Sharpen your dig­i­tal pen­cils, folks. Sum­mer sale sea­son is com­ing for Retail, and it’s time to get knee-deep in ad copy writ­ing, cam­paign build­ing for full prod­uct cov­er­age across Search, and mak­ing sure your Google Shop­ping Cam­paigns are in tip-top shape. Are you ready to han­dle the scale of this annual task, or are you stock­ing up on migraine med­ica­tion, brac­ing your­self for a headache of con­stantly chang­ing dis­count per­cent­ages and stock levels?

As expe­ri­enced Search Engine Mar­keters, we know what deliv­ers results dur­ing one of the most demand­ing times of the year in an already com­pet­i­tive ver­ti­cal: gran­u­lar, tai­lored ad copy; the agility to ramp up and pull back spend quickly; the con­trol to man­age cost per action (CPA) and return on invest­ment (ROI). But more often than not, the scale of prod­ucts and pro­mos we have to man­age forces us to cut cor­ners where we want to deliver excel­lence – category-level ad copy with the cur­rent offer, as opposed to product-level, for exam­ple. On the bud­get side, we come up with all sorts of finger-crossed tac­tics, frus­trat­ingly inflat­ing our cost per clicks (CPCs) hop­ing we cap­ture that ini­tial spike in traf­fic, and then pulling the CPC pup­pet strings until the sale sea­son is over.

So how can you man­age scale and spend with accu­racy and speed (and fewer snapped pen­cils) both dur­ing your big sales and all year round?

1. Cre­ate & Auto­mate Gran­u­lar, Tai­lored Ad Copy

Imple­ment­ing the best qual­ity ad copy has ben­e­fits all year round, which are ampli­fied dur­ing a peak sale sea­son. The more rel­e­vant and engag­ing your ads, the higher your Qual­ity Score and click-through rate, and the lower your CPC. If you’ve got your ads linked to highly rel­e­vant land­ing pages, you’re more likely to see higher Con­ver­sion Rates off the back of those solid click-throughs.

With Adobe Media Opti­mizer, you can cre­ate tem­plates that can be used, reused, and auto­mated to cre­ate gran­u­lar, tai­lored ad copy based off a feed. This can be a one-off, some­thing your feed provider pumps through an ftp to the plat­form, or even a direct con­nec­tion to your Google Mer­chant Cen­tre. The tem­plates han­dle every­thing from cam­paign and ad group struc­ture; core key­words with their match types, ini­tial bids, and land­ing pages; and up to five vari­a­tions of ad copy – for stan­dard Search ads and Google Shop­ping Campaigns.

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When it comes to ad copy, you can build in mul­ti­ple declen­sions of each line to ensure you’re get­ting the most gran­u­lar copy pos­si­ble for that prod­uct. What’s more, you can pull in price point and dis­count per­cent­ages dynam­i­cally. As your feed updates, so does your ad copy – with­out impact­ing qual­ity score.

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This means you can cre­ate dynamic, product-level ads – promo or year-round – to scale with­out invest­ing count­less hours of your team’s time that could oth­er­wise be spent on strat­egy. You can deliver the cal­i­bre of copy you want in less time and with less stress.

2. Make Your Ad Groups Respon­sive to Stock Levels

Man­ag­ing what’s live and paused against fluc­tu­at­ing stock lev­els is another sig­nif­i­cant waste of time for SEM teams, espe­cially dur­ing major sales. How­ever, with a few clicks, you can make those account-generating tem­plates work even harder for you.

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Sim­ply spec­ify how you want the tem­plate to react to changes in your feed or Google Mer­chant Cen­tre. You can opt for ad groups to be paused or deleted if the prod­uct row gen­er­at­ing it is miss­ing, as well as set a spe­cific stock level if you’ve got that infor­ma­tion com­ing through. This empow­ers SEM teams to work smarter, sav­ing tens of hours of man­ual work dur­ing major sale peri­ods and sig­nif­i­cantly decreas­ing the mar­gin of error.

3. Opti­mise Your Google Shop­ping Cam­paign Bidding

Google Shop­ping Cam­paigns (or the ad for­mat for­merly known as Prod­uct List­ing Ads) has been the biggest thing to hit Retail in the world of PPC. Dur­ing its rebirth, how­ever, many of us lost some of our con­trol and vis­i­bil­ity over indi­vid­ual prod­ucts, and bids were pushed up to the prod­uct group level.

If there’s one place retail­ers can’t afford to sac­ri­fice atten­tion to detail in order to beat out the com­pe­ti­tion, it’s Google Shop­ping. Would you put the same price tag on a pair of flip flops as a sum­mer party dress in store?

Did I just hear a guffaw?

Then why would you ever con­sider giv­ing those prod­ucts the same CPC bid in your Google Shop­ping Cam­paigns, even though they fall under the same Sum­mer­wear prod­uct group?

Exactly.

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Google Shop­ping SKUs are no less valu­able to your busi­ness than your stan­dard key­words – in fact, we often see them deliv­er­ing higher ROI and lower CPA. In Adobe Media Opti­mizer, we treat every SKU in your Google Mer­chant Cen­tre just as we would an indi­vid­ual key­word. We gather all the per­for­mance and con­ver­sion data for each indi­vid­ual SKU, cre­ate bid mod­els for each SKU – split by device, and then opti­mise against the unique busi­ness goals you set within the tool. This puts the right dig­i­tal price tag each of your prod­ucts and gives you an edge in the mar­ket in a scal­able and accu­rate way.

4. Com­bine Opti­mised Bid­ding Effi­ciency with Bud­get Control

At any sale period, ramp­ing up spend quickly with­out just inflat­ing your CPCs beyond rea­son is a chal­lenge. In Adobe Media Opti­mizer, you can change spend lev­els effec­tively with­out los­ing all the ben­e­fits of port­fo­lio bid trade­offs. Sim­ply tell the bid model you want it to be more reac­tive to the most recent days while you’re ramp­ing up spend.

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This shift in the model’s look-back win­dow can be com­bined with apply­ing con­straints to spe­cific key­words, ad groups, or cam­paigns in the first few days of your sale to appear in top posi­tions, while stay­ing within a max­i­mum desired bid range.

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These tools com­bined empower your team to put your sale strat­egy into prac­tice effi­ciently and effec­tively. So maybe this year, instead of curs­ing the sun­shine stream­ing in through your office win­dow while you’re man­u­ally exe­cut­ing cam­paign after cam­paign, put on your sun­nies, open up Adobe Media Opti­mizer, and enjoy the ener­gis­ing feel­ing of sale period success.

Don’t for­get your flip flops!