As flexible as today’s publisher advertising platforms are, there are still many situations where marketers have needs that go beyond what the “out-of-the-box” functionality provides.
For instance, publisher automated bidding options can optimize towards a tCPA (target cost per acquisition) or a tROAS (target return on ad spend), but what if the gross revenue numbers from your website’s order system don’t tell the whole story?
Consider this example: the same three items may each cost $100, but they may have different profit margins—Item A’s profit is $30, Item B’s profit is $50, and Item C’s profit is $70.
If the publisher’s automated-bidding system is using your gross revenue, it will most likely attempt to value each product equally at $100. But, of course, you make more than twice the net profit on Item C than you do with Item A. The system isn’t at fault. It can only optimize using the data it has on hand.
What if you could make sure the system knew the profit margins of each of your web store’s items or any complex metric you define?
That’s just one example of how Skai’s custom metrics feature works to help marketers arm their systems with the correct data to optimize their investments.
Microsoft Search Advertising + Skai Custom Metrics = Smarter Bidding Toward Your ‘True North’ Data
Custom Metrics allows you to add your unique business KPI’s to your profile in Skai and optimize your Microsoft campaigns performance accordingly.
As part of our Signal Enhancement functionality, Skai sends a combination of your conversions/revenue data to Microsoft. Skai clients can create a portfolio of tCPA or tROAS campaigns and set a custom metric goal for that portfolio. Skai will then translate the custom metric target to a ROAS or CPA target and adjust that target in your Microsoft ads.
Voila’! Now you’re getting the best of both worlds: Microsoft Search Ads’ automated bidding powered by your ‘True North’ data from Skai.
Scenarios for using Skai custom metrics
Custom goal optimization enables you to optimize bid strategies for business scenarios that require granular control and are not available with other policies. For example, your target can represent multiple conversion types, complex conversion scenarios, or any other specific need of your business.
Some of those scenarios may include:
Combine conversion types. With custom metrics, you can optimize your activity by a combination of your unique conversion columns.
Example: Custom metrics offer a way to layer additional information into your data and weight events to reflect how valuable they are to your business. A common example is the need to optimize for both orders and email signups despite orders being more valuable.
With custom metrics, you can write an equation to place more weight on the order event but still optimize for both. If orders are 10x more valuable than an email registration, your custom metric would look like this: (orders*1) + (email signups*.1)
Custom weighting. You can weigh certain conversions differently than others and optimize for the defined target in your portfolio.
Example: If your business sells dishwashers and spatulas, there is likely a large difference in the profit margins for these two items. In this example, you would want to invest more in the dishwasher campaign as it is likely to make the biggest impact on your bottom line.
Let’s assume that the margin for dishwashers is 60% and the margin for spatulas is 10%. Knowing this, the following custom metrics could be used at the campaign level:
Case Study: Strocko Consulting Leverages the Power of Custom Metrics to Boost FinServ Client’s Conversion Rate by 67%
Challenge: optimizing evenly across different conversion values generated poor results
Prior to working with Skai, Strocko had been optimizing towards the client’s total number of applications. They tracked all form completions and phone calls over 2 min, and optimized towards these actions evenly. As a result, their strategy was to produce the most applications with the lowest CPA, regardless of outcome. While this strategy initially achieved their goals in 2019, they had a relatively low application acceptance rate of 13%.
Solution: custom metrics were used to put more emphasis on funded applications
In order to improve the number of funded applications, they needed a way to leverage the data from the search campaigns that performed the best and drove the most conversions (funded applications). Skai worked closely with Strocko and the client to backfill funding data into their campaigns by having the client upload funding data on a daily basis via an external file.
Once they were able to apply custom metrics and more heavily weight-funded applications, the FinServ client set higher bids on keywords that would drive the most relevant traffic to their site and attract applicants that resulted in funding.
Result: 67% higher acceptance rate of application
Before working with Skai, Strocko’s client struggled to improve their funding rate (conversion rate) by 13%. Yet, with the help of Skai’s custom metrics and offline conversion integration, Strocko was able to boost their client’s funding rate by 67%. This lift was even more significant given the economic impact of COVID-19 and that their success was in their non-branded campaigns – typically lower performing campaigns – yet they were still able to drive more efficient results.
Skai is a multi-time winner of Microsoft Advertising’s Global Technology Partner of the Year
Skai has been a leader in enterprise technology, serving marketers since 2006 with paid search as one of our flagship platforms and a close partner of Microsoft Search Advertising for over a decade. Our history of innovation in data, bidding, and measurement, combined with an independent, media-agnostic, and omnichannel position, sets search marketers up to stay in control while driving true business growth—at scale.
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