Connecting the Dots with Matt Kraft

Feb 19, 2024 | Digital Advertising

An Interview with the Senior Product Manager of the Connect Project

This month, we had the chance to chat with Matt Kraft, the Senior Product Manager of MatchCraft’s Connect project. Matt is leading a team that works diligently to improve the user experience and functionality of the MatchCraft platform for partners. In this conversation, Matt will discuss the origins of Connect, its impressive features, and the exciting prospects for its future.

A Little about Matt Kraft

[Mary-Margaret] Can you provide a brief overview of your role as the Senior Product Manager at MatchCraft, particularly in relation to the development and evolution of Connect?

[Matt] The Connect project has been a multi-year effort aimed at solving a number of outstanding needs for MatchCraft channel partners. My role has been to oversee the product development process from the initial ideation phase through launch and beyond. This involves a blend of strategic planning, prioritization, testing, marketing, and training while working closely with the MatchCraft engineering, client engagement, and business development teams.

Also see: The Benefits of Google Connect

MatchCraft Connect’s Features

[Mary-Margaret] How has Connect evolved since its inception, and what are some key features that have been added or enhanced recently?

[Matt] When the Connect beta launched in the summer of 2022, it only included support for Google Search campaigns and a small subset of the features provided in our standard offering. Since then, we have continued to iterate and improve to add support for additional Google Ads campaign types, Microsoft Ads campaigns, Meta Ads, and soon programmatic.

[Mary-Margaret] Are there any upcoming features or updates to Connect that partners can look forward to?

[Matt] We recently added support for running a shared budget across Google/Microsoft/Meta. Later this quarter, we will deploy enhancements for Google remarketing, improvements to our Google Performance Max offering, and new bulk editing tools for Google Search keywords.

Also see: What is a Connect Account?

Championing Connect

[Mary-Margaret] As someone deeply involved in the development of Connect, what aspects of the platform are you particularly excited about?

[Matt] MatchCraft has been incorporating AI and machine learning into its products since before I joined the team in 2017, but we’re particularly excited by the progress our data science team made in those efforts over the last 18 months.

[Matt] Our ad copy and keyword suggestion tools (exclusive to Connect) have proven to be a significant time saver for campaign managers. We are testing a number of other AI-related features that we look forward to sharing later this year.

Also check out: How to Get the Most out of Your Connect Account

Feedback Integration

[Mary-Margaret] How does MatchCraft gather and incorporate feedback from partners regarding Connect?

[Matt] We have a number of tools to monitor usage and collect feedback, but some of the most valuable insights have come during the many Connect demos we have conducted for our channel partners over the last two years. We use these meetings to validate assumptions, identify opportunities, and inform our roadmap.

[Mary-Margaret] I see. Can you share an example?

[Matt] We recently had a session where a channel partner described an interesting use case that triggered a redesign of our integration with Google Business Profile.

Partner Success Stories

[Mary-Margaret] Could you share a success story or case study where a partner leveraged Connect to achieve notable results for their clients?

[Matt] The Connect product has simplified the process of bringing existing Google/Meta campaigns into the MatchCraft platform. One of our channel partners had a substantial number of campaigns that were running directly in Google Ads. Thanks to Connect, they were able to quickly link those campaigns and take advantage of the bidding, budget management, and other MatchCraft benefits/features that they value.

Connect Account Adoption

[Mary-Margaret] According to the company’s most recent stats, there has been an over 2951% increase in Connect account adoption over the last 12 months. What factors do you attribute to this growth?

[Matt] Evangelism from the MatchCraft client engagement team has driven the bulk of Connect adoption over the last year. That work has helped our channel partners appreciate the newfound flexibility provided by Connect, along with the many Connect-only features that can be used to streamline campaign setup/management and improve performance.

[Mary-Margaret] How does the platform accommodate both seasoned users and those who are new to Connect?

[Matt] We have also tried to maintain a familiar look and feel in our Connect accounts to help channel partners as they transition from using our standard account product.

Benefits for Partners

[Mary-Margaret] Based on partner feedback, what are the standout benefits that partners and their clients are experiencing with Connect?

[Matt] The feedback we hear over and over again is that Connect offers our channel partners the flexibility they need to better serve advertiser’s needs.

[Mary-Margaret] What would you say to partners who haven’t yet adopted Connect?

[Matt] Channel partners can easily have Connect enabled without any impact on existing standard accounts. This provides the flexibility to create a test campaign to discover all the benefits Connect has to offer, and then migrate existing accounts to Connect at their own pace.

[Mary-Margaret] Are there any exclusive or upcoming features that partners should be aware of that could significantly benefit their advertising strategies?

[Matt] The most popular features are our advanced find/replace and filtering tools or AI-powered ad copy and keyword suggestions based on the advertiser’s website.

Also see: How Connect Benefits Partners

The Future Vision for MatchCraft Connect

[Mary-Margaret] Looking ahead, what is the vision for Connect in terms of supporting partners and their clients? Are there any long-term goals or milestones you aim to achieve?

[Matt] The primary focus right now is on helping channel partners migrate from standard accounts to Connect. Long-term, we want to provide more diverse offerings to help advertisers match the channel that best serves their business, whether that is via search ads on Google/Bing, Instagram, and Facebook ads, our upcoming programmatic solution, or any of our other products.

Closing Thoughts

[Mary-Margaret] Thank you for your time today, Matt. As we wrap up, what message would you like to convey to partners who are considering Connect?

[Matt] It’s easy to get started with Connect and it can be done in a way that does not impact existing campaigns. Reach out to the MatchCraft client engagement team to learn more.

Making the Switch to Connect

Wrapping up our talk with Matt, it’s clear that Connect is more than just a tool—it’s a secret weapon that makes advertising across multiple channels easier and more effective. So why not join in and see how Connect can take your ad game up a notch? Contact your account manager today to make the switch.