WPP agencies to explore connection between search and brand building

24 June, 2009


LONDON — WPP today announced a research project that is intended to explore the dynamics between search engine marketing and brand building. WPP agencies will work on the project with help from Microsoft Advertising.

“Today, marketers are spending billions on search engine marketing, primarily as a direct response mechanism,” said David Sable, vice chairman & COO of Wunderman, a WPP agency. “We think it’s time to better understand how search builds brands differently than traditional media. The connection between brand building and search marketing is at best, spotty and the research we will conduct may help shed light on how brands can tap into search as a brand and market share builder.”

WPP agencies Wunderman, BrandAsset Consulting®, and ZAAZ will be the primary drivers on the research initiative, which will delve into the developing interplay between brands and search engine efficacy. According to Sable, the WPP agencies are “intrigued by the next generation of search engine marketing, as evidenced by developments like Microsoft Corp.’s new search engine, Bing, and the opportunity it presents for consumers to embrace brands.” The study will encompass the impact search is having on WPP’s blue chip clients and consumers around the world.

“We’re pleased to work with WPP’s agencies on research in this area,” said Scott Howe, corporate vice president of the Advertiser & Publisher Solutions Group at Microsoft. “Coming on the heels of our launch of Bing, the opportunity is ripe to re-think preconceived notions about what search decision engines can and cannot do, and how the connections between search and display are becoming increasingly interwoven to drive brand awareness.”

The two companies will focus their efforts around the following areas:

• The correlation between brand awareness and search efficacy;
• How search engines are changing consumer behavior;
• How social marketing impacts the search for brands;
• The connections between paid search and brand development;

Research will be designed to uncover new findings on where and how search is working best: at what stage of brand development it generates the greatest impact and how the intersection of categories and consumer preference and purchase intent comes into play.

“Ultimately, we hope the findings that come out of this research will help inform media mix strategy for both direct response and brand building in the future,” Sable said. “We’re committed to helping clients improve their decision-making processes and better evaluate how their brands co-exist within the entire world of brands, and this research will us live up to this promise.”

This investigation will culminate in a report by WPP agencies on how the newly invigorated competition in search marketing is impacting consumers’ level of brand recognition - as well as the future direction of search. Initial findings are expected to be shared during Advertising Week in New York, in late-September 2009.


Contact
Andrew Sexton
Wunderman
646.415.0980
andrew.sexton@wunderman.com  

About Wunderman
Wunderman is the original architect of response-driven marketing, an estimated trillion dollar global industry. Today, with 50+ years of innovation, creativity, and insight, Wunderman stands as the first name in advertising that delivers measurable results. Throughout its network of 120+ offices in 50+ countries and 15+ specialized companies, Wunderman speaks the customer’s language—whatever the dialect—at the right time, creating profitable conversations that build brands and generate sales. Wunderman is part of Young & Rubicam Brands and a member of WPP

About BrandAsset® Consulting
BrandAsset® Consulting helps business executives, investors and marketers assess and drive the strategic direction and intangible value of brands. We have created proprietary models and metrics using the world's most comprehensive database of brands. Our BrandAsset® Valuator model has measured brands since 1993 and today over 35,000 brands have been evaluated among over 600,000 respondents in over 50 countries. Brand Asset Consulting is part of Young & Rubicam Brands.

About ZAAZ
ZAAZ employs a unique combination of logic and creativity to achieve positive business results for clients large and small. ZAAZ provides web strategy, creative design, user experience, web analytics, and site- and search-optimization services. The combination of strategic planning, smart execution and comprehensive analytics to scientifically measure and optimize the customer experience sets ZAAZ apart from other interactive agencies and its approach complements Wunderman’s “test and run” optimization philosophy. Founded in 1998, ZAAZ became part of Wunderman in July 2006.

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