Bing is not a search engine, it’s a state of mind

I’ll cut to the chase. We have several relationships measuring the impact of digital marketing to sales – in store and online conversions. Consistently, Bing has shown 3x better returns on spend than Google. We tried to explain it in multiple ways. Perhaps Google is overpriced; or perhaps there are too many companies bidding for the same listing on Google. Time and again the conclusion our customers drew was that Bing is more than a search engine. It’s a distinct target demographic. Here’s the explanation.

Bing + Yahoo = 33% of US Market

Bing and Yahoo have had a search relationship for some time where Yahoo had to carry Bing ads on its desktop. This has recently changed as of April 2015 to give Yahoo more flexibility. However as it stands now, Bing ads take about 33% of the US market.

Cost per click for Google vs Bing is 2x higher

The figures I’ve seen are from adgooroo, although they do not factor in conversions.

Advertisers paid 93% more per click on AdWords than on Bing in the first three months of 2014.

The working hypothesis is that advertisers are vastly more active on Google and bid up pricing.

Bing represents a distinct demographic

The graphic in the lede tells the story. 53% of the Bing ads audience is from the 45yr + segment. In contrast, as per the US Census Bureau, only 39.5% of the population is 45 years or older.  That’s a significant skew towards the “older” demographic that (arguably) has the most disposable income. It should be logical that Bing is delivering a healthier return on ad spend than Google.

I have discussed the above observation with customers when we review the findings of our revenue attribution audit. The general feedback is that the Bing user is typically older and is still using their computer with the factory settings with IE as the default browser.

This is not just laziness or inability to change computer settings. To illustrate my parents are avid Bing users, despite my having set up Chrome on their respective machines. In particular my mother likes the breathtakingly beautiful image gallery that’s part of the Bing experience. So perhaps the Bing user is a distinct demographic, with a different state of mind.

For a full breakdown on Bing Ads’ audience, click on the graphic below


Synopsis: Infernotions’ revenue attribution methodology

I will emphasize that the opinions expressed above are an independent realization using Infernotions’ proprietary algorithmic revenue attribution methodology. Our estimates are based on actual conversions rather than clickthru’s. I will also add that our customer base comprises retailers whose targets skew towards the “older” 45+ population (looking for household furniture, major appliances, jewelry, high-end apparel). Perhaps that reflects in our findings.

What do you think?

Do you disagree with our findings? Or have your own hypotheses?

Drop me a note via the link below.

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