Liam Patterson started his first business at age 14 and ran a number of successful eCommerce ventures before co-founding Bidnamic, a marketing technology platform that helps retailers unlock the full potential of Google Shopping. He’s been featured on the BBC, The Drum The Grocer, and a variety of media outlets discussing eCom, marketing, retail, and tech, and he’s here today to talk about performance marketing for brands.
The conversation with Liam began with a review of how he came up with the idea for Bidnamic.
“Bidnamic came about through scratching our own itch,” says Liam. “We were building a marketplace in the print industry, and kept finding frustrations with Google Shopping, and getting on page one, and doing it at the right cost. We went deep and looked at every lever to push or pull, and looked at existing solutions and turned to investors and got cash to start up Bidnamic. 5 years on we have 100 employees and offices all over the world.”
We then pivoted into talking about the three ways to leverage the potential of Google Shopping, which works similarly to the way most SEOs approach Google search.
“Like SEO and PPC, the top impressions on Google Shopping are expensive,” explains Liam. “In SEO you just need links and content really, but Google Shopping is always on Page One and it’s a paid channel, so the approach is distinct. There are three components to dominate Google Shopping, the first is product feed which you send to the merchant center, making sure all the attributes are all filled out, which is really all about the title matching the searches. BIdding for high purchase intent traffic is next, and you need to make sure you approach bidding on consideration terms and purchase terms differently. Consideration terms are more general and purchase terms more focused, and so purchase terms are where you want to put your budget. We use an SKU approach to make sure all the listings are unique and drilled in. Profiling search terms and bidding more when things are connecting to the general search and then SKU. Third, is the page speed and bounce rate; what happens after the click, how long does the page take to load, which then feeds into the quality score. Google Shopping traffic goes through the product detail page, which is where you want to feature related products to upsell potential customers.”
Our conversation then switches to the topic of performance marketing, and Liam explains his thoughts around this term and how it’s connected to timeframes, rather than strictly results.
“Performance marketing is about short feedback loops,” says Liam. “Most marketing effects work on a longer time horizon, so performance is about those more immediate metrics like ROAS, revenue per click, profitability, and doing what you can to shorten the gap. Short term measurement is key for performance marketing, but that doesn’t mean you ignore the longer, harder to measure, marketing effects. In hard times most folks do nothing but short term ROAS, but long term is critical for brand building, and if the longer arch of a brand is strong, that can only help improve the short term results.”
Liam goes onto explain the ways he’s learned to use analytics to ensure his clients get the most out of their performance marketing campaigns.
“Right out of the gate with a new client, we look at their tracking protocols,” says Liam. “We use all the tracking, pixels, URLs, but sometimes, there are instances of over tracking, which creates duplicates. We use GA4, google ad tracking and pull that into different platforms to analyze and report. Campaign structure is key to getting the max amount of info from campaigns. Most brands are bundling products, which is why the SKU is key to tracking performance. We have bi-weekly calls with clients, strategists, and data analysts, and we ask them what data matters to them, what strategy are you using, and how we can help make this visible and reportable.”
To hear Liam’s thoughts on how AI can help performance marketers, a surprising story about upselling golf balls, a horror story about keyword mismatches, and if Liam prefers John or Paul, listen to the full show at the links provided.