How e-commerce players leverage smart display ads to drive new customers

Chantal Azzi, Amjad Darwish / March 2020

Finding new customers in a competitive market can be challenging. This is due in no small part to the high cost of customer acquisition. With so much pressure on the bottom line, businesses often face the dilemma of choosing between growth and profitability.

How can well-known brands find new, efficient ways to expand their reach and acquire new users while maintaining ROI?

With a range of regional and international brands, Landmark Group retails apparel, footwear, consumer electronics, cosmetics, beauty, home improvement, and baby products in MENA. The team seized on the opportunity to test a new approach, centred around Smart Display Campaigns, a solution that helps automate targeting, bidding, and ad creation. Here are the four steps to their success.

  1. Filter effectively

How can a business ensure that a customer is new? Filtering out users that have been on your site in the last month can be an effective way to reach truly new customers. The Landmark Group’s approach was to exclude those who had viewed a product on their sites in the past 30 days, to focus their efforts on first-time visitors.

2. Maximise chances to optimise

Using advanced machine learning to automatically optimise bids and offer auction-time bidding capabilities can help tailor bids for each and every auction. Landmark Group started with a Maximise conversions bidding strategy to allow the campaign to ramp up. This gave them sufficient bandwidth to learn and optimise as activity continued.

3. Make it relevant

It is essential to offer the right products in ads. To that end, Landmark Group linked the Smart Display Campaigns with their Google Merchant Center feed to ensure that relevant products would appear in all of their ads. They maximised the creative template to rotate as many assets as possible — up to five headlines, five description lines, five logos, and 15 marketing images — using responsive display ads.


4. Track your KPIs

Finally, Landmark Group took care to put the right measurements in place to track key metrics, such as those available using Google Ads tags to measure view-through conversions. This allowed the campaign to learn faster, then stabilise for about two weeks with the team making minimal changes. After four weeks, they assessed the overall performance and results.

What they found was that their metrics had dramatically improved, with increased awareness and business growth.

“Smart display campaigns have been essential in helping us drive product views and brand awareness for new customers,” says Shaheer Usmani, marketing and digital manager for the brand Lifestyle, Landmark Group. “Ever since the launch, our remarketing lists have grown by 350% while driving a return on investment of 1.54.”

As a result of their successes, Landmark Group plans to use Smart Display Campaigns as part of an always-on user acquisition channel — and aims to scale the strategy across more brands within their network.

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