The Successful Big Box Line Review

The Successful Big Box Line ReviewMany manufacturers fear line reviews with big boxes like Home Depot and Lowe’s. They frequently see it as an event where they have more to lose than to gain.

My friend Mark Mitchell knows what they fear and has recommendations on how to approach the line review differently. He tells about his experiences in his blog and his book. Or click here to receive his monthly building materials sales and marketing newsletter.

If you’d like to learn more about successful big box line reviews. Read Mark’s original blog post here.

And it works. Here’s his follow up post A Line Review Success Story sharing the strategy and positive outcome of one of his clients.

What manufacturers fear going in to a line review

  1. Demands for even lower prices
  2. Fewer sku’s
  3. Having to fund promotional programs
  4. Worse placement
  5. A new competitor in the category

Most companies go into a line review with three simple goals

  1. Stay on shelf
  2. Defend their margin
  3. Grow their share of category sales

According to Mark Mitchell, here’s what you should do in a Home Depot or Lowe’s line review

  1. Grow a pair
  2. Think about the buyer and not just yourself
  3. Do your homework
  4. Paint them a picture

Don’t approach a line review as a chance to throw products at the buyer and see what sticks

Don't Get Told No With These PowerPoint Sales HacksI spoke to that point in my post 4 Essential Steps to Winning with Buyers in a Product Line Review.

You need to have a vision about how the big box will be more successful with you than without you. You need to bring that vision to life so the buyer can see it.

The goal is for the buyer to say, “That just makes sense.” Buyers are human beings and many times will make decisions based on their gut feeling. They will then use data to support their decision.

You want to show the buyer no one is more committed to their success than you as you continually bring them ideas to make them more successful.

The line review process is a validation step for the retailer

Is Your Sales Team Asking The Right Pricing QuestionsRemember they are ultimately confirming that they are offering “the right product, sold for the right price, at the right place and time.”

To be better prepared for a line review, check out my post Are You Ready For Your Product Line Review?

Good Selling!

Active Search Results (ASR) is an independent Internet Search Engine using a proprietary page ranking technology with Millions of popular Web sites indexed.

Tips To Using AMS Ad Campaigns on Amazon.com To Grow Your Sales

Advertise on Amazon.com with AMSAmazon has a really simple ad program available to help you grow your sales.

Many people refer to these ads as “AMS ad campaigns” because Amazon Media Services runs the program.

Here’s how Amazon positions these ads:

  • Start a campaign for as little as $100
  • Pay only when shoppers click
  • Optimize performance with detailed sales reports

3 ways to advertise your products on Amazon.com

Amazon Product AdsAmazon offers three different approaches to promote your products or brand.

  1. Product Display Ads are cost-per-click product or interest targeted display ads that drive traffic to your product listing on Amazon.
  2. Headline Search Ads uses keyword targeted cost-per-click search ads offered. They allow brands to drive traffic to a brand page or to landing pages at Amazon with 3 or more skus (Amazon calls them ASINs).
  3. Sponsored Products are keyword-targeted ads that allow you to advertise the products you sell on Amazon.com. They use keywords in your campaign to the search terms that shoppers use to search for products at Amazon.com. When a shopper searches for the keywords in your campaign, your ad can show up.

Your ads will appear on the product detail page, on the left rail of search results, at the bottom of search results, on the customer reviews page and at the top of the offer listing page – in other words, all over the place.

Use AMS ad campaigns to generate a >500% ROI

I haveamazon-marketing-services-ad been using AMS ads extensively for the last 6 months and have generated an average ROI of 500% on my advertising dollars. There’s no catch but it has been a learning process. Not every ad campaign has been a winner.

AMS ads are not pretty. The creative for your campaign is automatically generated through the Amazon Marketing Services ad builder. You can customize the headline and logo before you send the ad. Importantly, you don’t need an ad agency or graphic designer to create effective ads.

Best of all, AMS ads are inexpensive. Amazon Marketing Services uses a cost-per-click, auction-based pricing model. You set the maximum cost-per-click you are willing to pay. The more competitive your bid is, the more likely your ad will be displayed.

Tips to getting the most from your AMS ad campaign

  • AMS Advertising on AmazonFor your first ads, pick your best sellers. Don’t be tempted to bring attention to slow movers or new products.
  • Create a short catch-phrase likely to interest your target audience to use for your headline. Don’t simply copy your product description into the headline. I’ve found “Save Now On…” works well unless there’s a key benefit I can highlight.
  • Click the option to display your ad as quickly as possible (don’t let Amazon spread it out evenly). Unless you’re overbidding, it’s hard to make impressions, so get as many as you can.
  • Change the month of the end date. Set the end date as far into the future as the system will let you (several months). You can end it anytime manually.
  • I have found product targeting drives sales better than interest targeting.
  • Select at least 25 (more is better) products to target. Don’t focus on near in competitors – think about the larger category or space your audience could be searching for.
  • Enter specific keywords, even key-phrases, highly relevant to your product. Try a variety of keywords and phrases, but remember that relevance is key.
  • Relevance matters when targeting, not only to get the most out of your ad (you want it to sell once you get traffic), but also to prevent your ad from being stopped.AMS Ads
  • Start your bidding around $1. This is your max out-of-pocket cost per click and you may be forced to raise it if you are not getting impressions (meaning you are not winning the bid). You can always raise your bid later. I like to proactively raise the bids of my most expensive keywords when they are generating sales.
  • Your stats aren’t show in real-time and can actually be delayed by a day. Don’t rush to make changes, especially at the beginning.
  • We’ve found that it pays to touch our ads every few days. Add keywords, or pause non-performers, extend the end date or change a bid. Do this with winners and losers.
  • You’re not obligated to spend your whole ad campaign budget. You can pause or end your ad at any time.
  • Name your campaigns by what you are trying to do. The default names aren’t helpful at all. Trust me when I say you’ll never remember once you get more than a handful of ads running (we’ve run 47 different variations and stuck with only a handful longer term).
  • Amazon has an ad performance dashboard that you should check daily. If you’re spending money but not generating sales, stop your ad before you lose more money. Try to improve your ad before running it again. An exception to this is when you are trying to get attention to a new item but think of this as an investment.
  • Look at your short-term ROI (return on investment). If that ROI is uncomfortably low (let’s say 100%), step back and try to decide why. Something isn’t working, so either stop the ad or try to improve it.

Try many different approaches with small sums and commit more heavily when you see something working. This is the secret to our crazy high ROI percentages.

Good Selling!
Active Search Results (ASR) is an independent Internet Search Engine using a proprietary page ranking technology with Millions of popular Web sites indexed.