How Feed-Driven Ads Change the e-Commerce Game

[This article is currently only available in English] Feed-driven ads are ads that can be created dynamically, based on your product feed, to allow you to advertise multiple products/services at scale.  Since they are created with product data, their information will always be up-to-date. Feed-driven ads increase chances for e-commerce businesses to have their products seen and therefore increase traffic and conversions. Giacomo Iotti, Performance Marketing Manager at SMG Swiss Marketplace Group has shared with us his knowledge of feed-driven marketing and how it is relevant for marketplaces and classifieds online. For a quick overview of feed-driven ads, you can watch Giacomo’s answers to three questions below.

‍Making the Most of Feed-Driven Ads 

Feed-driven ads aren’t a necessity for every business. However, in fields like retail, usually there is a large range of products that have fluctuating prices and availability. Those types of products would require a huge manual effort to keep up-to-date within different campaigns. That’s where feed-driven ads come into play. They allow you to advertise the full range of products with little manual effort, whilst also updating your existing ads with the latest price and availability data. Your ads are automatically more relevant and product-specific. That will in turn result in a higher click through rate and a lower cost per click. This technique is not limited to search ads, but can for instance also be used for ad channels such as shopping, dynamic ads on social media, and display ads. 

A lot of work goes into feed-based marketing, and setting specific goals before dealing with the technical complexities is crucial. Whilst a great product feed is essential for a campaign to succeed, it is just as important to have a solid strategy. You need to ask yourself what you want to achieve with feed-based campaigns. Once you have laid out your strategy and know exactly what the goal of your feed-based campaign is, you can tackle the technical challenges. ‍

Feed-Driven Ads at SMG 

When approaching feed-driven ads, you need to be aware of the technical aspect of them. Creating a good-quality feed that is updated, at least daily, is essential but also challenging. Not only because of its initial setup but because different ad platforms (like Google or Facebook Ads) tend to have different requirements for the feeds. Because of that, you need to be able to customise your feed for each channel. This is especially challenging if you are dealing with a very large database. For a marketing team it would be advisable to liase with a Data Intelligence team to create and edit those feeds. Platforms like Feedonomics have found a way to make the whole process easier and also faster. At SMG we use this platform to support us in our feed-based advertising journey, since it becomes increasingly more necessary to properly advertise the product range on the different marketplaces. 

Marketplaces and classifieds are a prime example of why feed-based campaigns are important in saving a lot of time and effort. Marketplaces advertise thousands of products, from different product categories and targeting very different audiences. Feed-based marketing automates the process of advertising thousands of different products to different people. 

Of course, marketplaces have their own great challenges. Unlike a regular retailer, marketplaces list products from private sellers. Whilst there are certain requirements for a listing, such as title, description, etc., the quality of the listings can be very inconsistent. The required listing information and general metadata is predominantly entered by someone who is not an e-commerce expert and who does not think about ad campaigns when creating their listing. However, promoting product pages instead of category pages is crucial for the platform to perform well. The following case study done by Google, looking at Ricardo ROAS highlights this nicely. 

Case Study: Ricardo

An analysis done by SMG on the platform Ricardo showed that customers who ended up directly on product pages on ricardo.ch generated more revenue than users who visited category pages. Based on this information, it made sense to promote product pages in paid search as opposed to entire categories. However, the manual creation and optimization of ads for millions of products poses a problem. And this is where a feed-based solution came into play. 

Giacomo Iotti set up a feed-based solution using Inventory Management Campaigns in Google Search Ads 360 (SA360) on Ricardo. The team was therefore able to automate the creation of multiple campaigns with a much smaller time effort. The same approach was later also used on SMG automotive brand CAR FOR YOU. The implementation and onboarding of Google Search Ads 360, plus Inventory Management Campaigns workshops, was handled by digital agency, Trakken. SMG also teamed up with Feedonomics in this instance.

The setup of this feed-based solution resulted in a 29% increase in ROAS for Ricardo and a 3% drop in CPA for CAR FOR YOU.

(Source: Google Case Study)

The Takeaway

The worldwide events over the past two years have sped up the necessity of e-commerce and digitalisation of traditional retail businesses. Therefore, feed-based marketing gained a lot of momentum that won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Especially when applied to e-commerce. Feed-based marketing allows ads to be more customised, relevant and therefore tendentially less disruptive. We are all tired of having our online experience distracted by irrelevant ads. Feed-based marketing could change this and make for a more pleasant ad experience.

Feed Driven Ads in a Nutshell

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Our Expert

Giacomo Iotti, Performance Marketing Manager at SMG Swiss Marketplace Group
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