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The 2014 holiday shopping season is nearly upon us, and some shoppers are likely already looking for gifts to purchase. This year, brands and marketers have the chance to connect with shoppers as they search for the perfect products throughout the season.

Data shows that shoppers are increasingly turning to mobile—last year, 40% of Black Friday's online shopping was on mobile. Marketers can use mobile to capture interest at the exact moment a customer needs information, and hopefully make a lasting connection between consumer and brand.

Visit Think with Google to read about all 5 trends marketers should know for the upcoming holiday season.

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(Cross-posted from the Google Inside AdWords Blog)

Earlier this month, we introduced an upgrade tool for advertisers to upgrade to Shopping campaigns quickly and easily. If you’ve already upgraded, then you’re all set. If you haven’t upgraded yet and don’t do it by the end of this month, the following is what will happen to your regular Product Listing Ads (PLA) campaigns come September.
  • Phase 1: Limited functionality of all regular PLA campaigns - Starting September 2nd, you will not be able to edit your product targeting, max. CPC bids, promotional text and destination URLs anymore. Campaign statuses and budgets will remain editable so you can manage your spend until your regular PLA campaigns are auto-upgraded to Shopping campaigns.
  • Phase 2: Auto-upgrade to Shopping campaigns - Throughout September, regular PLA campaigns that received impressions in the preceding few weeks will be auto-upgraded to a new Shopping campaign with a similar campaign structure. Some regular PLA campaigns, settings and bids might not carry over to your new Shopping campaign due to technical limitations. Once your regular PLA campaigns are auto-upgraded, you’ll receive an email notification and your regular PLA campaigns will stop serving PLAs. Further details on the auto-upgrade are in the AdWords Help Center.

Don’t wait to upgrade
As a final reminder, upgrade your campaigns before September to ensure they are set up as you’d like. We recommend using the upgrade tool as it walks you through the upgrade process step by step.

For more information, visit this help center article on the retirement of regular PLA campaigns and the automatic upgrade to Shopping campaigns. If you have any questions, reach out to the AdWords Community Forum or contact us.

Posted by Eric Tholomé, Director of Product Management, Google Shopping

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(Cross-posted from the Inside AdWords Blog)

This is the final stretch. At the end of August, regular Product Listing Ad (PLA) campaigns will retire and be replaced by Shopping campaigns. A majority of you have started upgrading to Shopping campaigns, but if you’re one of the few who haven’t yet, we’re introducing a new upgrade tool that’ll help you upgrade in a matter of clicks.

This tool creates a Shopping campaign from your regular PLA campaign, with a campaign structure and bids based on your regular PLA campaign and historical performance data.
If you haven’t started your upgrade, we encourage you to use this tool as a jumping off point for your Shopping campaigns. Be sure to check your campaign budgets, settings and bids so they’re customized to your business needs.

Note that not all campaigns are compatible with this upgrade tool. If, for example, you use AdWords labels or groupings in your product targeting or inventory filters, you must update your data feed with custom labels before you use the upgrade tool, unless you’re happy to use another attribute to subdivide your inventory in AdWords directly.

You can access the upgrade tool, and check which of your campaigns are eligible, in the Settings tab of your existing Product Listing Ads campaigns. Learn more in the help center.

We’re here to help
We want to make sure you’ve thoughtfully upgraded and are ready for the holidays. Join us for a Learn With Google Hangout on Air on August 12 at 10:00am PST to walk through the new upgrade tool. If you have any questions, reach out to the AdWords Community Forum or contact us.

Posted by Eric Tholomé, Director of Product Management, Google Shopping

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(Cross-posted from the DoubleClick Search Blog)

When consumers act, they act fast. Retailers can get a leg up in the marketplace by responding to consumers’ needs as they surface. While some events, such as holidays and championship games, can be anticipated, others, such as weather-related issues, cannot. Using real-time technologies in search, brands can dynamically adjust their reach, competitiveness and relevancy with their target audiences at the most critical times.

In a new Think Insights article, Casandra Jones, Account Director at iProspect, tells us the benefits of adopting SEM tools that act in real time to achieve search success as these important events and conversations occur.

Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 8.40.04 PM.png

Check out Casandra’s article on the Think Insights page here, and let us know what you think on Twitter or our Google+ page.

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(Cross-posted from the Inside AdWords Blog)

With less than eight weeks left until regular Product Listing Ad (PLA) campaigns retire, we're excited that the majority of PLA advertisers have already started taking advantage of Shopping campaigns, and 85% of these have already fully upgraded. Advertisers who’ve upgraded like Farfetch, US Mattress, LiBoutique and ValuePetSupplies are seeing great success thanks to the retail-centric interface, item-level reporting and competitive benchmark data.

For those of you who’ve upgraded, we’re excited to introduce two new tools to make campaign management, specifically bid optimization, easier.
  • Bulk Uploads: You now have the ability to download a product group report, edit your bids and destination URLs, and import your changes using bulk uploads
  • AdWords Editor: We’ve heard your feedback, and with the latest version of AdWords Editor, you can edit your bids and destination URLs for individual product groups at scale. At this time, AdWords Editor doesn’t support the creation of Shopping campaigns or product groups, so please plan time to create your campaigns and subdivide your product groups directly in AdWords.

If you haven’t upgraded to Shopping campaigns, we strongly encourage you to start as all regular Product Listing Ad campaigns will retire at the end of August.

Many third-party agencies and platforms are upgrading advertisers to Shopping campaigns, so if you work with one, reach out and see how they can help. Here are a few resources to answer questions and get you started:
Posted by Eric Tholomé, Director of Product Management, Google Shopping

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Marketers are increasingly turning to search advertising as a way to learn more about their brands and how they can better connect with consumers. L'Oréal Paris, for example, used search to reach a wide audience looking for information about the popular “ombre” hairstyle in 2012. At the time, this hair treatment was only done in salons, but L'Oréal Paris saw the potential in a home market product and it developed one in just a few months. The brand then created YouTube content devoted to the topic, got widespread press coverage, and owned the search for the term—all of which established brand awareness. In the end, the people who had alerted L'Oréal Paris to the trend saw search ads that linked to helpful information, at the moment when they needed it.


While search ads haven’t typically been part of the brand marketer’s toolkit, some like L’Oreal Paris are catching on to their value in building brand awareness. A recent Google/Ipsos MediaCT meta-study showed that search ads drove an average increase of 6.6 percentage points in top-of-mind awareness, from 8.2% to 14.8%—a lift of 80%.

 A new article on Think with Google looks at how brand marketers are understanding and and connecting with audiences using search. Check out the full collection for more details on the research, case studies and a guide for marketers on how to use search for brand marketing.

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We introduced Shopping campaigns in February to make it easier for you to manage your Product Listing Ads (PLAs). In late August, Shopping campaigns will be the default campaign type for all PLA advertisers.

To help retailers make the most of their Shopping campaigns, we’re excited to introduce a new best practices guide, “Shape Up Your Shopping Campaigns.” It addresses important questions like:
  • How should you structure your campaigns: by product line, performance, or both? 
  • Which feed attributes have the best chance of improving CTR?
  • Are you adjusting bids quickly enough during peak seasons?

Download the “Shape Up Your Shopping Campaigns” guide now to ensure you’re making the most of your PLAs and data feeds.

 For additional help, here are a few resources:
Posted by Matt Lawson, Director, Performance Ads Marketing