bit unseasonal, I always think about building a snowman. You start with this small snowball, and you start to roll it in the snow. And you continue to pick up snow and momentum along the way, until you have this large ball for the base of your snowman. And so that’s always how I think about the flywheel, is continue to roll that snowball along on the ground until you get this really big base for your snowman.
Laura Pattison (25:10):
And then talking about TACoS versus ACoS. So TACoS is a term that we use here quite a bit. It’s our ad spend divided by your total sales. So your ad revenue and your organic revenue. Where ACoS, we’ve always spoken in ACoS, is your ad spend divided by our ad revenue. So what is directly contributed to your ads.
Laura Pattison (25:35):
The reason that we want to look at this is multi-faceted. How are we feeding into flywheel? That’s something we want to be able to observe over time. Are we able to help impact that top item sales. And second, are we cannibalizing? This can also help us indicate as we launch new campaigns, a new product line, or start to increase ad spend. Are we merely just increasing ad spend and ad sales with no growth in topline? Which tells me we’re eating up organic sales and paying more for the same amount of topline. We should scale back or look for other incremental opportunities.
Laura Pattison (26:13):
TACoS are better. They give us more of an indication of how is your business being impacted overall, while ACoS is going to be how successful is this specific marketing program a little bit more in isolation. So while both are important, we do favor TACoS. TACoS is a harder conversation for 1P vendors. Because it’s harder to tie back. We do have the ability to do that on a regular basis. So if you have any questions, please reach out about that. That’s something that we can help you with.
Laura Pattison (26:45):
The other piece there is with TACoS, we’re understanding that overall growth. And so we can help make a larger impact on your account. And so we’ve talked about the structure. Of course there’s multiple different. We were mostly looking as we talked about the mirrored and audience based campaign. That’s a one to one or a three to one structure for our sponsored products.
Laura Pattison (27:17):
Sponsored bands, we often mostly do the one to one recommended. Sorry, not one to one. Automatic is not an option for sponsored brands. So we would focus on brand and non brand within sponsored brands. Sponsored products would be either the one to one auto and manual, or the three to one competitor brand, non brand to one auto.
Laura Pattison (27:41):
So what are the goals of different ad types? Sponsored products, the goal is to drive conversions. To drive orders. Drive them directly to that product detail page. Get them to convert.
Laura Pattison (27:53):
Sponsored brands, win a bid either way. So essentially your sponsored brands are going to be brand awareness play. That is going to be defending your turf if you’re on brand. Helping consumers see you in instances of competitor searches. You show up right there at the top. But it is higher in the funnel. It is more of an exploratory ad type. And so you are either going to drive them to a product detail page, or your brand store.
Laura Pattison (28:23):
That’s why there’s a 14 day attribution window on sponsored brands. It’s higher in the funnel. They’re farther from conversion. There’s a seven day attribution window for sponsored products because they’re lower in the funnel and closer to conversion.
Laura Pattison (28:36):
Finally, sponsored display is the display type on Amazon that actually looks similar to an Amazon ad. And this is going to be both on and off Amazon. This can be used as retargeting or prospecting. So really understand your goals there.
Laura Pattison (28:57):
So, campaign creation best practices. We mentioned a consistent naming convention. Our usual naming convention includes if you have multiple brands with your account, we identify the brand. We identify the product category, and then more specifically some information about the parent ASIN or the most granular level of targeting you have. And then we identify what type of campaign it is. As I mentioned, brand, non brand, competitor or auto.
Laura Pattison (29:29):
Keep in mind this helps us quickly identify and search for specific products in the data analysis side. So whether you’re exporting or searching directly in the ads console, it can be really really helpful to quickly get to the aggregated info that you need.
Laura Pattison (29:48):
The next is to allocate sufficient budget. This is a really big one. This is one that I could spend probably close to the whole hour, bore you to tears, but rant about for the full hour. Because budgets should be used as guardrails. We should not be relying on budgets to guide spend on a daily basis. You do not use the guard rails to drive your car. It would look like a mess.
Laura Pattison (30:12):
We want to have sufficient budgets. If you are bumping up against your budgets on a daily basis, or your portfolio budgets, you are cutting off opportunity. I understand you only have a certain amount to spend. That’s fine. Let’s reduce your bids and shoot for a tighter efficiency target, and hit that more consistently.
Laura Pattison (30:34):
And then if you have a 15% ACOS target, for example, and you’re hitting that but you’re capping out mid day, let’s reduce that to 10%. You’re going to be spending the same amount of money but getting the same amount back in sales, which is the ultimate goal.
Laura Pattison (30:51):
And so if you’re capping out at three PM, you’re leaving a lot of opportunity on the table. If you’re cutting off mid month because you’re out of portfolio budget, you’re leaving a lot of opportunity on the table. You are diminishing what you are feeding into flywheel. Part of Flywheel momentum is consistency and continuing to keep that going.
Laura Pattison (31:14):
And so allocating sufficient budget is really important. If you’re hitting budgets regularly, that’s something that you should evaluate. Adjust your bids so it’s more consistent and you’re able to run throughout the day.
Laura Pattison (31:30):
The next is group products by product line or parent ASIN. I’ve alluded to this throughout. Again, you want to be really specific with the products that you are serving. You want to be as specific to the user intent as you can get without diluting data. But because were using conversion rate and price to help drive and understand the value or a click, and therefore how much we want to pay for the click. So we’re using conversion rate and price to drive bidding decisions.
Laura Pattison (31:57):
It’s important to split out campaigns and ad groups by product line or parent ASIN. If you pull two wildly different priced products together, you can muddy the data and not be able to truly understand how much you’re willing to pay for the click because you don’t understand the true value of the click.
Laura Pattison (32:16):
If you pull two products with wildly different conversion rates, that usually goes to price. I’ll explain why in a second. But if you’re pulling things with wildly different conversion rates, again, you’ll have less consistency of the value of the bid, and therefore you have less certainly of how much you want to bid.
Laura Pattison (32:37):
Conversion rate, of course, can be impacted wildly by price. The larger the price, usually the longer the conversion window. People obviously take into consideration a lot more research when buying a more expensive product.
Laura Pattison (32:56):
And then group campaigns by goals. So I also alluded to this. I’ve given a lot of stuff away. I also alluded to this in the brand, competitor, and non brand conversation. So again, brand, they already have a high likelihood of converting on your product because they specifically looked for you and your product. With competitors, that’s exactly the opposite. They are looking specifically for someone else’s product. So I recommend having different goals for those two different campaign types.
Laura Pattison (33:27):
We want to defend our turf and bid on brand, but we want to do so as efficiently as possible. When we’re looking at competitors, even above non brand I might be willing to be more aggressive there because I want to acquire market share, knowing that that is not just returning one sale, but has a greater lifetime value to me to convert a competitor to my brand. And so we would want to split these campaigns out separately in order to hit those two different goals consistently and be able to monitor that regularly and understand the data.
Laura Pattison (34:06):
Goals can also be outside of, we’ve talked about brand awareness with sponsored brands as a goal. We’ve talked about acquiring market share. We talked about efficiency. Some other goals could be, “I want to scale this product. I want to be really aggressive for certain generic terms because I want to increase growth quickly.” So multiple options of what your goals can be. And we’ll talk about that a little bit more in just a moment.
Laura Pattison (34:37):
Great. So, there’s one introduction that we do want to make today, and that is the campaign creator with product optimization. So we do have a campaign creator, which should help create efficiency and scale down the time, obviously, that’s needed to create your campaigns for your account. And what that looks like is going in and seeing all of your products and selecting them. Our tool will allow you to set those goals and group them together in campaigns and help identify keyword opportunities based on what’s seen success in your account.
Laura Pattison (35:15):
So as I mentioned, just mentioned goals. And I’ll hand it over to Sarah in a moment to talk about the campaign creator just a little bit more. But with the product life cycle, these are the different goals that we often see. The launch, the grow, the profit, and the liquidate.
Laura Pattison (35:33):
I’m going the wrong way somehow. Sorry about that. And so the life cycle is the launch and the growth phase. The profit phase is going to be your core efficiency. We should see the largest number of products in this profit life cycle on an account that has been moving for a little while.
Laura Pattison (35:56):
If you have a brand new account or you’re going through a new restructure or launching a new line of items, expect to see a large portion of your catalog in the launch or grow phase. But in the maintenance side of your account, you should have most products in that profit. Those are going to be your core products that you’re gaining the most efficiency from.
Laura Pattison (36:17):
New products or new opportunities in your account that you’ve not yet seized will be in the launch and the grow phrase. We recommend a higher efficiency target in order to be a little bit more aggressive, collect more data, understand performance, feed into flywheel a lot more quickly, and then shift that goal over to the profit phase.
Laura Pattison (36:37):
And then finally liquidation. There’s a certain point that if you’re not going to be fulfilling orders from Amazon for a specific product anymore, if you’re not going to be offering that, you’re in that liquidation phase. And that’s one of high debate.
Laura Pattison (36:53):
You want to sell through those products, but do you want to pay for it? One of the biggest pieces with Amazon ads is feeding into flywheel. And if that product is not going to exist in six months, or even two months, do you want to continue to pay the same amount in order to feed into flywheel? That’s the point where we recommend seriously stepping back and re-allocating that money into products that you can feed into flywheel and make a longer term impact.
Laura Pattison (37:23):
So that liquidation, we usually have tighter efficiency targets. Or if you really need to get through something quickly, we can be aggressive with it. But that’s usually where we’re scaling back and telling you to be less aggressive. Maybe don’t even advertise on these at all. Concentrate on where you do have a longer term impact.
Laura Pattison (37:43):
And so we do have the opportunity in our campaign creator, in our tool, to set these on each of these phase. So you can select that goal within our campaign creator, and it can help you identify the goal for that campaign. And goal meaning ACOS.
Laura Pattison (38:09):
Great. So final tips. If you’re restructuring campaigns, migrate from key words. Make sure you’re migrating your keywords from your old ones. Again, you paid for that data. Make sure that you’re keeping that with you. What worked, what didn’t work. Both positive and negative.
Laura Pattison (38:25):
Find the keywords that you should negate right off the bat into your new campaigns. And make sure that what was working, your core keyword targets, are coming over into your new campaigns. Update your campaign strategy when necessary to match your changing goals. That goes to that product life cycle. Be thoughtful about not only driving ad sales, but look at your TACoS and look at what you’re feeding into flywheel overall.
Laura Pattison (38:50):
And then, as you can, use TACoS instead of ACoS to evaluate campaign performance. Again, TACoS is helping you understand top line, it’s helping you understand cannibalization. It’s helping you understand growth and your reputation in the market overall, at least as it stands with Amazon.
Laura Pattison (39:09):
When and if you’re restructuring, be careful with it. It’s definitely a helpful tool to get things set up correctly, but it’s one that you do want to be thoughtful about. Because you can quickly cut things off if you’re not careful. So hopefully these tips help you remember your checklist of everything you need to be cautious of.
Laura Pattison (39:37):
Sarah, did you want to talk a little bit about the tool?
Sarah Whedon (39:39):
Yeah. I do. I just really briefly want to say that at Teikametrics we are pretty excited this week to have been able to unveil this new campaign creator within our Flywheel software. So if you’re already using Flywheel, you have access to that right now. You can go into Flywheel and start seeing how easy it is to build campaigns that are aligned with your goals for the products.
Sarah Whedon (40:14):
If you’re not using Flywheel, we’d love for you to go to www.teikametrics.com/product and learn more about how that might help you to more quickly and efficiently and intelligently build those campaigns and follow all these best practices for your campaigns.
Sarah Whedon (40:46):
We are, as I said at the beginning of this webinar, a technology company. Our Flywheel software, that platform, is our first major offering. But we do also have expert analysts like Laura who can also provide further expertise and strategizing around your advertising. And there’s a lot more information about that on that Teikametrics.com page.
Sarah Whedon (41:26):
I actually, I want to get us to our Q&A, because tons of really good questions have been coming in while you’ve been talking, Laura.
Laura Pattison (41:35):
Okay. I didn’t see any, so they must have come straight to you. So that’s great, because I would have distracted myself the whole time. I do want to make one really quick plug, and I will say this quickly. Here as we see on the slide our technology does hourly bid calculations and changes to maximize your efficiency and visibility.
Laura Pattison (41:53):
So the majority of what we talked about is getting your campaign structure in a place that the data is able to best indicate value. And so we want to understand value at the most granular level. And that’s what everything that we talked about through the campaign structure is helping us to get to.
Laura Pattison (42:12):
If you’re not bidding frequently no matter your campaign structure, you’re not making the changes that you need to make. And so that’s where this tool can help you get there. It’s able to scale, and able to help you identify consistently the value of each of those targets in a properly structured campaign. And that’s where you’ll really see a lot of changes.
Laura Pattison (42:37):
So get it into your proper campaign structure, and layer in that tool. That will help you do it at scale consistently. And it’s bringing in information. We talked about AOV and conversion rate being the two pieces that are driving the decisions on bids, helping us understand the value of a click. Those are changing frequently, and our tool, by doing this hourly, is able to keep up with changes in demand, in changes in consumer behavior.
Laura Pattison (43:05):
Even as a competitor pops up or drops off, conversion rate can change. And so that’s why we’re doing that frequently. So our technology is a phenomenal layer to help improve once you get your campaigns in the proper structure. All right. Sorry about that.
Sarah Whedon (43:26):
Yeah. All right.
Laura Pattison (43:28):
All right, what questions we got?
Sarah Whedon (43:29):
Let’s get to them. So we’re going to get through as many of these questions as we can in the next 15 minutes. There are a lot of really good ones here. Let’s start with just a clarification on the mirrored campaign structure. This question is, “Should you have an automatic and manual campaign for the same products going at the same time?”
Laura Pattison (43:56):
Sarah Whedon (43:58):
Laura Pattison (43:59):
Yes. You should. I can elaborate a little bit more. But yes, you should. So again, your automatic is going to be, what’s the best way to put this? I always try to come up with analogies. I like to use targets as a fishing analogy. Trust me, I am not an outdoorsman, but I use this analogy quite often.
Laura Pattison (44:21):
So the broader your target, you’re fishing with a large net. And that net can bring in some stuff you don’t love. Depending on where you’re fishing, if you’re fishing in the ocean, you don’t know what you’re going to get. Whether it’s a fish that you didn’t really want that’s not specific or going to buy your product, or whether it’s absolute trash. You’re picking up a random shoe that’s floating in the ocean.
Laura Pattison (44:43):
So your auto is helping you do things more at scale, and identify more opportunities. It might help you find a fish that you didn’t even know existed that you wanted to fish for. Your manual is going to be more of your targeted fishing with your fishing pole. You know the value. You know exactly what you’re going for. You know the bait to use to get them to come in. And so the auto and manual side by side is allowing you to understand how users are searching, and then converting that information into that manual targeting.
Laura Pattison (45:16):
So having them running side by side, you’re able to help yourself scale and understand new opportunities, while you’ve got the manual campaigns running to be a lot more targeted and specific and bid a lot more closely to efficiency. Auto, we’re pretty conservative with because we know it could run away from us, fishing with a large net like that. So we try to keep it a little bit tighter. But that’s where you want to look for the opportunities. Manual’s where you want to be more specific with who and how you’re going after, and what products you’re serving to them.
Sarah Whedon (45:53):
We have a few questions about PAT, or PAT campaigns. Where those fit in in all of this strategy, and what the best practices are around PAT campaigns. Can you speak to that?
Laura Pattison (46:10):
Yes, absolutely. Thank you everyone who asked that question. I’m so sorry that I was not more specific. So PAT, I look at PAT campaigns as the manual version for ASIN targeting. So when you have your auto campaigns, they’re pulling in both search term keyword opportunities and ASINs. And so your PAT campaigns are going to essentially be the manual version of the ASINs that are being pulled in through auto.
Laura Pattison (46:41):
So you can put it at the ad group level. You can have a PAT campaign in your branded campaign, where you have one ad group that’s keyword and one ad group that is your ASIN target, your PAT ASINs. Or you can do a separate PAT campaign specifically for that. That’s how I visualize it, as again, your auto is identifying those opportunities. You take those ASINs and put them into your manual PAT campaigns. So your PAT campaigns should be very specific, and you should be understanding what products.
Laura Pattison (47:13):
I would not want to group my brand ASINs with my competitor ASINs in the same campaign and ad group. Because again, they have very different uses and targets. Just look at your PAT campaigns as one more layer to your manual keyword campaigns. Do you think I answered the question sufficiently, Sarah? Were there any other sub bullets that maybe I should cover?
Sarah Whedon (47:41):
I think that was a good answer. If anybody still has more questions about that, please don’t hesitate to type them in and we could get back to it.
Laura Pattison (47:52):
Sarah Whedon (47:53):
Let’s do a question about budget.
Laura Pattison (47:55):
Yeah. Let’s do a question about budget.
Sarah Whedon (47:55):
I was going to read the question. “You recommend not capping the budgets, but what if the ACOS is hitting 300%, or 900% or more? That’s why we keep budgets so they don’t aggressively lose lots of money. Please advise.” So what are you thoughts on that?
Laura Pattison (48:16):
Oh my gosh, I definitely never ever meant don’t have budgets. Absolutely have budgets. They are guardrails. We want those on the road. We don’t want to bump up against them daily.
Laura Pattison (48:27):
So if you have a 300% ACOS, or if you’re worried about runaway spend, you do want those budgets in place to keep yourself from doing that. If some random act happens, I’ve seen it in manual before, you set $15 instead of $1.50, your spend can run away. We absolutely want to have budgets in place for that reason.
Laura Pattison (48:49):
100%. Have the guardrails. Don’t have them steer your spend. Again, if you’re bumping up against those regularly, you should be reducing your bids to be more aggressive for a tighter ACOS. I would rather get a 10% ACOS and spend all day long, than a 15% ACOS by three PM.
Laura Pattison (49:18):
Again, I’m spending more. I’m present throughout the day. Yes, I’m tighter. Maybe I’m taking myself out of certain very generic auctions with that tighter bid, that lower bid, but I’m able to play throughout the day. And at the end of the day, with the same budget, I hit a 10% ACOS versus a 15%, so I got more sales in return.
Laura Pattison (49:39):
So have your budgets in place as your guardrails. But if you are spending too early, be reducing those bids [inaudible 00:49:46] can and as they make sense. Again, maybe it’s not across the board. Maybe you need to reduce in a certain area and reallocate budget from another campaign. But work to get a stronger efficiency than hit a higher efficiency even if it’s currently your target by three PM.
Laura Pattison (50:04):
The most ideal way to do it is have your ACOS target and an uncapped budget, but I know that’s the most ideal world. And most of us don’t operate there.
Sarah Whedon (50:15):
Good. I’m glad that you had that opportunity to clarify the advice.
Laura Pattison (50:20):
Sarah Whedon (50:22):
I think that this question is maybe going back to the PAT campaigns. A little bit more clarification on that.
Laura Pattison (50:31):
Sarah Whedon (50:31):
How can you prevent your products from being targeted by your competitor’s manual ASIN campaign?
Laura Pattison (50:41):
Yeah. You can’t. Not that I’m aware of. So if anybody knows any different, let me know. But this is a space where they can put your ASINs in and target you. The best way to do it, again, is defend your own turf. It’s cheaper to defend your brand than it is to go after your competitor, because you have that relevance factor. Right?
Laura Pattison (51:07):
We talked about how important relevance is in the consumer experience on for Amazon. And so because if they’re searching for your brand, if they’re already on your brand page, it’s going to be cheaper for you to defend your turf and bid on those keywords or target your own ASINs. The beauty and the ugliness of Amazon is you do have access to competitor ASINs, that you can target them.
Laura Pattison (51:31):
That’s not great for your own brand when they come after you, but it’s also an opportunity to go after your competitor. So the most important thing is that they are targeting your ASINs in a PAT campaign and showing up on that product detail page, defend your turf. You should be bidding on your own. Vary the options down at the bottom to have different sizes, show different products. Things like that. Other things that might interest them.
Laura Pattison (52:00):
The best thing you can do in that instance is not have them decide between your product at the top and an equivalent product at the bottom of yours. Let’s try to get an add on. Have them purchase multiple things from you. That’s the most ideal state, right? Have them buy a lamp and a wall hanging. Provide those opportunities. But the best way to keep competitors away is to defend your brand. And that, unfortunately, means paying for that traffic that should be a slam dunk, but if your competitors are stealing it obviously it’s something that you need to [inaudible 00:52:38] getting those sales rather than them.
Sarah Whedon (52:43):
Here is a question that speaks to the more complex campaign structure, where we’re breaking out branded, generic, and competitor keywords. And the question is to speak to ROAS targets and what success looks like in terms of ROAS for each of those different kinds of campaigns. Branded, generic, and competitor. What are reasonable expectations for those different audiences?
Laura Pattison (53:20):
That’s a really great question, and super one to answer in a blanket statement. I can give general percentages, guidance, I guess, off of your non brands. Your non brand I consider your day to day. You brands should be more efficient. Again, you’ve probably already put in effort to acquire that customer or that’s customer’s attention. So we should be paying less now that we’re converting them.
Laura Pattison (53:51):
They’ve been through the majority of the conversion funnel. And then competitors are much farther in the conversion funnel in a completely different funnel. Your competitors. So in order to bring them over, you’re going to see it be more expensive.
Laura Pattison (54:03):
How much more expensive and how inefficient you’re comfortable being really goes to how competitive the space is. If you’re a big player in the space, and you’re a very well known brand, I would say you’re going to probably spend a little bit more on brand than many. Again, this is all an appetite and margin. So whether it’s 10 or 50% more aggressive for competitors, it’s how much are you trying to grow, what does your margin look like, all of those conversations.
Laura Pattison (54:29):
So it is fairly nuanced, which I know is always the cop out answer. But we really can see that vary based on the competitiveness of the category or the vertical.
Sarah Whedon (54:45):
Laura Pattison (54:46):
The brand, sorry. Brand is just observe your TACoS. Make sure you’re not cannibalizing too much. And pay as little as passible to keep that presence. We know that the largest majority of clicks occurs on the first three to four placements. The first three to four ads, which are sponsored products. If you’re not there, someone else I. And so just for your brand, get as much as you can for as little as possible without cannibalizing. That’s the most ideal state. Not always the easiest to get to, but the most ideal.
Laura Pattison (55:19):
Sorry. Now we’re right at time.
Sarah Whedon (55:21):
We are right at time. That’s perfect. It’s exactly two o’clock by my clock. And so we are going to wrap up. I really love how many great questions we got. And we have recorded this webinar. And so we will send that out to everybody who’s registered for it, so you’ll be able to watch it again and share it with your colleagues. Laura, thanks for doing this with me today.
Laura Pattison (55:53):
Yeah. Thanks everybody for joining. I hope it was helpful. Reach out if you have any other lingering questions. And I appreciate everyone’s time today.
Sarah Whedon (56:01):
Absolutely. All right.
Laura Pattison (56:05):
Sarah Whedon (56:06):