By Pete Gould, PPC Analyst, Epiphany Solutions Ltd

We’ve recently undertaken a study into how a lot of the top SuperBrands make use of search marketing as part of their overall marketing mix. The general results show that Paid and Organic search traffic don’t feature on most SuperBrands’ marketing radars, which, to be honest hasn’t come as much of a surprise.

It is argued that most SuperBrands needn’t worry massively about search marketing due to the high natural performance of their brand terms. This mentality however seems a little short sited. My colleague Alex has already written an excellent blog post focussing on this subject from an SEO’s point of view which can be found here. For the purpose of this blog, I’m going to look at this area from a PPC perspective and offer an insight into just why some SuperBrands may be missing out.

To illustrate my points, I have case studies from two very well-known brands, and how their search strategies differ massively (because let’s face it, everyone loves real examples!).

So go on then, who’s doing it wrong?

Sorry LEGO, but you’re going to be the fall guy for this one! LEGO serve as the perfect example, as not only are they bottom of our BrandSearch™ rating, but they are just the type of SuperBrand that should be taking greater advantage of PPC to send relevant traffic through to their online store.

Now Lego do already conduct in a little bit of PPC, as the image below shows, so we can rule out that they’re not familiar with the concept (far from it in many ways, as their use of Adwords Sitelinks would suggest an advanced knowledge).

However, as the screenshot above shows, this is only on their brand term, which is always going to convert extremely well. What about terms such as ‘Childrens toys’, ‘kids toys’, ‘learning toys’, ‘educational toys’ and ‘construction toys’? These are the types of terms that Lego should be appearing for in paid search results too but they are nowhere to be seen. LEGO can’t argue again that they’re not already familiar with these terms — one look at the title of their home page tells its own story!

Google’s keyword tool reports the following search data for these terms in June:

[educational toys] — 40,500 UK searches

[learning toys] — 40,500 UK searches

[construction toys] — 5,400 UK searches

Just in those 3 terms alone, that is a huge volume of potential converting traffic LEGO are potentially missing out on. Add in terms such as ‘kids toys’ and ‘childrens toys’, as well as hundreds of longer tail relevant terms, that volume only gets bigger.

Ok, I’ll lay off LEGO now promise — they do serve as a great example of a SuperBrand failing at PPC, but really, they could have been one of many!

If you’d like further market insight specifically about LEGO please visit their page here.

So then, who can afford to be a bit smug right now?

As mentioned earlier, my colleague Alex did an excellent piece studying SuperBrands from an SEO point of view. In it, Thorntons came out of it extremely well in terms of their organic listings as a SuperBrand. Again, I must give them praise for their PPC exposure too.

Like LEGO, it could be easy for Thornton’s to run a PPC campaign piggy-backing on the success and awareness of their brand name. Whilst they do bid on their brand name, as all companies should do, it is clear from their PPC strategy that they see this as just one piece of the overall puzzle.

You would expect a company such as Thornton’s to be bidding on terms such as ‘chocolate’, ‘chocolate gifts’ and ‘luxury chocolates’, and that’s exactly what they do.

For the results above on the term ‘chocolate gifts’, Thorntons not only feature top of the natural listings, but at position 6 for paid results for a term that shock horror, doesn’t feature their brand name within it! Excellent stuff. Ensuring as greater exposure as possible on a SERP is the sign of a company adopting a very well thought-out search marketing strategy.

If you’d like further market insight, specifically about Thorntons, please visit their profile page here.

If you’d like to see further BrandSearch ratings for other SuperBrands, please also check out our market insight page here.

Find out more about Epiphany Solutions Ltd at www.epiphanysolutions.co.uk