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 competition through calculated targeting to ensure your products are visible to the demographics that are 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, early on you will need to decide whether to go with Automatic Targeting or 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 to 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


Important 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


When it comes to marketing and advertising, there are many layers to consider. Marketing on Amazon is quite complex as there are multiple variables that 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 are 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 will not be optimized to fit the profitability and relevance of your keywords. Having no control on your bids means you will bid equally for high converting keywords, low converting keywords, and even negative keywords that have 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 brands of all 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 to choose Manual targeting:

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


Important 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


On the flip side, Manual Targeting on Amazon means sellers are to determine the keywords and bid rates for their ad campaigns. Manual campaigns have a more specific target audience since each keyword is manually decided on and input by the seller. For those running Manual Targeting Ad Campaigns, Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS) may be more desirable since you may have a better understanding on the keywords that have the highest rate of sales conversion. 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. They may be experts in understanding their own business, but it is a complex process to be constantly micromanaging and harvesting 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 keywords or phrases that won’t end up converting to sales. To be optimizing all aspects of multiple product ad campaigns daily, is to be 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 extremely time-consuming. Nevertheless, if you have the time AND expertise to be utilizing Amazon’s Manual Targeting Campaigns for your brand, all the power to you.

To learn more about how to optimize your Amazon Automatic campaign, check out this post!

Use Automation (AI) with Trellis

Why choose Automation (Artificial Intelligence):

  • It can increase your sales by 10-30% depending on your products
  • You can save hours of manual work per month
  • It allows you to focus on growing your business while your Amazon Ads are being taking care of
  • Trellis adjust your ads every day, based on the data it gathered

At Trellis, our mission is catered to demand generation for all types of brands looking to scale or get started in the eCommerce space. Our result-driven service is powered by an AI-based automation software that optimizes your ads for you! The Trellis solution automates all your ads to ensure your bids are optimal on high converting keywords daily. Secondly, our solution decides on keywords deriving from AI data that is aware of trending keywords/phrases in your category, for your products. Our services are all data-driven, meaning we never make assumptions when it comes to structuring advertising campaigns. Assumptions lead to loss of revenue, and we have no business in that sector. We strive to maximize sales for all brands that decide to work with us while ensuring we are working towards the most optimal Advertising Cost of Sale (ACoS) and profit margin possible. There is no obstacle too big, we are providing solutions for various types of businesses every day. We offer service plans that cater to businesses of all sizes, entrepreneurs, and corporations. Start your Free Trial with Trellis today and watch your business grow without worrying about the constant hassle of micromanagement and optimization!

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