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West Coast Kix Google Online Marketing Challenge 2013 Post-Campaign Report

Ashley Jenkins Matt Richardson Khanh Pham Adam Vasquez Ariana Hooper Tavish Faggart


Executive Summary Major Goals: Initial goals for our AdWords campaign included a $1.75 CPC, 10 daily impressions, and 2 daily clicks. As a result, our strategy focused on obtaining impressions and clicks by leveraging the display network, mobile-users, and the popularity of in-stock brands. Our campaign lasted from April 11th to May 3rd. Over the course of our campaign, we received 161 clicks and 100,568 impressions at a total cost of $245.63.

Key Results: Our team’s most successful campaign was ‘Apparel’ with 70 clicks and 29,473 impressions (29% of total campaign). Our most successful ad from this campaign accounted for 34% of the campaign’s clicks. ‘Events’ was the most successful Ad Group in terms of total clicks received. ‘Events’ received 39 clicks and 26% of total campaign impressions by using two time-sensitive ads. Conclusion: Apparel items receive more clicks than the brands themselves. Surprisingly, footwear was not as successful. Timely ads that promote in-store events seem to draw attention well. Future Online Marketing Recommendations: Utilizing split-testing would be beneficial in optimizing ads and understanding Improving the call-to-action could be more beneficial in incentivizing clicks. Adding an option for email registration could also record visits in a more meaningful way than clicks.


Industry Component Campaign Overview Major Goals: Given the size and scope of our client’s current online operations, awareness was our GOMC objective. Initial goals for our AdWords campaign included a $1.75 CPC, 10 daily impressions, and 2 daily clicks. As a result, our strategy focused on obtaining impressions and clicks by leveraging the display network, mobile-users, and the popularity of instock brands. Operational Details: Our campaign lasted from April 11th to May 3rd. Over the course of our three-week campaign, we received 161 clicks and 100,568 impressions at a total cost of $245.63. We also recorded an average CTR of 0.16% and an average CPC of $1.53.

Evolution of Campaign Strategy: Major changes in our campaign involved tailoring our Ad Groups and respective keywords for our campaigns. For the Apparel campaign, we downsized from 21 Ad Groups at the start of our campaign to 12 Ad Groups during the third week of our campaign. An initial cause for this shift was the similarity between Ad Groups. For example, groups such as ‘Dresses’ and ‘Dresses 2’ shared keywords. Repetitive keywords caused us to overspend for men’s apparel keywords within the Apparel campaign as well. Improving our team’s focus was another reason for tailoring our Ad Groups. With a leaner array of Ad Groups, each member can focus on keyword optimization and quality of the ad. Prior to this change, the task of checking keyword cost proved to be unnecessarily time-


consuming because the quality of the keywords remained low. Paired with decreasing the overall number of Ad Groups, our team began monitoring the quality of keywords during the second week of our campaign. Improving the keyword quality decreases the CPC for that keyword while improving the likelihood that our ads appear. By setting a standard score of 3 for each keyword used, we could edit and then eliminate keywords with quality scores that remained below 3 and focus on adding keywords with quality scores above 3. Improving the score often involved specifying the keyword chosen. Rather than “tank” which could infer “gas tank” or “fish tank”, we opted for terms such as “men’s tank top”. In addition to increasing specificity, our team also improved the number and quality of negative keywords per Ad Group. A final major change our team made was split testing ads within an Ad Group. These ads would involve using the same keywords but variations in the copy could determine how well web searchers respond to the ads and provide a method of optimizing ad creation and CPC. Overall, deleting some Ad Groups and keywords allowed us to save more money to focus on other campaigns/Ad Groups that were doing well. Also by deleting/changing the keywords, we were able to prevent people from clicking on

our ads that may have been irrelevant to

their search. Split-testing two ads per group helped us see what ad was more effective and potentially could be used after this challenge. Key Results Overall performance: Our team’s most successful campaign was ‘Apparel’ with 70 clicks and 29,473 impressions (29% of total campaign). The most successful ad within this campaign catered towards dress seeking shoppers. The ad, “Summer Dresses”, received 24 clicks and 2,997 impressions. The ad’s CTR was 0.80% and received a CPC of $1.59, slightly lower than the campaign average of $1.74. The progress of the ad is featured below:


‘Events’ was the most successful Ad Group in terms of total clicks received. ‘Events’ received 39 clicks and 26% of total campaign impressions by using two time-sensitive ads. A one-day sidewalk sale was the first event. The ad forwarded visitors to the related Facebook event. Average CPC for this ad was $2.07 and collected 21 clicks. The second ad corresponded with Richmond’s annual fashion week.

The ad received 18 clicks at an average CPC of $1.04. One of the reasons this ad received a similar amount of clicks at a lower cost is due to our team’s efforts in optimizing keywords to increase quality score and decrease average cost per click. Our team also applied a mix of higher cost keywords with lower cost keywords. Examples of which include “richmond fashion”, which received 6 clicks at an average CPC of $0.72 and “carytown richmond”, which received the same number of clicks at an average CPC of $1.13. One remarkable observation about these keywords was their difference in CTR. “Richmond fashion” received a CTR of 0.08% while “carytown richmond” received a CTR of 0.42%. Ineffective/Effective keywords: While “Summer Dresses” was a successful ad, many of the keywords that led to the clicks it received were general. Keywords such as “dresses” and “womens dresses” were not specific enough for our retailer’s casual dress focus. As a result, shoppers seeking prom dresses or dresses for role playing clicked on our ads and were likely


disappointed. In “California Dresses”, our second attempt at a dress-based ad, we opted for a more specific approach and included negative keywords such as “formal wear” and “professional dress”. Unfortunately, we did not make these revisions early enough. Within the Events Ad Group, “urban fashion” gained a quality score of 10/10. The keyword received 4 impressions and 0 clicks. While an apt descriptor, the term did not attract nearly as many viewers as its lower quality counterparts. Success/Failure: Accessories proved to be our least successful campaign. During the three-week period, our accessories campaign received 1 click and 989 impressions or 0.98% of total impressions received. From our findings, the bags featured on our client’s website do not appear to be an item for which shoppers search. Our client’s Google Analytics page assisted in the decision to opt for a mobile approach. In the month prior to our campaign, 32.4% of website visits originated from mobile devices. During our campaign, the ratio of mobile to non-mobile users was about the same at 33.7%. Overall website visits increased by 6.7% in the month during our campaign from 1666 to 1786. While research played a strong role in optimizing ads for mobile interaction, the display network was not as well understood. As a result, our ads were featured on partner sites such as about.com, safestchina.com, and yahoo.com. Our team discovered sites like these were the origin of many visitors as 40 clicks went towards the display network at an average CPC of $1.28. Overall, 20.5% of our budget was spent on these clicks. Stronger targeting of partner sites could be useful but focusing and honing keywords would be a better investment of time and budget. Conclusions: Between April 11 and May 3, 2013, our team received 161 clicks and 100,568 impressions in our Google AdWords Campaign. Our average CPC was $1.53, slightly


lower than our goal of $1.75 per click. 20.5% of our budget was spent on the alternatively less expensive but less efficient display network ads. Recommendations: Future campaigns would benefit from split-testing ads for mobileonly and desktop-only audiences. Such testing would showcase responsiveness and capture the success of either platform more accurately. Given the success of our apparel campaign, it would benefit our client to focus search-advertising efforts on apparel and seek alternative methods of marketing footwear. Based on the performance of our ‘Apparel’ and ‘Local’ campaigns, focusing on connecting with the community and leveraging the style of clothing rather than the brand is key to acquiring new eyes online and potential visits in-store. Brand loyalty does not appear to be as strong with the group of customers searching online. Learning Component Learning Objectives + Outcomes: From learning Google AdWords to adapting to Group/Client Dynamics, the Google Online Marketing Challenge was a valuable experience. Many of us wanted to gain the experience for future interests or careers. We hoped to learn how to promote a business through search marketing. Group Dynamics: Availability was a challenge. Each member had conflicting schedules. Gathering all team members together was difficult. We created a private Facebook group to inform each other of the campaign’s progress and offline meetings. However, this hurdle proved to be greater than anticipated. As the semester came to a close, the group’s communication and availability greatly diminished. In addition to this, the large number of Ad Groups was too large for an individual to check on a daily basis, even with assigned campaigns. While our team decreased the number of active Ad Groups, participation remained at an all-time low.


Client Dynamics: Client communications began well but over the course of the campaign, coordination between members increased the difficulty of communication with the client. During our campaign, the company’s website was undergoing changes. As a result, the products online did not reflect the in-store availability. Our team requested a list of current inventory but was unable to receive it in time to make changes to our campaign. Future Recommendations: While our campaign began as a collaborative experience, overall participation declined as the spring semester entered its busiest time of the year: finals week. By starting the campaign at an earlier time in the semester, team members will be able to fully commit to the campaign and share the responsibilities and experience. In addition to this, our team believes that learning more about the client at an earlier stage could have improved our online marketing challenge experience. In particular, going into more depth about goals and objectives may have made it easier for us to create campaigns and Ad Groups. Maintaining communication with one another and the client would have made this process more enjoyable. Such improvements in establishing objectives and maintaining communication would have benefited all parties involved.


2013 Google Online Marketing Challenge