Posted by & filed under PPCChat.

This week’s PPCChat session was hosted by Robert Brady  and the  discussion was about various topics such as Amazon advertising, the new AdWords interface, automation and more.


Here is the screencap of the discussion that took place.


ppcchat discussion


Q1: What have you found that works on Amazon Ads? (their ad business generated $1.7B in revenue last year) Provide context around industry/product if possible.


Their product listing ads have an ROI that crushes Google and Facebook DPA, but I struggle with volume. – @JonKagan

I see the most success in Headline Search (HVAC both B2B and B2C). Sponsored Ads are hard in this industry due to the various sizes available. Headline lets me control what sizes are showing, residential or commercial, etc. and total control over messaging. – @DumkeBallZ

I’ve been doing more in Amazon this year and getting great results with sponsored products campaigns in the gardening space (seasonal, so you gotta get on it now). It’s easy to set up and I’ve found the automatic targeting does way better than the keyword targeting. – @robert_brady

I have actually seen the keyword targeting perform better but still very new to the Amazon game. – @KyleShurtz


Q2. Did you see @PPCKirk’s tweet about Amazon remarketing? This could be huge. Thoughts? Would this get you to jump on the Amazon bandwagon?


Considering all the inventory they own and probably have access to, it should be a no brainer to get on board. – @_GilHong

just got some serious competition. But the off site capabilities are what I want to really know more on. – @JonKagan

Amazon is a terrifying competitor and I think they’ll light a fire under Google, Facebook, Criteo, etc. to do better. I will definitely give it a whirl when it comes out. – @robert_brady


Q3: Shifting gears, AdWords announced the old interface will be gone by the end of the year, but won’t mess with the holiday season. When do you see it happening?


Knowing google’s past rollouts, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was right at the end of Q3… there will still be plenty of panic to ensue for the holiday season. – @_GilHong

Jumping in late bc I don’t do ecomm. I think it depends on 1) how quickly they get everything from old UI imported to new UI as promised and 2) adoption/how much people are still complaining about missing features. Early Q4 is my guess. – @akaEmmaLouise

My money is mid to late Q3 is when they make it default, Q4 is to risky due to ecomm peak season. – @JonKagan

I would guess it happens sometime in the 30 days after Labor Day. If it ends up switching in October they missed their deadlines. – @robert_brady


Q4: What are you doing to get ready for it?


A combo of inhouse training for junior staff and holding an anti-New UI rally. – @JonKagan

I’ve been using the new UI for a while now (unless there’s something I can’t find/figure out and have to go to old UI) and have gotten pretty used to it. So I guess not much, other than using it. – @akaEmmaLouise

Making sure we don’t lose efficiency by scaling as much work via AWE, Bulksheets, and 3rd party management. And for anything that is new-UI exclusive, creating new processes to standardize. – @_GilHong

I’ve been about 90% new interface for the last couple weeks. I’m getting used to it. – @robert_brady


Q5: What positives have you found in the new UI?


I like that some of the new suggestions are actually useful… like this language targeting suggestion. – @_GilHong

Resizing columns and being able to find and replace in ad copy are the two that immediately come to mind. In addition to new ad types/features only available in new UI. –  @akaEmmaLouise

I freaked out when I figured out I could resize columns. Great add! Felt so right I couldn’t believe it hadn’t always been there! – @HeatherCooan

I am a huge fan of the overview tab and all the visualization. Makes for quick insights on trends etc. – @KyleShurtz

I am a fan of the combined demo insights for HHI, parental status, etc. Also the ad preview tool is nice. – @JonKagan

Variable Analysis. Before I had to make ad groups age groups to see age by HHI or age by device on a specific network. The demographics > combination tool solves this partly. That said I still pull all the data out of AdWords for analysis and optimization. – @coryhenke

I like the Auction Insights Graphics you see in the new interface and also the expanded recommendations. – @dotcentrex

The recommendations in the new UI are ACTUALLY useful! – @JuliaVyse

I love the Promotions Extension. The custom affinity audiences are pretty cool too. And the new conversion tracking system is an improvement. – @robert_brady


Q6: What bugs you about the new UI or makes your life harder?


Call me crazy but I really think it’s much better. The thing that is bugging me now is the filtering system and the dropdown menu instead of just having the options listed out.  – @KyleShurtz

Having to hover over KPIs to see Experiment results is a bummer. I liked how the old UI had control and result data on two diff lines for you to check all at once. –  @akaEmmaLouise

Honestly, I don’t have enough characters to write it. The reality is, they are fixing something that is not broken, and forcing us to accept it. Just like enhanced campaigns, and we all remember how well that worked out. – @JonKagan

Some of the visual sizing aspect ratios are a pain to deal with on a laptop screen. – @_GilHong

Two main issues. First, it is NOT faster. Don’t care how many times they try to convince me. Second, why could default columns not carry over? It adds this huge switching cost that seems unnecessary. – @robert_brady

icons rather than labels…what am I a mystic? Tell me what the thing is! – @JuliaVyse


Q7: Let’s talk a little automation in the context of transparency: Do you think platforms will open the automation black boxes? Give a little insight perhaps? Hide them better? Because it worries me how little I know about why they work/don’t work.


Fundamentally, it’s hard for PPC’ers to give up control, but as PPC grows more complex (with targeting, attribution, bidding) we’ll have to accept where certain automation is a better use of our time. (i.e. traditional A/B testing vs. 3+ ads per adgroup). Also with the advent of more ad tech available via scripts and API, I’d almost expect more mid-level players to start developing their own in-house automation tools.- @_GilHong

Don’t think so. I don’t see how they would be incentivized to let us in behind the curtain. – @Howdy_Doughty

I suspect it will remain a black box, otherwise the market becomes saturated with no real diffierentiators. – @JonKagan


Q8: How do we become “cyborg” marketers without turning into the Borg? (able to use the technology to improve our abilities)


This is where I think some transparency would help. If I know how the tech works, I know when it’s best to use it, how it’s best to use it, etc. Without the knowledge you’re just a Borg. – @robert_brady

I recently had metal surgically implanted to fix my broken leg, does that count?! Seriously, we’ll soon need some ML help to keep up with ad platforms. – @heyglenns

Dedicate some time to be proactive on where you can add additional value for your accounts/clients/teams with new tools or analyses. – @_GilHong

Further adoption of ad serving platforms by smaller operations, but first the vendor needs to price better. – @JonKagan

I just got into some really good conversations with programmatic people about this. they really liked that I was asking how long their bot had been learning, what data it’s fed, how it works. They want to show off their tech. let them! – @JuliaVyse


Q9: What are your thoughts on the ad spacing as pointed out by today?


It makes me really curious how many SERP product managers Google has, and how many concurrent tests they’re all running to prove their hypotheses (everyone remember the big “Ad” color label test?). – @_GilHong

For a situation like that it’s probably best to either do just snippets or callouts. Makes their agency look like they wrote a massive run-on sentence. – @jdb426

I know i’m late – but I’ll take every opportunity to mention that they need to show advertisers what performance looks like for the different kw/sq/ad version/extension experience/mix instead of aggregating each individually. – @chriskos

honestly, for once, I’m completely indifferent on it. – @JonKagan

I’ve always felt like AdWords made a mess of ads with more than 1 or 2 extensions. At that point there’s no cohesiveness, messaging gets muddled and it’s crap for readability. – @robert_brady


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