If you’re a brand owner looking for a deep dive into expert strategies to increase sales using Amazon Campaigns, this webinar is for you.

In this exclusive webinar I interview Andrew Morgans, founder of Marknology, an Amazon PPC expert with 8 years of experience who manages over $3 million in ad sales each year. Learn his proven strategy for increasing sales while decreasing ACoS plus all of the different types of ads and how to best utilize them.

Webinar Transcript

Shannon: Hey, everyone. Welcome to the webinar. My name is Shannon Roddy. I’m the founder of Marketplace Seller Courses, online courses, resources and tools for brand owners selling on Amazon. I have with me today an unbelievable guest Andrew Morgans.

Andrew is a thought leader in the Amazon branding space. He is currently a resident mentor at the University of Missouri, Kansas City’s Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and guest lecturer at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management. Andrew was raised by missionaries in Congo, Africa among other countries and his entrepreneurial spirit was nursed from a young age.

He found early success as an e-commerce manager for two companies, building those brands by over $1 Million in sales each year in the first year. Building on that experience, he launched Marknology, a hybrid of Marketing and Technology, which defines itself as an Amazon brand accelerator and often uses video to tell their entrepreneurial story. Marknology has worked with 220 brands on Amazon and curated sales of over a $150 million. Featured on weekly podcast Startup Hustle, Andrew is a sought-after speaker on e-commerce, branding and Amazon and recently spoke at our very own eComBootcamps on the topic of Amazon Campaigns.

Andrew, welcome to the show.

 

Andrew: Thanks for that intro. That was quite an intro. Thanks for having me.

 

Shannon: Absolutely. Now, Andrew and I met at Midwest e-Com, I want to say only a year ago. It feels like it’s been years. We feel like we’ve known each other for years, at least that’s certainly my take. And Andrew was one of the first people that I felt like, from an Amazon consultant standpoint, I could stand toe-to-toe with and just go down the list and we just  got – you know, we have the same philosophy. We had a lot of the same character and integrity and principles in operating our businesses. I’ve referred many clients successfully to Andrew’s company when I was unable or didn’t have the capacity to take them on. And they’ve just done a tremendous job.

But what I’m really excited to talk about today is campaigns because campaign management, specifically on Amazon is becoming huge and a critical factor of a brand success. And we know that in terms of the Google, in terms of Facebook, in terms of Amazon, Amazon advertising is increasing in market share just exponentially. I mean they’re just growing like gangbusters. And where it used to be, campaign management was something you kind of set up and let run and make small tweaks and stuff. That’s no longer the case. It’s becoming more and more complex, more and more complicated, the competition is becoming fiercer. So, if you want to be successful running campaigns on Amazon, you really have to know your stuff. And so, Andrew, again, so excited to talk to you today about this topic.

 

Andrew: Shannon thanks again for having me. And it does feel like it has been longer than a year. I remember going to that conference. I was actually going to kind of just study the speaker’s face, and so I was honestly there to meet you, in a way and kind of just meet somebody else as I was working in the space. And I’m so glad we did. It’s been a great partnership so far. And I’m excited about the topic today.

What’s the primary goal of running Amazon Campaigns

Shannon: All right. So to get started, I’ve got a couple bullet points on this. But Andrew, can you go over what’s the primary goal of running the Amazon Campaigns and I actually think there’s a handful but let’s cover those high level primary goals. What’s the point of running campaigns on Amazon?

 

Andrew: Well, to drive traffic to your listings, first and foremost. It’s one of the number one ways on Amazon to get more customers to find you as well as anything besides sales and profitability, I know me and you hammer this home, Amazon is a branding platform. And so, with your advertising as well as driving sales you’re making sure your brand is positioned well in the platform.

 

Shannon: Yeah, absolutely. I mean some of the other ones that I had put down were kind of what you mentioned: Build brand awareness, brand protection is another one, I think that’s another one that people don’t think about they think about driving sales and we focused primarily on this holistic approach of you’re not just driving sales and brand awareness, you have to aggressively protect your brand. Talk about that aspect of it for a second.

 

Andrew: Yes. So, if you’re not spending dollars in advertising when it comes to Amazon and you’re a brand that people know or recognize nine times out of 10 someone else is advertising on your keywords, I see it time and time again when I’m talking to a new brand. We start doing a few searches on Amazon search bar for their brand and a lot of times they’re not there. So we’re finding competitors coming up for their brand name. And even if it’s not the brand name, you’ve got something similar similarities but they’re just not there for. And just spend so much time on your brand off Amazon and then to come to one of the biggest marketplaces in the world for selling and to not be worrying about your brand here, that doesn’t align. So, advertising at the very least is necessary for that as well.

 

Shannon: The other one that came to mind was beating competition. So, especially if you’re in the running for number one bestseller spot and they’re utilizing campaign management effectively and you’re not, it doesn’t matter to some extent how big your brand is. We’ve both seen private labels run by some guy in his garage who were beating now big multinational brands for number one bestseller in a specific category because they knew listing optimization and campaign management better. So, even in the competitor space campaign management can absolutely critical and essential to your success.

 

Andrew: Yes, I agree a 100% Shannon. There are so many different ways that we can use the ads and advertising to go after competitors, to be defensive for your brand, for branding keywords, for new customer reach. And you are right, it’s actually the smaller private label brands I have a passion for Amazon that have done a lot of self-studying typically are the ones that are leading the charge depending on the category you’re in. It almost seems like the bigger the brand, the slower they are to move to working Amazon correctly. And then that starts that leads with campaign management.

 

Shannon: Yeah, I mean I made a comment on one of the videos you know that sort of what we’re going to teach at eComBootcamps just like learning what all the big brands are doing. But that’s actually not true and I realized after I said it, most of the bigger brands, and we’ve talked about this as well, the bigger the brand typically the less they know about Amazon, which is crazy. We just think you know they’re huge. They’re a multinational corporation. They do billions of dollars of revenue a year. They’ve got to have entire teams of people working on this thing 24/7 and they don’t. And so again, that’s an opportunity for smaller emerging brands. It’s also an opportunity for the larger brands to go “You know what? We’ve kind of ignored or evaded this thing long enough, we need to get in there and we need to figure out this Amazon thing and dial in as well as these smaller private labels.”

 

Andrew: Yeah, and it’s – I think it’s actually pretty exciting for the – for any smaller labels or smaller brands out there listening it’s actually a really big opportunity. If you’ve created your listings right, your photography is right, you got your reviews on point, your copy, maybe you’ve got the video with your product, maybe even you’re four products deep, you may have only got four SKUs. You can position yourself through advertising and campaign management to really look like a big player in the space simply by dominating Amazon which is a huge part of online selling. So, just by dominating Amazon advertising as a smaller brand, you can position your product to be showing up all across the Amazon. And while it’s negative for big brands that aren’t doing it right yet, it’s a positive for smaller brands that can be dynamic and move quickly.

Shannon: Yeah, I agree. I mean in the basic stats, current stats are 55% of all products searches start on Amazon and over 50% percent of e-commerce sales go through Amazon. So, it’s really critical. But you mentioned this in passing in your last comment but I actually want on this because I actually think this is one of the most important reasons to run campaigns. And that’s discovering keywords that convert. Talk about that for a second.

 

Andrew: Yes. So, let’s say that you’ve identified 10 keywords that matter that you’ve put into your listing whenever you’re writing your copy. And I say 10, it could be 15, 20, if you know you found 10 and you’re like “I really want to focus on these for our products. It’s highly accurate, highly descriptive.” And maybe you’re even using a tool that helps you find which one of those are, OK? But you’ve got a beautiful listing. You’ve got keywords that matter. The advertising is not only a place to get more views but it’s also a way to double down on that SEO double down on those keywords are important.

 

Shannon: Yeah, absolutely I mean I think that the keyword discovery is so critical because we can say what we think. People are searching to find our products. And oftentimes, more often than not, some of those top keywords maybe we got three out of five right but those other two, we never would have known about. We never would have thought about. And that comes into play if you look at the flywheel effect but you know the discovery is absolutely essential.

 

Andrew: I agree. And one other thing I’d like to say about that is you know we all have these keywords that we might think like I said are the best for the listing. But it’s really through the advertising like let’s say we’ve got those 10 keywords that we talked about a minute ago, there could be another 90 or plus that describe your product and the advertising is where we either try these keywords, discover new keywords that work well for us, continue to cycle those through your listing if you’re a new brand that’s able to move fluidly and change out your title, change out your copy using keyword data from advertising that’s letting you know. It’s giving you, instead of us guessing, it’s letting us know what data, what’s working and what’s not.

What are the four main types of campaigns you can run on Seller Central?

Shannon: Yeah, it’s data validation. OK. So, Andrew, briefly as we dive in, we’re going to get into the nuts and bolts and that’s what I’m really excited about. I did another webinar before if sort of understanding the philosophies and theologies of Amazon Campaigns is different. We’ve got a previous episode that I did with Jason Magee of Teikametrics talking about the big picture. But in this episode we’re going to go into the nuts and bolts. So, if you haven’t listened t to that, I recommend going back and listening to that or watching that first. But can you talk about the four main types of campaigns that you can run on Amazon, so auto, the manual and then the two other types of brand, brand and product attribute.

 

Andrew: Yeah. So, we essentially have four types. The newest one that Seller Central, we’ll start there, is actually called Product Targeting. This is one of the only campaign types if you’re not getting some type of beta that allows you to advertise on Amazon without using keywords. So, for those that are listening I don’t know what type of education we have with some of our listeners as far as if you’re at the top or at the end of the spectrum. But PPC Pay-Per-Click which usually has to do with keywords. You’re paying for a click on a keyword.

And there’s one other ad type called Products Targeting Ads. This is one where you’re not using keywords instead you’re bidding on another competitor. I like it best for related products. OK. So, you’re selling some high end pants that’s paired with some high end boots.

 

Shannon: Right.

 

Andrew: Or that’s paired with a high end hat or high-end watch thinking that the same customer that’s interested in this, this price point will match well with you in that example. That’s product targeting. You’re choosing based on another ASIN on Amazon, another product on Amazon that goes well with your listing. You can use this to defend your own product so instead of having a competitor show up on your page or this product targeting ads show up, you can show up. And like we call those defensive ads or you’re talking about brand guarding earlier, right?

The other type is, is a manual keyword ad, a manual PPC. And this is everywhere except at the headlines, the top of the fold ad. That’s the big banner ad. This is all over Amazon. These are the type of ads that you’re using branded keywords, you’re using generic keywords, looking for keyword discovery and maybe you’re bidding on competitor’s terms as well.

You’ve got automatic ads, OK? And automatic ads are the opposite of manual ads, OK? But what they do is they’re easier to setup for brands. You’re telling Amazon, “Hey, for a certain amount of money, a certain amount because they were starting a dollar per click. We want you to go out there and find customers looking for our products, match our keyword in our listing which searches out there on the Amazon. And it’s another way to show up in products that you may also like on listings. So, automatic ads will show you up there. You have less control of the keywords but if you have good copy in your listing, it’s a good way to continue to get new listings. We’re going to about that in-depth.

And then the last one would be sponsored brands or headlines search. This is the big banner ad at the top. Usually you’re identifying at least three products that you want to show off. They have a new feature now it allows you to cycle three different products which I really like. And here, you have a little slogan, potentially a logo or a product picture of the brand.

Where do you start running Amazon Campaigns, what’s the initial process?

Shannon: OK. Great. Great high level overview. OK. So, you’re going to be setting up a campaign. You just signed on a new client. Maybe they’ve got some Google ads running, you’ve got access to their website, maybe they’ve even run some automatic or manual campaigns in the past and typically I find they’ve shut him down because they weren’t working right. And I find that all the time. I signed up a new client and they’re like, “Oh, I shut down advertising. It wasn’t working.” And I’m like, “You spend a $100 made $2,700. What do you mean it wasn’t working?” But they didn’t know enough to analyze it. So, you’re getting started. What’s the first thing you do? What’s your initial process for keywords and setup – what do you start with? What does that look like?

Andrew: OK. So, for me it’s pretty simple. I immediately create a headline search ad if I have, if I have brand registry assuming so. And with the headline search ad, I add all of our products that the brand has and I at all of our branded terms. So, let’s say that it’s Marknology, right? I’m like I’m bidding on Marknology. I’m bidding on Marknology apparel, Marknology products, anything that might start or include Marknology. I want to get my branded terms covered ASAP.

And then I’m going to go into the manual sponsored ads, I’m going to do the same exact thing. So I’m going to add different products that we have and I’m going to include all of our branded terms as the keywords and set the bids high. I want to make sure that if anyone is searching Marknology that I show up. So that’s right out the gate.

Then I’m going to create automatic ads, OK? And I’m going to create a complete ad or I’m going to call it complete, set it up maybe at you know 50 cents a click and include all of our products and set that up. I might be higher than 50 cents, it just kind of depends on the category but what I want to make sure is that I’m gathering data for all of our products at a keyword rate that’s not go run me out of money immediately. And then I’m going to create different ad groups depending on how many types we have under automatic as well, under that automatic campaign. So, I’ve created automatic campaign. I’ve created one ad group called Complete. And I’m going to build up separate ad groups for all the different product styles that I have, OK?

So, what I mean by that is let’s say we have books and we have lamps and we have rugs and we have computer mice and we have blankets. I’m creating different ad groups for those. It can get more segmented down the road but immediately out the gate I’m starting there. I’m going to set those bids relatively high per ad groups so I can see how the ad groups do independently of each other. And for about two weeks, maybe a little bit less depending, I’m going to let those just go out there and get data, get data, get data, get data, give us a baseline that whenever we go to the manual ad we’ve got a little bit of data on what customers are searching to find us. We got a little bit of data on what our listings are ranking for. And we have some keywords outside of our branded terms that we know are going to convert or not convert based on the data we’re getting over those two weeks. And then from there, I actually start to build that more.

 

Shannon: So, that’s fascinating. And I love this. And again, I think people missed this all the time so I’m going to cover it really quickly. The Flywheel that we see is optimize by optimizing your listing, you’re on page listing including SEO, including good images, photography, product features, descriptions, EBC all that stuff. The second phase is launch which is driving internal and external traffic. Again, you can do external from social, you could do internal from campaigns and then you analyze, you take that analysis and you go back to the optimization part.

Now, the funny thing is a lot of people just want to launch. And if you look at it, if you’ve got a conversion rate of say 5% and you drive you know $1,000 of ads to that and you make $5,000 that’s great. But what if you spend time optimizing your listings first to get a 10% conversion rate? You drive that same $1,000 and instead of $5,000 as you do $10,000 of sales. Optimization has to come first and as you pointed out, when you’re running automatic campaigns it can only pull from the keywords that are in your title, in your product features, description and the search term.

So, if you don’t have any relevant SEO in your listing, automatic campaigns aren’t really going to work. It’s kind of only going to work if you have brand terms in there. And so, the better your listing is optimized first, the more effective your automatic and manual campaigns are going to be. So I just want to throw that out there because it’s so critical to this process to step back and look at the macro view before dialing back in into the micro.

 

Andrew: Right. And you mentioned me speaking at the eComBootcamps with you recently. Thanks again for the invite. And plug again the eComBootcamps if anyone is listening. But it was something that I talked about for quite a while, was understanding what’s so important is that you know when I’m talking about ads right now to anyone listening I am assuming that our listing is optimized, OK with the strategies that I’m employing. I’m assuming that we’ve written good SEO, good titles, good bullet points. I’m assuming our photography is great. I’m assuming we’ve got the best shipping option that we can provide. We’ve been trying to get some reviews on the product even before launching. With like even some of Amazon launch techniques so you can employ. And then we’re talking about advertising, right?

 

Shannon: Yeah.

Andrew: So let’s set the baseline there. I’m glad you brought it up. But we’re starting this strategy assuming that our listings are optimized.

So now that you have that data, how do you go about actually building out your campaigns?

Shannon: OK. So you’ve been running automatics campaigns, you’ve got some data. Let’s even say that you get some data off Amazon stuff. Now that you’re starting to get some of that data, how do you go about actually building out your campaigns? So we talked about automatic, let’s talk about the manual. How do you go about actually building those out from a practical standpoint?

 

Andrew: OK. So, in this example let’s assume we have like 20 SKUs or less so we’re not talking about some you’re doing if you have 5,000, OK? So, every brand and strategy has to be a little bit different but let’s start with like assuming for this conversation. We’re talking about something very manageable like 20 SKUs or so. OK, so we’ve got two weeks of data. We can see certain – we’re going back in there. We can see that some ad groups or some ad type is better than others so we might have more data than some of the other products. So that’s something good to keep in mind.

We’re going to start creating manual ads for the same product types that we did on the automatic side. So, if we did computer mice and blankets and hats and certain stuff on that, automatics that we’re going to match that on the manual side. We’ve already covered branded terms. What we can do is we can run an automatic report, OK, an automatic advertising report. And we could run a manual one but at this point we just have the automatic. So, we’re running a report and what we’re going to get from that is all of the customer search terms that Amazon matched up with us in the last two weeks with our listing.

So, using its Excel so we can sort how we’d like to. I typically sort the automatic and manual out. I remove my manual because I don’t need that data at this time. And then I look at sales in the last seven days, OK? And I’m going to sort that way highest to lowest, largest to smallest. And what I’m looking for is the key terms that have converted and that have a good ACoS as well. ACoS being Average Cost of Sale and what I mean is they’re converting at a profitable point. And I take those keywords, I go the manual side in those ad groups that I created that are opposite side automatic. And start putting in those keywords that we’re converting on the automatic side. And I don’t just do that but let’s break it down a little bit further.

So, let’s say that I got “blue blanket throw”. OK, that was a word that converts on my listing. I’m going to go to manual side of our blankets and I’m going to add the keyword “blue blanket throw” and I’m going to create and ad type of broad keyword and a type that’s exact. And people can do phrase, people can do Teikametrics recommends phrase. I know that they’re adjusting always on the go, we’ve talked about that, just the reasons why they suggest phrase over broad. But understanding I’m the expert here without software, we’re going to go with my strategy here. And so, you’ve got the exact keyword “blue blanket throw” and we’ve got a broad one “blue blanket throw”. Can you tell me, just real quick to switch it up, you tell me the difference between the ad types broad and exact, for anyone listening?

Shannon: Yeah, you can cover briefly broad phrase and exact because I think it’s helpful. Just make sure everybody’s onboard and nobody feels like they’re being left out.

 

Andrew: OK. So, exact is going to be if someone types in exactly in the search bar, “blue blanket throw” nothing before and nothing after and nothing in the middle, just like it sounds. And then broad is going to be able to take the keywords “blue blanket throw” but be able to mix them up and add other keywords before and after your searches to make you reach a little bit bigger audience than that. So, it they typed in “blue blanket throw for kids” you’re still going to show up, OK.

 

Shannon: And they can also switch up the orders as well, right? Blue throw blanket, blanket throw blue, et cetera, right?

 

Andrew: Exactly. Exactly. That’s what broad does, it give us the biggest reach. So, what I’m going to do is I’m going to take that keyword from automatic. I’m going to go into my automatic campaign and I’m going to add it as a negative keyword, OK? I’m going to add that as a negative keyword on the automatic side, negative exact for “blue blanket throw”. What that means is that we will never show up again under the automatic ads for “blue blanket throw” exactly spelled that way.

 

I want to create a base line but I’m not getting keyword cannibalization as we go. And so, by doing this I’m assuming it’s never going to show back up an automatic then I’m going to add it under broad, OK? I’m going to add “blue blanket throw” under broad. I’m going to add it as a negative in that same campaign, in that same ad group as negative exact. So blue blanket throw exact is now a negative in the broad campaign. The reason I’m doing this is because I don’t want “blue blanket throw: to be showing up in three or four different places and I don’t know what keyword or cost-per-click is working.

If I have it showing up in automatic, I have it showing up in broad as an exact there and then we’re going to the third one which is the exact and I have “blue blanket throw” as an exact there keyword. I could be getting blue blanket throw in three different places and I don’t exactly know what’s going on. So, my goal here is to really create one spot that is showing up after we know that it’s a converting key term and that’s in the exact. So, I hope I didn’t lose you guys on that. But that’s kind of my setup structure is add it as a broad and add it as an exact keyword.

 

Shannon: OK. So, let’s touch on this because I actually think that this is the key takeaway points. So, if you’re listening and if you’re driving, if you’re watching – hopefully you know watching and driving but if you’re listening and driving, this is so critical and Andrew as we were thinking about this, it actually took me a little bit of time to wrap my mind around it. It’s like, wait a second. Because I just took that strategy and try it with a new client.

So, I added the same phrase as a broad match, in broad and then I also added as a negative exact match. So I’m thinking like, “Wait a second, aren’t they canceling each other out? But what you’re saying and what the strategy is is no, if they search that term plus additional terms or potentially in a different order, that’s going to convert still. And then I’m going to move that to exact and do the exact same thing. And similarly, if they search that exact term they’re only going to get the exact – and this was kind of the revelation for me. So, correct me if this makes sense or no.

 

I realized that basically from broad match, from phrase match, the whole entire goal of Amazon campaign management is to figure out the exact matches of search terms that convert for your listing and then bid appropriately on those, whatever – for what makes sense for, you know whether it’s profitability, whether it’s gross sales, whether it’s launch. And that kind of epiphany was like “Oh my gosh, it makes so much sense.” But I mean I think from a standpoint of like “Well, I’ve looked at campaigns where the phrase match is converting better than the exact match but that’s only because we haven’t employed that strategy.” A phrase match doesn’t actually convert.

A phrase match for an ad group looks like it’s converting but what’s actually converting is the tons of exact matches that show up under that phrase match, right? And so, that sort of was like the mind blowing thing of like, “Wow! The whole goal is to figure out the exact match terms and then once you know that exact term you can bid up or down.” And keeping all these automatic campaigns going, keeping the broad match, the phrase match, all that does is just to get you new insights into new keywords, new exact search terms that people can put in to find and buy your product. Does that sound like that revelation to me make sense at all?

Andrew: Oh, it makes a ton of sense and I love the way that you put it because it really is just about getting those exact keywords. And you know if you’ve thought like you know theoretically, once you’re a few weeks down the road, your automatic campaigns, a lot of times the bid is lower because it’s not properly pulled out the great keywords. And let’s say, you’ve got your broad and your exact going, we’re not talking about headline search or anywhere else, right?

But you’ve got your manual, your broad and your exact going. And if you have one keyword at 75 cents on broad because that’s where you’re getting a good ACoS and then a $1.50 on exact and you see if they’re both getting clicks and impressions, how do you know if you need to get it at 75 cents or a $1.50 to which one is winning out. We have to guess. And what I love about the advertising, what I absolutely love about it is that it’s data-driven. It’s data-driven and it’s really giving us – it’s not about what the content manager thinks is a great way to describe our product what I think, what the advertising specialists. It’s like let’s let customers and data tell us you know what the best keywords are for our product and doing it through exact is just the most really good – it’s the best way to get the most precise.

Shannon: Well and here’s the thing. This was sort of my revelation even this morning. Nobody actually searches a broad term. People only put in an exact term, when you enter a term in the Amazon search bar and click search it’s exact. It’s exactly what I typed in. I’m never typing in like a generic like “OK, give me these things and some additional stuff.” Every search term from an Amazon customer is in essence an exact match, that exact match may show up under broad, it may show up under phrase, or it can show up under exact. But that sort of epiphany in me was like mind boggling. And that’s why the strategy makes so much sense.

Now, I’ve talked to other PPC experts and you know again you can have a thousand theories of a thousand people but you talk about the idea of using broad instead of phrase or broad over phrase. Talk a little bit about that because there are things that they both have in common. And in some cases, phrase match may make a lot of sense but again, all the data and the whole point is to get to the exact match. Can you talk about broad versus phrase? We mentioned this on our on our call couple days ago but talk about broad versus phrase and why – why you do it that way, why you prefer using one instead of like a broad phrase and exact which is pretty typical in a lot of campaign setups.

Andrew: Yeah. So, this is definitely an opinion-based thing, OK? But some of it comes down to feasibility of managing the different types, OK? And I believe that there is something that’s too much. And so, if you’ve got, you know we’re talking about 20 SKUs, that’s not too much but as soon as you start getting adding one more ad type can change your dynamic strategy.

For me, phrase is really just like a stop gap between broad and exact. It’s just a little bit leaner, a little bit more accurate than the broad so to speak. It’s a little bit closer to exact. But what phrase is doing, it’s saying you can add something to the search but you can’t change the order of the search. So, it’s saying that it’s exact but exact with words before and after. And so for me, I’m trying to get to exact, you know that’s my goal is to get to these exact keywords. Phrase just adds a little level of confusion in between instead of going from broad exact. Like I don’t know if that exactly made sense to everybody out there but my point is, is that if I’m not exact which is the goal then everything else is not exact before that and there’s no reason to have two different types.

Shannon: Well, and this is the only reason that I could think might make sense for it. Say for example, you got a couple different products. I’m going to you sort of a personal example, Amazon Speaker is something I’ve got a page on my website, right, Amazon Speaker. Now, initially, I had Amazon Conference Speaker and what I realized is when people search Amazon Conference Speaker, they’re looking for like a speaker phone to use in their conference room. They’re not looking for an Amazon Speaker…

Andrew: Right.

Shannon: …to show up at their conference. That’s a big difference. And so, there are going to be situations where when you have a product that may be a slight tweak, even a slight order of the words completely throws it out of context. That might be a situation where if you’re running broad match it’s just too expensive to find those additional curve because you keep coming up with this term that’s completely relevant. And so, you can run those phrase matches that keeps that order consistent. And say “Look, no, no, no. It’s got to be in this order and then you can use that phrase match to continue doing keyword discovery at maybe a lower ACoS cost.

But again the whole concept your goal is to get exact matches. And then once you note that exact matches you’re going to learn over time what your conversion rate is for that exact match, you’re going to know what you’re bid is for that conversion – for that exact match and you’re going to be able to know what you’re ACoS and ultimately your profitability is.

You said something that I thought was interesting. You said a keyword – everything that’s in phrase broad will catch but phrase won’t catch everything from broad. And so, just from that aspect of it it’s like “OK that makes sense. Broad is going to catch all the terms that a phrase match is going to catch.” So why would I use two nets so to speak to catch the same exact term when I can just use one from a managing standpoint. And again, it depends on your situation. It depends on your strategy that comes down to it, what works for you. But I think again the theory and the understanding behind it of what has worked for you have worked really, really well. And you’ve been doing this for eight years. So there’s a lot of experience and a lot of expertise coming into this.

Andrew: Yeah. And really, it is for me like it’s data, data, data and you can run those advertising reports with broad as well, OK? So if you’re theoretically – it’s like kind of to me, it’s a little bit – I’ll use a metaphor here but like I used to be a musician and you know I’ve seen – I can see some drummers with like a huge kit, like they have all the cymbals and all the toms and all the pedals and multiple sticks and you know all these things. And then you can see the same drummer that has three-piece kit and he’s making it sound like a symphony of drums. Like, so he’s using less to create the same amount. And to me, like when it comes down to the data and the advertising, for me, it has always been how much can I manage myself and do it really, really, really well.

And if you run advertising reports, you know we talked about removing the manual terms so that you could just use automatic and get some keyword discovery. Well, something else that you can do is use the automatic reports, look at your manual broad types and let’s say that you keep getting the Amazon Conference Speaker, OK? You can add that as a negative for broad as well. And so what you’ve done is just made broad work for you, right? Instead of adding this whole other ad type that you’re asking to manage across all these different SKUs.

So for me, I’ve just been able to make those work and it really comes down to I’d rather have a 100% control over two ad types than a third – it really is preference. It really is preference and a lot of times you’ll see that if Amazon is suggesting a keyword as the phrase down the road now that I’ve set them up, I’ll add some phrase and broad in the same type. I just rarely create a whole another ad type for that.

But we were talking about what happens right after automatic ads and keyword discovery. And we talked about taking those keywords over to broad. But that’s not the only way that I add keywords out the gate after those first couple of weeks. In the exact ad groups, I’m also going to add the keywords that I thought were important in the listing, OK? So, anything that I’ve done in my SEO analysis with competitors when I’m optimizing my listing and creating it, I’m going to make sure that those are added under exact and broad as well because I’ve already decided that those are important keywords. So, I’m not on not just waiting on automatic to tell me, I’m also going to use you know I’ve setup my branded terms as well and I’m going to start with the keywords that I already think are important. There’s no reason to wait on automatic to bring those to me.

Shannon: Yeah, I mean again, you can play around a lot with automatic and have it try a bunch of things in your title that are just size and color variations and not specific to the SEO or unique value propositions. Are there any tools Andrew that you use or like to use for SEO keyword research to look at your own listings, competitor listings or you typically requests from clients if they’re running Google ads? I know I do like if they’re running Google ads like give me that data because again those are terms that we know convert on Google. There’s a good chance that there’s going to be some relevant overlap. But any tools they use to do that research?

 

Andrew: Yes. So, right out the gate I’m always asking brands like if they have if they, you know if I come in to help a brand, fix up their store, their brand and they’ve already been running ads, I’m using those. I don’t just feel like I have to use my data only, even though it can be – I’m definitely using data that they already have. I’m asking them for Google keywords that they’ve been using. There’s no reason to figure out how to reinvent the wheel if they’ve already been figuring this stuff out on Google. Not to say that those keywords will be just as successful on Amazon but I definitely want to start with them. Even SEO in their Google Analytics, right, can be helpful to me, give me some insights on what – how people are discovering their brand.

And then on the keywords side on the Amazon you know I’m just using – I’m using all of the tools, everything from Amazon suggested keywords, everything from like merchant words which I know a lot of SEO writers don’t love merchant words. But it comes up with great keywords in regards to the amount, the quantity. So, I’m going to test them all for themselves anyway, get on merchant word, it’s 9.99 or something like that you know you’re searching the keyword. And it’s giving you suggested keyword types like that.

But then all of them like everything from Teika – you spoke with these in Teikametrics, it’s giving you keyword suggestion. I used Google Keyword Planner before I was affording tools and they will like you know kind of create the spider web of keyword ideas. And nothing does better than when I think like a shopper myself. You know I’m like, how would my mom search on Amazon? How would I search on Amazon? Think about this product Andrew like how would you buy this? Look at competitors. I look at competitors a lot. And I use Reverse ASIN Lookup Tool. I know that you’ve used those in the past as well. They’ll give you all the keywords that our competitor ranks for. Great place to start, right? So, there’s a million ways to do it.

How often do you monitor Campaigns, optimize or make bid and keyword adjustments?

Shannon: That’s awesome. OK. So, now that we’ve got – the campaign’s going, we kind of got our funnel set up, how often do you monitor, optimize or make bidding keyword adjustments in a campaign that’s running? What’s the timeline? Is it going in a couple times a week, once a week, once a month? Obviously, it’s going to depend again on the number of campaigns and that kind of thing but give us a little sense of rhythm that you use to manage that.

Andrew: So I think at the beginning, it’s more important that you’re in there often and frequently. And what I mean by that is probably if it was my own brand and I’m just obsessing about it, I’m talking three or four times a week. Probably every two days I’m looking at it. Because I’m spending – my bids are higher in the beginning because I’m trying to discover keywords,  I’m being more aggressive maybe I’m launching right? So, I’m spending more money, my bids are higher.

And then I would say a normal cadence is like you know down the road you you’ve got a lot of the keywords out, you just continue to add here and there, create different product type, two times a week I think is pretty healthy. And if you have a really, really simple product maybe like one or two SKUs maybe it’s just once a week, on the weekend we’re looking at the last week making changes, making optimizations to your bid, adding new keywords. So I’d say two to three weeks once you have an account that’s cruising.

 

Shannon: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. We talked about this a little bit before but usually when you have a group of products there are a couple things to consider. One is that for the majority of keywords that people are going to search for, that those products all share, are going to share those same core terms. Another thing to consider is that they all probably need to be in the same price range because if you’ve got keywords that you’re bidding at for certain cost-per-click you can’t have a product thats $6.99 and one that’s $24.99 because again the profitability is vastly different for those. So you have to break them up differently.

And again I’m guessing that even with that, even if I have a group of products, there’s probably going to be keywords that start converting that only apply to one of those products, in which case I might want to pull that out and you know start using those keywords you know exact matches on that product alone because again it’s all about getting what’s the exact search from the people are searching and the exact product that they’re buying. I mean at the end of the day that is the goal of Amazon Campaign Optimization.

But we had this conversation a week or so ago, can you talk about why someone would build something out you know as a campaign with lots of ad groups versus multiple campaigns. You made it really clear brought a lot of clarity from my understanding of it. Can you talk about that a little bit?

Andrew: Yeah, I think that one of the main reasons – well, there are a few reasons. So, one should be the software automation company you’re working with, right? We were talking about Teikametrics. Teikametrics recommends they want a different campaign type for every SKU type and they want theoretically built out like that. If I’m personally doing it myself I want to headline search, maybe one or two of those. I want one automatic and one manual and then within that I’m creating a lot of ad groups.

The reason I want to do that is just organization. I want to know, I like to be really systemized and I can open that up and know exactly where all my manual ads are and it’s created summary for me. Some of that can go away now that we have the portfolio, OK? Because you can group these groupings together and clear – they give you the clear picture. Maybe we’ve got one account that has three different brands and you want to be able to break them up and get your numbers without having to add everything up manually. So the portfolio is a new option now that kind of creates that differentiation for me early on. But the main reason is budget, OK?

So, there is a way to budget like let’s say you’re working with a brand that’s given you $50 a day in ads. And people might think they’re like, “Wow! $50 a day times 30 days in a month like that’s a pretty good budget.” But if we’re talking about 20 SKUs even and you start dividing that budget down it can get pretty small pretty quick. And so, campaign and ad spend can become one of the most important things you’re doing for a brand or for your own brand. And where do we best allocate those resources? What SKUs we send them to? Should we send the headlines, so should I give headlines first the main majority of the budget or the automatic ads, the manual?

And so, creating lots of different campaigns like let’s say you want to spread out your spend, your $50 per spend per month or per day across a bunch of different SKUs. You know you want to advertise on you know you’ve got a black, a black dress and a white dress and you want to advertise on both of them to make sure you’re getting visibility but a black dress just does not convert as great as the white dress. You might separate them into two campaigns, follow my logic here, simply so that you can say “Hey, I want to put $10 for the black dress and I want to put the other 40 towards the white even though my daily cap is 50. Because the white one is making more money for us, it’s doing better and I want to be able to separate the ad spend between those two types.

Shannon: Yeah. I think that was really helpful for me. I mean again there’s dozens of different ways you can break it down. It’s about what makes sense and works for your products. There are  certain things that you have to separate I mean some of my early campaign mistakes is sort of like running automatic campaigns and manual for different flavors of a product and kind of look back like what was I thinking? Like, if somebody is looking for this specific flavor, we need to find out what their exact search terms are that they’re using to find that flavor.

Now, you may find that they could be looking for barbecue spice and they come across this French spices or this Creole spice and they’re like, “Hey, that sounds good. I’m going to buy that instead.” In fact, we were emailing back and forth about that book just before the call, where we have a model type that’s for one product but keeps converting for a different one, you’re like, “Well, do we want to risk confusing the customer? Where it’s like if they’re searching for this one and they’re getting the wrong one like you have to be careful, you don’t want people mad. Like, “I searched for this. The ad came up. I bought it, it’s the wrong one.” But at the same time it could be that you’re exposing them to a new product that’s like “Wow, I didn’t even know they had that model. I’m going to buy this instead.” So, putting your other model numbers, your other styles or colors and flavors might work. It is about the data and it is about your strategy.

So, one quick point on what we’re just talking about. Let’s talk about the different levels because again, every brand is not going to go into this with the same philosophy, right? People are in different modes. Some people I know they’re willing to spend a $150 to do $100 of sales. And that sounds ridiculous to us but they’ve got a method to the madness. It could be that they’re looking to grow the brand and they’re going to sell it for millions of dollars so it may make sense. They’re just getting proof of concept. They’re getting product validation. They’re doing a lot of testing. For other people, it’s very, very low. But I think in terms of sales, profitability and ACoS you know it’s been some of the three sort of primary goals that you could look at. What do you typically go for or does it just depend on the client and what stage they’re at and what their goals are?

Andrew: Yeah. So that’s a – it’s an open-ended questions Shannon because you know it really is I can go in with whatever strategy I want if the brand is on a different page then I’m adjusting to what they’re at, right? And for some brands and products, we understand that advertising is just the cost of doing business, even if our profitability within the ads is high. It might be that we don’t care. Our brand needs to look well on Amazon. It might be that we believe that it drives more of the flywheel. It drives out organic sales and so it’s a reason to do that.

It could be – their profitability could be like 300% margin on their products and so feel willing to advertise really high because they have an ungodly you know margin built in on their products. There’s any number of reasons and just like you’re talking about, I think at the conference I took a little time to say this too it’s like, it’s really about perspective and needs and your individual strategy and understanding what the platform can do but also understanding that there’s not just one rigid way to do anything. And you got to really figure out what works for you. Like an example would be, you were talking about well what if we have a product that shows up and it’s for a – we have a new product out and they keep searching this older one and buying the newer one. How do we want to advertise it?

An example I had recently was clothing, OK? So, I had like these ball caps and/or these are beanies and different things. And whenever they were typing in women’s beanie under broad, our men’s beanie you would show up. So, maybe that the men’s maybe I was advertising more there under broad than in the women’s. Any number of things could have happened. So, what we wanted the brand wanted, even though it’s converting at a point that was OK. And their ROI was OK. And if I’m only optimizing by data which is easier for me to do as a neutral consulting you know is to come in and just I’m just looking at the data and making my optimizations.

The broad, it would have said like beanie, like just beanie under women’s beanies. That’s what the keyword was happening. It was converting at a level that I thought was acceptable. But the brand was saying, “Hey, honestly, like whenever we have beanie like typed-in you know if someone types in “women’s beanie” we don’t want the men’s showing up and vice versa. And so, we went in under the exact we added all the gender wants to make sure that those didn’t show up because for them it was important, OK? So, even though it wasn’t hitting my data matrix for the brand, it’s important. So, as a consulting, I’m always listening to the brand, finding their needs, what’s important to them, communicating to them. If we do this then this might happen and really just adjusting in the moment and deciding what’s important and what’s not.

Shannon: Yeah, I mean and again, I think strategy is king and it’s going to change over time but you know you’re absolutely right. It could be that listening to customer service is really helpful, where it’s converting really well but then all of a sudden on the backend they’re getting all these returns. They’re like, “Wait a second, it’s a men’s like I want the women’s.” And in some cases, like a beanie, it might not make a difference. In other cases, it may make a huge difference if they ordered the wrong product and so I’ve talked with our customer service reps to make those decisions and say, “If they type in this term how many customers are returning this product thinking that they bought the other one? Because we had allowed that to show up in the advertising.” So, I think involving customer services can be really helpful.

Two last questions that I want to ask Andrew as we get ready to wrap it up and so valuable so helpful by the way. One is – do before – let me step back. I want to make a quick comment or clarify something that I’m not sure everybody is aware of. And this is if you have two ad groups running, you can have an ad from both of those show up at the same time. But if you only have one ad group, you’re only going to take up one spot in the sponsored product listings. And typically on a search results page you got a brand ad, you’ve got two sponsored product listings and you’ve got two organic. And that’s on desktop. It’s different – a little different mobile but in terms of that, if people want to really dominate a space, it’s going to require building out multiple ad groups, correct?

Andrew: Correct. You’re exactly right. So, I have a little information I’ll share. I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve worked with the Amazon Media Group which is the big pay to play, 30,000 to 50,000 to get it. I talked to Amazon advertising reps with all types of brands, brands that spend 100,000, 150,000 a month. So you get a little bit different support sometimes and they’re spending a lot of money you know.

And in those conversations, what I have had explained to me and I don’t know if you’ll find this anywhere really on Amazon is that the ad groups like you’re mentioning, the campaign types or in a queue, Amazon runs of them through a queue, OK? And so, if you have one ad group running, that’s all you have for that product type and it go through Amazon’s queue. And then it goes to the next competitor or the next person that’s maybe your listing didn’t get a sale for 10 clicks, Amazon is like, “Let us try a different ad group that’s a fitness product category, OK?” It’s kind of what’s happening behind the scenes. It’s like scoring your ad groups in your campaigns.

If you have a second ad group or more campaigns, multiple – you can continue to show as this one ad group that’s moved out of queue, the next one can show up. So, something to think about is that continue to have a broad number of ad groups and cross making sure that you’re covering all your bases allows your products to show up multiple ways. But you’re right as well in that like if you’re really trying to dominate a page, you’re trying to do headline search, you’re trying to do the multiple sponsored ad groups in ad types there and rank organically. And then if they were going into the listing to take it one step further and they clicked on that listing, you know we have the chance for our automatic ad to show our products here and we have the products targeting type we started with, that can show up in multiple places on the page. So, if you’re doing advertising right you can literally seem like you’re big type.

 

Shannon: And any indication in terms of we know that for automatic, if your search term is not in your listing automatic is not going to find it. Like if it’s not there Amazon doesn’t go in and sort of have somebody look at it, like they just use data. So, if it’s not there, they’re not going to find it. But, any indication of your inclusion of search terms that convert int order for manual campaigns to show up or to be effective?

 

Andrew: Can you restate that one different way?

 

Shannon: Yeah. So, for example if I’ve got a pressure cooker you know that does, you know meats for example. So, I do meat pressure cooking but I don’t have that anywhere in my listing or my title. Are ads still going to show up for meat pressure cooker even if they’re not on my listing or will it just be more effective like they have a better conversion rate if I have that in my listing? The interplay between the organic, what’s on the listing and the ability for an ad to show up for that listing in that search term?

 

Andrew: OK, got it. So, the relevancy is going to be way higher if you have it in the listing when you’re advertising on that keyword. Amazon, it’s scoring system, score is going to be like “Yes, this is a great match up, customers when they type this and they find it.” Now, what you can get out of the show if you want to pay for keywords that you don’t have been your listing it’s very possible and it’s a great way for brands that – let’s say I take on a project with 2,000 SKUs. OK, it’s going to take me awhile to optimize all those with my team. OK. It’s going to be systematic. It’s going to take it awhile to get through them.

Well, I can pick up sales immediately for that brand and that company that we’re working with through the advertising before the SEO catches up by bridging that gap between their listings having great SEO and discoverability on the platform. So, I hope that’s making sense. So, what I’m trying to say is like if I’d say, the listings have no keywords I can advertise really, really well with keywords and make up for the listings, listing those keywords. But then I’m overspending because we’re not, we’re probably not converting as well and they land there and I hate to say that but it is the way that if you have a ton of SKUs and you’re working on it, you’re working to improve your advertising because of that.

 

Shannon: And this comes back and actually fills in the last piece of our flywheel which is analysis so, optimization, launch, analysis. In analysis, what we do is again we take the data of we thought these keywords would be good, we included them in the listing, we integrated them into the product features of the search terms from the backend. It turns out we were wrong on half of them. Those terms didn’t convert at all. They didn’t bring in any traffic. It turns out nobody is searching for those but these keywords are the gold vine. And half of them – we have the other half aren’t even a listing and we’ve talked about this.

You take the data from campaigns and you use that and go, “Wow! We just found that these keywords, people are searching for converting all the time on campaigns but we’re not doing anything organically because they’re nowhere in our listing.” And so, we did this actually with one of our companies just the last week. And I noticed a huge spike in sales just from going through and going, here are the top five converting search terms for this ASIN. Let’s make sure that every single one of those is in the title and then we’re going to revamp the product features. But I mean sales just shot up overnight. And that is truly an effectively leveraging the Amazon flywheel of optimize, launch and analyze.

Andrew: Yes. So, after you analyze you just have to go back into it and re-optimize, right? And that’s what I think a lot of people miss. But that’s how you get top stars on Amazon and that’s how you dominate these spaces, you launch or you optimize at the beginning with your best foot forward, you put your best foot forward, what you think are the best keywords, your competitor’s listings, what you think describe the product.

And then you get to the analyze and you’re like “Whoa! I was – I wasn’t perfect surprise, right?” I wasn’t perfect or you know how can I make this a little bit better? And maybe it’s one small tweak here and one small tweak here and maybe takes you three months of data to make those small tweaks. But whatever you do, don’t think that just because you set up your listing and your advertising you can put it on other pilot, that’s the worst mistake you can make. You could have a million dollar keyword like right around the corner for a listing, truly. And getting that right, making sure you dominate that keyword, if you find a good one and making sure no one else, you know that just becomes your number one go-to can be the difference in having a top seller on Amazon.

 

Shannon: Well, and this is a really important point in terms of adding negative exact, where you and I will look at this. There are a lot of keywords that either from a visual standpoint or from a tool, you look at it and go “Wow! It’s saying that I should add this is negative match, it’s not converting.” But you and I know, leave it. Leave it because I know that’s a good term and I think that maybe it just its seasonality, maybe it’s just time, maybe there’s you know other campaigns that are currently getting more budget or more played. But understanding when to add a negative exact and actually take out a term requires some human interaction.

So again, there’s always that interplay between automation and human intelligence of there are keywords that the first time somebody spends on I go, “No, no, no. That’s completely irrelevant. That’s not what they’re looking for.” Amazon Conference Speaker again, but at the same time, there’s going to be ones that convert that were like “That doesn’t even make sense to me. Like I don’t even know, like there’s probably like no reason why they would be looking for that but they bought this and yet that can be some of the most helpful long tail terms that you go, “We’re just getting in front of those people. And even though they weren’t expecting to buy that they wound up purchasing it because they saw it and they were kind of in that frame of mind or frame of reference you know end up working.” So again, the data part is critical.

What are some strategies for brand ads, do you run them to storefronts or search results?

Now I’ve got two more final questions for you as we wrap up. Number one, what are some strategies for brand ads? And do you typically run them to storefronts or storefront pages or search results? Just give us some of your high level best practices for brand ads.

Andrew: Yes. So, headline search ads or brand ads are the probably the number one spot right AB test. There’s the area for a little bit of a slogan from your company and I think that that matters. I really do think that it matters, it needs to be catchy. But on brand, you can switch out logos for your company and you’re like “Well, I only have one logo.” Well, a lot of brands have different logos based on seasonality. So they might have a wreath around their logo or something like that on the holidays.

And then you get three products to show at any given time across the ad. So, a lot of times I’m trying out different products there. Amazon just released like a beta, you know to the ads where it will automatically try different products there and see which ones do better. And you can say “Yes, I want turn that on” or “No, I don’t.” Why wouldn’t you? Data, you know AB Test. So, I’m typically running, but to answer your question, I’m running those tests probably two at a time, I’m never doing like you know five or six computing but one or two at a time. I usually have one going to the storefront, if they have a storefront and one going through a curated list of products.

And I think there are reasons for both, sometimes the storefront can be a lot. And it can have like you know I might have 20 different product types. I could have videos. I can have all types of stuff. I want to make sure I don’t lose my customer so I want to always test that again just my  well curated list of the exact products I’m sending them to. And then the one that you know I love sending them is the storefront, if I can, if I have it. They convert higher. Get insights on where they bounce around on the pages. So, I love sending traffic to the storefront. But it really comes down to once again, not my opinion, letting the data talk to me. And there’s just some products I’ve seen do better when it’s just a small curated list of products.

 

Shannon: Yeah, I mean I think the key takeaway here is, don’t make assumptions on behalf of your customers. “Oh, somebody is searching for that one. Never buy this product.” Or, “No one’s ever going to put in that search term.” Those kinds of assumptions that we make. I kind of see you as like Neo on The Matrix like I don’t even see the code anymore, I just the blonde, brunette. I don’t even see that stuff. You’re just looking at sort of the metadata underneath that converts.

What are some strategies for Product Attribute Targeting?

The last question Andrew, as we get ready to wrap up are what are some of the strategies for product attribute targeting? And I think there are three key things that we talked about. And again, I think the last one is so cool and revolutionary. I wouldn’t even have really thought of it but there are three primary ways you can use it which is on your own brand, on competitor’s brand but also one pairing. Talk about some key strategies for product attribute targeting?

 

Andrew: Yes. So, I think one of the best ways is to go get – this is one of the best ad types for getting new customers. I think it’s a key ad if you have a product that people don’t understand yet. Let’s say you have a product that’s new to market, that doesn’t have a lot of keywords that people are searching all the time. I have an example. I’m working with a Superfood Shot company, OK? And so, it’s like a lot of greens and like a shot that that you’re taking. It’s a new product. It’s exciting. They’re delicious. They’re great. A lot of people that are liking green superfood and stuff like that would be into this type of product, but they’re not typing that in. They’re not typing in you know Superfood Shot.

And so, we have to go out there and get customers that are looking for something else and introduce them to our product. And so, that can be really expensive in the keyword game. But what’s been working for us to showing having a show up on products that are similar to ours. And so, we’re going out there constantly looking for healthy drinks, green food powder type products to show up on and that’s doing well for that products. So that would be like kind of the example I was talking about showing the pants, the match up with expensive boots.

So, when that person is on the boot listing, they’re looking at the boots and I see all around them. You may ask like these boots, people ask about these boots that were on your listing, advertise, advertise, advertise then one pair pants. And we’re trying to be that pair of pants, the one that sticks out, you know? So, that’s really good and you may also like products, you can also use your advertising search results to find good products to show up against. I have a really, really cool tool. I’m going to share with you guys. Shannon wants to throw this out there, I don’t know how he does it or does the email after but it’s called YASIV, Y-A-S-I-V dot com. And what it will do is if you look up a product like let’s say I’m looking up my product or a competitor’s product, it’s going to show a spider web, OK, of every product that’s connected to it.

 

Shannon: Wow.

 

Andrew: And it’s – yeah, it’s absolutely really cool. It’s going to show you like all the different products that people have clicked on from that listing to go to other products. And so, it’s a great way to discover. You may also like products and kind of find these products that are connected to your product and making sure your advertising on them. So that that’s really cool. We talked about defensive ads. To me, that’s where I want to have this ad type show up on my own products to make sure someone else can’t be there. Nothing worse than having an item you know like a higher end item you’re trying to sell and then how to get your cheap competitor show up and just have that $20 item that’s cheaper than yours, just show your products space, your landing page space, right? So, defensive ads are meaning showing some of your own product showing up on your page so that the customers are going to be distracted that’s coming back in your own product.

And then we’ve talked about you may also like, we’ve talked about similar products, we’ve talked about defensive products and there are the competitor products, right, which is pretty straightforward. You want to show up on your competitor’s pages. And so, when I’m creating product targeting ads before I need to create all these individually, OK? And now that you can create a whole list of them, you can have the different ASINs scored individually. So, whenever you’re on the AMS vendor central side of progress lay out they used to be called for anyone out there that knows a little bit.

You used to be able to take one product that you wanted to show and you would create a list of the competitors’ products that you wanted like 20 of them. You didn’t know which ones of the 20 were doing well which ones weren’t. I kind of hated it. I hated them as an ad type. Now, they’ve made it where we can judge individually when I show this product on this competitor this is how we’re doing and I can change my bids accordingly. It’s changed the game really for being able to optimize these.

Shannon: Yeah. This is really key. Andrew, thank you so much for your time. You guys could find Andrew at Marknology.com so that’s Marknology.com based in Kansas City. Andrew, just huge key takeaways, and again, I think for – if you’re a brand owner selling on Amazon, you have to be in the advertising game. You have to understand it. You’ve got to be able to leverage the power of campaigns not only to increase sales but also protect your brand, grow brand awareness and build all these mechanisms in place.

It’s so funny people as I talk about ACoS and like well, you know is ACoS good or bad? And I did post a couple days ago about a client’s success and I said, “Look, the bottom line is if our spend is going down and our sales are going up, that’s a good thing. Like, regardless of where you are in the profitability spectrum you know whether you’re in launch mode or growth mode like getting your ACoS down is critical. But there are always strategies that are going to differ. Some people go, “You know what? We want to increase sales even if our ACoS increases.” So, understanding where you are as a brand, understanding what your goals are and then figuring out how advertising plays into that is going to be absolutely critical to your long-term success on Amazon.

So Andrew again, thank you so much. Any last thoughts or any last words of wisdom that you want to leave to our viewers and listeners?

 

Andrew: Yeah, I guess the last piece of advice I’d say is that you don’t know if you don’t know, right? And I know that’s so cliché but it’s so true. You just got to test, test, test, test, test. Find what works for you, continue try new keywords, new ad types, new bid amounts, new budgets, you know add coupons and see how it does. Create them in variations and then separate them, you know like I’ve been testing for years and years and years and I’m still testing. So don’t ever get to a place of comfort with your advertising where you just think it’s on cruise control. Try new things. Don’t let your assumptions keep you from making a lot of money and test, test, test. Thanks for having me on, Shannon.

Shannon: Awesome. Thank you guys so much. Again, you find Andrew at Marknology.com. Andrew thanks for being on the show.