“Bing Ads is one of the services we use to take us on to the next level with some of our best customers.” — Matthias Weth, Managing Director, Catbird Seat
Catbird Seat is an award-winning German search marketing agency that has become one of Germany’s most trusted digital agencies since its inception in 2009. In April 2016, the company even received the prestigious Bing Ads Agency of the Year Award for its extensive use of Bing Ads, improving its customers’ paid search performance and getting more of its customers interested in Bing Ads.
“In our agency we put a focus on education and lifelong learning and always challenge our team to do something that’s beyond our normal business activities. Bing Ads is one of the services we use to take us on to the next level with some of our best customers, which happily resulted in us winning the award,” says Matthias Weth, managing director at Catbird Seat.
One way Catbird Seat did this was by exporting its customers’ campaigns to different territories. “We managed to establish a team with different native speakers, which gave us the possibility to expand to more countries in the European Union and to the U.S. market, which gets steadily more important.”
The company has experienced rapid growth, building a team in Munich from four co-founders at a rate of roughly 10 new staff members per year. The team now stands at 63 employees, and the company recently opened a second office in Berlin.
Founded out of a genuine passion for search marketing, the team initially focused on consulting before becoming an agency. Catbird Seat’s mission is to become globally known as the home of digital.
Matthias had four years of digital marketing experience prior to establishing Catbird Seat with three other co-founders, all of whom worked as an in-house team at a well-known online company in Germany.
“We decided to found our own company because we were unsatisfied that a lot of the ideas we came up with sometimes got denied by the management,” Matthias explains. “We thought we could follow our passion for search marketing more if we founded our own company — and we were right!”
In his dual role as managing director and chief advertising officer, Matthias is responsible for everything to do with paid media, including paid search, social media and new form retail media, such as shopping and product feeds.
The other three co-founders are highly tech-savvy and specialized in SEO, content marketing and UX, but I am a studied business administrator so my expertise is more in data analysis and economics,” Mathias says.
Driven by the fact that the digital marketing landscape is constantly changing and evolving, the paid media industry offers Matthias the stimulation he needs to be permanently learning and adapting. “I love to be part of the ‘industrial revolution’ we have going on right now in terms of innovation in the digital field,” he adds.
Paid search is highly relevant to Catbird Seat and its clients because it’s one of the highest performing channels they serve.
“Paid search is one of those channels where you have very in-depth possibilities for targeting by geography, location, time schedules and interests. Everything is measurable,” Matthias explains. This is one of the reasons that the team is constantly looking for new ways to maximise the potential from the channel.
“We’re a bit geeky in our agency, so we love Bing Ads Intelligence — the Bing Ads Excel add-in. It’s great for doing a lot of our data analysis to determine what’s performing best. This includes determining targeting options beyond keywords based on data analysis of factors such as weather, geography and user-behaviour in browsers,” Matthias says.
The team uses Bing Ads Intelligence to analyse existing campaigns, plan new campaigns and eliminate duplicated keywords. It’s also an effective way to get search volume and bidding suggestions, which allows Catbird Seat to create specific forecasts on how a new campaign will perform.
Matthias even has a tip for aspiring Bing Ads users. “The Bing Ads Intelligence add-in for Excel is a great way to improve the quality of an account — it’s easy, fast and convenient. We are using this add-in for automated reports and to generate new opportunities.”
“Another great feature is Bing Ads Editor, which allows us to edit data in bulk in nearly no time. It’s an efficient way to do changes of existing campaigns or to create new ones.”
Taking two of Catbird Seat’s clients as examples — an online European vehicle marketplace and a German online rental and insurance provider — you can see just how effective Bing Ads has been in exceeding KPIs for its clients.
The vehicle marketplace customer was able to increase its paid search click-through rate by a massive 300 percent (from 4 to 12 percent) over a period of just six months and, by introducing Bing Ads to the media mix, was able to gain another 10 percent of paid users over a six-month period from late 2015 to 2016.
For the online insurance provider, the brand cost per click for car rental is significantly lower with Bing when compared to its leading competitor’s brand cost per click. The non-brand cost per click for credit cards is also significantly lower with Bing.
Best of all, Catbird Seat has enjoyed year-on-year growth of 90 percent on Bing Ads through its successful use for Catbird Seat’s clients.
With massive growth in media budget spend on Bing Ads over the last six months, Matthias anticipates further growth as Bing’s market share increases. Currently, the Bing Network accounts for over 20 percent of the search market in the U.K.1 and 30 percent of the search market in the U.S.2
1. comScore qSearch (custom), June 2016. The Bing Network includes Microsoft sites, Yahoo sites (searches powered by Bing), and AOL sites in the United Kingdom.
2. comScore qSearch Explicit Core Search (custom), June 2016. The Bing Network includes Microsoft sites, Yahoo sites (searches powered by Bing), and AOL sites in the U.S.