91% of Top Digital Agencies Not Buying Their Own Brands on PPC

July 1st, 2008

In a shocking (and embarassing) revelation today, AdWeek uncovered that of the 56 world-class digital marketing agencies featured in their Annual Report Card, just 5 are purchasing their own brand names in PPC.

In fairness to the firms, most of them appear at or near the top of organic search results for their own brand names, but several studies have shown that click through rates (and conversion rates) typically increase when your brand is at the top of BOTH organic and paid search results. Incidentally, this is why the notion of dropping your paid search when you achieve organic search success is a bit of fallacy.

Also of note are smaller firms that are purchasing competitors’ brand names in PPC and showing up in paid search results. A crafty tactic, to be sure. Note that current case law says that you can in fact purchase competitors’ names and trademarks as a search term, but you cannot use those trademarks in your actual PPC ad copy.

If you’re an agency, why would you NOT cover as many bases as possible with your organic and paid search marketing efforts? The costs are minuscule and the results can be significant. In fact, at Off Madison Ave and Mighty Interactive (where I handle strategy and ideas), search marketing has long been a primary driver of serious new business leads.

If even the big digital shops aren’t buying their own brands in paid search, how many traditional agencies are doing so? If you’re not playing in this sandbox, get on it. You could literally have a campaign up by the end of the day.

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