Many of our sub-brands share markets and products. How do we avoid competing for the same words on paid searches, thus pushing up prices?

The secret to managing paid search for multiple group brands is to implement an effective strategy that covers all companies within a retail group, rather than creating individual strategies for each brand.

Sam Fenton-Elstone, head of media at digital marketing agency iCrossing, says: “To avoid pushing up costs you need to implement a strategy which stops individual brands bidding against each other in isolation. If two brands bid for the same position for the same keywords, all this will do is inflate the cost per click. Instead, group-level retailers need a coordinated and well communicated internal paid search strategy that identifies and prioritises the key search terms and positions for each sub-brand.”

It is important to pay attention to the customer profiles of each brand and understand the language they use when searching online for specific products or categories, says Fenton-Elstone.

Brand-level linguistic profiles should be carried out to understand how customers search for each brand. This allows paid and natural search efforts to be centred on the customer, prioritising the brand they need and ensuring the right brand is found by the customer.

Fenton-Elstone adds: “Crucially when brands do share keywords, each brand must have its own tone or USP within ad copy allowing the investment to work best.”