“Bing Ads levels the playing field with larger companies, which is exciting for our smaller partners.” — Director of Digital and Strategic Alliances Rebecca Little, ResourceiT
Digital advertising in theory sounds simple enough: Market your business online. Unfortunately, in reality it can prove very challenging. More often than not, when left to their own druthers, businesses large and small end up paying for ads that disappear into black holes. They choose keywords only their mother could love. They attempt to engage with their audience, but all they get in return is the sound of crickets. The end result is a lot of spend, not much business and little reward.
According to a Gartner study,1 companies spent 25 percent of their marketing budget in 2014 on digital outlets. Forecasts show that number increasing significantly in coming years. Companies that want to stay in business can’t throw away such a large amount of their advertising spend. To make their digital investment worthwhile, they need to find their core audience, which in turn means hitting the bullseye of a constantly moving target. With millions of sites and an infinite number of options for search engine marketing (SEM) and pay-per-click models, what’s a company to do?
This is where ResourceiT Consulting Ltd, a digital agency near London, England, comes in. ResourceiT works with enterprises as well as small- and medium-sized businesses in the technology sector, helping them grow and develop their online marketing with ideas that pop online, capture an audience’s attention and drive clicks.
If you’re looking for Don Draper on “Mad Men,” you’ve come to the wrong place. Those types of agencies develop big, splashy ideas that get passed off to the customer to run with and market. ResourceiT sees its ideas through, from beginning to end, generating measurable revenue and results.
In a typical customer scenario, a business reaches out to ResourceiT to drive demand for a particular product or service, develop a digital marketing program or support go-to-market strategies. ResourceiT dives in and evaluates the customer’s business priorities and budget. It then generates a pipeline of opportunities based on tangible measurements and evidence.
Rebecca Little, director of digital and strategic alliances at ResourceiT, calls what the company does "integrated marketing." “We get our clients to distribute a host of content across different outlets that can be pushed out onto the Internet,” says Little. While direct marketing offers one-off pieces such as fliers that people recycle as fast as they come in the mail, integrated marketing comes at people from many different directions. “We want our audience to see things multiple times so that they resonate,” says Little. “It brings people back to our customer’s site again and again.” While the company at times delivers telesales and email marketing campaigns, its main strategy is employing digital advertising with solutions such as Bing Ads and Google AdWords.
If a company is already using Google AdWords, ResourceiT often recommends allocating some of that budget to Bing Ads. If a company is currently using neither, it recommends a secret sauce that combines both, or in certain instances, uses Bing Ads alone. The final recipe depends on what outcomes the customer needs to achieve success.
ResourceiT is a Microsoft Gold Partner as well as a Google-certified partner. With online advertising, Little sees value in both. “Google is a volume play,” she said. “Bing Ads is about the quality of search and a lower cost per click.” The former would seem to fit into an enterprise’s wheelhouse while the latter would attract smaller businesses. However, in most instances, that is not the case. “With enterprise customers, we often ask ‘Have you looked at Bing?’” says Little. “They’re surprised to learn that using Bing Ads extends their reach to a new audience for little additional cost and resources.” Meanwhile, with small- and medium-sized businesses, she recommends going with Bing Ads because those companies can better stretch their budgets and, on a percentage basis, close more deals. “It levels the playing field with larger companies, which is exciting for our smaller partners,” says Little.
Many small businesses have limited marketing budgets that wouldn’t fit for most other marketing tactics, such as direct mail, telemarketing, video and advertising. Paid search with Bing Ads enables them to effectively reach prospects through multiple calls to action. Call Extensions, for example, allow the searcher to easily find contact information and improve click-through rates (CTR) and quality scores. ResourceiT finds them particularly useful for delivering ads on mobile devices, where Little says Call Extensions “allow us to feed prospects into the right resources and sales teams for our customers.” These low-cost measures (extensions are free to activate) are especially effective for customers that sell cloud technologies that offer low to average order values. ResourceiT can integrate Bing Ads into its solutions to help them gain a good return on investment (ROI).
Sitelink Extensions are another Bing Ads feature ResourceiT uses in its clients’ ads. They are additional links advertisers can include in their ads that take customers directly to specific landing pages of a website, such as offer pages, or pages featuring interactive guides, videos and animated content. When ResourceiT offers multiple Sitelink Extensions in its clients’ ads, Little says the agency sees a CTR increase of 25 percent. And once Sitelink Extensions take customers to the pages they’re looking for, those clicks are 50 percent more likely become to conversions.
To get its point across about Bing, ResourceiT has created clever campaigns such as "Making Bing Sing." “We wanted to demonstrate the value of using Bing with Google instead of just Google,” says Little. “So we encouraged companies to move 10 percent of their Google AdWords budget over to Bing.” The results were eye-opening:
- ResourceiT has seen an average ROI of 20:1 from campaigns using Bing Ads.
- 80 percent of customers reinvested in Bing Ads campaigns.
And why are companies seeing such a jump in their ROI? “We see higher conversion rates because Bing is more specific,” says Little. “It's a smaller volume of people with less competitive search criteria, which increases conversion rates.” ResourceiT has seen the conversion rate vary from 10 to 40 percent, depending on who a customer is targeting and what it is offering. Google’s results are slightly lower because of the competition around keywords.
Little has seen firsthand the power of delivering effective search engine marketing that incorporates Bing Ads. “We've had clients close 30,000 to 40,000 pounds of business within days of going live with their ads,” says Little. “We had one client allocate a U.S.$30,000 budget that generated $6 million of pipeline, based on traffic to their website from search.”
One of the areas that ResourceiT focuses on most is the analytics. “It gives us a handle on what people are looking for,” says Little. “We can see what is being searched, and we can tailor the experience and journey around that initial search to increase ongoing results.” ResourceiT also finds value in being able to test every element of the marketing mix. “You can see in seconds if the wording in an ad is correct, what imagery is going to resonate best, and what times of day work better than others,” says Little. “You get so much more insight into your budget and what you are spending.”
“Bing Ads has proven fundamental to maintaining our competitive edge, realizing our vision and securing our future.”
- Founder and Managing Director Julie Simpson, ResourceiT
Gazing into the future, maybe five to 10 years down the road, where does ResourceiT think paid search is going to go? Little believes the pendulum will swing toward more predictive analysis and machine learning. Algorithms will become even more refined, helping companies to gain greater insight into what people have searched for in order to recommend products and services relevant to that person. “Everything is adapting and changing so quickly,” says Little. “It makes it more exciting than ever to be in digital marketing, particularly technology where things change every minute of every day.”
Combining Bing Ads and ResourceiT’s digital services has enabled the company to offer an affordable marketing model that drives tangible return online for its customers. ROI is fast. Implementation is simple and cost-effective. Scaling is a snap. Bing Ads also benefits the agency itself. According to Little, the adoption of Bing Ads within ResourceiT’s digital campaigns has put the agency far ahead of many of its competitors. “Bing Ads has enabled us to extend our services and provide our customers with an immense amount of extra value.” Julie Simpson, founder and managing director of ResourceiT, concurs with the sentiment. “Bing Ads has proven fundamental to maintaining our competitive edge, realizing our vision and securing our future.”
To that end, Bing Ads recently helped the agency expand internationally with a virtual solution available to partners around the world. Little sees the agency continuing down that path in the future. “As we are all at the early stages of this journey, it’s critical for us to remain focused on combining scalable services with high-quality delivery and great customer experiences. Bing Ads is one way we can achieve that.”
1. McLellan, Laura, “CMO Spend 2015,” Gartner, Inc. November 2014.