Bada-Bing: WPP Teams With Microsoft To Research How Search Builds Brands

WPP Group this morning unveiled plans for a research initiative with Microsoft to benchmark the "dynamics between search engine marketing and brand building." The effort, which is being spearheaded by WPP's Wunderman unit, will utilize proprietary research from Y&R's Brand Asset Valuator studies, as well as Wunderman's ZAAZ analytics and planning system.

"Marketers are spending billions on search engine marketing, primarily as a direct response mechanism," David Sable, vice chairman-COO of Wunderman, stated, adding, "We think it's time to better understand how search builds brands differently than traditional media. 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."

Sable said the initiative is being driven by WPP's desire to understand the "next generation of search engine marketing," citing Microsoft's new Bing search engine, and how it will influence consumers and brands alike. The study will look specifically at the impact search is having on WPP's "blue chip" clients and consumers worldwide, and initial findings are expected to be released during a presentation at Advertising Week in September in New York.

Details of the collaboration with Microsoft were not disclosed, but the companies said the research is intended to reveal:

* The correlation between brand awareness and search efficacy
* How search engines are changing consumer behavior
* How social marketing impacts the search for brands
* The connections between paid search and brand development

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1 comment about "Bada-Bing: WPP Teams With Microsoft To Research How Search Builds Brands".
  1. Jiri Vala from Mindshare , June 24, 2009 at 4:05 p.m.

    I am looking forward to this study to validate many things we know intuitively as search marketers. As a search marketer I know that search helps to build brands -- particularly as part of a larger marketing mix. It is just so difficult to prove! Because it does not overtly confront the consumer like a 30 second TV spot it is often overlooked or discounted in typical brand building scenarios. A carefully constructed search campaign however, is made up of a multitude of minute messages that influence, cajole, and push the consumer down the path of awareness at that most important of moments in marketing: when the consumer has separated themselves from the nameless, faceless masses by expressing interest.