Implementing Shopping Feeds & Ad Performance

Fine Point Grey Sarah Kraynik Katy Tonkin, VP Digital Strategy

Implementing Shopping Feeds & Ad Performance

(19-minute podcast)

This week we cover shopping feeds, how they’re killing it for our clients, implementation, what drives success and holidays performance! But, before that we dive into the world’s largest advertisers, international trends, how digital advertising is changing & walled gardens on Google, Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube.

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Featured Experts:

Sarah Kraynik, Senior Account Manager, Point It Digital Marketing and Katy Tonkin, VP of Digital Strategy, Point It Digital Marketing

Guests and Experts


Sarah Kraynik, Senior Account Manager, Point It Digital Marketing

Bio: Sarah is not only a phenomenal marketer with experience in Paid Search, Programmatic Display, and Social Media Advertising but is the driving force behind Point It’s new Shopping Feeds program. Her experience at client management and leveraging multiple marketing channels has uniquely prepared her to develop and grow this area of Point It’s business while driving results for our clients and partners.

Katy Tonkin, VP of Digital Strategy, Point It Digital Marketing

Bio: Katy is an award-winning marketing strategist that brings her passion for technology and creative problem solving to client and organizational challenges. With a background in retail, she’s demonstrated her love of solving complex challenges while working with companies like Starbucks and a selection of fast-paced startups. Katy currently acts as the Vice President of Digital Strategy at Point It Digital Marketing, a partnership-driven organization built on a foundation of transparency and expertise.  Part architect and part technologist, Katy is the problem solver and envelope pusher that drives client success. Her leadership has resulted in several prestigious industry awards, such as the US Search Awards, and The Landys. In her spare time, she is a passionate patron of the arts and board member of the SCT (Seattle Children’s Theater). She enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter.


Maureen Jann, Director of Marketing, Point It Digital Marketing

Bio: Maureen Jann is a veteran B2B marketer whose career in Digital Media has grown up with the Internet. A self-described jill-of-all-trades, Maureen has elevated creative problem solving to an art form and enjoys the daily challenges of driving business results in unexpected ways. Her skills as an entrepreneur, content marketer, creative director and passionate people manager set her apart from the pack. Maureen has worked in every corner of marketing making her a skilled tactical resource as well as a strategic partner.  Recently, she was the captain of the marketing ship for an award-winning professional services firm and is currently creating a content marketing strategy for Point It, a digital marketing agency.


Maureen: Hi everybody and welcome to fine point! A weekly digest of digital marketing updates. Each week we will feature industry experts and guests to talk through what’s happening in digital marketing. I’m Maureen Jann, the director of marketing here at Point It, a digital marketing agency here in Seattle and I’ll be your hostess.


So I’ve learned a ton from these podcasts, these news articles. I’ve never been so well informed. So thanks, cheers to the podcast audience and all of my people in the office. I’ve also got a lot of opportunities to chat with people in our office and learn more about what they do. So that’s been really fun.


But let’s dive into it, we’ve got a lot to cover today. Today I’m talking through a few headlines I ran across this morning. A little later we will talk to Sarah Kraynik and Katy Tonkin about shopping feeds. So welcome ladies.


Sarah: Yeah, thank you Maureen. Thank you!


Maureen: So glad you to have you, it’s fun. So let’s dig into the headlines.


My network is talking about the world’s largest advertisers. Top advertising platforms and Google, including new information and search results.


Sarah: Alright.


Maureen: Which is always saucy.


Sarah: Only to us marketers.


Maureen: That’s right. #Nerdout. So the first article I ran across was “What you need to know about the world’s largest advertisers from Adidas to Yeely.” And I’ve never actually heard of Yeely.


Sarah: I don’t know if I have either, check it out. I’m feeling kind of uneducated. Can you tell me more about it Maureen?


Maureen: If only I could. What I can tell you is that, that’s a total of $241 Billion in advertising, which is insane. Most … 46 of them are from the U.S. and the rest are from around the world. Japan being second. I never really thought about Japan being a top advertiser but if you think about their consumer environment, it’s pretty intense.


Sarah: Every time I visited Japan, the amount of advertising and the inundation of all of the channels and the mediums in their culture, It’s so excepted, it’s part of your lifestyle. It surprises me that China actually wasn’t above Japan. So that’s kind of a shocker.


Maureen: It’s the next one.


Sarah: Yep I know, So when I clicked through and I was reading the rankings that actually did surprise me. But everything, and all the other markets. Like U.K. that I expected, to see those. SO that was kind of nice, It mirrors a lot of the investment strategies that our clients have in their international, digital marketing.


Maureen: Yep, Sarah do you find yourself doing feeds for Japan anytime? I know we have some international clients.


Sarah: We do, yeah we definitely see. It’s very popular. I feel like feed based advertising is obviously reaching globally at this point. It’s good to see.


Maureen: Fabulous.


SO the next one on our list is, ” The power of search,” keeps Google number one with WPP. Facebook poised at number two, Snapchat gaining market share.


Sarah: Gaining market share.


Maureen: Yeah, what I thought was interesting about this one is, We don’t often get to see other agencies rankings. Since these guys are so large they have volume, and I imagine their public so they have to release a lot of information.


Sarah: Absolutely.


Maureen: SO , it’s been interesting to see them extrapolate trends. I’m curious, are we seeing the same thing. Are we seeing Google at number one, Facebook number two with out clients?


Sarah: We are, across all of our clients, they are getting to that point. Some of … a lot of WPP’s clients are really large enterprises that have different types of investment strategies than some of our clients do. Where Facebook and social advertising hasn’t … while their doing it, it has the way to monetized that … For a lot of clients it hasn’t caught on enough to a point, they’ve sort of unlocked that. If I were to rank publishers we might see within our agency, Google and then Bing still being with Search for our clients. And then Facebook can come at … and sometimes a little more that Bing, it just depends on the advertiser and what their goals are.


What actually surprised me about this article. And not to hijack the topic, was really the underlining theme of what WPP, and I’m really appreciative of WPP because their pushing these platforms for data transparency and validation. What we … one of the … I’m not going to go as far as to say fraud, with Facebook, but some of the lack of transparency with how their actually counting what … like in view versus … with video ads in particular.


Maureen: Yes I’ve see that.


Sarah: Yeah, so their taking some hits for that and it’s informing investment strategies, and it’s great to see these larger holding companies pushing for that transparency and third party validation. I was very pleased.


Maureen: Yeah, and actually it speaks to some information. I know that recently, in fact yesterday, you got published in Search Engine Journal.


Sarah: I did! Thank you.


Maureen: Yay! And We were just talking about … I remember reading that you were talking about how that whole wall garden concept needs to start coming down. And we need to start seeing more transparency across, not just your straight up data … the data houses like Facebook. But we gotta see some cross … the data across multiple services so we have more depth of understanding.


Sarah: Right.


Maureen: I know that I like to think about Facebook as the be all, end all of data. Because behavioral data is really awesome and hard to … and before Facebook, was impossible to find.


Sarah: Right.


Maureen: SO it’s really exciting to see that happen but I think its a little think at this point. We are getting to complex to just make it go. Like …


Sarah: Yes.


Maureen: Action based data is not enough.


Sarah: Yes. I 100% agree, it would be very interesting … we’re not going to solve it this year. We’re not going to solve it next year. But, the pressure from the world’s largest inverters for this is what will enact change. People will spend their money in the places that start to open this and figure this out.


Maureen: Yes, absolutely.


Sarah: God, this is a rich topic. We could change our podcast topic.


Maureen: Let’s nerd out on this too. #Nerdout times two.


SO I know that Googles been pushing YouTube Ads for ever and ever and ever and ever. Are we seeing, from your perspective, a lot of our clients shifting towards YouTube ads from your perspective Sarah?


Sarah: I mean, we do, I feel like you have to have a really good, robust video assets to make that happen. It seems like some companies aren’t investing as much and creating that content while others do. I feel like you have to do the leg work first and you have to have compelling content to share. SO I think that’s number one for people. I also think that, from a feed based advertising perspective, there are a lot of things you can do as well as dropping in product placements into content. So if you’re a heavy Ecom client, it’s definitely worth investing the time to make sure you are standing in front of things on that front.


Maureen: Sure, that makes sense.


I know from our perspective we have to have our buyer journey mapped out very well in order to target video in a way that’s really meaningful. Otherwise you’re just making kumbaya Videos where you’re all just hugging it out. Although that’s cool and great for brand awareness it’s really not the conversion point where everyone’s looking for when they think about video.


Alright, so moving on.


As a test, Google is including movie and TV ratings in search results


Sarah: Yes, yes, yes.


Maureen: SO their using IMDB to pull some of that information. But you’re also able to rate it right in the search.


Sarah: That’s really cool.


Maureen: That’s fascinating. I tried to do it and I couldn’t find it. So I’m wondering if their selectively served?


Sarah: Yeah usually when Google rolls out new features or new tests like this, it serves on such a low percentage of impressions. and I have no data around this, so don’t quote me. Wait I’m on a podcast, quote me.


Maureen: Adorable Irony.


Sarah: I know, between 1 and 3% of impressions available will start with this feature availability. I know … I can guess where you’re headed with this and it’s, and it’s, are there monetization opportunities?


Maureen: Absolutely, isn’t that the question we always ask?


Sarah: Yeah, I know, I’m a marketer.


Maureen: We could talk about Snapchat next if you want. Go on.


Sarah: But, I think that it’s not that much of an ad unit, monetization, as it is a content strategy for companies that own and manage assets that are going to be showing in the serve. How do you, from an SEO perspective, make sure that content is readily available if this is something that become more prevalent on the serve. And I could only imagine that it would, as Google would prefer to be the end all, be all for all information ever needed.


Maureen: I can see there being some benefits too to like … from an SEO perspective, for the producers and the distributors and … You know there’s definitely some double and triple clicks in there to figure out what it looks like and why it would ultimately be important. SO I guess time will tell.


Katy: Yes. Exactly.


Maureen: Okay so let’s talk Shopping Feeds.


Sarah Kraynik is the senior account manager here at Point it and the owner of our shopping feeds service. Sarah was named the Rockstar of the quarter, last quarter. Because she quietly kills it for our clients every day. We’ve also got Katy Tonkin, she’s our VP of digital strategy and a frequent industry speaker. She’s a resident expert, and we talk a lot of multi-channel and holiday retail strategy.


Sarah: Yes, we do.


Maureen: Man do we talk a lot period. She’s also, you’ll see her in a lot of our resources. SO welcome ladies and thanks again for being here. I know we are considering this a launch, so air quotes, launching a new service right now. Which is pretty exciting. But we’ve also been offering our feeds for a while to various vendors, advertisers. So I guess the next question is Why did we officially decide to launch this service?


Sarah: I mean, from my perspective, it’s definitely a need.


I feel like, a lot of clients, I’ve heard so many times that feeds are hard when in actuality they’re not necessarily hard, it’s just putting in the time, having the Dev of resources to make sure the pieces are connecting together. And I think that there are a lot of really great platforms out there right now that you can use and sort of the absence of a maybe a ton of Dev resources. Which is hard for companies to have easy access to at all times.


So I think, a combination of a need and then also these really great platforms out there that we can basically take all of our clients advertising under one roof and make sure we are scaling their feeds based advertising units as quickly as their searched and displayed, social advertising as well.


So it’s just a way for us to keep everything under one roof, sort of streamline efforts and then also cut down on that Dev resources that are really hard for a lot of clients to make sure they have the adequate resources.


Maureen: I know that if I had, like some of the feed sizes are enormous.


Sarah: Huge.


Maureen: I can only imagine how daunting that would be for a client when they look at it.


Katy: How big are they Sarah, please tell us, how many skews.


Sarah: Well, I mean, we have feeds that range from under two hundred skews up to two million skews.


Maureen: That sounds awful.


Sarah: SO it’s a huge data set you’re working with. [crosstalk 00:11:41]


Katy: Not even gonna lie. How many rows can excel handle?


Sarah: Not that many. Not enough. So yeah, that’s why they’re a little challenging sometimes. I think their a little daunting to some of our clients.


Maureen: Absolutely. To that point, can we talk about what are the real power behind feeds? How are we … How does that make our clients lives easier? How does it streamline their process when it comes to marketing that kind of Volume?


Sarah: Well number one, I feel like feed based advertising is becoming, it’s just more of a thing now. There’s just more queries and impressions available for feed based advertising units, which is a trend that we’re going to continue to see. SO obviously there’s that need and there’s also is a lot of availability with ad units and things like that. I think it also helps with … it give us the opportunity to scale when a lot of Ecom clients are driving that top line revenue.


It’s definitely a good thing to have in your pocket to drive that top line revenue. It also kind of goes across multiple channels, So not only Google shopping, Bing shopping. You also have a bit touch of social, a touch of dynamic marketing, there’s also comparison shopping engines Which we don’t see as often anymore, but still for some companies it still drives a large chunk of revenue. Also on the same aspect too, there’s market places. So, there’s Ebay, Amazon, and things like that. Large market places where you can basically plug all of your feeds into all of these channels and sort of drive that top line revenue.


So it touches and spans a lot of different channels which is cool.


Maureen: I’m typically a B to B marketer historically. So I’ve never had to deal with this but when you were telling me all the services, I was like “Oh my gosh we’re making our own … were making people’s lives so much easier! This is so great!”


Katy: Right. It’s … From an advertiser perspective. The amount of automation that can happen in getting your product in front of potential customers in a much lower funnel place in their buying journey as well as influence them at a more upper funnel place in their buying journey. All with … by doing something that’s automated.


That’s the … I go Nerd again. I think of Internet of things and as we move away from having to shop and look for things on desktops. When we’re using the Google Homes and the Alexa’s. You know things like that are powered by data feeds. Which the quality of the data feeds are garbage in and garbage out, The quality of the data is critical. Not only, just the management of keeping the feed going but the data quality too will become so much more of a focus.


Sarah did touch on this but the efficiencies that the retailers see from feed based advertising, and I’m not just talking with targeting, I’m talking prospecting tech, non brand shopping ads is actually quite, it’s fantastically higher most of the time than something like non brand text query.


If an advertiser had a dollar, would you invest it on a text ad for non brand or a feed based ad for non brand. I’m going to tell them on a feed based ad ninety- five percent of the time because it’s just a more … right now with the way the auction is working, it’s much more efficient medium.


Maureen: Right? That’s fantastic. Carrying this whole theme through about efficiencies and being that we’re in one of the busiest seasons of the year, how are we seeing clients use feeds and how are they working for them? What are the kind of results we’re seeing?


Sarah: For most of my clients, we use feed based advertising, I mean for Google shopping this year it was probably the highest grossing year for Googling shopping as far as feed based advertising. Again don’t quote me but I’m pretty sure …


Katy: Oh yes the impressions available are so much greater year over year. There’s no way it cannot be. It’s not a possibility.


Sarah: Right, so we saw a lot of our clients investing very heavily in Google shopping this year as well as Bing shopping. Another things that we saw quite a bit was that, not only having ads on Google shopping and Bing shopping but also expanding to Facebook, dynamic product ads. Which has definitely helped a lot of out Ecommerce clients scale again and also have those compelling ad units all across the board. Across different channels.


Katy: Yeah, as Google dropped earlier this year. Gosh it was in February, March, the right rail ads? It became a panic for folks as they lost what we would consider conversion and lower positions on the serp. Especially for Ecommerce, that was very difficult. It was this kind of, what are we going to do? How are we going to make this up? And that’s when I talked about the dollar and where would you spend your dollar. That’s one of the reasons why we’re pushing feeds and why we’re allocating spending there, is because it is this answer for retailers that are looking for those lost, right rail impressions.


Maureen: That makes sense. Makes a ton of sense.


Let’s get wrapped up, this has been great and I think it’s incredibly informative I love learning about feeds, I know that sounds silly but It really helps me draw a bunch of the crazy marketing balloons together you know. As a generalist, this is just not a space I’ve had as much exposure to. SO it’s been really interesting to get an inside to that retial world and the importance of that. The Volume that they have to deal with and how to streamline it. So anyways thanks so much guys, that was great.


Your marketing department is definitely excited about sharing this with the industry. So we’ve actually just launched our service page. So if you’re interested in reading more about shopping feeds, visit the website at and find shopping feeds under the services menu.


And thank you guys for joining us, my name is Maureen Jann for … I work for Point It digital marketing, and this is fine point, a weekly Digest of digital marketing updates. Make sure to follow us on Twitter to be notified of the when latest podcast is up and download our latest podcast from the website. OR whichever popular app you like to grab podcasts from.


We’re here in the Point It studios A.K.A. the conference room and next week we hope to be talking about what’s coming up in the new year. I’m trying to convince the President to come be on … Frank Coil to come visit with us and chat with us. SO it will be fun, we’re looking forward to having him with us. Time to say goodbye so for now stay on point.



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