Say what? Are we seriously talking about Back to School shopping in May? Why, yes, yes we are. But don’t blame me; blame Bing Ads. Okay, you can blame me, too. But in all seriousness, it IS May…so it’s a pretty good time to start thinking about your Back to School campaigns and working on your creative and such, given that it’s a few (very) short months until you’re going to want those ads to be hitting the SERPs. In other words, get on it.

It seems everyone’s talking Google Shopping this week, or shopping in general, or shopping on mobile…you get the picture. It’s a shopaholic’s paradise. Shop from your phone, shop from your tablet, shop on your laptop at the office, and then stop at the store on your way home to score the sweet deals you discovered that day…thanks to PPC, of course.

The world’s a-changin’. Are you keeping up? Let’s see what changes are in the air this week.

 

Hey Google, what’s new?

Want to reach more customers with Google Shopping? Of course you do. Google Shopping helps businesses like yours tap into the power of customer intent to reach your target consumers with the right message, at the right time.

In this post, Google highlights two companies which have realized success with Google Shopping ads.

Paper Culture, an environmentally conscious stationary company, cites a primary challenge of lacking the widespread brand recognition its competitors have. But with Google Shopping, Paper Culture is able to highlight its designs within the search results thanks to the image-focused approach of Shopping campaigns.

With Google Shopping, each visitor that clicks on an ad is an already interested buyer. With Google Shopping, Paper Culture:

  • Decreased its cost-per-lead (CPL) by 50%
  • Saw a 3x ROI overall when compared to other online channels

PUBLIC Bikes, a multi-channel retailer that sells colorful, trendy city bikes, designs, manufactures, and sells their own merchandise. So it’s not too surprising that the PUBLIC Bikes team often found itself short on time and resources.

PUBLIC Bikes used Google Shopping to discover new customers outside their brick-and-mortar stores. The company benefits from Google Shopping in several ways:

  • Bidding by product allows for easy prioritization of new or sale items
  • Realized a 2x ROI for every dollar spent on Google Shopping compared to other online channels

Check out Google for Retail, a one-stop to learn more about Google’s solutions for retailers of all sizes, and Shopping Campaigns, a new page for small businesses designed to be a go-to resource for getting set up on Google Shopping and “making the world your store front.”

DoubleClick advertisers will now be able to purchase Twitter’s Promoted Tweet Ad Format via the DoubleClick Bid Manager, across mobile (including in-app) and desktop. This is part of DoubleClick Digital Marketing’s ongoing effort to give advertisers a complete picture of how their various digital marketing channels work together, across mobile and desktop, video and native. Read this post for more details.

One of the biggest challenges in marketing is identifying the true impact of a specific change in marketing spend. This post from Think with Google outlines three keys to doing it right.

 

What’s the latest, Bing?

Remember this post from Bing regarding trademark policy? This week, Bing takes a closer look at trademark escalations and how to get an ID link for an ad query. If you encounter ads you feel are in violation of trademark, this article describes the R-link, with instructions on how to retrieve it, and other tips for submitting the trademark escalation form.

Bing is already talking back-to-school. But wait, school isn’t even out yet! This is true, but as Shelby Gagnon points out, “From a consumer’s perspective, talking about Back-to-School (BTS) shopping before the kids are even out of school for the summer may seem a bit early. From an advertiser’s perspective, however, knowing that many consumers start their BTS shopping mid-summer, it makes perfect sense.”

So if you’re playing it smart and planning ahead, here are a few things to know about the 2015 BTS shopping season:

  • 45 percent of back-to-school purchases for college and 38 percent of K-12 items were sold online. Expect the online shopping trend to continue.
  • Remember that online experiences influence in-store shopping, with many shoppers researching products and prices online before heading out to the store.

As for Bing’s 7 tips to rule back to school, here’s a sneak peek:

  1. Electronics rule.
  2. Mom: Chief Mobile Officer.
  3. Move to mobile.
  4. Mix and match.
  5. Kids are flaunting it. (Ever heard of a “haul” video?)
  6. Need to know.
  7. Time it right.

Of course now you gotta know more, so head over to this post for all the details. Be sure to read all the way through, because at the end you can check out Bing’s Back to School: Insights for digital marketers to ace sales this season presentation. Or, you can go straight to the presentation here.

 

And a look around the web…

We’ve talked about the value of combining PPC with other marketing strategies. This post from PPC Hero talks about the value of PPC as a tool to fill other marketing funnels with leads and cross-selling opportunities, introducing a full white paper on The Impact of PPC On Your Business.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could synergize your audience insights from your Facebook and Bing Ads campaigns? Well, you can, and it doesn’t have to be an incredibly cumbersome process. This post from 3Q Digital provides a step-by-step tutorial on how to get it done.

Perplexed by the in-store visits metric? So were many retailers who wondered exactly how that metric was calculated – or is it an estimate? Clix Marketing was at HeroConf in Portland, Oregon this week and got the explanation from Google’s Director of Product Management for Mobile Search Ads, Surojit Chatterjee, which he presented during his address. Bottom line? It’s a more accurate metric than many of us probably gave Google credit for (silly us!). Details here.

What’s the problem with traditional rate cards, considered a necessity in the comparison shopping engine (CSE) space for years? Well, the primary issue is that they don’t allow advertisers to bid products to their full value. But the traditional rate card system may be on its way out, according to the RKGblog. Read this post for more information.

Do you know what the three biggest PPC mistakes are in your PPC account? WordStream reveals the big three – and how to rectify them – in this post.

 

Well, that’s it for another fun week in the world of PPC, folks. If you’re planning your Back to School PPC campaigns this weekend, I strongly advise not mentioning this endeavor to your kids. At least until, say, July. Thank me later for preserving your sanity.