Advertisers can use ClearMark as a stand-alone product or integrate with a third-party bid management system from Marin, Kenshoo, Efficient Frontier, and others. The tool sets optimal bids for advertisers using a combination of historical performance data and keyword value predictions built from ad-click data.
Satisfied and encouraged by the results from preliminary tests, eBay will use ClearMark for Keywords to score keywords across its U.S.-based keywords campaigns to measure and optimize performance. During the past five years, the company has worked to develop a search engine marketing platform built on technology and data analytics. Using Anchor Intelligence tools, eBay hopes to attract more sellers and buyers.
The eBay marketing unit that manages search marketing ad buys for millions of keywords in the U.S. uses the tool. EBay sends Anchor Intelligence data on clicks from people who have clicked on keywords they buy.
Relying on historical ad-click data, Anchor Intelligence provides eBay with an adjusted bid. Anchor sends back data to eBay. It feeds the data to their internal system, which places bids with Google and other search engines.
Historically, advertisers place bids looking at internal conversion data to see how much a keyword drives for the business. ClearMark aims to complement that data by providing data from "audience profiles" -- in-house data for specific types of consumers preparing to make a purchase for products. Anchor supports the data.
Anchor has created thousands of audience profiles. "We look at all the users who have clicked on a keyword and match the data against audience profiles to predict the value the audience will bring to the advertisers based on the profile match with the keyword," says Richard Sim, vice president of product management and marketing at Anchor Intelligence. "It gives you a good estimate of what the keyword will generate in the long run."
Sim says ClearMark for Keywords outputs to CSV files, conforming to the standard way that platforms enable advertisers to bulk upload large volumes of bids. He says the tool differs from other management keyword tools because it specializes in bidding. It's built on the premise that predictive bid optimization in conjunction with a well-managed SEM operation drives tremendous ROI improvement.
"ClearMark also predicts the value of keywords using Anchor's proprietary data and analytics tool, even if historical conversion data is unavailable," he says. "It looks at inbound ad clicks for each keyword and matches them up against thousands of audience profiles. The composition of the audience for a given keyword is then used to predict the value of that keyword in terms of revenue.
Optimizing the long tail of keywords can become difficult to manage without the correct tools. U.S. marketplace listings on eBay rose 128% on fee cuts that went into effect March 30, according to Piper Jaffray Analyst Gene Munster in a research note. He believes most of the listings were from items that were less than $10. And while increases are across the board, many remain in collectibles, memorabilia, and media categories.
Sim believes some advertisers have become so proficient at managing their search campaigns that they see diminishing incremental returns from their efforts. By tapping into data and predictive analytics that were traditionally unavailable to search marketers, the tool can generate significant return on investment improvements for advertisers.