PM Digital congratulates our client, The Sportsman’s Guide, for winning eTail’s Best in Class award for Paid Search. They were awarded the prize for their innovative use of geotargeting to improve the performance of their paid search campaign.
The Sportsman’s Guide’s hunting and fishing merchandise appeals to a more rural audience, so we wanted to refine marginal ad groups by targeting where people were more likely to buy. If we could improve the performance of these ad groups, we would be able to expand the reach of the campaign overall.
In addition to improved geotargeting, a secondary objective of the test that was the basis for winning the eTail award was to utilize in the paid search campaign the same zip code model The Sportsman’s Guide had already invested in building for their catalog through PM Digital. Most catalog marketers have zip code models that fine tune the targeting of their offline campaigns. The search engines enable geotargeting, but at the time that we conducted this test, we could only target at the DMA level. Converting the thousands of zip codes in a catalog zip code model to DMAs is a cumbersome process.
In order to execute this test, PM Digital built a conversion map of DMAs to zip codes and identified ad groups by product type based on their propensity to appeal to the zip code targeting. We then established a control group to read the results of the test group against. The results of the zip code targeted ad groups were exponentially better than that of the control, and the test was very successful, and an eTail award winner!
Since conducting this test, Google has enabled the ability to target by zip code but with a 2000 zip code limit. Most catalog zip code models have many more thousands of zip codes in their models, so employing the full methodology of this test in an automated fashion remains outside the reach of many. Hopefully there will be an enhancement soon that enables catalog mailers to upload their zip code models in their entirety to their search campaigns for improved results and better integrated offline/online campaigns.