Find out what’s happening in the wonderful world of digital marketing with the news roundup segment that kicks off each episode of the EDGE. The latest features host Erin Sparks and Creative Studio Producer Jacob Mann along with special guest Tim Jensen, Campaign Manager at Clix Marketing. Here’s the news roundup from Episode 338 of the award-winning EDGE of the Web podcast: 


Microsoft Advertising’s PromoteIQ integration for retailers and brands is now in beta

From Ginny Marvin on Search Engine Land we learn that Microsoft Advertising’s PromoteIQ integration for retailers and brands is now in beta. In addition to PromoteIQ integration, the on-site search product Microsoft Bing for Commerce is also becoming available to retailers.

  • Erin Sparks: PromoteIQ is an eCommerce marketing platform for retailers to build out and control their own digital vendor marketing program for brands selling on their sites. And it’s probably going to tie into programmatic as well from a larger brokerage environment, so retailers can actually configure a broad range of native ad placements. Retailers can customize programs targeting the inventory of individual brand partners, and even provide a white label dashboard not just for the site manager, but also for your individual advertisers to see how ads are running on the eCommerce advertising site. This would be better than trying to invent your own, as many retailers have had to do.
  • Tim Jensen: And I think it’s important to emphasize how this is on Microsoft, which is an underutilized platform I always preach about to my clients to give it a try. They continue to build out new features like this.
  • Erin Sparks: The big companies like Walmart are building their ad engine platforms and display network platforms in-house, but what are smaller players supposed to do? This move by Microsoft gives them a fighting chance. Google doesn’t have this yet, so good for Microsoft.


4 things Shopping Ads managers need to prepare for in 2020

According to Kirk Williams on Marketing Land, here are 4 things Shopping Ads managers need to prepare for in 2020. As we look ahead to 2020, the Shopping Ads practitioner is likely wondering what the upcoming year has in store for them. Four things to watch as we see the advertising platforms pick up steam with automation and creating efficiencies.

  • Erin Sparks: One of the items mentioned in here is Smart Shopping Campaigns, which is an automation feature in Google. But there are still plenty of players who are a bit reticent about letting Google automate how their precious marketing dollars are spent.
  • Tim Jensen: Smart Shopping in particular is definitely pushing the mindset that Google can basically control your campaign from start to finish. Google is basically saying, “Okay, trust us with very little control to make tweaks.” For me, I take a very cautious approach where I carefully experiment with automation features to really get a feel for how good they are. And I’m starting to trust some of them. But handing the reins over fully to Google? I’d be careful, especially based on what I see them doing with how they prioritizing bids or even how they automatically match queries. I’d say it’s still not trustworthy, particularly for niche products. You can’t just ignore automation entirely, but you also can’t just fully embrace all of it blindly. 
  • Erin Sparks: GIGO still applies: garbage in, garbage out, which means if you’re not feeding in mature, well-constructed data for the machine learning to train on, you’re going to get garbage results. Another point mentioned in the article is feed-free product data. If you do product schema correctly on your website, Google can get product data directly from your site rather than you having to feed it to Google.
  • Tim Jensen: And this necessarily means having some people power to do that data structuring correctly on your website.


How to Track Offline Conversions in Microsoft Advertising

On Search Engine Journal, Tim Jensen reports on How to Track Offline Conversions in Microsoft Advertising. Previously, Tim wrote about how to track offline conversions from Google Ads. Importing data from outside sources, such as phone calls and CRM records, helps to complete the picture of revenue attributable beyond immediate website activity.

  • Erin Sparks: Hey, this news item is from you, Tim! Why is this importing of offline data into Microsoft Advertising (or Google Ads, for that matter) important?
  • Tim Jensen: This is something so many advertisers don’t think about when they’re setting up their accounts. Getting that phone call data, for example, brought into your advertising platform is really important. Export data from your CRM, reformat however is needed, and get it into Microsoft Advertising, along with any other offline data you have that’s relevant, and you’ll be glad you did it. Offline conversion data is very important, so you want it to be part of the mix. “Offline” doesn’t mean it didn’t happen on the internet, it just means it wasn’t something tracked by default on the platform. Get it into the platform and then you’ve got more rich data about keywords that led to a conversion even though it was “offline.” You want to incorporate data from as many conversion points as possible, and this is a way to do that inside the advertising platform.

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