3 ways brands are completely under-utilizing their product feed and how to fix it

Your product feed can be an exceptional creative automation tool but first you need to fix these common mistakes.
Pierce Porterfield

Advertisers are always talking about how they want to produce more creative without doing more work, yet they’re ignoring the fact that there’s a completely attainable solution right in front of them. The product feed!

With how effective dynamic product ads are, its insane that brands aren’t completely re-vamping their product catalogs to include metadata that’s geared purely toward advertising. Yeah, everybody has the standard: title, description, product category, etc. - but how is that going to help you sell your product? You want more creative for minimal effort? Start treating the catalog as a means for creative automation - optimize your product feed.

Here’s what you should be doing:

Stop adding everything into the title

This is what the average brands “title” column looks like:

“Super Apparel |  Brooklyn Daytrip Top | Halter | White | Linen Blend”

Yes, this ungodly string of text is probably great for SEO or getting your product found on Amazon, but its completely derailing your ability to use this info to automate producing ad creative.

Check it out — this title field needs to be broken up into separate fields.

Split up the title into brand, title, style, color, material (or have Marpipe's AI do it for you)

Break apart the bloated title so that you can actually have something to play with when designing creative from your feed. Being able to style each element differently will allow you to work with more than just a single text-box when arranging a template.

Its the difference between this and this:

With the title column split up we can style all of this data separately for a more engaging design

Include a Testimonial Column

Surely most brands have customer reviews for almost every one of their products, however, you wouldn’t know that from their product feed. How is there a column for “condition” but not one for “featured_review”? It’s the most popular trick in advertising: social proof. By bringing this into the feed you can have a constant stream of testimonial creative with just tiny bit of extra effort each month.

A classic 5 star big quote mark design but generated dynamically

I know what, you’re thinking...”I have 4000+ products in my store, I don’t have the time to choose testimonials for all of them” — and you’re absolutely correct in thinking that.

The best part is, you don’t have to! You just need to start by adding unique testimonials to your best sellers. For every product without a unique testimonial just choose a fallback that applies to the entire brand.

Unique testimonial: “Love the linen material in this top and how it has adjustable buttons in the back. It’s lightweight, comfortable and the material feels very high-end!”

Fallback testimonial (if unique is empty): “The customer service here is amazing! I needed to exchange for a different size and it was at my doorstep in only 32 hours.”

Since the testimonials are already in your store’s ecosystem it should be no problem to spend 30-45 minutes a month to choose a featured testimonial for a handful of products. The output definitely outweighs the marginal amount of effort needed to get this going.

Something a bit more cheeky, mock up in an iPhone message to connect with the modern consumer.

Split images by type

Brands rarely have a consistent set of image types that they use across the products in their catalog. The additional_image column is a complete mess, with wildly different types of content from product to product. This poses a major challenge when designing for creative automation. How do you make a good design if every single product is going to have a completely different style of image?

Here is how most images are setup currently:

For Product A the first image will be an isolated flat-lay, while the next few images are other slightly different angles of the same flat-lay.

For Product B the first images are a front and back flat-lay, followed by multiple “On-Model” angles.

This works if the first image is always flat-lay AND if you only ever use the first image per product in your design. BUT, what if we want to use the model images? We could set a rule to always use the third product image in our design, however that would still result in a flat-lay for Product A. You can see below how design 2 is meant for the model images and does not work when used with the flat-lay.

There are two routes to fixing this:

Option A: Always place the same image types in the same order when adding new products to your store. Operationally, this seems very tedious to actually pull off and falls apart in situations where you don’t use the same production team, or where all product categories don’t need the same types of images.

Option B: Make separate columns for each image type and have those automatically populate the main image and additional image columns. This is easier to keep up with as you merely have to place each image where it goes when uploading new products to the store. ex. Place your front flat-lay in the f_flatlay columns, back flat-lay in b_flatlay, Full body model shot in f_model_fullbody, and so on. Set up simple feed automation to then populate these organized images into the other places they need to be.

Give yourself the opportunity to make layouts that support the product imagery. You don’t want to be limited creatively by a disorganized feed.

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