Amazon Advertising Manager
Ross’s background is in digital marketing, developing top-level Amazon business plans and delivering data-driven growth for established B2B brands.
A complete data nerd with a passion for business, Ross is responsible for developing and implementing advertising strategies for Bobsled’s clients. In addition, Ross brings his talents to account audit projects, where he analyzes data within new accounts to identify roadblocks that are inhibiting growth. He is popular with the Bobsled team and Bobsled clients alike because of his creativity in respect to advertising strategy.
Ross has a competitive spirit and an analytical mind, making him an invaluable resource for all members of The Marketplace Institute. He is based in Toronto.
"PPC also has a lot of novelty to it. Not just the new tools and updates that are constantly coming out, there is actual market behavior to shift and model and I find that fascinating." - Ross Walker
1. Please describe your background and how you came to be an Amazon PPC expert.
I was a teacher of English for many years before I joined a Marketing and Communications agency. Once I got my first Amazon client, . Ever since then it has taken up more and more of my interest and professional life. I managed Amazon end to end for clients for about three years but PPC was always the area that interested me the most. I love getting into the data in Excel, finding patterns and opportunities and making the case to deploy resources more efficiently. Now I get to do that full time with Bobsled as an Amazon Advertising Manager and as an on-call subject matter expert for The Marketplace Institute.
2. Do you love what you do?
Every part of it. From research and strategy with our clients at the outset to all the twists, turns and surprises that come during implementation. I’m fascinated by the process and love being in position between the hyper technical and the broad business case. PPC also has a lot of novelty to it. Not just the new tools and updates that are constantly coming out, there is actual market behavior to shift and model and I find that fascinating.
3. What are the first 3 things you look at when auditing an Amazon PPC account?
- ACOS - Advertising cost of sales is a major barometer of account health. It tells me how efficient advertising activities are overall. No matter how much you are spending or selling, the ACOS % is always there to indicate how well money is being spent and highlight where poor choices might have been made.
- Campaign Structure - What campaign types are being used? How are the products clustered together within the portfolios, campaigns and ad groups? Properly set up campaigns help direct ad spend to the best performing products and feed your account with new targets to optimize bids on. A poorly structured ad campaign will be dense, unpredictable and difficult to harvest data from.
- Negative keywords - Are there negative keywords set up at the campaign or ad group level? If there aren’t, Amazon is likely wasting irrelevant or inefficient search traffic on them. Setting up campaigns to properly implement negative keywords will allow us to incrementally decrease ACOS and improve ROI.
4. What's the biggest mistake you see brands continually making in their Amazon PPC campaigns?
- Many brands fall into the temptation of chasing broad search terms that their competitors appear to be are converting on. They key to long term Amazon PPC success is moving beyond the highest volume terms and discovering the best long-tail keywords that convert for each product.
- Another mistake is when brands put too much emphasis on PPC instead of making their product pages and storefronts as good as they can be.
5. What’s one advertising tactic that brands overlook on Amazon?
Sponsored Brand ads are typically underused in my experience. Many brands aren’t experimenting enough with different creative or landing pages in order to convert new customers. This ad type is the only one that features New-to-Brand metrics. These ad types should be used heavily to attract new customers so you can spread awareness of your brand. This is one area where Amazon has given us powerful marketing tools to generate a more robust lead funnel and it should be thought of as a keystone in each brand’s PPC strategy.