Learn how JEBCommerce helped a major outdoor retailer develop a strategy that utilized Trademark Plus (TM Plus) to triple its performance without additional spending – proof that when approached properly, TM Plus can be an effective addition to any affiliate marketing plan.

Trademark Plus bidding. Of all affiliate techniques, this typically inspires the most disdain in advertisers, fueled by concerns over encroachment and increased costs. But like all tactics, TM Plus — a strategy through which affiliates purchase search terms that juxtapose a brand’s trademark with words like “coupon,” “offer,” or geo-locations — can add immense value when implemented by professionals with a strategic eye and in-depth affiliate expertise.

For a study in the effectiveness of TM Plus, check out how we helped a major outdoor retailer triple its performance by utilizing this common affiliate technique.

The Problem

In initial discussions with JEBCommerce, this leading sports brand was skeptical about adding TM Plus to its affiliate marketing strategy. Search teams had two concerns that we frequently hear: Will the bidding affect my own paid search efforts? And more importantly, will this negatively affect my SERPs, or increase my cost?

In some cases, affiliates will engage on TM Plus bidding and jump to the first listing with a higher quality score. In order to place below the brand, we work with affiliates to ensure they lower their bids accordingly. This can often result in the brand being able to lower their spend on these keywords.

Interest in building brand awareness as well as driving new traffic to their site overshadowed any hesitations. Using our results-driven, customer-centric approach, JEBCommerce was able to show this brand that TM Plus could deliver positive results. Soon after, we were given the go-ahead to incorporate it into the company’s affiliate marketing plan.

The Fix

Our experts knew that with the right approach, TM Plus bidding could drive major results for this outdoor retailer. Through our experience, we’ve found that allowing 1-2 trusted affiliates to bid on TM Plus terms actually serves to clean up the results pages, and allows us to secure thousands of dollars of placements in exchange for rights.

That all adds up to additional exposure without additional budget. And because today’s online shoppers are always searching for coupon codes, or at the very least – third party validation, this tactic allows savvy brands to be represented online to the fullest degree.

Most brands lack the time or resources to select high-quality affiliates. At JEBCommerce, due diligence is our first priority. We brought on 1-2 trusted affiliate partnerships, working closely with them to ensure proper TM Plus protocol was being followed and to police competing affiliates. Because the quality of the affiliates was high and JEBCommerce was able to work with them directly, affiliates adjusted their bidding amounts accordingly to ensure the merchant always had the number 1 spot. Since these trusted affiliates are working with the brand, and not competing, this drove down the merchant’s own search costs, therefore concerns over encroachment were no longer valid.

“While it’s a great idea to have the client’s official site at the top of the paid search results, having additional actors below them can be a solid strategy. There’s only so much real estate on a Google page, so having 2 or more of the links going to a client’s site potentially doubles the odds of a click through. And if the visitor clicks the affiliate’s ad, no cost accrues to the client’s campaign. One thing to keep in mind is that Google specifically disallows a single actor taking up multiple paid search slots, so make sure to have a look at the AdWords TOS before applying the real estate affiliate technique.”

Sam Moore, Paid Search Manager at JEBCommerce

The Results

JEBCommerce brought in a trusted partner, Offers.com to assist with TM+ bidding in exchange for free placements. Our client quickly tripled its performance without any added spend, a clear win for the retailer.

Revenue generated through Trademark Plus Bidding (TM+)

“When a brand allows an affiliate to bid on TM+ terms, they implement more control over their SEM efforts. Rather than allowing various search engines to be the sole determinant of SERP rankings, a brand can select a trusted affiliate partner to be a holistic extension of their marketing efforts.”

Sean McDevitt, Partner Manager at Offers.com

The Bottom Line

Without a knowledgeable partner in your corner, affiliate marketing can be a challenging undertaking. JEBCommerce’s experts help leading online retailers develop and manage affiliate programs that deliver clear ROI. Are you ready to turbocharge your affiliate marketing program? With JEBCommerce, your most successful campaign yet starts today.