I had a meeting with a crew from Microsoft today about where we were going in the near future with search advertising with them.
The powerpoint presentation was impressive.... but showed how much they will let you know about your industry's search behavior in general, and your competitors information in particular. Not bad really until you realize they are sharing the same information about your numbers with your competitors!
They outlined top keywords used by our industry, volume available, range of CPCs and other demographic information. We were shown what our highest competitor was spending for how many clicks and what impressions.
We got information on 5 specific competitors - their impression numbers, clicks, average position and average CPC. You have to start thinking. Why do all the heavy lifting when Microsoft will share the knowledge with every new advertiser in the space.
We saw that we had a couple of competitors paying less per click - $4.50 compared with their $1.50 and averaged slightly higher in position and significant difference in their favor for CTR.
I like Microsoft - but they would not let me opt out of sharing my information.... as long as I get this report monthly I can keep my competitors behind me... we have done the heavy lifting and know what is worth buying.
Their offer for help writing creatives was turned down.... we know how to reach the right people why let someone who doesn't run the show?