Updated: Apr 7, 2021
If I ever got an Amazon Ads bumper sticker (Not that any sane person would ever do that) it would be I <3 Product Targeting. It gives so much and asks for so little. I find this to be an easy way to get sales. Across the accounts I manage, there is about a 50% success rate with product targeting. Like everything - there’s no sure thing when it comes to Amazon ads but I’d say product targeting is as close as it gets. That's why I make it a core portion of my new 2021 Advanced Amazon Ads Masterclass.
I’ve tried product targeting multiple ways. For fiction books, and for non-fiction books. Based on the case studies below, you’ll see it does work for both.
I’ve also found that over time, as Amazon collects more data on your book it sometimes recommends further categories/products to add so it is important to go in every few months and add anything new it suggests. It's also why your auto campaigns will perform better over time.
As for the setup, I always add suggested categories and suggested products. I find that product works well for both category targeting and actual product targeting. You can literally steal your competitors sales when your book appears on their product page.
Names/titles are hidden to protect the authors and books from competition.
Case study 1: Tami - Writing Reference
Notice the click through rate: .057%. This is not a great CTR! This is why I suspect that over time, the results have gotten worse and worse.
Another view here further confirms that when the CTR is low that the next month receives less impressions and vice versa. Although not an overall perfect correlation, one can see the relationship. This means that Amazon is willing to test everything at first but, even despite sales, a low CTR is not favored by The Machine.
The question then becomes: Is it worth trying everything and then let Amazon figure it out? This is only untrue if one unrelated target impacts the results of another. I have spent hours on the phone with Amazon reps trying to figure this out and despite industry knowledge that a low CTR target impacts everything else, so far I’m not buying it.
I think this is why it’s very important to 1. Try every tool The Machine provides you with, even if it just means a few months of great sales and 2. You must keep track of any campaign to make sure money isn’t being blown on a campaign that might have once been very profitable.
A final thing to note here is that there are just 14 products being targeted. In other campaigns you’ll see I’ve targeted a much larger number.
Case study 2: Micky - Business
Another case of the declining profitability. This one has a high CTR but it in a niche that becomes more competitive by the day. This is why it’s important to constantly be targeting the new competitors that come out. This is not something I’ve done well with this account. Obviously over time, more and more books will be added to Amazon so it’s important to stay on top of these and target the new one’s coming out. Total targets: 57.
Case study 3: Jamie - Fiction for Adults
This book is a fiction book as the above two were non-fiction. You can see here that product targeting can also work for fiction books. This ACOS (Calculate your desired ACOS here) is higher but I don’t have enough data to report on whether or not that’s a trend across all fiction books for product targeting.
Make sure you’re running product targeting campaigns! Again, I have plenty of cases where this doesn’t work but didn’t feel the need to prove that something doesn’t work as well. I’m sure that’s an easy thing to believe.
If you aren’t familiar with setting up/managing product targeting there is a module in my course coming out March 31st. I’m sure there’s also plenty of Youtube videos out there which at least provide the basics for getting started.
I just started running product targeting in foreign markets so I will release another post about those once enough data has been collected. For further studies, feel free to check out my Canadian Market Study here or my Bid+ Study Setup here.