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SMX West 2018: Interview with Aaron Levy

This interview is part of our SMX West expert interview series taking place between March 12 and 16th, 2018.

We were delighted to have the opportunity to interview paid search expert Aaron Levy this year as part of our SMX West 2018 interview series! Normally you’d find him on the other side of the country at SMX East, but this year he made the trek to San Jose to share his knowledge with conference attendees from far and wide.

Aaron is the Senior Team Lead, Paid Search at Elite SEM and he’s presenting a session titled ‘Winning More Customers With E-Commerce Offer Testing’ at SMX West this year. The talk will be moderated by Brad Geddes, another of our expert interviewees

The SEM/retail focused session will explore the process of building and testing your offers in order to maximize revenue opportunities. You won’t want to miss it!

Let’s hear what Aaron had to say about his first SMX West experience and what he thinks about the new kid on the block, Google Purchases:



Chandal: Hi everyone, it’s Chandal back at SMX West 2018. I’m here with Aaron Levy, the Senior Team Lead at Elite SEM. Thanks for joining us today. So Aaron, tell us about your role at SMX West this year.

Aaron: Thank you for having me. So this is actually my first SMX West. I’ve done East for a number of years, so this is a long flight for me – I don’t know what time it is! But this is the first year that SMX is trying to do something with an e-commerce and retail specific track. Brad Geddes summoned me to do a session on e-commerce testing. We’re going to be talking about some customer-centric things you can do to make sure that you’re not just getting sales, but you’re getting sales from the right people.

Chandal: Very cool. So what provisions should SEM managers take when writing their ads for e-commerce specifically?

Aaron: The default that we always go to is discounts. We’ll give people 15% off, or 20% off, or whatever it may be to get them in the door, but we’re not thinking that those people might not be the best customers – maybe we’re just getting people who buy because it’s on sale, and not because they’re actually interested in whatever we’re selling. When people are trying to write ads that sell, if you try to do a race to the bottom with price, you’re going to lose to Amazon, eBay, whoever. Writing ads that are more value-driven and marketing the brand in a way that’s a bit more tangible, to say why people would buy from you instead of whoever just has the lowest price by five cents.

Chandal:  This year we’re hearing about Google Purchases, it’s kind of a new thing – sort of a one click shopping experience. How do you think that’s going to impact SEM now and in the coming years?

Aaron: Right now, I don’t think it will do a whole lot, mainly because it’s new, it’s unfamiliar, people are unlikely to use it because they don’t know what it is. But, it sort of begs the question of what’s Google then going to do to compete with Amazon, Jet, Walmart? If I had to put my money somewhere, I would venture to guess they’re going to make their own marketplace-type platform, sort of shopping thing where you can get the same experience that you’d get from Amazon Prime, only with Google. I suspect what that will do is, a) change the way that people have to manage inventory – which won’t affect us from an SEM side, and b) we might have to get used to driving to a Google platform instead of driving to our own sites and sort of giving up a little control. We’ll see what happens.

Chandal: We’ll see what happens. So stay tuned everyone! Thank you very much Aaron for taking a few minutes to talk to us today. We appreciate it.

Aaron: Thank you!


Stay tuned for more coverage of SMX West to come!


Image Credits

Feature Image: Unsplash/Seth Doyle 

Video property of Acquisio by

Chandal Nolasco Da Silva

Chandal Nolasco Da Silva

With nearly a decade of digital marketing experience, Chandal has created content strategies for both the biggest and sometimes the most unexpected markets, while developing strategic relationships with editors and publishers. Chandal contributes to some of the highest authority industry publications, has been featured in industry events and is thrilled to be Acquisio’s Content Director.

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