- Bidding strategies based on position or conversions, or revenue are very helpful for improving the performance of all campaigns and saving money
- It keeps the data easily accessible within one place. Pulling reports, being able to do a web query report, being able to integrate with many data sources makes the platform very useful. Also Marin reps are very helpful
- Marin offers a live chat, which is very helpful when you have an urgent question.
- Tracking templates are easily adjustable
- The filters on the columns don't always work properly
- The platform is sometimes very slow in updating the selected view
What makes it difficult is that everytime you need to update anything on the account, you can't use the publisher but have to do it through Marin. This makes the whole process very time consuming and causes more mistakes. Also if you have paused anything on the publisher and you don't remember to sync marin after, all changes on the publisher will get lost if you make new changes on marin.
- The automated bidding features are great and work very well.
- Automation of tasks such as adding negative keywords or adding long tails via the search terms report saves a ton of time.
- Being able to make bulk changes across both AdWords and Bing at the same time.
- Preferring to make bulk changes with AdWords Editor, it would sometimes not upload correctly, which was frustrating.
- The reporting features weren't horrible, but I was expecting a little more. It's pretty time consuming to set up initially.
- A little slow when it comes to integrating new features - seems like it took a very long time to make a transition to final URLs and there was very little support during that time.
Smaller accounts would likely not benefit as much and the fee would probably be used more effectively if put toward the actual spend.
- The overview tab is helpful for overall knowledge and quick updates for spend, ROI, etc.
- Ability to filter in endless ways.
- Reporting is easy to customize and can be pulled across clients.
- Adding dimensions makes your life easier and can be customized per client needs.
- We have a lot of issues with syncing data from Omniture with our Marin clients. Often times, data will be missing for certain days.
- Sitelinks are not the easiest to upload and view in Marin.
- Better download speeds for reporting would help us get more done in a day.
- Gives a complete overview across different paid search platforms e.g. it's easy to see how the same ad groups/keywords/ads etc., are working on different platforms.
- You can create bidding scenarios as a test before rolling them out.
- You have to learn to use the platform yourself & there's very little help with this from the customer support team.
- Account managers are very hands off and refer you back to customer support for everything.
- Strategic support would be helpful in terms of how to test and implement.
- Both the client services and professional services teams were very helpful. Excellent support from account executives, analytics and professional services teams. During the initial integration, the professional services team worked all odd hours to accommodate integration with various countries. They also worked with us to accept all the customization that we requested for the data we were passing to them.
- Bidding algorithm is robust and the analytics team built us customized bidding monitoring tools . The bidding tool improved our efficiency quite a lot in all countries where the teams utilized the tool completely for bidding.
- Campaign management tools also vastly decreased the time that the team spent on campaign management. The account executives provided timely inputs on new tools and areas where we could automate further.
- While this is no reflection on the tool itself, it requires users to have a good understanding of the way the bidding algorithm works . Users cannot expect to be completely hands off in bidding but can expect good support from the client services team
- Found that Marin was surprisingly good at managing Local accounts within an MCA (anywhere from 50-60 accounts, depending on vertical/scale).
- Bid optimization was better and easier to setup than other platforms.
- Customizing and pulling reports was extremely intuitive.
- I mentioned in the previous answer that Marin was surprisingly good at managing Local accounts to scale, but that is in comparison to other platforms. For a long time, Marin didn't have the capability to make changes across accounts. Let's say you are managing 500 Local Automotive Dealerships. Each MCA has a limit of 2.5 million KWs (recommended). That means you would have to break those dealerships in to 7 or 8 unique MCAs. Managing that at scale can be difficult if you can't make changes across MCAs.
- They really need more integration with other vendors (ie., call tracking platforms). Yes, there are workarounds, but they are manual unless your agency has internal resources to lessen the pain points.
- Marin Software provides an in depth analysis of the account across all levels. Users can determine where search metrics came from based on device level, campaign level, keyword level and more. This is a strength for Marin Software because it allows users to find all the data it needs on an easy to use user interface.
- Marin Software successfully tracks conversions for the account. If the tracking codes are implemented correctly the user can find all the data they need from any conversion point they want. This is a strength for Marin Software because this is a solution that a lot of other paid search software don't offer.
- Marin Software allows the user to set up alerts based on activity in the account. For example, if the user wants a notification every time revenue drops they can set that up in the user interface. This is a strength for Marin Software because this solution allows the user to be on top of their account at all times.
- Marin Software could better implement the tracking code notifications so that the user knows they were implemented correctly. However, the user should be double checking on their work so this is a minor need for improvement.
- Marin Software could better implement pulling reports in the user interface. Sometimes it is hard to pull dates using the reporting tool.
- Marin Software could create more consistency between the tabs.
- Consolidation of multiple accounts. Google, Bing, other...all in one place. This is why reporting is based out of Marin. One data source vs. many.
- Bid management for financial goals. Setting a cost-per-conversion goal allows Marin to maximize conversions by adjusting bids up and down. Performance increases are amazing!
- Reporting. Flexibility of reports is pretty cool.
- Support. They are addressing this currently, and things seem to have improved lately, but we were experiencing long delays in getting support tickets addressed.
- New Google Shopping campaigns will not even show in the tool. Old PLA campaigns are fine however.
- Random missing data. Typically this happens after an update, but we've seen data missing in various clients. Usually logging a support ticket and having Marin Support rerun a backend process resolves the issue.
Cost: We were able to negotiate a decent % of spend rate, but standard rates can be fairly high, especially when compared to other tools, with the exception of Kenshoo.
- Quick, detailed, reoccurring reporting saved our strategists tons of time every week.
- It provided more more detailed reporting capabilities allowing more in depth analysis and insights.
- Allowing us to manage various platforms in one interface improved our performance and efficiency significantly.
- More customization to the reporting output such as allowing multiple logos and changing headers of reports
- More simplified bid rules - it gets very complicated and intimidating
- Automated Bidding let's us use the same logic and formulas we would use to make optimizations while implementing it across every single keyword, something a large team couldn't execute flawlessly at the same frequency.
- Cross Publisher tracking and optimizations are a huge time saver
- Dimensions, Reporting and other features call out areas for improvement and allow quick fixes
- It would be really nice to have a solution to some annoying tracking problems like Bing revenue data and side by side publisher/marin tracker data.
- Allowing the upload of DSP or other non-supported platform data would let us use Marin as a reporting suite
- Unified Google and Bing performance results
- Fast keyword filtering based on criteria such as impressions, average CPC, rank, etc.
- Bulk keyword and ad text upload
- More drag and drop functionality. For example, the ability to copy or move keywords and ad text between ad groups or campaigns.
- More options to customize charts and graphs to track progress over time.
- Marin does a great job providing an aggregated dashboard for paid search. Through their portal we're able to identify what's working well for our campaigns, weed out elements that are sub par and fine tune each aspect of the account.
- Marin also takes the heavy lifting out of managing paid search campaigns. Through their tool we're able to bulk upload, schedule, create, augment and optimize. By being able to make changes across many campaigns at one time, my team spends less time navigating different engine UIs and more time optimizing and bringing strategic insights and optimizations to our clients.
- Through customized views, Marin makes it easy for our teams and clients to see just the right amount of data to answer their question without having to export and manipulate data to arrive at the answer. By creating dimensions for each account we're able to segment performance even further, making optimizations even simpler.
- The onboarding process with Marin can be a bit clunky. The request to launch a new account is vetted by the Agency Lead which is then queued for the Professional Services team. By potentially getting a new PS team for each onboard, you're potentially working with people not familiar with your business. Once the onboarding is complete, the account is transitioned to the Engagement team. With different teams touching the account at various phases, it creates a disconnect in the transition and often leaves our team explaining the situation on multiple occasions.
- Custom metrics can be hard to come by in Marin. There are some "custom" features hard-coded into the tool that are generally available, but several that are not, such as converting seconds into hours and minutes.
- Data tying the date/time stamp of the click to the conversion is a custom report that has to be requested specifically by the team but is something, from a conversion path standpoint, that should be standard in the user interface, regardless of integration type or complexity of account.
Key items to understand:
What type of integration will work best for your overall needs and objectives?
What different tools need to be tied together and what can be automated versus requires manual attention?
Any known custom requests should be stated upfront to ensure the account is built to meet the needs of your campaigns.
- Budgeting. Marin allows you to easily see budget and manage budget across engines. It is easy to shift budget from google and bing in real time.
- Bidding. We have found the bidding tool extremely successful across our clients to lower cost per conversions and save money.
- Marin's customer support could be more responsive.
Marin Software Review: "Efficient, User-Friendly Paid Search Management Platform with Tolerable Shortcomings"
- Marin is a self-serve platform. You can tailor your campaigns per your preference/convenience/needs. You can customize your view, see % changes, create custom columns depending on your Key Performance Indicators, and set any sort of dimensions and labels that will help you filter for your campaigns on a daily basis.
- Bidding and changes to destination URLs can be done through mass edits within the UI, without having to upload bulk-sheets. You push any changes from Marin to the Engines, and can also pull in your changes from Bing/AdWords engines by syncing your campaigns as well. The system will not publish anything you do not manually post until Midnight PST. You can copy paste straight from your excel bulksheet into the uploading tool (or upload the document through unicode text).
- The Administrative log keeps track of all changes, and keeps users (through their logins) accountable for any edits. This way, you can filter for your name, and find the edits that you made, just to double check your work, or to make sure you are publishing the correct changes. There is a keyword- group- and campaign-level history/settings log, where you can see the name of the user who created, edited, published, paused, activated, deleted, etc. any item.
- You can set up alerts that will help you manage accounts: anything from active campaigns with 0 ad copy, to finding keywords in low ad positions.
- If you push duplicate keywords, the system will reject them, keeping our accounts from getting clouded due to human error. There is no need to download existing keywords or groups and use their keyword or group IDs to make any edits--instead, editing is a breeze because the system detects the new changes automatically. The only need for IDs is when making edits to creative.
- The Marin (corporate) reps we deal with on a daily basis are atrociously condescending, difficult to deal with, and need to work on their transparency. We encounter attitude when requesting logins for new team members! However, the help desk is staffed by the friendliest professionals willing to help.
- While the filtering options (filter by account, campaign name, group name, keyword name, destination URL, dimension, strategy, model, etc) are very extensive, you cannot filter for 'either/or'. For example, if I want to filter down to a specific group of campaigns in the same account that contain "A", but do not contain "B", I cannot make this filter in the same area. I would have to find the common denominator between those campaigns on say, the "strategy level", and exclude the ones I do not want on a "model" level.
- Just like any other platform where corporate paid search accounts are managed, sometimes it takes a while to pull reports. However, I've worked across a few other search management platforms, and Marin speeds are tolerable.
- Easy to learn and use user interface.
- Very easy to make ad copy changes.
- Changes all across the board can be made quickly.
- Account representatives and upper management aren't always the most helpful when dealing with business effecting issues.
- Some small minor changes require a bulk sheet when they can easily be done in the interface if Marin had that ability.
- Doesn't seem like there is any progression by the Marin team to make updates to the tool.
- Bulk editing across engines. Can make large-scale account changes in a flash.
- Simple, easy-to-use interface. Makes training new employees on the tool a quicker process.
- Custom dimensions. Allows for flexibility in slicing and dicing your data in a way that's easily viewable directly in the tool.
- Ad extensions - the process for adding/editing ad extensions is cumbersome and needs to be completed in both the tool and the engines themselves. Not consistently supported between extension type or even engines. Process for editing is not nuanced and not intuitive.
- Pivoting features - it would be great if there were a pivot table-like functionality where you could look at aggregated data directly in the UI without having to pull a report.
- Budget pacing - no budget pacing functionality is available which is a key piece of our day-to-day campaign management.
- Bidding - bidding folders are clunky and do not support more nuanced/advanced calculations.
- Data by device - the current format is extremely clunky and doesn't easily translate into an Excel or pivot table. This functionality needs to be improved and more consistent with the typical views in the UI.
- Non-keyword based campaigns - the platform does not support direct UI management of non-KW based campaigns such as YouTube and GDN display.
-White glove service - set up expectations in advance. It's difficult to get a straight answer when reps keep sending you to the generic help section or insist that you dial the customer service line.
-Integration with third-party tracking services - the Marin tracking pixel is not always the answer for clients but certain functionalities will be limited if you don't use their proprietary conversion pixel.
-Expectations around what can/can't be managed in Marin - such as YouTube, GDN banners, dynamic remarketing, etc.
- API feed for importing back-end analytics data into the app
- Ability to use the filtering function to cross-segment performance data
- Customized reporting module so reporting can be tailored for specific geographic regions/audiences within the organization
- Customizable bidding folders to target multiple conversion CPAs
- Better creative development functionality for Facebook
- Expansion and development to integrate with other social channels
- Salesforce/CRM integration
- Bid changes were very easy
- Creating keywords was seamless as you just uploaded a spreadsheet with all info
- Ad creation was easy to either create a new ad or duplicate old ads for small changes
- The color scheme on the dashboard was hard to read
- Sometimes errors come through without explanation of what went wrong in the uplaod
- The training was long and not too helpful
- Bulk upload to edit multiple campaigns, ad groups, keywords...
- Group campaigns in bidding folders and set your own bidding strategy based on business goals
- Group campaigns in dimensions to compare performance and implement AB tests
- Would be greater if Marin can segment out data by device. Eg: compare CTR by desktop and mobile and see trend over time
- The ability to view different dimensions side by side in the Dimensions tab
- The ability to view graph for filtered data
Marin Software Scorecard Summary
About Marin Software
Marin Software is a very popular cloud-based cross-channel marketing advertising campaign management platform which integrates many tools and functions, and it is the name of the company in San Francisco that issues the software. Marin touts cross-display (including mobile-optimized) advertisement retargeting, social marketing management, and many other tools to manage complex marketing and paid-advertising (PPC) efforts.
A free trial of this extensive platform is available. Marin Software maintains a client list with many familiar entitities, like GAP, Macy's, Comcast, Symantec, and many agencies as well.
Marin Software Integrations
Marin Software Competitors
Marin Software Technical Details