Intel switches on search campaign for new server

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Intel Corp. wanted to use paid search to create demand for the latest version of its Xeon server when it debuted last December.

“The server marketplace is a hotly contested area, and we want to make sure we hold the leadership position there,” said Corey Carrillo, worldwide search engine marketing manager, global media at Intel Corp.

What is tricky for many technology companies, Intel included, is that they don’t always sell directly to the audience they are trying to reach. “We are obviously an ingredient brand,” Carrillo said.

He added: “We have to create demand. The OEM that is creating the product for them needs to understand the benefit of the product, and so does the end user.”

In order to establish the leadership position for Intel, Carrillo worked with SEMDirector Inc., a San Diego-based search marketing agency that specializes in b-to-b, to develop a global search strategy.

The plan included keywords buy on Google and Yahoo not only in the U.S. but in such countries as China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan and Russia. In all, the buys encompassed 12 countries and 15 languages. Intel also bought banner ads and text ads across Google’s and Yahoo’s content networks in order to dominate those networks with its message.

SEMDirector has helped Intel manage its ongoing bid strategy, which includes a dashboard that gives the marketer a single tool to measure activity.

“Intel as a whole is buying about 39,700 words worldwide,” Carrillo said. “We have the intelligence to increase bids [for example] in specific geographic areas [where those keywords are performing well].”

“I can get down to a single word worldwide and see what impact it has market by market and engine by engine, and make changes.”

Through SEMDirector, Intel monitors keywords weekly and makes adjustments.

Because of the ability to analyze what’s working and change strategy on the fly, Carrillo said he has been able to take advantage of any media coverage in the industry by his own company and by competitors.

“We take advantage of any PR happening in the [server] space, and change our keywords to take advantage of that. We can seize on any opportunity that presents itself in the marketplace,” he said. “It allows us to ramp up bidding on keywords or drop them altogether given whatever noise or news is going on in the marketplace. As there are new product introductions from competitive companies, if they are playing up one product benefit, I can play up Intel’s product benefit to counter that. I want to be able to tell the Intel side of the story.”

India, Italy, Russia and Taiwan were new countries Intel added to its keyword strategy with the Xeon launch, Carrillo said. As a whole, those accounted for 700,000 new impressions and 50,000 new clicks in the first four weeks of the campaign.

In the U.S. alone, Intel was able to capture an additional 9,855 clicks against 7.5 million impressions. In addition, prior to the Xeon search marketing campaign, page views averaged about 2.3 page views per keyword, but that number increased at launch. “It went up to 3.4 page views,” Carrillo said. “That shows our depth of engagement was not only increased by adding new countries but we’re actually getting more traction on the back end as well.”

Intel has increased the amount of money it invests in search by 600% to 700% since 2003, Carrillo said. “We’ve taken search to heart and done with it as much as we can.”

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