A Strategy in Marin is a collection of campaigns that allows you to define bidding goals and strategies based on your own business needs. These campaigns should have the same goal (e.g. Cost-per-Lead Target or Awareness Targeting) and a shared budget, as spend is most effectively managed at the Strategy level.

In this article, we'll explain how to create, structure, and assign your Strategies. So let's begin!

How To Create A Strategy 

To create a new Strategy in Marin, follow the steps below.

  1. Click on the Optimize tab from the left-hand navigation. 
  2. Select Strategies next. 
  3. From here, click on the Create button ('+' icon) above the grid. 
  4. Next, you will need to select what kind of targeting you'd like your new Strategy to use. You select from one of the following options:
    1. Maximize Convs. to CPA uses a target Cost per Lead to maximize your conversions.
    2. Maximize Rev. to ROAS uses a target ROAS to maximize your revenue. 
    3.  Awareness Targeting uses a target impression rate % or position target to maximize traffic.
    4. Pace to Spend Target  Adjusts campaign daily budgets to hit a spend target
    5. Maximize Convs. to Spend Target  Adjust campaign daily budgets and bidding targets to maximize conversions to a spend target.
    6.  Maximize Rev. to Spend Target Adjust campaign daily budgets and bidding targets to maximize revenue to a spend target.
  5. Once you've selected your targeting, you'll give your new Strategy a name and enter an initial target. Don't worry, though, you'll have a chance to update your target once your Strategy has been created. 
  6. Then, click Create
  7. That's all there is to it! We'll learn about how to assign campaigns to your new Strategy in the next section. 

Want to create multiple Strategies at once? You can use the bulk upload feature to do exactly that. Read our dedicated help center article for more information about bulk uploads.

Mapping Campaigns to a Strategy 

  1.  Navigate to Accounts > Campaigns in the left navigation.
  2. Select the check-boxes next to the campaigns to assign to your Strategy. You can even use filters to help narrow down what's visible in the grid. 
  3. Select the Edit button ('pencil' icon) above the grid. 
  4. From the multi-edit pane, select Strategy Management in the left-hand navigation. 
  5. Next, you'll have the opportunity to create a new Strategy or assign your campaigns to an existing Strategy by selecting the corresponding radio button.
  6. If you choose to create a new Strategy, you'll have the opportunity to give it a name, select the kind of targeting you'd like to use, and set an introductory target.
  7. If you choose to assign your objects to an existing Strategy, simply select the right one from the drop-down. 
  8. Lastly, click Apply

Specify Conversion Types 

Specify Conversion Types allows you to bid toward your precise goal while selecting which conversion types are most important to your business. You can set up this type of bidding from the Advanced tab in the Strategy Side Panel

To learn more about Specify Conversion Types bidding, check out our dedicated article.

Enabling Your Strategy  

  1. Click on the Optimize tab from the left-hand navigation. 
  2. Select Strategies next. 
  3. From here, you will see a grid of your existing Strategies. Double-click on the Strategy you would like to edit to launch the Side Panel
  4. At the bottom of the Settings tab, you'll see the Traffic to Publisher section. Hover over the Edit button ('pencil' icon) and click to see the available modes for bid calculations, which include:
    1. Preview - This will begin calculating bids, but will not push them live to the publisher.
    2. Traffic - This will calculate bids and push them live to the publisher. 
  5. Select the mode you'd like to use for your Strategy, then click Save

How To Edit Your Strategy  

  1. Click on the Optimize tab from the left-hand navigation. 
  2. Select Strategies  next. 
  3. From here, you will see a grid of your existing Strategies. Click on the Strategy you would like to edit to launch the Side Panel. The Side Panel is an overlay that sits on top of the grid and can be launched without navigating away from the grid, in order to adjust a number of different fields, including your Strategy's targeting, Rules, mode (On/Preview), and more. 
  4. When you see a field that you would like to edit, simply hover over it until the Edit ('pencil') icon is visible. Click on the Edit ('pencil') icon.
    You can make updates to your targeting in this same manner.
  5. Make any necessary updates, then click Save. If you have multiple fields you would like to edit (for example, targeting and traffic mode), be sure to click Save in each section before moving to the next. 
  6. That's all there is to it! 

The 'More' Menu Within Strategies 

The 'More' menu in Marin can be used to access a variety of details related to a specific object as well as to quickly navigate Marin. 

Within Strategies, specifically, the 'More' menu can be used to apply filters for the objects that are housed within an individual Strategy, including Campaigns, Groups, Keywords, Product Groups, and Dynamic Targets.

If you hover over the 'Three Dots' icon and select Jump To, and you can quickly navigate to the objects housed within a specific Strategy.


Additionally, the 'More' menu can also be used to view a Strategy's History, Settings History, and Settings.

How To Structure Your Strategies 

Now that you know how to create Strategies, it's a good idea to understand how best to structure them.

The key to a successful Strategy structure is alignment with your business goals while also ensuring that each Strategy has a statistically significant amount of monthly conversion volume. 100 conversions per month is ideal and 11 conversions all-time is a requirement, but anything over 40 conversions per month may still work for your business.

If your Strategy has fewer than 100 conversions per month (but greater than 40 conversions per month) and you've used Marin's automated bidding successfully in the past, you do not need to discontinue using Strategies, but keep in mind that you might see better performance if your Strategy is able to reach the 100 conversion threshold. 

Below we'll outline some best practices for structuring your Strategy. 

  1. Many marketers choose to use our Awareness Targeting to maintain an impression rate % or average position for Brand campaigns. In this case, we recommend that you create separate Brand and Non-Brand Strategies to leverage Awareness Targeting bidding against brand terms, and financial bidding for non-brand terms.
  2. Create a separate Strategy for each of your business goals. For example:
    • If you want to maintain a certain position or impression rate % for brand terms and achieve a specific Cost-per-Lead for non-brand terms, create a Strategy for each.
    • A retail marketer has different Cost-per-Lead goals for different product lines, and should therefore create a Strategy for each product line.
  3. Make sure that your Strategies align with your budgets. For example:
    • An education marketer has different budgets for targeting undergraduate students and graduate students, and should therefore create a Strategy for each corresponding set of campaigns.
    • A marketer has a separate budget for traditional search ads and shopping ads, and should therefore create two Strategies accordingly.
  4. For advanced segmentation of performance-based Strategies, consider segmenting high-volume Strategies by an attribute with a large variance in performance. 

Note: Do not do this if the resulting Strategies will have less than 100 conversions per week.

For example:

  • A travel marketer has a single ROI goal for all non-brand campaigns, but the conversion rate is significantly different between Flight and Hotel campaigns. They can choose to create separate Strategies so that the data shared for low-volume keywords is more relevant.

Handy Tip

It's important to know that keywords with very little historical data will borrow data from similar keywords within the same Strategy.


A Note On Segmenting Non-Brand Strategies 

If you have just one consistent goal across all Non-Brand Search campaigns, we recommend keeping all of these Non-Brand Search campaigns in just one Strategy.

If you have varying business goals or products, it is possible to create separate Strategies if each segment averages more than 40 conversions per month. Having more available conversions per Strategy improves performance, since the statistical confidence of the bid calculations is increased with the amount of sample data.

If each segment will maintain 40 conversions, we'd recommend that you consider the following approaches:

  • Segment by bidding goal, including Awareness Targeting, conversion (lead)-based bidding or revenue-based bidding.
  • If you have a large portion of spend on low-volume keywords, consider segmenting by product lines.
  • Generally, we recommend against segmenting by publisher.

Device Bidding 

To set up device bidding, from the Side Panel, click into the Traffic to Publisher section and check the box for Device Bidding. Then click Save to finalize your changes.

You can learn more about device bidding from our dedicated article.


Important Notes 

Below are a few things to bear in mind when working with Strategies in the platform.

  • Campaigns can also be assigned to a Strategy by using the platform's Multi-Edit or Bulk Upload features.
  • By default, all campaigns will be assigned to the Unassigned Strategy. To remove a campaign from a Strategy you created, you can re-assign it to the Unassigned Strategy using the steps listed above.
  • For reporting purposes, we also offer the ability to update your Strategy for deleted objects via a multi-edit.

Written by Marketing @ Marin Software

Last published at: June 17th, 2024