ThoughtShift attended ‘Biddable World’, an event that took place on January 21st 2014 at the Institute of Education in London.

The event received astonishing attendance amongst which, there were agencies and in-house representatives.

Last year Google announced the introduction of Enhanced Campaigns and ever since it’s launch on 22nd July 2013, advertisers have had to change their entire approach to do paid advertising and constantly find innovative ways to capture users at the right point of purchase.

The event was a prompt that highlighted the challenges in paid media and what the future holds for search.

Supporting graphic
Taken by Dayana Jardim at Biddable World 2014

Biddable World 2014 at a Glance – Our Top 4 Speakers

John Myers, VP & Managing Director EMEA at Marin Software, started the event by walking the audience through the history of paid search. Beginning in 1994 with the first display ads, Google Adwords changed the scene in October 2000, followed by the growth in Mobile and Tablet searches and ending in how Enhanced Campaigns and Real Time Bidding could change paid media dramatically, taking us to almost endless possibilities to target users.

Sarah Conway from Isabella Oliver spoke about how Google Shopping & PLA’s could shift the way retailers reach potential buyers and offered the audience insightful data on how to optimise PLA’s for better performance.

According to Sarah, PLA’s contributed to an incremental growth of 35% in clicks in Q3 2013, spend increased by 196%, however, revenue boosted by 417% proving, PLA’s are more valuable than ever before!

Sarah’s top five tips for PLA’s optimisation:

  1. Categorise your products well to create a good taxonomy.
  2. Target all products at first, test and then break out top categories.
  3. Segment your feed to allow easy optimisation.
  4. Look at device performance and shopper habits.
  5. Get ahead by upping your budget and using labels.

Tara West, PPC Specialist from Koozai, spoke on Adwords Quality Score and how to optimise for them.

As some of you may already know, Quality Score is an estimate of relevance between ads, keywords and landing pages. It is also affected by budget, bids, competition and a secret element from Google.

Tara offered a very comprehensive analysis on how to optimise for what she called ‘different types of Quality Score’. Here are her top tips:

  • Keyword Quality Score: Structure your account properly from day one. Try not to be guilty of launching an account quickly without thinking about your strategy first. Aim for one keyword per ad group, up your bids for higher positions, use broad match modifier and remember to add the quick-win keywords straight away!
  • Ad Level Quality Score: Use ad extensions, remember to A/B test your ads regularly and pause those ads not delivering good results, use different ad variations and do not miss out on dynamic keyword insertion.
  • Landing Page Quality Score: Try to match user’s expectations and be honest. Keep the user experience in mind.
  • Device Quality Score: Since enhanced campaigns location has become a big part of mobile relevancy. Try to review your mobile user journey regularly, create targeted mobile ads, ad extensions and segment your performance by device. Remember to set bids by location and by device.

Last but not least, remember 6 is the new 7! This is a good quality score. Now it is harder to move from quality score 6 to 7 than a 3 to 4 and it takes longer to be at the top.

Nandita Patkar, Head of Paid Search at Oban Multilingual, dazzled the audience with her sense of humour and insightful takeaways around international opportunities for biddable media.

According to recent studies, the Global eCommerce market will be worth $2 trillion in 2016 especially in Asia and Latin America.

The big challenge for advertisers will be to localise user’s shopping experience, however biddable media can look through those challenges and offer a quick solution.

Nandita’s key tips around international campaigns were:

  • Research your international market – don’t jump blindly before getting useful insights.
  • Try to understand the local market.
  • Create an integrated digital strategy.
  • Let biddable media technology gather the insights you need.
  • Be creative with your ads and test, test, test.
  • Focus on people and the rest will follow.


I certainly agree with John Myers on how technology and search behaviour are moving fast and we need to adapt to its constant shift and find innovative ways and tools to reach our potential buyers without missing the aim of an integrated digital strategy. PLA’s and Google Shopping are, in fact, a great example of shifting technology, moving fast and gaining exposure at an incredible rate only having a little less than a year out.

I can easily relate with Sarah Conway and the significance of PLA’s and Google Shopping for retailers. This is the future and now more than ever, users are more inclined to browse and buy online rather than visiting an actual shop. We are all guilty of using our tablets, desktops and mobiles to browse for items and quickly deciding to buy them.

At ThoughtShift we focus on eCommerce businesses in a variety of verticals, certainly a local and international focus applies to many of our clients and we constantly strive to improve and find the best solutions for our clients with the aim of improving performance, increasing brand awareness and gaining visibility.

We would like to thank every single one of the speakers at Biddable World 2014 although not all of you feature on this post; we think you all did a brilliant job!

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