Competitor keywords, trademarks and adwords

It may soon become a criminal offence to bid on a competitor’s registered trademark to advertise your products or services through Google AdWords and other PPC advertising solutions. Google have already clamped down on the use of competitors trademarks within ad copy but this could soon be taken a step further to give additional protection to branded terms and potentially eliminate bidding on competitor keywords altogether. Numerous national European cases have been passed to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) as they work to ascertain whether the bidding on competitors trademarks should be classed as infringement upon them. The adwords bidding system has historically been (and still is) ungoverned, meaning a company is free to use another company’s trademarks in order to attract people who may be searching for a rival brand. While it will be some time before the ECJ makes its judgement, the Advocate General is expected to reveal his feelings on this issue in the near future. In most cases, the views of the Advocate General are borne out in the ruling of the ECJ, so his opinion carries a great deal of weight. Regardless of the eventual decision, now is a crucial time for a large number of businesses. Some will be looking to exploit this system before it’s too late, others will be looking to clean up their act in case the ECJ decides it is unlawful. Exploitation and Damage Limitation If the ECJ decides that bidding on registered trademarks within AdWords is illegal, those companies whose trademarks are being used without their permission will have some interesting opportunities for recompense: They can issue...

Using PPC/Adwords in a B2B environment

Getting the most out of pay per click advertising in the B2B realm B2B environments are far more complex, both on and offline than other advertising environments, and this complexity carries over to online advertising. Generally, the B2B environment has a longer sales cycle as well as a convoluted purchasing process; one that is typically done in a manner which means that the decision to buy often does not lie with an individual who may be exposed to your advert while searching, but any number of people (who many have never seen your advert or even of heard of you). The actual purchasing process within larger organisations, no matter how modern and streamlined, rarely lend themselves to a paperless checkout/purchasing process. This is something that we will be revisiting here in the coming weeks. A B2B PPC campaign could see a huge amount of clicks on a given keyword; and in fact, these clicks may even convert to sales. However, as we know, clicks and conversions alone do not make the process profitable – in retrospect they could make for a huge expense. In order to profit through PPC advertising, you will have to develop and implement a model specific to your company from the very start. And depending on your exact business model, it is important to tailor the campaign towards predefined, concise goals that sit alongside and complement the overall model. Knowing the acceptable price per acquisition is often the best starting point, and drilling down to acquisition by specific channel can provide you with even further insight. B2B models often assert a fairly high cost per...