SEMDirector, comScore team up for analytic search services

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Search-marketing firm SEMDirector and digital media measurer comScore have teamed up to provide a new set of analytic services for managing large paid and organic search advertising programs.

SEMDirector will use comScore's qSearch data stream, which quantifies search activity, to enhance SEMDirector's Marketing Action Platform to provide a "share of voice" service.

"ComScore's alliance with SEMDirector is a play to combine the unique data resources of comScore with the software delivery systems of SEMDirector, which are used by many large advertisers to manage their paid and organic search advertising programs in-house," said Craig Macdonald, vice president of product management and marketing at SEMDirector.

SEMDirector's Marketing Action Platform helps advertisers aggregate data from search engines and Web analytics products on how search and interactive marketing programs are performing.

"The strategy is to provide SEMDirector clients - large advertisers - with another valuable source of information to help them with media planning, understanding opportunities in search and benchmarking their own performance in search," Mr. MacDonald said.

"SEMDirector is going to use the comScore qSearch solution as part of its own media planning and buying service that it provides to several large advertisers, who account for approximately $25M in spending annually," he added.

The product will measure the share of clicks and impressions on all of the major search engines compared to those of their competitors. ComScore and SEMDirector will sell each other's services to their respective Fortune 500 customer bases.

SEMDirector recently held a meeting of its newly formed customer advisory board, made up of six of its largest customers, all of whom are Fortune 250 advertisers. A major issue all want to start addressing is understanding "what is possible in search" and, specifically, where can the additional business benefit be derived, for example, spending more on paid search or organic search, Mr. MacDonald said.

SEMDirector's current technology set focuses on the data about its customers' programs and how they are performing. However, comScore looks at the entire market, cataloguing all the search activity taking place by region, engine and term.

"We tell our clients 'what is' and comScore tells them 'what could be,'" he said. "We are integrating comScore's data on traffic … with our Competitive Insight technology so advertisers can see what percentage of all of the clicks consumers are executing in the paid and organic search market these advertisers command versus their competitors.

"This way advertisers can ascertain how additional spending will accrue to their benefit. We are also integrating the comScore data into our Paid Insight technology," he said. "This is meant to enable advertisers to use the demographic data on who is searching with which terms in order to ensure that the existing searchers match the target market."

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