Search Engine Marketing is a complex ecosystem with many moving parts. This likely includes running promotional campaigns or catering to seasonal impact, which requires some heavy lifting by the Paid Search team. These aren’t just fun, one-time campaigns, but a significant part of an organization’s conversions and revenue.
Here’s a not-so-secret secret: Your data about past promotions and seasonality is the ultimate secret weapon to future campaign success.
If you’re like many advertisers, you spend a lot of time making changes manually – sometimes on a daily basis – when you run promotions. Perhaps you’ve taken a look at the last few promotions you ran, and then manually made adjustments to emulate previous numbers. You have data stored somewhere that you wish was centrally located for analysis, but you aren’t meaningfully able to leverage it to make judgement calls on new campaigns. Here are a few possible pain points you may face:
- When starting to ramp up for a high season, you’re forced to override your bidding automation tool entirely so you can control the bids from the Publisher side. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to generate the results you expect with the tool’s current data and bidding strategy.
- Toward the end of a promotion, you may want to automatically spend more because you know that the value of the dollar spent there is worth much more than it is at the beginning of the promotion. But to make those adjustments across objects and publishers, it takes hours of manual work.
- Your current bidding solution may only incorporate a week or two worth of data, or otherwise doesn’t look back far enough (think years) to capture past seasonal data and make decisions on it. How will this help inform and optimize on upcoming seasonal trends?
- While your solution might ingest the requisite data, it can’t show you the impact on revenue and goal metrics, making it slow and arduous to select and apply modifiers to all the publisher objects you want adjusted for a given promotion.
Shouldn’t your bidding strategy be able to use data from past promotions to inform bid calculation and adjustments? Shouldn’t your next promotion be based on lessons from past successes and failures?
When it comes to promotions, it’s a lofty ambition to achieve “full automation.” (Imagine taking Black Friday off from work!) To stay competitive and relevant in today’s market, you need a solution that offers strong data integration plus fast reporting on revenue impact and other critical metrics based on your own business needs and goals, enabling you to make informed and accurate decisions while also giving you the ability to pivot quickly. Because ease of use should also be a priority, you’ll need an intuitive, user-friendly interface to implement bids and make necessary updates manually, but efficiently, to numerous components simultaneously — a process that shouldn’t take hours of time that could otherwise be spent growing your business. As part of the evaluation process, you need to answer the following:
- Can you update all bids for a promotion across all related publisher objects in one easy step?
- Are your revenue and performance results from past promotions reportable for a fast, accurate, and results-driven view of past efforts?
Ultimately, a solution that integrates and reports your promotional data from past campaigns coupled with the revenue and performance metrics, all in one clean view, will give you the power to act quickly and directly to achieve and exceed your revenue goals and other business objectives.
As for seasonal changes — you may see these trending annually, appearing on a quarterly or monthly basis, or even patterned within each week. As such, you require a solution with a strong and reliable data feed so that it can accurately and granularly adjust for seasonal changes. When beginning to assess various solutions, you need to ask:
- Does your bidding solution anticipate the patterns in each week, month, quarter, or year and bid accordingly?
- Can your current solution utilize offline data to make bidding decisions congruously with the seasonality-based trends?
The bidding technologies that ingest more historical data and weight it with the right mix of historical influence versus recent performance bias can help you react quickly and accurately to various and numerous trends as they start to have an impact on your business. What’s more, when you use a bidding automation solution that effectively incorporates any data source and utilizes that data to calculate optimal bids, your seasonal performance is no longer left to unpredictable manual updates. Your promotion calendar will be armed with powerful insights and simple tools to apply the right changes. With the right solution, the pains of seasonality and promotions transform into a trusted, repeatable revenue driver for your business.
Maybe it’s time to evaluate a new solution that allows you to take advantage of your data’s intelligence to drive results.