Half of search marketers bid on competitors' brand terms, study says
- One-third of all brand queries experience competitive brand bidding, and 50% of advertisers engage in competitive bidding on pure brand terms, according to new Adthena research.
- Amazon is a major brand-bidding player, with its bidding extending to remote “longtail keywords.” Sixty-three percent of Amazon ads are visible on searches that receive less than 400 monthly searches.
- The industry sectors most susceptible to brand bidding are those with the highest customer lifetime value, like education, technology and finance, as this value may justify the cost of bidding on competitor brand terms, the study suggests.
The new Adthena research highlights the pervasiveness of brand bidding infringement and its impact on brand equity and market clickshare. The issue can disrupt purchase journeys, customer acquisition and campaign ROI, per Adthena. However, many brands aren’t aware of how they are being impacted by competitive brand bidding, meaning the problem goes largely unchecked. Marketers should consider ways to monitor competitive brand bidding with an eye toward keeping brand CPCs and CPAs from becoming inflated, the report recommends.
One key takeaway from the research is that Amazon is capitalizing on competitive brand search terms by investing heavily overall. One of the e-commerce giant's strategies it to bid on often-underutilized longtail brand-based queries. This approach can be costly, making it challenging for smaller brands to do the same.
Competitive brand bidding can play a role in key shopping seasons. An earlier Adthena analysis of back-to-school search campaigns revealed that Target and Office Depot gained market share by bidding on brand-specific search terms of competitors like Staples and Walmart. On the term “Staples back to school sale,” OfficeDepot.com achieved a 58% market share on Aug. 9, and Target.com reached 40% on Aug. 11.
One way to get a handle on brand bidding infringements is by leveraging marketing technology, like artificial intelligence and machine learning, according to Adthena. Drilling down into data can help marketers better understand how consumers are seeking out brands and being influenced by a brand in search. Marketers are embracing AI to create more detailed insights into marketing campaigns and to improve personalization and customization, with 53% of B2B marketers saying AI can help them boost how effective marketing is in driving revenue, according to EverString and Heinz Marketing research.