Automation and machine learning get a lot of attention in the digital marketing industry. And with good reason: they help businesses become more efficient by automating repetitive jobs, freeing up more time for strategy and creativity. It might come as a surprise, then, to learn that only 2% of marketers are using best-in-class techniques to improve their day-to-day process.
One company that is starting to see the benefits of using automation to do the heavy lifting is Hungarian mobile accessories retailer Tok-Shop. Having a portfolio of over 30,000 mostly in stock products helps meet high demand and short deadlines. But it comes at a cost — managing ads for such a wide range of products takes considerable effort.
On top of stock availability, retailers have to account for variables such as time of day, device, and messaging in their ads. All these factors change on a daily – if not hourly – basis, making for complex campaign management.
Tok-Shop teamed up with Growww Digital to test automated bidding solutions and see whether they could help ease demands on the marketers and increase return on ad spend (ROAS) more efficiently.
“The mobile phone accessories industry is highly competitive, so we have to maintain our market advantage with the latest innovations,” explains Zoltán Flekács, head of performance at Growww Digital.
Testing for the right solution
Following in-depth analysis, the Tok-Shop team found that the best way to tackle the complexity of their campaigns was with Smart Bidding. The automated solution is a major time-saver when it comes to looking through Search query reports and adding negative keywords. Until recently, the team performed these operations manually: now machine learning maps these signals from device, time of day, location, and matches them with the most relevant customers.
In order to give the algorithms enough data to make informed bidding decisions — and maximise results –, Tok-Shop applied a portfolio strategy. When the team grouped multiple campaigns together, this approach helped the system gather and interpret data faster, making for more agile campaign optimisation.
Saving time and budget with automation
The retailer allocated 60% of its advertising spend to Smart Bidding, and saw a 10% improvement in ROAS through Q1 to Q3 of 2019. But the biggest game-changer was saving 35% of time on optimisation — time the team reallocated to further analysis and testing new features.
This has already proved productive, too. After delving deeper into insights and strategy, Tok-Shop decided to venture beyond Search, putting automation to work with Smart Shopping and dynamic remarketing campaigns.
The company is also looking beyond local markets, and working on a strategy that relies on automation to reach customers outside of Hungary. “We’re confident automation is the way to go forward in 2020,” Flekács tells us.