American Express OPEN, the small business division for the financial services company, built an online advertising platform supported by tech company Clickable to help small and mid-size companies overcome the complexities of paid-search campaigns.
SearchManager, which launched Tuesday, aims to simplify search engine advertising to drive sales. The platform provides a dashboard and point to access two of the major search engine paid-click advertising platforms from Google, and Microsoft adCenter and Yahoo Search Marketing. It also supports paid-search ads in Facebook.
Eliminating the hassle of supporting and integrating keywords through multiple logins and interfaces, SearchManager enables business owners to manage campaigns to drive more efficient return on investments.
Search engines have become more important to consumers looking for products and services. Paid search has become valuable to marketers. "Google, by their own estimates, generated $54 billion for U.S. businesses last year, but our research shows that small businesses are not taking advantage of search engine marketing," said Rob Ciccone, vice president, American Express OPEN. "Seventy-one percent don't spend money on search engine marketing. They are too busy running their businesses to do some of the newer and challenging marketing techniques."
American Express OPEN will offer a 30-day free trial, which includes full access to all features. The Clickable technology supporting the SearchManager enables the tools to make recommendations based on a portfolio of a few hundred algorithms as well as qualitative best practices, automated bid management, conversion tracking across all networks, bulk editing and reporting.
The tiered-platform provides custom assistance through SearchManager Assist. This platform provides the benefits of someone who might have experience in paid-search marketing, but needs the assistance to get a jumpstart. The tool provides help from a dedicated online PPC consultant to manage their campaign and in time will teach the business owner how to run the account for themselves.
Once marketers feel comfortable, they can bring campaigns in-house and transition from the SearchManager Assist to the SearchManager Pro platform.
For those who are a little more experienced, SearchManager Pro is a self-managed tool for small business marketers who do search advertising, but are looking for a simple and more efficient bid management tool to use more than one search engine through a central dashboard.
In one view, small businesses have a summary of campaigns via a straightforward dashboard, key metrics, and summary actions, with an analysis of results and advice on potential improvements. Ongoing campaign analysis provides marketers with continual feedback and analysis of campaigns with prioritized actions and alerts. This includes information about bids, budgeting, and advice on optimizing ad copy.
There are full reporting capabilities, too. Small businesses know where they stand each time they make changes to campaigns with full reporting of all key metrics and custom reports. SearchManager also provides support online and in-person and via phone, and it offers live chat.