Experiment: How Ito Yokado maximized reach with an enhanced bidding strategy

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What we set out to test

Can bidding on impressions using viewable cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) help businesses make the best use of online display ads to support in-store business? 

The background

Ito-Yokado, the most-visited superstore chain in Japan, was eager to explore how it could support its brick-and-mortar business using online ads. With most of its revenue coming from physical stores, the company historically promoted its limited-time sales with traditional paper leaflets and flyers. But unlike leaflets, online advertising with the right display ads and bidding strategy will ensure companies only incur costs when someone views the ad. To enhance its marketing spend, Ito-Yokado used Google Display Network solutions to make the most of its temporary promotions.

Ito-Yokado’s goal was to manage its campaigns in real time and reach relevant audiences at scale. Originally, the brand ran display ads and used cost-per-click (CPC) bidding, which minimized the cost of driving traffic to its website. But in order to maximize viewability and drive top-of-mind awareness of its in-store promotions, the superstore wanted to explore what a viewable CPM bidding strategy could do.

How we set the experiment up

To test the impact of different bidding strategies on viewable reach and efficiency of display ad campaigns, Ito-Yokado set up a controlled experiment:

  • Control group: Ito-Yokado used a CPC bidding strategy to optimize its display campaign toward online traffic.
  • Test group: Ito-Yokado used a viewable CPM bidding strategy to optimize its display campaign toward visibility.

The experiment ran for five days in a single Japanese market, and the ads had the same audience settings, creative, and cost as the test group.

Solutions we used

What we learned

Display ads can drive promotional awareness of the right message at the right time, making them a viable online alternative to traditional print flyers.

Viewable CPM bidding for display ads can deliver viewed impressions at scale with a lower cost, making it a highly suitable bidding strategy for campaigns with branding objectives. 

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This case study is part of the Experiment with Google Ads program. 

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