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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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For all internet users, seeing advertisements (ads) on search engines like Google or Bing has become an inevitable part when searching for anything on these websites. This form of advertising is called Search Engine Advertising (SEA) or simply Search Advertising. Behind these small pieces of ads is a lot of effort and technical investment from marketers and advertisers. However, the effect of one factor on the success of a SEA campaign might have been underestimated: keyword match type (definition will be given in “Key Concepts” section). It is still an unfamiliar term for laymen and non-professional advertisers, and consequently, the importance of proper selection of key-word match type has not been received enough attention. Therefore, the thesis's aim is to highlight its influence through a project carried out for Company X on Bing's advertis-ing platform. This chapter provides an introduction to background, main objective, pro-ject tasks, and case company of the thesis. Additionally, other sections like project scope, benefits for involved parties, international aspect, and key concepts are present-ed.

1.1 Background

Dated back in 1994, it was not until 15 years later that the trend of advertising on the internet became highly popular among international brands and conglomerates (Charlesworth 2017, 198). The world of online advertising has never been more domi-nant like it has been in recent years and still growing vigorously every day. In their re-port published in 2017, Magna media agency predicted that the global spend on online advertising will reach 237 billion US dollars in 2018, which will equal around 44% of total money spent on all advertising media (Handley 2017). Within the wide scope of online advertising, search engine marketing (SEM) has been getting immense attention from marketers. Besides organic method called search engine optimization (SEO), spon-sored ads on search engines have made their way through our virtual life, which is SEA. Commonly known as search advertising, paid search or search listings, most marketers also use the term SEM interchangeably with search advertising now.

Some of the most popular search advertising platforms are Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Baidu, Gemini, and so on. While Google Adwords has become a dominant player in the field, Bing Ads has gained more recognition and appreciation from advertisers due to a variety of advantages. As reported by WordStream (2018), using Bing Ads brings a lot of benefit to marketers: fewer users means less competition and cheaper ads, more advanced control over campaigns, better targeting on device and demographics, Bing's search partner network, and so on.

Although there are many elements to be considered when running a search advertising campaign, one of the most important ones is keyword. The reason is straight-forward: people perform searches on search engine by typing in words and the results are shown, in return, based on these search terms. Hence optimization on keyword level is crucial yet exhausting for marketers. From internet users' perspective, the degree of relevance of the ads to what they are searching for is intriguing. Some of them match perfectly with users' searches, while others are merely beside the point. Let look at an example: an advertiser has three ads which contain “blue shirt”, “men shirt” and “blue men shirt” respectively. Someone searches for “blue men shirt” using Bing. On result pages, to common belief, the ad which has the whole term “blue men shirt” will be shown as it matches exactly what that person is looking for. However, the other two ads may be displayed instead. The reason is that Bing Ads or any search advertising plat-form has other criteria for ads selection, not based on the word itself only. This fact leaves marketers in a confusing state when it comes to campaign optimization on keyword level.

Being an internet media company specializing in search ads campaign, Company X deals with millions of keywords, hence the importance of optimization is multiplied enormously. Bing Ads has been utilized by the company to leverage their clients' do-mains and has brought a considerable amount of net profit. The ability to manage cam-paigns on keyword level on Bing Ads can help them further scale up their business and win the edge over competitors. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is to give recommendations on optimization method for the mentioned market and device based on keyword's match type.

From the author's perspective, the thesis is a result of specialized internship and knowledge gathered throughout study time in university. With the future career path set towards digital marketing, specifically in search advertising, this project broadens the author's knowledge as a future marketer and greatly benefits in his job seeking process after graduation. As a realistic project where the practical skills in collecting and analyz-ing data are heavily involved, the thesis will be an interesting and professional experi-ence in the author's portfolio.  

1.2 Project Objective

The aim of this thesis is to provide practical information about the performance of key-word match type on Bing Ads platform and choose the most suitable ones for Company X. The recommendation is used for their client domain, which is mentioned as website Y in the thesis. The company can consider implementing the result in the ongoing and future campaigns. The official project objective is worded as testing the performance of different keyword match types on Bing Ads platform to select the most profitable ones for mobile device campaigns in French market of Company X's client.

The project objective is divided into project tasks (PT) as follows:

PT 1. Designing theoretical framework for the project

PT 2. First interview with company's representative on campaign design

PT 3. Second interview with company's representative on selecting optimal metrics to measure campaigns

PT 4. Implementing and optimizing campaigns

PT 5. Collecting and presenting data

PT 6. Giving recommendations and evaluating the project

The overlay matrix below demonstrates the theoretical framework, project management methods and outcomes for each project task mentioned above.

Table 1. Overlay matrix

Project Task Theoretical

Framework Project Management Methods Outcomes

PT 1. Designing theoretical framework Literature research Theoretical frame-work

PT 2. Bing Ads campaign set-up.

Company's need Company interview.

Desktop study Campaign design

PT 3. Bing Ads performance metrics.

Company's requirement. Company interview.

Desktop study

Campaign perfor-mance metrics

PT 4. Bing Ads' instruction on how to run campaign. Company procedure Working on Bing Ads platform Campaigns imple-mentation and optimi-zation

PT 5. Outcome of PT3.

Reports from Bing Ads and the author Download report from Bing Ads.

MS Excel Data collection and presentation

PT 6. Outcome of PT5 and project objective. Draw conclusions and assess the project Recommendation and project evaluation

1.3 Project Scope

The thesis topic concentrates solely on sponsored ads on search engines so theories about other forms of online advertising will not be mentioned in detail. Campaigns of the project are run on Bing Ads hence information about other search advertising platform is excluded to avoid confusion for readers and distortion of data. Among other factors surrounding campaign such as ad group, content, bid amount and so on, the author only focuses on match type of keyword in this thesis.

Since every company and agency has its own campaign procedure, all settings, optimi-zation methods, and data analysis criteria used in this project are carried out according to method and need of Company X. Moreover, results and recommendations of the the-sis depend largely on the client's website, where and on which device the campaigns are implemented. In this case, it is a shopping comparison website on mobile device in France.  

1.4 International Aspect

Company X has been growing steadily with an international customer base. They cur-rently have campaigns running all over 74 countries. Users of client's website are peo-ple who live in France hence the diversity of French population is involved in the project. The conclusion of this thesis serves as a recommendation for not only French market but also French speaking countries. Pilot campaigns on mobile device for other markets can be planned using knowledge and methods applied during thesis process.

1.5 Benefits

With a view to leverage and sell their data, Company X constantly search for ways to advance and maximize profitability of their projects. They express great interest in op-timizing at keyword level since it is usually ignored and overlooked, whilst holding a lot of space for improvement. Also, mobile device is their concern because, as reported by Meola from Business Insider in 2016, “Mobile search is growing phenomenally, with Google reporting over 50 per cent of searches now being on mobile devices and growth in mobile ad revenues increasing more than 20 percent per year” (Rowles 2014, 145). Currently, they have mobile campaigns running in French market so the recommenda-tion from the thesis can be applied and benchmarked immediately. Moreover, with slight adjustments, the company can apply the results to other shopping comparison website in their portfolio.

The project is run completely based on a domain of Company X's client, Website Y, hence they benefit directly from it. In the light of the thesis's recommendations, chang-es can be made directly to running campaigns to help the website gain more traffic and profit. Overall, the client have their domain leveraged and enhanced.

The author is pursuing specialization in digital marketing and the topic deepens his/her knowledge in search advertising, one of the fastest growing fields of online advertising. During the research process, the author has a chance to discover a wide range of aca-demic knowledge and information related to the topic and apply them into a real project. The skills required for project management are practical and useful for working life. The topic is considerably new but important with a variety of information to lay hands on and unfold, which makes the author's CV stands out. Previously being an intern in Company X, the author hopes to score a position in the same company or at least work in the same field after graduation.

1.6 Key Concepts

Search Engine Advertising (SEA) is a form of online advertising in which advertisers pay for their ads to show on search engine result pages (SERPs) when someone searches for terms related to their business (WordStream 2018). It is often preferred as paid search or simply search advertising. Advertisers are charged whenever their ads are clicked, which makes it a dominant part of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising (Smith 2015, 26). Therefore, many marketers use the term PPC interchangeably with search advertising.

Bing Ads is “a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform used to display ads based on the keywords used in a user's search query.” (Microsoft Docs 2018)

Keyword in pay-per-click advertising are words that advertisers think people will type in search engine, hence decide to bid on them.

Keyword match type is a function to decide how closely a search term must match advertiser's keyword. Search term (or search query) is a string of text that people per-form a search on any search engine. There are five main match types available on Bing Ads: Broad, Modified Broad, Phrase, Exact, and Negative. (Bing Ads Help Center 2018.)

Performance statistics, in this case, are metrics to measure the performance of cam-paigns on Bing Ads. Based on them advertisers can choose suitable optimization meth-od (Bing Ads Help Center 2018). Some of these metrics are clicks, click-through rate (CTK), and conversion rate (CR).

1.7 Case Company

Company X is an ad efficiency and traffic generation company. It acts as a platform for audience acquisition for other global media companies. Founded in 2004, the company is part of one of the leading digital groups in Europe which envisions and manages ten other digital marketing businesses. Company X is based in Madrid, Spain and has an international clients' portfolio with online advertising campaigns launched in more than 70 countries. The company differentiates itself from competitors by focusing on a valuable long-term relationship as clients are considered as partners with cost and rev-enue being shared on an agreed profit-share basis. Other competitive edges are high quality traffic, in-house technology and working on massive scale.

The thesis is written based on website Y of Company X's client. Website Y is a shop-ping comparison website which lets users compare the price of products from various brands to find the best deals. It has search advertising campaigns running in five coun-tries (USA, Great Britain, Canada, Germany and France), two platforms (GADS and Bing Ads) and three devices (PC, tablet, and mobile). All of them is managed by Com-pany X. For the past six months, campaigns for French market on PC has been growing fast with high monthly revenue, which urges the company to duplicate the success on mobile device. Having been an intern in the company, the author saw the opportunity to develop a thesis topic based on company's need.

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