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Jun 5, 2020

TM+ Bidding and Campaigns: The WHAT and the WHY

TM+ campaigns can be a boon for advertisers. However, like any marketing technique, it takes a solid understanding to extract the maximum benefits.

TM+, or “Trademark plus” is when publishers bid to use an advertiser’s name plus another keyword. This usually takes a couple different forms. Think “brand name + coupon” or “brand name + review” or “brand name vs competitor.” Upon approval, an advertiser grants rights to a publisher to bid on the brand name + another key word.

Off the bat, there are some benefits. TM+ campaigns offer a pay-for-performance model versus a pay-per-click model, which positively impacts ROAS for those search efforts. This approach can offer a significant save money for advertisers, enabling them to invest more in upper funnel tactics, including non-branded search.

Through TM+, advertisers can also push competitors out of the bidding war on related terms, maximizing presence and attracting more potential consumers.

More good news is that campaigns run through affiliate programs traditionally convert better if consumers are directed to a place where they are finding exactly what they are searching for. If someone searches for “Yeti coupon”, they’re going to find exactly that, allowing them to continue seamlessly down the funnel.

But, most often, searchers will not follow results to the brand site in such query instances. TM+ terms do not usually convert well for advertisers.

What people are looking for is a third-party site that they feel will give them the best advice and the best deal—something they don’t necessarily trust the advertiser to do. It’s much more effective to have a publisher make the offer.

And, of course, you need to have publishers that feel and look legitimate to searchers. Some publishers don’t communicate legitimacy, but through solid TM+ work, you can clean up the whole search listing landscape for particular searches, curating and cultivating dominance over an entire space for a good TM+ term.

Testing with multiple partners can also be useful, so long as you don’t overload and overwhelm affiliate programs. You don’t want partners competing against each other or bidding against each other and driving up costs.

A good affiliate manager balances accounts, maintains open communication, and makes sure the stronger partner is in first position.

Finally, it’s very important to monitor the space regularly to identify publishers that should not be bidding on brand’s TM+ terms. These non-approved publishers can impact the effectiveness of current test campaigns. Tools such as The Search Monitor can be great help in this area.

With Gen3’s superior knowledge of affiliate marketing strategies, we can design a TM+ approach that is tailored to complement your brand’s overall search strategy and interact seamlessly with your in-house efforts.

If you’re ready to take advantage of the unique benefits that TM+ can offer, contact Gen3!

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