Black Friday Battles

Yes, it’s Black Friday, the traditional kick-off of the Christmas shopping season. As I write this, sleepy-eyed bargain hunters are probably heading home after standing in line for hours to get their Black Friday discounted TV or GPS. Other shoppers – the late arrivals – are circling the mall, battling to find a parking spot.

Sounds like fun, but I’m immersed in a shopping frenzy of another kind. You see, I manage the paid search marketing for a major regional retailer. My team and I are engaged in cyber-battle with competing online retailers like Best Buy and Amazon. Today will be spent monitoring and reacting to their Black Friday and online product offerings and putting my client in a position to snatch sales from their less nimble and poorly managed advertising.

black friday shoppers

Some of you may be under the impression that paid search marketing is a “set it and forget it” form of advertising. Sure, there are automated systems that we take advantage of to increase efficiencies and ROI. But we also take a hands-on approach to account management. We monitor competitor prices, ad copy, ad SERP positions, and product availability.

Today’s already been a lot of fun. It’s amazing to see the big name retailers bidding their ads to the #1 position on the Google SERP for products that are sold-out, backordered or, amazingly, not even on the landing page linked to their paid search ads. I’ll add “In Stock” to my competing ad and my client reaps the rewards. If we sell out of that product the corresponding ads are taken offline ASAP to preserve ROI. If I have an item with a significant price advantage, I’ll put it in the ad and bid to a middle of the road position on the SERP to lower CPC.

Have a safe and successful Christmas shopping experience – shop online! You’ll save gas, money, time and your sanity. Merry Christmas!