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Using your Google Merchant Feed for dynamic display campaigns

Apr 2, 2014


Part Two of a Series

The Dynamic Ad Playbook is intended to educate advertisers and agencies about the benefits of dynamic / personalized ad creative, how it works, and how it can be implemented in campaigns.

Summary: Google Product Listing Ads and AdWords Dynamic Remarketing are both great, but this post shows you how to expand beyond the confines of AdWords and launch standalone dynamic ads using your existing Google Merchant Feed.

Think outside the Google-box

Google AdWords Dynamic Remarketing is a great service; it gives merchants of all sizes a way to launch dynamic display ads and personalized retargeting campaigns.

However, there are three major drawbacks to relying exclusively on AdWords Dynamic Remarketing:

  • You're limited to AdWords display ad inventory. True, AdWords includes a lot of inventory, but it's only a fraction of all display inventory, and AdWords doesn't even offer access to all of Google's display inventory. Plus, you can't do direct publisher buys through AdWords.
  • You have to run and manage your campaigns via the AdWords interface. This means you can’t use other DSPs like Exact Drive, DoubleClick Bid Manager, or Perfect Audience. It's not that there’s anything wrong with the AdWords interface, but you'll get way tighter control over your campaigns and better long-term performance if you can take advantage of the capabilities that other DSPs offer.
  • You can't provide your own ad creative. You're restricted to bland Google templates instead of top-notch custom display ad creative like this. Remember, you're not just dumping cash into a click machine. You're also trying to build a brand; don't undo your hard work with something designed by Google's engineering team.

This Google Dynamic Remarketing ad template leaves us with the nagging feeling that ModCloth deserved a bit more design effort. :-/

OK, so I should look beyond Google — now what?

STEP 1: Generate a product XML feed

The neat part is that in generating a well-organized Google Merchant Feed, you've already laid the groundwork for running a wide array of programmatic ad campaigns. Canned Banners can import your existing Google Merchant Feed and use it to generate dynamic ads that can be used for personalized retargeting or new customer acquisition. Next step!

STEP 2. Find a DSP or agency

You need to sign up for a DSP or enlist an agency that can run third party ad tags. Instead of the SWF or JPEG banner ad files that you might be used to uploading into AdWords, dynamic ads come in the form of "third party ad tags," which can only be run via certain DSPs and agencies. This is why you need platforms like Canned Banners to host, manage, and serve your dynamic ads.

But don’t sweat the details, Canned Banners is happy to help you find a DSP or agency! Our primary partners for running dynamic ads are Exact Drive (self-serve or managed campaigns run via AppNexus), MightyHive (self-serve or managed campaigns via DoubleClick Bid Manager), and Perfect Audience (self-serve web and Facebook retargeting).

STEP 3: Develop your dynamic ads

Building dynamic ads is what Canned Banners does. To answer the question you’re probably asking yourself right now: yes, it does cost extra as opposed to Google's "free" option (which, by the way, isn’t really free — with AdWords, even though you’re getting bland Dynamic Remarketing Ads at no extra cost, you’re still buying ads on a cost-per-click basis, which is generally recognized as being more expensive than buying on a per-impression or CPM basis).

If you’re running $10,000 per month or more in Google Product Listing Ads, it's probably worth contacting us to see a demo, discuss pricing, and get your questions answered.

In addition to breaking out of "CPC Jail," there are several other advantages to developing your dynamic ad creative with us:

  • You can provide your own designs or we can help you create something that sells your products and makes your brand look good.
  • You have the flexibility to run your ads via pretty much any DSP, network, or agency that accepts third party ad tags.
  • Canned Banners isn't a faceless behemoth. If you have problems or questions, you'll be able to speak with an actual human being who wants your campaign to succeed.

You read this far, let's chat

Contact us and let's talk about turning your Google Merchant Feed into a top-notch dynamic ad campaign.

Contact us to learn more about the Canned Banners Dynamic Ads platform.