Amazon Advertising: Automatic vs Manual Targeting

by | Jul 21, 2021

Amazon Automatic targeting vs Manual targeting

Amazon marketing is a critical factor in the success you will have as a merchant. Utilizing Amazon advertising allows you to gain an edge on the competition through calculated targeting to ensure your products are visible to the demographics searching for your product. Secondly, advertising on Amazon makes your product and brand stand out to buyers in a marketplace full of hungry sellers. As you set up the ad campaign you will need to decide whether to go with Amazon Automatic Targeting vs Manual Targeting. Your entire ad campaign will be contingent on the targeting option you decide on. The reality is that there are pros and cons for both options.

This blog will provide you with the knowledge to ensure you make the best decision for your business as you begin to advertise your products on Amazon.

Amazon Ads: Automatic Targeting

When Should You Choose Automatic Targeting?

  • If Amazon Advertising is new to you
  • You want to get started but you’re not sure where to start (keywords, bids, etc.)
  • You don’t have time to manually maintain your Amazon advertising campaigns

Factors to Consider When Choosing Amazon Automatic Ads:

  • No control over your bids (you still have control over your budget)
  • Your profit margin may be at risk. We recommend checking on a regular basis your results to make sure you are profitable

Overview of Amazon Automatic Targeting

When it comes to marketing and advertising, there are many layers to consider. Marketing on Amazon is quite complex as multiple variables need daily optimization to ensure you are not losing ad spend without conversion. Automatic Targeting enables Amazon to decide when and where to display your product ad. This is automatically calculated based on the keywords that Amazon identifies from the title, description, and other sections of your product listing.

Automatic targeting campaigns are beneficial for PPC beginners. The reasons for this are that they are easy to set up, and you won’t need to do any research on keyword bidding as Amazon will choose based on the keywords they identify from your product’s listing.

However, it is key to note that your product ad ranking is not optimized to fit the profitability and relevance of your keywords. Having no control over your bids means you will bid equally for high converting keywords, low converting keywords, and even negative keywords having no conversions. This will ultimately raise your ACoS (Advertising Cost of Sale) as you will be wasting ad spend on keywords that are most likely not converting to sales.

For context, the lower your ACoS is, the more profit you make, as you won’t be wasting money on non-converting ads. The trend of ad spends being wasted on negative keywords may eventually lead to brands deterring from scaling their business on Amazon completely. Nevertheless, Amazon is most definitely a marketplace where all kinds of brands can hit and exceed sales targets if the accounts are consistently being monitored and optimized. To be clear: Automatic Targeting is an easy way to set up your Amazon Ads. However, your profit margin and ACoS are at high risk if you go ahead with Automatic Targeting Ad Campaigns.

Amazon Ads: Manual Targeting

When Should You Choose Manual Targeting?

  • If you already have experience in Amazon Advertising
  • You have a good idea of the keywords you want to target

Factors to Consider When Choosing Amazon Manual Ads:

  • You have time to review your ads and adjust them accordingly (preferably every 1-2 days) 
  • It can get time-consuming for some, especially for sellers with large catalogs

Overview of Amazon Manual Targeting

On the flip side, Manual Targeting is when Amazon means sellers determine the keywords and bid rates for their ad campaigns. Manual campaigns have a more specific target audience since each keyword is decided manually and input by the seller. Those running Manual Targeting Ad Campaigns are likely to have a more desirable Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS). Since they may have a better understanding of the high converting keywords.

In this case, ad spend/bidding is tailored to keywords that the merchant truly believes will result in a sale. To understand the entirety of Manual Targeting Campaigns and be successful in this option, you should be a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) expert that has access to data that proves your keywords are relevant and profitable. However, many business owners are not Amazon Pay-Per-Click Advertising experts. While Amazon sellers can become experts in understanding their own business, it is a complex process to constantly micromanage and harvest new keywords to ensure your ads are optimized.

Seasonal trends are fluid on Amazon, and strong keywords are always changing. Manual Targeting requires an in-depth strategy to ensure you are constantly in the loop on seasonal trends. Not to mention, keyword bidding is another critical process in manual ad campaigns, and there is a high risk of losing money on low converting keywords or phrases.

Optimizing all aspects of multiple product ad campaigns regularly means compromising precious time as a business owner. It is not as simple as coming up with words that are relevant to your product and brand. There is a process behind manual targeting that is research/data-driven and time-consuming. Nevertheless, if you have the time and expertise to utilize Amazon’s Manual Targeting Campaigns for your brand, all the power to you.

Closing Thoughts on Amazon Automatic vs Manual Targeting 

Even though it’s not easy to keep up with every detail of your Amazon Advertising strategy, you can use both automated and manual campaigns together for greater success. At the same time, as you try to navigate your Amazon PPC campaigns, our advertising automation platform can help you boost demand and make the most of your advertising spend. 

With Trellis, you can increase your sales by 10-30% depending on your products, save time on manual work per month, and focus on business growth. Our platform adjusts your ads everyday based on data-driven insights. 

Here is what our customers say about us:

Thanks to Trellis I’ve reduced my ad spend by 25%, increased sales by 30%, increased profit margin by 10% AND my category by 33%”



by | Jul 21, 2021