Companies that sell products online know that consumers move through different stages of the buying cycle before making a purchase. Consumers’ buying intentions move along a continuum from information gathering to shopping and finally to purchase. As consumers move through the different stages of the buying cycle, it is important to make sure that advertising strategies and performance measurements are aligned with the consumer’s buying stage.
The team at ClickSweeper understands the challenges that product based companies face in attempting to address the different buying stages through their search engine marketing, bidding strategies and performance measurements. To address these challenges we have developed solutions to match the bidding strategies and performance measurement with the consumer's buying stage. ClickSweeper solutions for each buying stage are:
1. Information gathering stage - At this stage, consumers are gathering information about products that can meet their needs. They do not have a specific product in mind and do not search for a particular product. At this stage marketers are trying to connect with prospects based on site content. Google and Bing, through their advertising display network, offer context matching to attract prospects. ClickSweeper offers marketers more power by giving them the ability to control ad position, ad spending and bid price. It also shows the performance of retargeting campaign and gives control on target position.
2. Research stage - At this stage, consumers have done their initial information gathering and now visit a site to conduct research on the products that can meet their needs. While consumers have moved further along the buying cycle, they are still far from decision making. At this stage in the buying cycle, marketers are focused on maximizing visitor engagement with the site. Since engagement is a key objective at this stage, ClickSweeper offers bid strategy and performance measurement based on Google Analytics data.
3. Shopping stage - Once consumers have reached the shopping stage, they have narrowed down the product options that will meet their needs. Marketers are focused on optimizing keyword performance by improving the relevance to the product being sought. Keyword performance is measured by cost per acquisition or return on ad spend (ROAS). For this stage, ClickSweeper offers conversion based bidding strategy and performance measurement.
4. Purchase stage - At this stage in the buying cycle, the consumer knows not only the product name but also details such as the model name of the product that they intend to purchase. When advertising to consumers in the Purchase stage, Google offers Product Listing Ads as sponsored search ads that include rich product information such as product image, price, and merchant name, without requiring additional keywords or ad text. Because these ads are displayed with a product image along with pricing information in a favorable page location, they receive more attention than other text based ads.
For these ads to be enabled and optimized in ClickSweeper, advertisers import product information including pricing, product image and shipping information. Once this data has been imported, ClickSweeper allows product based keywords to be controlled by keyword bidding such as keyword ROI or conversion driven bidding. ClickSweeper includes the following features for managing Product Listing Ads:
- Manage bid prices automatically based on campaign goals (algorithm selections)
- Automatic review of performance and bid updates
- Option to update bids manually