Search Goals: Increasing ROAS vs SOV

August 10, 2021

By Dionne Resnik, Ad Tech Partnerships, and Meghan Dettenmayer, Search Analyst 

Not all advertising strategies are created equal — and that’s especially true when considering Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) and Share of Voice (SOV) for Sponsored Products. What’s the right goal for your brand and how can you achieve the right balance of the two for success? We developed the following best practices to help guide you as you develop your Sponsored Product strategy.

ROAS

ROAS is a good indicator of how well your ads are performing. By monitoring ROAS, you can make informed decisions on where to invest your ad dollars to drive efficiency and maximize your investment.

The following is a list of optimizations to consider when driving ROAS: 

  • Ensure your keyword list is relevant to your items in order to increase the likelihood of conversion 

  • Use Bid Multipliers for better ROAS performing Page Types and Device type placements.

  • Be mindful of the products you’re advertising. Higher priced items or top-sellers normally drive more sales because they have a history and likely meet eligibility thresholds. 

  • Capitalize on promotional periods and seasonality of your items. 

  • Test lower daily budget caps (and bids) to find where your campaign can effectively spend the budget and see a positive daily ROAS that is more aligned with your goal. Sometimes the items are unable to spend hundreds of dollars if there is low demand. 

  • If your campaign is frequently hitting the daily budget, this indicates demand, and your bids can be lower to achieve more sales in the day. Consider walking down your bids in 10% increments in order to determine at what daily budget you are no longer consistently hitting that cap.

SOV

SOV is a measure of the market position your brand owns compared to your competitors. It acts as a gauge for your brand visibility and how much you dominate search results. While difficult to measure SOV within the Walmart landscape, there are a number of best practices that can help improve your share of voice. The following are some tips to help boost your SOV:

  • Monitor daily ad budget and continue to increase the cap until it isn’t hitting consistently. This allows for your items to serve at all hours of the day. If you’re consistently capping out, there are competitor brands winning within your category and potentially on your branded keywords. 

  • Check in the morning, afternoon, and evening to see if your items are populating on your search terms and within the carousel placements throughout the category. If you're not seeing carousel ads, that’s an indication your campaign has exhausted its budget for the day or is not competitive, thus losing visibility.  

  • If your items aren’t showing up as frequently as you’d like, continue to increase the bids 10% until you see them populate more often. 

  • Include Automatic within your Sponsored Product tactic to ensure total category coverage and brand defense. 

A balance of both — over time — is essential

Within the Walmart ecosystem, SOV and ROAS are equally important. The following will help you achieve visibility for your brand and sales in the long run.

  • Determine which items and keywords are important to your brand’s strategy and tier the bid prices based on their goal.

  • Innovation or new items should have a higher bid to drive customers to discover your new products, whilst competing against more mature, higher ranking competitor items. 

  • Focus your highest bids on keywords and items you want to defend and win the most searches on, as this will protect your share and continue driving sales.

  • Increase ROAS by funneling your budget into placements and devices that drive stronger ROAS performance (reference Page Type and Platform Reporting). Increase the multiplier value and maintain higher daily ad spend to continue owning more of the share within this placement long after competitors have capped out for the day.

  • Utilize a single Automatic campaign with all your items and ensure efficient bids to keep your brand rotating across the category and site at all times of day. Sales will continue to happen as the right customers are served your products.

  • Automatic and Search Brand Amplifier are two tactics that can attract a wide range of customers with competitive bids, cover more inventory, and delivers premium visibility across the site.

  • After driving continuous customer traffic to your product pages, take advantage of the increased ranking by competitively promoting your items to achieve even higher SOV with more efficient bids during holidays and other seasonal timeframes. 

 

ROAS 
SOV 
Efficiency
Awareness and item visibility  
Lower avg cpc, higher: conversions, CTR 
Higher: impressions, clicks, avg. cpc 
Profitability is important 
Easy to overpay your bid 
Tends to be more relevant to searches
Tends to have the most visibility 
Achievable higher ROAS  Typically, low ROAS 
Requires more strategy on keywords and SKUs                        Broad targeting 
Lower bids Higher daily cap 

Walmart Connect is here to help you make the most of your Sponsored Product investments. Please contact us about setting up your next campaign. 

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Search Goals: Increasing ROAS vs SOV