Eric Elliott is the co-founder, EVP, and CTO of Ambush Board Co., a globally recognized leader in board sports retail. Look, life can wear you down. Not being on a board a few times a week, or even a few times a month, can leave you feeling pretty empty. Today and everyday it’s our commitment to keep you going, to drown out that day-to-day noise and keep you standing sideways. Bills? We don’t like paying those either. Your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife got you on a leash? They’ll still be there when you get back from your sesh. Or…maybe not. That’ll give you more time to do what you love. Never forget why you started. We haven’t.
What major changes have you seen across the eCommerce digital marketing landscape in the past 5 years?
It feels like paid advertising has become increasingly important, particularly with Google now dedicating more of their results pages (for product- and service-based searches) to ads and sponsored results, with social media platforms now employing algorithms to suppress organic commercial content…and with users now anticipating and positively acting on ads and sponsored content, and with Sponsored Products effectively being a Buy Box factor. In some senses, it’s as if paid advertising is starting to displace SEO and content marketing, although I’m certain it never will truly supplant it.
What is your advice to brands who are interested in advertising on Amazon?
You better make sure that both your feed structure and your campaign structure is solid. Use all available attributes. In my estimation, there is no such thing as an “optional” attribute. Use custom labels wherever possible. Relative to Google Shopping, break your campaigns down all the way, as in…all the way to the individual product/SKU level. Adjust your bids in every way you can, from demographic adjustments to hour of the week adjustments to Geo and device adjustments and beyond. That way there is no wasted ad spend or money left on the table as a result of missed opportunities. And…always address all of your Amazon matching errors.
Where do you see the digital marketing landscape for eCommerce in the next few years?
I believe that optimizing for voice search is going to be critical. Machine learning is obviously going to continue to evolve…and digital marketing strategies will necessarily have to evolve with it. I think we’re also entering the age of hyper-personalization, where tangentially relevant marketing will sort of become irrelevant.
If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it—metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions—what would it say and why?
Watch out for the big four (Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google [especially Amazon]). They are the monopolies of our time…and people forget that because they’re cool brands.
You may assume they’re benevolent…and they may be in a number of ways, but don’t forget that they’re megacorporations that may not have your best interest in mind. I’m not trying to be histrionic, just cautionary.
What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter digital marketing? What advice should they ignore?
It isn’t about you or your agency, it’s about the business that has chosen you as their digital marketing partner. If you get to the end of the month and the advertising service made money and the agency made money, but the business didn’t, that’s a problem.
All decisions should be made and all strategies should be developed with mutual success as the guiding principle. Also…always follow through and do what you say you’re going to do. Stay humble (of course). And…always be building relationships and always be giving back to the community.
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Brian Roizen is the Cofounder and Chief Architect of Feedonomics, a full-service feed optimization platform that optimizes product data for hundreds of channels. He has been featured on numerous podcasts and eCommerce webinars, and regularly contributes to Search Engine Land and other industry-leading blogs. Brian graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.