Amazon Case Study: How the Rocketbook Dominated the Marketplace

rocketbook case study

You may have seen them on Shark Tank, or maybe you heard about their Kickstarter. Or maybe you’re just wondering what notebooks have to do with microwaves and how could that improve my PPC?

Rocketbook brought us “notebooks from the future” by creating the world’s first cloud-storing, reusable notebook. With its microwave-to-erase design, Rocketbook offers the nostalgia of pen and paper without the hangups (losing notes, killing trees, and running out of storage space for all the notebooks you’ve been saving since 2007).

The Problem

While Rocketbook had a great product, they struggled with the complex, ever-evolving landscape of Amazon PPC Advertising. As the world’s fastest growing advertising platform, Amazon is constantly adding new features and updates.

Who could navigate such rugged terrain? Who had the gall to scout the precarious paths of this new territory? Was there any expert in the field?

Luckily, there was.

And one day they met him: the Ad Badger.

The Solution

When Rocketbook first met the Badger, their campaigns were strong with single-digit ACOS. Their question was:

“How do we scale our business while maintaining a desirable ACOS?”

The Badger quickly noticed a few problems that were holding them back:

  • Broad match focused campaigns
  • No consistent keyword discovery process
  • No individual keyword bid optimization

Rocketbook was in trouble, but the Badger came to the rescue.

Here’s what he did.

Broad Match Campaigns

Campaigns that rely on broad match keywords sometimes perform well. Rocketbook had keywords with 1, 3, 8, and 14% ACOS, each with hundreds to thousands of dollars in Ad Spend. Not bad!

But remember, just because a campaign is good, doesn’t mean it’s optimized!

Broad match focused campaigns create a few hindrances:

  1. Wasted ad spend
  2. Bad CTR
  3. Missed revenue opportunities

1. Wasted Ad Spend

You have to keep in mind that by using “broad match” keywords you’re showing up for 100s or even 1000s of different search queries. Not all of these queries are profitable for you.

The Badger pored over their search term reports to uncover wasted ad spend, that is, money spent on clicks for irrelevant searches that didn’t earn conversions. These searches were added as negative keywords to prevent further wasted spend.

2. Bad CTR

So you get how non-converting clicks can blow through your ad budget, but what happens if you’re not getting clicks?

Scoring thousands of impressions on a given search with a low click-through-rate will still hurt your campaign. Amazon takes your product’s CTR into consideration when determining both your ad rank and your organic rank.

By proactively and reactively adding negatives to broad match campaigns, we were able to raise Rocketbook’s CTR by 21% within the first month. Because Amazon likes to show targeted and relevant ads, they rewarded Rocketbook with a higher ad rank (which means more impressions, more clicks, and more sales).

We made this infographic to help show how metrics contribute to your Ad Rank:

Amazon Ad Rank Explained
That's why it's important to keep an eye on your CTR!

3. Missed Revenue Opportunities

One other thing the Badger noticed with Rocketbook’s reports was that for a lot of keywords, most of their sales were coming from only a few specific search terms.

However, these search terms were limited in their performance because they had to share the same bid as those searches that were wasting money and earning a low CTR (see the previous two points).

What we needed to do was separate these high-revenue search terms so we could give them an aggressive bid of their own, one that maximizes revenue while staying within their target ACOS.

This brings us to our next solution: new keyword research.

New Keyword Research Strategy

Without a way to constantly discover new keywords, your campaigns will eventually become stagnant and growth will be impossible (no matter how much you spend).

Broad match and auto campaigns are great for discovering new keywords but terrible for optimizing them. We use a keyword graduation method called RPSB which involves running a report to find search terms that generate revenue. Then we target those search terms as “exact match keywords” at an optimized bid price (based on performance).

The final step is adding those same keywords as “negative exact” keywords to the broad/auto campaigns where they were found.

With this keyword discovery process, Rocketbook was able to double their ad spend while maintaining a highly profitable ACOS. Now that’s how you scale a business.

Keyword Bid Optimization

For most accounts, their greatest woe is no keyword bid optimization. To those who understand PPC, no bid optimization sounds ludicrous! We know that every keyword performs differently, and therefore is worth a different bid.

In Rocketbook’s case, some keywords had under 3% ACOS while others were well over 200%. Our goal was to optimize each individual keyword’s bid for maximum visibility and revenue.

We implemented a formula to find the perfect bid for every keyword. We did this for every single keyword in every one of their campaigns.

Sound like that could take a while?

You’re right. That’s why we built a tool to automate daily bid optimization.

We like using science-y stuff to calculate the perfect bid. (click to enlarge photo)

By bidding more aggressively on lower ACOS keywords, we were able to squeeze out as much revenue as possible. This strategy made their total ACOS rise by 2 points, but remember:

“Most of the time, people want more revenue at a target ACOS, not less revenue at a lower ACOS.” – Michael Facchin

The Result

With a little PPC love, Rocketbook experienced 448% revenue growth through the holidays and maintained 50% revenue growth afterward. 

Rocketbook was able to move 86% of their total Ad Spend to manual campaigns where keywords are performance-based and individually optimized to achieve:

  • Maximum visibility
  • Maximum revenue

With keyword optimization and the elimination of wasted ad spend, Rocketbook is now confidently spending 96% more on advertising and reaping both paid and organic benefits.

Only 14% of Ad Spend remains in auto campaigns for continual keyword research.

What’s Next?

Optimization is never done.

We continue to RPSB Rocketbook’s account, add negative keywords, and optimize bids. At the same time, we continue to build new campaigns that incorporate ASIN Targeting, Refined Category Targeting, Product Attribute Targeting, and Sponsored Brand Ads.

For Rocketbook and the Badger, not even the sky is the limit.

Fantastic! Your special Facebook Group invitation is on its way to your inbox. We can’t wait to see you in The Badger Den.

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