It’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day details of managing your search campaigns. There are select moments throughout the day when my mind is clear, and I’m able to think more broadly and holistically about my marketing programs. Driving to work in the morning, showering, or those last few minutes before drifting off to sleep are a few examples of when I’m able to step out of the “day-to-day” and think bigger picture.

If you’re a marketer managing a large search campaign spending hours reviewing performance data and obsessing about driving incremental ROI and growth for your campaigns, it’s important to periodically take a step out of the day-to-day and ask yourself the following two questions:

1. Am I being efficient in how I’m structuring all the campaigns, keywords, and ads in my account?

2. Am I driving up the costs of my own advertising?

Without this holistic search marketing campaign analysis, you’re likely to have structural issues with your campaigns such as keywords competing for the same consumer search query and ultimately driving up your marketing costs.

At Kenshoo, we call this concept, Cannibalization. Today, I will focus on the concept of Cannibalization and provide a few tips and tools newly launched by Kenshoo to provide that holistic view of whether you have cannibalization occurring in your search marketing campaigns.

Optimizing with this context helps ensure the advertiser will not pay a premium for the same impressions.

If you are an advertiser bidding on the broad match keyword “blue shoes” and the broad match keyword “blue suede shoes,” both could be mapped to a consumer’s search query of “buy blue suede shoes.” That doesn’t sound like a problem initially, but when you dig a bit deeper, it can end up costing you more.

Let’s say the cost for a click on the keyword “blue shoes” is 3x the cost of a click on the keyword “blue suede shoes.” If the search engine chooses to display an ad based on the keyword “blue shoes” and a consumer clicks on that ad, you will pay 3x more. While the actual keyword used to serve the ad does not affect the intent of the Elvis-loving searcher and is unlikely to impact his or her likelihood of converting, your ROI will suffer.

The logical question is then how can you avoid this search query overlap and the overspending that often comes with it? Identifying where there are overlaps in search queries or duplicated keywords is very difficult to do since it requires looking at campaign optimization from a portfolio-level and not just assessing the performance of each individual keyword. With thousands of keywords this becomes quite a daunting task.

In order to help marketers do this portfolio-level analysis, Kenshoo created the Keyword Cannibalization Reporting Tool. This tool provides visibility into which keywords are being cannibalized due to duplicate keywords or overlapping keywords. The report also gives actionable recommendations to prevent cannibalization.

In other words, the report gives recommendations to pause keywords or add negative keywords so that multiple keywords will not map to and compete on the same search query. Optimizing with this context helps ensure the advertiser will not pay a premium for the same impressions.

At Kenshoo, we believe a holistic or portfolio-level optimization strategy will yield the best returns for your marketing campaigns. It’s difficult to take time to step outside of the day to day aspects of managing your campaigns so we’re always working on innovative tools to provide actionable insights.

No need to wait for those moments when you’re driving to work, showering, or drifting off to sleep to think holistically, we’re doing that on your behalf everyday.