Our automated bidding solution manages Group and Managed Placement bids for campaigns on the Google Display Network (GDN). By maintaining only 1 topic or target per group, and setting the target/topic to use the “default bid” (which is the group-level bid), the platform can properly optimize bids for Interest Targets, Remarketing Targets, and Topics.
Since Managed Placements provide the most granular level of targeting, we recommend using the following workflow to leverage automated bidding for GDN campaigns:
* Targets, Topics, and Keywords should be used to increase the relevance of initial Automated Placements.
Note: Please contact your Online Marketing Manager to ensure your account is set up to bid on Managed Placements.
Bulk Add/Edit Groups allows you to upload Facebook Campaigns, Groups, and Creatives in a single upload. In the application, targeting criteria and bids are set at the Group level.
Here are some commonly asked questions about Facebook bulk uploads:
The platform’s Bulk Add/Edit Groups functionality now allows you to bulk upload Facebook campaigns, groups, and creatives in a single upload.
Yes, implicit parent campaign creation is part of bulk group upload.
You can track revenue and conversions in a number of different ways, including using the Google Analytics goal tracking feature. To make integration with Google Analytics as simple as possible, the platform offers a Setup Wizard which will guide you through the integration step-by-step.
Note: You have to have a defined mapping or this will not work.
To set up this type of tracking for your account, follow these simple steps:
In addition, currently there is only one goal (known as a conversion type in Marin) that can be set as added to totals for Google Analytics integration. Unfortunately it is not possible to add two goals at the moment. There is a workaround for this: simply join two goals as one in Google Analytics.
The Google Analytics wizard is a 4 step process that will guide you through the following steps:
The platform integrates with Google Analytics in two ways: with AdWords auto-tagging either on or off.
If you wish to disable auto-tagging, follow these steps in Adwords:
The Wizard finds Ecommerce and Goal data based on the last 7 days of activity. Please make sure that transactions and/or conversions are being recorded to bring these in.
This is also a known issue within the platform in which this message appears even though you have goals and/or ecommerce in your GA account. In this case, please ignore the error message.
Marin Professional is priced at the higher of: 5% of the ad spend linked in or $500/month. You can have an unlimited number of users.
We offer a free 21-day trial upon sign up. The free trial is full-featured and not limited in any way compared to the paid version of the application.
Every day we record the ad spend of your engine accounts that are linked into Marin Professional. Your bill is calculated based on these ad spend figures. If you link and unlink accounts throughout the month, your total monthly spend reported in the application may be different than the ad spend we use for billing purposes.
The $499 charge you might see upon signup is a temporary pre-authorization test charge issued by our payment gateway to ensure that the credit card entered is solvent for at least the minimum service charge. The charge should disappear from your statement within 24 hours. You will only be charged for usage incurred after your 21-day free trial period.
Your billing cycle coincides with the calendar month, i.e. it is from the 1st until the last day of the month. We will invoice and charge your credit card few days after a billing cycle ends. The minimum fee for your first month is prorated from the day that your paid subscription starts.
Submit a ticket requesting to cancel your subscription. In the title of the ticket, indicate your intent to cancel and select Miscellaneous as the ticket category.
For Marin Pro Customers, credit card billings are only supported in USD, GBP, and EUR. During signup as a Pro customer, you’ll be offered a choice of one of these three currencies. Note that you’ll be billed in your currency of choice (one of the three supported) regardless of any of your Platform client currencies. Once chosen, your billing currency should not be changed.
Marin Software is required to charge sales tax on the invoice amount in the following states:
Our application offers a flexible approach to tracking revenue and/or conversions (referred to as revenue capture, broadly speaking). Revenue can be tracked in three fundamental ways:
Our goal is to allow you to use the method that makes the most sense for your business.
You have the option of leveraging a pre-existing Google Analytics integration to bring conversion and revenue data into Marin.
For clients who send conversion and revenue information to the publishers, our application will automatically pull down this data when cost reports are downloaded. If you currently utilize revenue tracking from the publisher, confirm that our application is successfully importing the data.
To set up Marin Pro Tracker quickly and easily, you can use the Marin Pro Tracker Setup Wizard. For more information and a step-by-step guide, please read our comprehensive help article from the Marin Professional category.
To integrate with Google Analytics, you can use our Setup Wizard. Fore more information and a step-by-step guide, please read our comprehensive help article from the Marin Professional category.
The platform currently does not support auto-tagging. The reasons behind this are the following:
There are five different types of bidding available within Marin Pro. Below is a description of each of these, followed by a series of best practices that we recommend to get the best possible results from our patented bidding algorithm.
The Cost Per Lead (CPL) or Cost Per Action (CPA) business target seeks to maximize the number of conversions at a target CPL. For example, if target CPL is set to $10, then the system will maximize the number of leads while spending no more than $10 per lead. Capturing revenue data is not necessary for this business target.
The Margin business target seeks to maximize revenue while maintaining a target profit margin. For example, a target profit margin of 30% would tell the system to spend $7 on a conversion with revenue of $10. This option is only available if revenue is tracked.
The Return-on-Investment (ROI) business target seeks to maximize revenue while maintaining a target ROI, where ROI = Profit / Spend. For example, if a conversion costs $10 to acquire and produces $30 in revenue, then the ROI is (30-10) / 10 = 200%. This option is only available if revenue is tracked.
The Return-on-Advertising-Spend (ROAS) business target seeks to maximize revenue while maintaining a target ROAS, where ROAS = Revenue / Spend.
For example, if a lead costs $10 to acquire and produces $30 in revenue, then the ROAS is 30/10 = 3.00. Note, this is a multiple, not a percentage i.e. a 3.00 ROAS is equivalent to 300%. This option is only available if revenue is tracked.
Position-based bidding (PBB) targets a specific position or position range, while staying within your budget and max CPC, if specified. Historical conversions are not necessary for this goal type. Numbers must be between 1-10, and can include one digit after the decimal point. For example, a target position range of 1.5 – 3.5, will seek a position within the range without exceeding the daily budget or max CPC.
Please note that, for all position-based bidding goals, the Aggressiveness slider should be placed all the way to the left.
Here are some best practices on how to set successful bidding goals:
Alerts are an easy way to monitor performance, letting you know when pre-defined conditions are met. They can provide insight into new opportunities, reveal inefficient performance, and help with account maintenance.
You’ll want to ensure that these types of alerts are actionable and do not occur every single day – alerts should be infrequent enough that they are immediately actionable. As a rule of thumb, if the alert you create contains data on that day, you may want to be more restrictive.
Here are some alerts you may want to consider setting up…
Quality Score is an estimate of how relevant your ads, keywords, and landing page are to the person seeing your ad. Search engines reward advertisers with higher Quality Scores by lowering their CPCs over time. That means you pay less per click when your keywords have a higher Quality Score. Let’s look at 5 easy ways to boost your Quality Score:
To manage existing campaigns, groups, creatives, and keywords with our application, you first need to link them. Linking accounts allows all of the changes made in the application to be synchronized with the publishers.
Upon initial signup, simply follow the steps below in order to link your accounts to the application:
Please follow these steps to link your Google Adwords account:
If the above doesn’t work, you can share the Adwords account credential with our Support Service team and we’ll try to link the account at our side.
Our application brings in your existing publisher account information by connecting to the publishers via API. All you need are your username, password, and account number for each publisher and our application will do the rest. The time required to link a campaign depends on the size of the campaign. You can check the status of the download by going to Channels > Manage Accounts. There you will see a summary of each account, including its linking status.
Our application maintains a bi-directional synchronization with the publishers. Every night, it will automatically synchronize any changes made to your accounts. So, for example, any changes made directly with the publishers (e.g. via AdWords Editor), would be picked up the next day.
You can also manually synchronize your accounts by going to Channels > Manage Accounts and pressing the Sync button for the specified account. This is also commonly known as a Hard Sync, or Manual Sync.
Platform Bidding is not compatible with Google’s Conversion Optimizer (CO) or Display Conversion Optimizer (DCO). CO can be left on while platform Folders are being set up, but CO must be turned off and the bids should be manually updated before trafficking the Folders. This walkthrough highlights the key steps that should be taken to ensure a seamless transition from CO to platform Bidding.
Google Conversion Optimizer can neither bid to multiple conversion events nor use Revenue in bidding decisions.
When transitioning from GCO to platform Bidding or comparing the two “head to head” we should always:
Google Conversion Optimizer does not provide information on how it bids on keywords. When CO is turned off, the bids are reverted to the bids that were in place before CO was initially turned on. To avoid this, we recommend uploading new bids based on recent CPCs. To do so, follow these steps:
Avg Bid data is not captured for keywords opted into Google’s Conversion Optimizer. Although the Portfolio Optimization bidding approach leverages historical Avg Bid data, the models will still run with only historical Avg CPC data.
Another option is to initially transition to the platform’s Algorithmic Optimization approach for 2 weeks, obtain Avg Bid data, and then transition to Portfolio Optimization.
Marin will track and report on all selected conversion events but will only use one conversion event for bidding optimization. If you are using Marin Bidding, this conversion event will be used for bidding optimization.
Typically, conversion types made eligible for bidding are sales, purchases or other revenue based events. Non-biddable conversion types may be page views, coupon prints or other non-revenue based actions you are tracking, but that do not affect your bidding strategy or the business’s primary conversion event.
Below you’ll find some of the most common questions we receive regarding the Marin Pro Bidding Tab and their answers.
When you have the required conversion data (at least 15 conversions), you can set up bidding goals in Bidding > Goals. After you choose your goals, assign campaigns to each goal, and pick your bidding targets, you may hit the Save and Preview button to see the proposed bids for each keyword. After you are comfortable with the changes, you may Traffic these bids to push them out live to the publishers.
Automated bidding runs once a day at 5 PM.
The slider scale determines how conservative or aggressive the bid changes will be in order to reach your target goal. Bids set to aggressive will receive a larger change factor, and vice versa for conservative. You may also set a bid cap to ensure that the bids align with your budget goals.
By default, CPL (Cost Per Lead) targeting is available; however, the other three business targets rely on revenue data along with the conversions. To enable them, provide revenue data by either doing so through your search engine accounts or by activating the Marin Tracker.
The Marin algorithm is able to efficiently bid on all types of keywords. However, there is an extra option for branded keywords. You may set these types of keywords on position-based targeting so that they will always stay in a certain position. You can do this by going within a Goal and then going to the Overrides subtab. Select the keyword and choose the option for position-based targeting.
You can do this by going within a Goal and then going to the Overrides subtab. Select the keyword and enter in a manual value for “Set Search Bid To”. Please keep in mind that since the algorithm will not touch this bid, you will have to update it manually from time to time.
Bidding will not run if you have excluded that date for bidding, or if you have Goals set up that have less than 15 conversions.
In Marin bidding, you have the ability to preview bids before they are pushed live. In the grid, you will be able to see the bids the system has calculated in the “Calc. Search Bid $” column. Refer to the “Bid Calc. Date” column for information on the recentness of the bids. Once you have set up your bidding goals, you can preview your bids by going to the Summary tab for each goal. When you are comfortable with these bids, you may hit the Traffic button on that page to push them live.
The application gives you the ability to exclude certain dates from bidding. This tool is useful when you experience periods of unusual activity that, if not excluded, might inaccurately affect the decisions of the bidding algorithm. Such dates might include site maintenance, outages, technical difficulties, and one-day promotions. Under the Summary tab, click the “Excluded Dates” link at the top right. Enter in your list of excluded dates in the box.
To change the target value, go to the “Change Settings” link under the Bidding Summary tab for each goal. Use the slider to adjust to your target value. To change your target altogether, for example from CPL to ROAS, click the “Change Target” link at the top right. You will have to set up your goal again.
Our application’s bidding approach is centered on setting financial targets for paid search conversions. Depending on the business model, these targets can be either cost per conversion or a percent of revenue. The application’s calculates bids to maximize revenue at the financial targets you set based on historical conversion rates and conversion values.
The bidding process involves forecasting each keyword’s conversion rate and value per conversion in order to obtain its optimal bid. These calculations can be based on the keyword’s own historical data, or a blend of its own data and data of the other keywords. “High volume” keywords use their own, whereas “low volume” keywords are clustered with related keywords’ historical data.
When calculating a bid for a keyword, the bidding algorithm employs a progressive lookback – it considers the most recent data first. It first starts with the previous 7 days of data and continues to look back until a statistically significant number of clicks has been reached.
For low volume keywords, the conversion rate is forecasted by blending the keyword’s own performance with data from other low volume keywords.
For more information on Bidding, please refer to the Bidding section of the Knowledge Base.
This article will answer some of the common questions that we receive around the Admin tab within Marin Professional. If you have further questions, please consult your platform representative.
The Activity Log records every change made within the application that is pushed out to a publisher. When changes are made within the application, they immediately appear in the Activity Log for review. Here, clients can elect to delete the actions, or immediately send out the changes, by clicking the Post Changes button. If no action is taken, the changes will be queued and pushed to the publishers in the application’s nightly synchronization process. Any errors incurred, including errors made within the application and errors sent back by the publisher, will also be posted on this page.
Every night, the application automatically pushes out any pending changes that remain in the Activity Log. So if you forget to push changes manually, they will still be posted, unless the times have a Hold status. You must take an item off Hold status before it can be pushed live.
If you have not yet posted the changes, you may roll them back by checking the task and pressing the Cancel button. Doing so will restore your account in its previous state before the change was made. You may not roll back changes once they have been pushed out to the publisher.
A client account is helpful for organizing separate and distinct lines of business. Agencies can use several client accounts for each agency client. Direct advertisers can use client accounts to separate out publisher client accounts with different business goals.
Administrator users can change privileges for other users, add and remove users, and add and remove clients. Administrators also have full read/write access regardless of the settings on their privileges. Administrative users are indicated in user lists with an asterisk after their name.
Marin tracking is our proprietary tracking solution. Choose Marin tracking if you are currently not using publisher tracking (i.e. Google Conversion Counter and/or Bing Tracking Pixel). Marin tracking also allows you to consolidate conversion tracking for all publishers in one place. Please note that Marin tracking requires all campaigns to have keyword level URLs. If you are currently using publisher tracking already you may choose to implement it as your tracking option.
Publisher tracking will be activated as soon as you select it as your tracking option. There will be a 1 day delay for conversions to come in, as the system collects this information in its nightly sync. To activate Marin tracking, follow the steps in the Tracking wizard under Admin > Tracking. Once you have successfully fired a test conversion, you will know that Tracking is working. The Marin tracker will upload the revenue and conversion information nightly.
The Synchronize button in the Linking Wizard (accessible via the Channels tab) allows you to bring your Marin account and your publisher accounts into a state of equilibrium. For example, if you make a change within your Google account, it needs to be synced with your Marin account in order for the change to show. Marin does perform a nightly sync with the publisher to bring any new information into the application, but if you need to kick off an immediate sync, you may use the Synchronize button.
You cannot directly link in an MCC account; you must link in each individual child account within your MCC. You can, however, still use your MCC credentials to do this.
To track conversion data from Google Analytics, Marin automatically appends parameters to keyword destination URLs. However, if your keyword destination URLs already has utm_content in the parameter, the URLs will not be appended. As a result Marin will not be able to track Google analytics data in Marin.
Google Analytics uses utm_content for A/B testing and content-targeted ads. It’s used differentiate ads or links that point to the same URL. This is an optional parameter. Examples: utm_content=logolink or utm_content=textlink
Third parties may use utm_cotent for other purposes. If you are unsure what utm_content is being used for check with the person who set up tracking.
Before you set up Google Analytics, you can check whether utm_content is used. Follow the steps below:
If you do not need to use utm_content parameters in your keyword URLs, then our Support team can walk you through how to remove the parameters and set up Google Analytics. Please file a help ticket for assistance and a support person will contact you to set things up.