Use your business data to manage campaigns

Use business events with bid strategies

Business events supplement your historical metrics with extra information, like the timing of a product launch or the magnitude of a promotional discount. Search Ads 360 Smart Bidding bid strategies use the extra information to learn how events affect conversions. When you upload future events for campaigns, keywords, or other items that are managed by a Search Ads 360 bid strategy, the bid strategy can adjust bids in anticipation of the change it expects in the conversion rate. Smarter bids help you win more conversions while hitting your CPA or ROI targets.

Contact support to enable a bid strategy for business events

This feature is available to customers who have agreed to be early testers and reviewers and whose accounts meet specific product requirements.

If your agency or advertiser would like to test using business events with bid strategies, contact your Search Ads 360 account manager. We welcome your feedback. 

How it works

Here's an overview of how to use business events with bid strategies:

  1. Apply business data to identify the campaigns, keywords, or other items that are managed by a Search Ads 360 bid strategy.

    For example,  a retailer might apply business data to identify each brand of products they advertise:

    Campaign c:Brand.ID
    ComfyWalkers - UK - Brand ComfyWalkers
    ComfyWalkers - IE - Brand ComfyWalkers
    SpeedyShoes - UK - Brand SpeedyShoes
    SpeedyShoes - IE - Brand SpeedyShoes
  2. Add business event columns to a business data table to describe recurring events that could affect your conversion rate—such as promotions or price changes.
  3. Add past and upcoming events to your business data.

    For example, a retailer may put a different brand on sale each week. In this case, the retailer adds events to each row in the Brand business data table:

    Brand

    ID Discount % Event start time Event end time
    ComfyWalkers .10 2017-01-15 2017-01-21
    ComfyWalkers .10 2017-01-15 2017-01-21
    SpeedyShoes .10 2017-01-22 2017-01-28
    SpeedyShoes .10 2017-01-22 2017-01-28
  4. Because you added events to business data that's already applied to your campaigns and other items, the events will be automatically applied to the campaigns.

    For example:

    Campaign c:Brand.ID c:Brand.Discount % c:Brand.Event start time c:Brand.Event end time
    ComfyWalkers - UK - Brand ComfyWalkers .10 2017-01-15 2017-01-21
    ComfyWalkers - IE - Brand ComfyWalkers .10 2017-01-15 2017-01-21
    SpeedyShoes - UK - Brand SpeedyShoes .10 2017-01-22 2017-01-28
    SpeedyShoes - IE - Brand SpeedyShoes .10 2017-01-22 2017-01-28

A Search Ads 360 Smart Bidding bid strategy will analyze the effect of the uploaded events on keywords that are identified by your business data. The bid strategy compares the keywords’ daily conversion rates days before, after, and during events in the past 6 months. If the bid strategy detects a substantial increase (or decrease) in conversion rate, it will raise (or lower) bids during future events.

Deciding which events to include in Search Ads 360 

While many types of events may affect search advertising, only events with specific characteristics are actionable by bid strategies. If you're planning on using business events with bid strategies, include events that:

  • Repeat often in the previous 6 months. Each instance of an event gives a bid strategy more information about how it should behave during the event. We recommend at least 15 repetitions of the event in the last 6 months. (Bid strategies don't review data older than 6 months.)

  • Take place with daily granularity. Half-day events are too short to be actionable.

  • Cause noticeable changes in daily conversion metrics. Conversions should increase or decrease by at least 10%.

Some events may have a stronger effect than others. For example, you might expect conversion rate to increase more when an item is on a 20% discount than a 10% discount. In this case, you'd probably consider the 10% discount and 20% discount to be separate events. Just make sure you have at least 15 instances of events for each unique value of event variables (that is, at least fifteen 10% sales and fifteen 20% sales).

You’ll be most successful if you use events that you’ve previously shown to have a statistically significant effect on conversion rates.

Group similar events into broad categories

While it may be useful to create fine-grained events for the purposes of reporting, if your events are too narrowly scoped a bid strategy may miss important trends. For example, during a back-to-school sale, you apply these two events:

  • Comfy Walkers low rise shoes: 20%
  • Comfy Walkers hightops: 25% 

A bid strategy would consider these to be two completely separate events. But since the discount percent and the products are so similar, you'd probably get better results if you combined the two events into one.

Here are some recommendations for grouping events into actionable categories:

  • Events with numeric variables: convert numbers to discrete units. For example:

    • Round percent values down to the nearest 10% (for example, round 12% to 10%)

    • Use a logarithmic scale to group specific prices by orders of magnitude. For example, create one event for prices ranging from $1 to $5, another event for prices ranging from $5 to $25, and another event for prices ranging from $25 to $125.

  • Events with text variables: Generalize text values. For example, you may have “Buy 3 get 1 free” and “Buy 2 get 1 free” sales. Consider generalizing these both to “Free with purchase”

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