Danskin Finds Right Fit With Brand-Focused Keyword Buys

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Apparel marketer Danskin likes the design of a search marketing strategy that includes bidding only on the top keywords related to its brand instead of every term related to its products.

"We bid very aggressively for one of the top spots. Some people throw out the 'every keyword' philosophy, but we don't have to because we have the brand," said Kieran Hawe, e-commerce marketing manager at Danskin. "The only strategy is utilizing the most effective keywords possible. We're the official Danskin store [Danskin.com], which generates a lot of the clicks."

The New York company does not bid on keywords for many of the products it carries -- such as leotards -- because it gets more ROI by keeping its brand name at the top of search results.

"Whether it's 100 keywords or 10,000 keywords ... as long as our return on ad spend is where we want it to be, it doesn't matter," Hawe said.

Danskin also relies more on its reputation and brand loyalty than promotions to generate sales on www.Danskin.com.

"We change our ads here and there, such as for back to school, but it's always very consistent, offering free shipping" on orders for more than $75, he said.

Though the Web site experiences a jump in sales when it offers 20 percent discount coupons embedded in search engine ads, as well as monthly e-mails to its subscriber base, it runs those for only one week of each month because "we don't want to rely on that," Hawe said.

"That's not creating brand loyalty," he said. "We want customers to come to Danskin.com because we're the manufacturer."

Having an agency manage keyword bidding and pay-per-click campaigns is an important part of Danskin's search strategy. The apparel retailer uses interactive agency Avenue A/Razorfish, Seattle.

"What we do is give them guidelines and strategy, then they manage that," Hawe said. "If we wanted only 10 keywords, their job is managing that and getting the most value."

Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters

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