Do NOT do 900% Bid+ Increase

Alrighty - the study was run and the results are in.

The Study: I took 107 campaigns and placed a 900% bid increase for Top of Page and Product Page positioning. I also lowered the bid to 2¢ using an up & down bid strategy. This means that bids could theoretically go as high as 36¢ for a target that Amazon found relevant and would award the top of page or product page positioning. Here was the initial write up for the study.

This was a terrible idea. Every now and again you must own your mistakes and this just happens to be as if scientists discovered a whole new planet - name it mistake, and I bought it and now own it. Some campaigns used the Common Word Strategy while others were just automatic campaigns to give the results some consistency in targeting.

So why was this such an epic mistake? 1. There was little evidence that this improves sales and actually a lot of evidence that it just killed the ads completely. 2. It creates a landmine in your account, that if you're not careful with - could really rack up some insane spend.

  1. There is little evidence that this improves sales and actually a lot of evidence that it just killed ads completely. I took just a few of the campaigns, and walk through the data below. I chose these campaigns because they are representative of the whole results dataset.

Exhibit A:

Amazon Advertising now includes a history log of each campaign and ad group. You're actually able to now see the exact correlation between a change that you've made and the ensuing results. On March 7th, you can see that the 900% change was made. The campaign hadn't been running well. for the period before though so this is more so evidence that it doesn't give the campaign a complete makeover.

When the chart is filtered for CTR and clicks, one could make some assumptions, but still statistically a bit insignificant.

As hypothesized, we did see some initial jumps in the CTR (Blue line). Maybe an outlier, not enough of a jump to call home about.

Exhibit B:

on March 7th, the new strategy was put in place and you can see an immediate dip in sales.

Exhibit C:

Again- here we can see that when the change was made on the 7th - orders did not change. On The 21st, I tried a higher bid and spend shot up without any increase in sales.

Exhibit D:

Here orders remained unchanged when the 900% bid strategy was put in place although one thing to note was that over the long term it does seem that impressions and clicks began a very slow upward trend. Maybe this is a sign that a longer study should be run but in a space that almost requires immediate change, I still wouldn't call this a success.

Exhibit E:

When the change was made on the 7th, it does seem that the CTR, at first, shot up, before falling back down around a week later. Overall it would seem that impressions were all but killed off.

Exhibit F:

The same results can be seen here. Although some days included a very high click through rate, overall impressions were down greatly until the original settings were replaced on the 8th.

Exhibit G:

A great one to end on, hopefully with some useful information. This campaign I took a bit of a different approach. On the 7th of March I actually only did bid increases of 50% while maintaining bids at 16¢. Sales did seem to pick up as you can see after the 7th but overall ACOS is not sustainable.

So overall, the new bid strategy was nothing groundbreaking. Nothing groundbreaking and a landmine. This is the main reason I would suggest against a strategy like this. Let's say you're adjusting your bids and forget to change the 900% back to something much lower, you put yourself at risk to blow up your spend without meaning to. This is the second reason why I think this is overall a bad idea: The creation of risk in your account. Everybody makes mistakes and it would be very easy to raise one of these bids back up without removing the % increase. This is also why, when making huge adjustments, you should A. Check your campaigns daily and B. Make sure you have the appropriate safe guards in place like low daily budgets for your campaigns and always a have your campaigns under a portfolio with a monthly budget attached.

A future study will include the following, <100% increase in bids for Top of Search or Product pages while maintaining a higher bid. I think this new study would be more practical as it wouldn't outright kill impressions, while still testing a higher bid for more coveted showings. If you want to learn more about bidding strategies, be sure to check out my new Amazon Advertising Masterclass.

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