Branded Versus Non-Branded Search
Backbone is seeing branded terms become more competitive than non-branded. This trend looks to be related to retailers starting to bid more aggressively than usual on branded terms due to brick-and-mortar retail being temporarily suspended. In other words, brands and retailers are leaning in to branded paid search to drive e-commerce sales to help close the revenue gap between channels. This is the main driver for the increase in branded CPCs.
Traditionally, branded search campaigns convert at a much higher rate than non-branded search campaigns. However, as retail channels are temporarily closed, brands are shifting funds into branded terms to drive sales while pulling back on non-branded spend because prospecting is less of a priority right now. The increase in competition and CPCs in branded search, as well as the decrease in non-branded search-campaign CPCs, is the result of this strategic shift in paid search born from the impacts of COVID-19.
As stay-at-home orders are lifted and brick-and-mortar retail begins to open, Backbone will continue to monitor the impacts of COVID-19 on paid search and will post further findings as they become relevant. If you have feedback or questions, please send a note to Jeff Palmer below.