Search Becomes Latest Back-To-School Battleground

Marketing during the back-to-school season is about more than maximizing exposure through traditional channels; search has become an increasingly important platform. Retailers are competing on multiple back-to-school search terms, encompassing brands, product categories and sales, according to Adthena.

“In this particular instance there’s a lot of hijacking starting to happen,” said Ashley Fletcher, VP of Marketing at Adthena in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “If there’s a recognized brand, then other advertisers will try to jump on that bandwagon too. If you have a compelling product and offer, there’s a good chance you can redirect that user to your brand.”

Adthena conducted a study in which it tracked the market share of several search terms, which was defined as the frequency with which each brand appeared when the term was searched. The research found that Target and Office Depot both tried to benefit from Staples’ popularity by bidding on the search term “Staples back to school sale” from Aug. 2 through 19:

  • Office Depot managed to reach a high of 58% market share on the term on Aug. 9;
  • Target hit a high of 40% market share on Aug. 11; and
  • Walmart was also a target: Office Depot bid on the “Walmart back to school…