Conquest Marketing – Can Conquest PPC Marketing be effective or is it the “Black Hat” of the PPC World.

Before reading the below I would recomend that you have watched the below from MFK 3881 lesson 6  (6.5) search engine marketing.

Source: Monash University, Department of Marketing, Peter Wagstaff 2017

Consider the scenerio below. You are a google user that is searching for a premium car in the information gathering phase of your consumer journey. You search in your browser “Porsche” and you are greeted by an array of indexed organic google search results. These all seem relevant to your search, but you notice at the top of your screen two paid ads, delivered as a consequence of your search terms. One ad is relevant to Porsche, the other is from a competing brand Range Rover. With 94% of web users clicking on organic (natural) results and 6% clicking on the paid results the number of consumers that this effects is smaller but not insignificant. Is this a clever technique? Or is it a another technique for markers to boost CTR while delivering a poor customer journey?

PPC Conquesting

Is the ad by Range Rover effective in conquesting Porsche’s customers? Or is it an annoyance that will ultimately be detrimental to Range Rovers online presence?

What are the implications for firms that do conquest?

In PPC advertising we know that “conquesting” keywords usually have the most expensive costs per conversion and have the lowest conversion rates per click. So we understand that this aggressive technique is not cheap. So what are other challenges for those digital marketers that see SEM (Search Engine Marketing) as internet rap battle ?


Insites on the AdWords Auction

Marketing Mojo details the risks associated with Conquest PPC advertising as the following:

  1. Relevance: The searcher wasn’t looking for Range Rover in this instance. Despite google allowing firms to conquest brands, trademarked terms are not allowed in ad copy. This hugley affects relevance scoring and ultimately CTR.
  2. Google Keyword and AdRank Quality Score: Just because you can conquest doesn’t mean that Google wants you to. This comes in the same category as white and  black hat SEO. Google automatically raises the minimum bid of a keyword when bidding on a trademark you don’t own, i.e bidding on Porsche if you are Range Rover. As the quality score and AdRank decrease you will pay more poor conquest search term.
  3. Landing Page quality score: Google measures the quality of the landing page that a consumer is pointed to after clicking on a search term. It would be unlikely that Range Rover is going to feature body copy that mentions Porsche. In this case the user experience is poor. Google will further increase the minimum bid to discourage this behavior.
  4. Lack of measurability: While it is possible to show an increase of traffic to a page as a consequence of conquest PPC activity, it is impossible to see how much traffic you taken away from your target competitor.  This means that this incredibly expensive tactic has a limited measurability compared to legitimate tactics.

If conquest PPC is expensive, provides a poor user experience and has limitations in it’s measurability should firms really be engaging in it?

The answer to this questions is a resounding NO. Marketing Mojo explains that “the decision to conquest someone else’s brand is usually an “ego” decision” and further that “Ego really has very little to do with successful PPC advertising”.

This sentiment sums up my views perfectly, Marketers should focus energy on legitimate activities that help the searchers (buyers) make informed decisions and choices trough communicating their offerings in the best possible way.

I would love to know your thoughts below!


One thought on “Conquest Marketing – Can Conquest PPC Marketing be effective or is it the “Black Hat” of the PPC World.

  1. I am not sure whether this would be of any benefit for Range Rover but I guess people who research luxury cars would have looked at several options. Maybe having an ad for Range Rover is beneficial as it puts a clue in the consumer’s mind to have a think about the other option, if it doesn’t cost them much from the click throughs then I guess why not…?


Comments are closed.

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: