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The Top Questions We Get Asked About Brand Protection

Affiliate Managers, Agencies, Marketing Teams, Retail, Telecom
trademark violations - the search monitor
trademark violations - the search monitor

The burning question facing all search marketers has always been, “How can I see meaningful PPC growth in a crowded and competitive PPC market?” Unless you are completely new to PPC, it is tough to get the big gains that we once saw. As a marketing tactic, PPC has been mature for years, and few “easy wins” still remain. 

So, what’s the answer? Brand Protection. Here are some of the most common questions we get asked about brand protection.

Q: Do I really need to protect my brand?
A: Yes! If you have a brand worth protecting, competitors are already bidding on your brand name. Some bid directly on your name, while others will bid on obvious brand-plus derivatives.

If you have a trademark or brand name that drives search volume, it will be one of your more profitable campaigns. Unfortunately, it is one of the important PPC campaigns for your affiliates, resellers and competitors too.

Q: What impact will protecting my brand have on my bottom line?
A: If you focus on protecting branded campaigns, it will lead to less competition and lower campaign costs. See how this strategy boosted overall campaign performance for Avery Office Supplies after removing unwanted competitors from their brand terms.

  Q: How did I go about protecting my brand?
A: While it’s a simple process to understand, it requires considerable skill to actually catch advertisers bidding on your brand, prove that it’s happening, and then deal with the brand bidders appropriately. The response to competitive brand bidding can take several forms, from fighting back with your own brand bidding to getting the engines to remove the ad (if it breaks their rules), to legal action. 

Q: What’s the goal of brand protection?
A: The goal is to prevent competing advertisers from bidding on your keywords and/or limit the number of affiliates and resellers who can buy these keywords. With fewer competitors, you’ll quickly see more clicks, lower CPCs, and lower overall campaign costs.

Q: Who has time to constantly monitor brand keywords?
A: We do! By adding your trademark, brand and product keywords into The Search Monitor tool, you can create alerts for when violations appear. You get the ad intelligence you need to take appropriate action. You’ll get  a screenshot of the search result, along with the location, time and date of the search. This provides the necessary evidence to contact the violators to take down these ads, or to contact the engines themselves. You can even auto-submit violations to the search engines. 

Q: What enforcement options do I have when I find violations?
A: To enforce compliance against competitors and affiliates, you have three main options:
1)
Search engine complaints;
2)
Pacts or agreements; and
3) Lawsuits.
Filing a complaint with the search engine is the recommended option because it’s cheap (free to file) and easy, especially if you use an ad monitoring platform to automatically detect and file the complaints on your behalf. 
Agreements (either with competitors or affiliates) give you stronger and more reliable legal recourse than just complaining to the engines.
A lawsuit based on trademark infringement should be your last resort. Trademark lawsuits are expensive and challenging to win.

The Bottom Line
Your branded campaigns are typically your most profitable PPC campaigns and unfortunately, your competitors and affiliates know this. They have a strong financial incentive to use them to steal your high-converting clicks and build their own brand.

If you’re not vigilant and aggressively protecting this valuable asset, you’re basically giving them the green light to continue. Don’t make it this easy for them.

Are you ready to get serious about protecting your brand? Reach out and let’s get started