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Q&A: Exploring Elite SEM’s Launch of New Division To Help High-Volume Marketers Reach Active Shoppers

Written on
Feb 11, 2016 
Author
Adotas  |

Elite SEM, a digital agency specializing in performance marketing, has launched a division to assure that marketers reach active online shoppers as close to purchase as possible.

Operating from Philadelphia, Elite SEM’s Shopping & Feed Division (see below) manages a number of different services including Google Shopping and Bing Shopping, Data Feed Management, and Comparison Shopping Engines (CSEs) for clients that feature anywhere from a few thousand to tens of millions of products in online stores. The division is led by Evan Kirkpatrick (pictured left), who has been named Shopping and Feed Team Lead, a new position at the company.

“Marketers need a more individualized commitment than they are getting from current providers,” says Mr. Kirkpatrick. “Much of what is in the market now is automated and broadly focused. We are offering a level of hands-on targeting and optimization that exists nowhere else. We can combine search and shopping, in ways that channel partners can’t and agencies typically don’t, to create higher ROI at every step in the retailing process.”

Adotas: Exactly what are you doing?
Kirkpatrick: We’re making full-scale shopping and feed management available to our clients which have asked us to help them find shoppers as close to purchase as possible. That encompasses Google and Bing shopping, data feed management, and comparison shopping engines.

Adotas: Why does it matter?
Kirkpatrick: Clients need expertise first, technology second. It’s important to combine different approaches and technologies to keep up with changes in shopping involving clients.

 
Adotas: What can you do that more established services can’t do?

Kirkpatrick: They’re using their technology, which is one of many. We’re putting all of the technologies available in the hands of people who know how online retail works, and having them design and run the solution that fits the client at the moment.
 
Adotas: How are you operating differently from other agencies?
Kirkpatrick: Shopping is still so new that many agencies attempt to manage it through their search marketing divisions. The result is poor data quality, because shopping requires a completely different skill set. A few of the biggest agencies have many, if not all, of all of the components we do, but they manage them independently. The result is you respond slower to change and you miss details that fall between the silos. We’re developing full-spectrum expertise, so we can anticipate more, diagnose deeper, and make the right changes faster.
 

Adotas: Are you approaching feed management in a new way?
Kirkpatrick: Not in a new way, entirely. We’re just much more granular in how we approach it. The dollars are in the details. We break campaigns out very granularly, meaning we’re bidding on small subsets of products at a time. Also, we go through each of the data points in the feed and optimize towards best practices and do testing (ex: optimizing product titles, descriptions, etc.).
 
Adotas: Who are you focused on client-wise?
Kirkpatrick: We’re right for the clients that put a high volume – 3,000 SKUs or more – of products online.

Shop ‘Til They Drop

“As online shopping grows and diversifies, marketers need a dedicated team to achieve sustainable success at retail,” says Ben Kirshner, CEO of Elite SEM. “But shopping is still so new that many agencies attempt to manage it through their search marketing divisions. The result is poor data quality, because shopping requires a completely different skill set. A few of the biggest agencies have many, if not all, of the components we do, but they manage them independently – so they are slower to change and miss details that fall between the silos. We’re developing full-spectrum expertise, so we can anticipate more, diagnose deeper, and make the right changes faster.”

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