NEWS24 June 2009

Microsoft backs research into search brand power

North America

US— Fresh from the launch of Bing, Microsoft is collaborating with WPP agencies, including Wunderman, on research to explore the potential brand-building benefits of search engine marketing (SEM).

The partners hope their work will lead to a re-evaluation of SEM which is currently used primarily as a direct response mechanism, says David Sable, vice chairman and COO of Wunderman.

“We think it’s time to better understand how search builds brands differently than traditional media,” he said. “The connection between brand building and search marketing is at best spotty, and the research we will conduct may help shed light on how brands can tap into search as a brand and market share builder.”

The focus of the work will be on:

  • The correlation between brand awareness and search efficacy
  • How search engines are changing consumer behaviour
  • How social marketing affects the search for brands
  • The connections between paid search and brand development 

Microsoft launched Bing earlier this month as a replacement for MSN Search and as a rival to Google.

Scott Howe, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Advertiser & Publisher Solutions group, said: “The opportunity is ripe to re-think pre-conceived notions about what search decision engines can and cannot do, and how the connections between search and display are becoming increasingly interwoven to drive brand awareness.”