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Precis started working with PriceRunner in 2016, with the mission to grow conversion volumes from PPC. Converting their accounts to a more manageable structure, and enabling smarter bidding and automation, we have increased conversion volumes significantly. Read more about our previous work with PriceRunner at the end of the post below*.

Following very strong results and a close partnership, we have gradually expanded the collaboration with PriceRunner, trying out new channels and strategies. During 2018 and beyond we’ve been exploring YouTube as a performance marketing platform and the results speaks for themselves.

Sometimes the most simple solution is the best one. The one that brings recognition to the many, and reflects how we live today. The award for Best YouTube for performance goes to an innovative, scalable and fully automated concept to help the target group find the best price on everything that interests them.
– YouTube Works jury, 2019

With this jury motivation, PriceRunner and Precis won the best YouTube for performance campaign in this year’s YouTube Works competition. In this blog we would like to share insights on what the success factors were altogether. 

The idea was simple: PriceRunner produced 10 Bumper Ads that simulated a user searching for a product or category on PriceRunner’s website. These were used in two scenarios; 1) for category-specific searches, we displayed three products from that category, and 2) for product-specific searches, we displayed one product.

Having previously done campaign bursts and small-scale experiments on YouTube, the goal this time was to establish a (new) scalable, performance-driven channel for PriceRunner that would work always-on. The overarching hypothesis was that if we are able to deliver the right message to the right person, YouTube could be used as the platform for execution. Moreover, launching the first test round during spring of 2018 provided six months of experimentation, iteration and optimisation prior to the Black Friday and Christmas shopping season.

After the first test round, the strategy was evaluated. One hypothesis that we had was that remarketing would outperform other targeting methods (given the attribution model in place), but other than that, we followed an explorative/inductive approach. The results from the test round did, indeed, support that remarketing was more efficient than other targeting methods. In addition, data demonstrated a significant difference between the two ad formats, with the category-specific ad clearly outperforming the product-specific one. This was a highly valuable insight and was later used as input for the development of the creative framework.

Furthermore, custom intent had up to +200% higher ROI than other prospecting audiences, which was a great finding, since custom intent enables customisation of the target audience using first party data from PriceRunner.

Based on this, we designed a second test with adjustments to ad formats and targeting as well as an incrementality study using an 8-second TrueView video – since “ghost ad” tests cannot be utilised with Bumper Ads – to quantify incremental conversions from adding YouTube to the marketing mix. By this point, PriceRunner had automated the production of the Bumper Ads, with a custom script that crawls landing pages and populates a feed with images, keywords and price.

The incrementality analysis made it possible to combine multipliers and AOV to calculate ROI. This revealed clear differences in uplift between products and categories and was highly valuable for fine-tuning of the strategy.

After the second iteration, we scaled the scope and created a total of 500+ ads with matching audiences, to maximize the effect during the shopping/Christmas season. Based on the results, big investments were moved to YouTube and the campaigns acted as an always-on layer throughout the busiest months of 2018. This campaign was highly important for PriceRunner to drive traffic and generate conversions on their consolidated Black Friday page, where they offer direct links to a majority of merchants having Black Friday offers.


Results

  • Custom intent delivered +200% better ROI compared to other prospecting audiences
  • 43.333h watch time
  • 500+ bumper ads created

We have a very tight partnership with Precis Digital where we continuously pitch ideas both ways. We then materialize some of these into proof-of-concept campaigns to give us data to form further investment decisions on. Precis Digital takes full ownership for tracking, implementation and analysis.
– Fredrik Elväng – Head of Traffic, PriceRunner

 

Success factors

 

Automation
Automated production of Bumper Ads, with a custom script that crawls landing pages and populates a feed with images, keywords and price. This enabled fast and scalable production of Bumper Ads.

Inductive approach
The core of the strategy was the inductive approach. Without a proven strategy or structure to rely on, we had very few hypotheses to guide us. This meant we had to apply an experimental and iterative workflow, based on ongoing insights and learnings gathered from the data.

Audiences
In general, remarketing and product-specific ads are a very powerful tool for PriceRunner since they have more than two million products on their website. Therefore, it is of high interest for PriceRunner to find new methods of utilizing this to their advantage in different channels and formats. With this in mind, we knew that YouTube was a platform with great potential in customizing ads and with excellent targeting possibilities in terms of relevant audiences.

 

*Read more about our previous work with PriceRunner here.

Patrik Wallin Senior Digital Specialist