For example, if a Target.com visitor searches for back-to-school supplies, it’s likely that that person would also be interested in Lysol. And a search for aspirin is an opportunity to insert a competitive brand like Nurofen, a pain reliever produced by Reckitt, into the top of search results.
It’s a targeting cocktail that comprises keywords, intent and related products.
In Reckitt’s case, its portfolio includes a number of brands that have a good reputation with consumers and high awareness in the vitamin market, but low visibility with retailers, including joint supplement Move Free and krill oil supplement MegaRed.
“Paid search is a way for us to close the loop,” Goel said. “The fact that we can get featured on the page when someone searches for supplements means more visibility and hopefully more clicks – and that translates into conversions and sales.”
For Move Free, Reckitt has seen between five and nine times return on ad spend by tapping into paid search on retail sites.
“It’s been particularly helpful in driving sales for brands that aren’t necessarily strong in organic search,” Goel said.
HookLogic also claims to help brand clients know whether someone who clicked on a product did so as the result of a keyword search and, more importantly, whether that item ended up in that person’s shopping cart followed by an actual checkout.
“In other words, we know if a product search for ‘air freshener’ ended with the purchase of a 32-ounce Lysol three-pack,” Roswech said. “It’s down the to SKU level.”
Of course, there’s still a link missing from that proverbial chain – and it’s a tricky link to connect.
“It’s pretty difficult to measure the impact if there isn’t a sale,” Goel said.
It’s also pretty difficult to measure if there is a delayed sale. Showrooming is the classic example, when consumers use their phone as a research tool while they’re in a store but don’t make a purchase until later, if it turns out that what they’re looking for is cheaper or more conveniently acquired online.
With mobile commerce picking up speed, some people might be persuaded to click on a paid search ad in a retailer’s app and buy the product in the store right there and then, rather than going online later.
However, the physical world, as ever, makes it hard to connect the dots.
“In a lot of cases, we’re also using HookLogic to drive visibility when we’re launching new products,” Goel said. “The sales don’t come right away, but we know it’s driving awareness. We’re always thinking about how the upper funnel contributes to the success of the overall brand."
But, he added, it's tough to measure that branding impact "outside of impressions and clicks.”
Roswech acknowledged that that's true. It’s something he said HookLogic is focused on.
"We’re working closely with retailers, so advertisers like Reckitt Benckiser can measure more than the click to see what’s actually happening in the physical store," he said.