Why you need SearchSentry™?
Your branded search traffic is most likely the cheapest and best converting marketing channel you have. It's also the key place to go, to harvest the brand equity you’ve created over many years of hard and often costly marketing. But it’s also the place where competitors can show up largely un-policed and unregulated, to hijack that traffic, and pick up easy money at your expense.
This can be competitors attempting to piggyback on brand search terms to siphon off easy sales, or rogue affiliates, chasing cheap, easy converting clicks to improve their payout, thus causing you to pay more for a sale that was already yours for the taking, inflating your own paid search CPA.
Whilst affiliate terms and ethical agreements provide some protection, they are routinely tested and undermined by competitors and affiliates trying to slip under the radar, because they know that:
- Search networks don’t report on who was bidding on what, when and how.
- Manual monitoring is extremely ad hoc and difficult for you due to limited resources.
- There is no organised way for you to track and log incidences and their impact.
- Your vigilance will decrease outside working hours.
SearchSentry™ gives you the eyes and ears you need round the clock, to detect and record infringements and evaluate their impact so you can take appropriate action.
How SearchSentry™ works
The SearchSentry™ service has three critical steps – Monitor, Mine, and Manipulate:
This stage represents the real-time monitoring of the major search engines, focussing on determining who is bidding on your brand terms, day or night, weekdays or weekends.
The data accumulated through the monitoring stage is mined and analysed to produce a Friend and Foe analysis:
The ‘Friend Analysis’ focuses on your affiliates or subsidiaries, determining how well they are performing in increasing your brand control over the medium, whether they are being compliant with your guidelines, and what the strengths and weaknesses might be in their current strategies.
The ‘Foe Analysis’ focuses on your competitors, determining essentially who is bidding against your brand terms, to what magnitude and what they are saying. It will also tell you whether they are complying with search engine guidelines and generally how they are seeking to compromise and capture your brand traffic through their keyword and copy selections, and their disruption of the prospective customer’s search journey.
Being both a quantitative and qualitative exercise, this mining process ensures that you have consistent data that measures your brand control on an ongoing basis versus your competitors and will give you the information you need to proactively and scientifically govern your affiliates, providing you with competitive advantage where you need it most.
Armed with this mined data, Greenlight’s expert consultants provide you with solid, ongoing recommendations to make tangible and measurable improvements in the defence and extension of your brand control within the medium.
SearchSentry™ in action
SearchSentry™ can help you by providing a level of monitoring and analysis that can only be achieved through cutting edge technology and expert analysis.
More specifically, SearchSentry™ can establish:
- Who’s waiting till after dark to undermine your brand. (The 6 till 6 Strategy)
- Which of your competitors are bidding against your trade marked terms
- How often they are present and what proportion of your brand consideration they are occupying
- Whether they are playing by the rules or acting unlawfully, such as using your trademarked terms in their ads
- What they are saying in their ads to ‘win the click’ away from you, which could relate to price, quality, product/service features, or any other angle
- How well or poorly your affiliates are supporting the capture of your brand traffic
- Whether your affiliates are complying with your brand guidelines and whether your governance processes and procedures are satisfactory
- Whether you need to build your own affiliate assets and what the commercial justification might be for doing so
- How your ad copy should change in light of the activities of others, to ensure that you maintain and improve your Quality Score in this new, competitively charged environment
What our clients say
"After deploying search sentry we noticed an affiliate pretending to be us and claiming “official site” in their ads. We’d even seen the ads before and glanced right passed them thinking they were ours. Turns out we’d been paying them for ages, so SearchSentry™ has saved us paying out 10’s of thousands in commission to rogue affiliates."
Digital Marketing Head, Leading high street bank.
"There's a gentleman’s agreement in our sector that agents, operators and hoteliers don’t bid on each other’s brands, but someone always takes the chance and tries to sneak around it. There was never any way to prove it though, and you just had to get lucky and screen-grab it if you saw it. At least now we have a record of them doing it, which has proved very useful both as a deterrent and an action based tool."
CMO, Top 5 Travel agent.