Article: Looking Past the Digital Ad Archetype

Looking Past the Digital Ad Archetype

At first glance these statistics, without any context, could easily be mistaken for Google, but they apply to Bing - the forgotten little search engine brother to Google. In reality these statistics on the surface pale in comparison to Google. Google controls 88% of all internet searches. However, as a marketer, it might make sense to give Bing some consideration.

Bing is owned and operated by Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft controls the desktop operating system, in fact over 900 million people currently use Windows 10, and its penetration with business users is growing 90% year over year. All searches on Windows 10 (the lock screen search, Cortana Voice, and the search bar on the desktop) are Bing searches, which is why 48% of Bing searches originate from Window 10 devices. What’s more, the near ubiquitous digital assistant, Alexa, gets its information from the Bing search engine. If you’re marketing a B2B product or service you should have a percentage of your budget allocated to Bing Advertising.

Bing only controls 6% of the total search engine market, but the Bing advertising network includes Yahoo (3%), DuckDuckGo (1.7%) and a few others with smaller market share, for example MSN and Ecosia. It’s a far cry from Google’s dominance, but that means there are also less competing advertising dollars. Bing, just like Google, is based on a PPC advertising platform. Less advertisers means limited competition, and less cost per click. In fact, similar campaigns can run on Bing for half the cost of a normal Google campaign.

Keep in mind that even though Bing advertising campaigns do cost less, they also reach significantly fewer people. However, it’s worth a quick look into the specific demographics of the people Bing does reach, and it’s surprising. The users are split 50/50 between males vs females, but over 70% are over the age of 35, while 33% are over 55. Google, on the other hand, skews much younger. And while Bing certainly has global reach, it enjoys a more concentrated user base over Google, with over 85% of its users in the United States. Even more interesting, however, is that 20% of Bing searches originate from the South Atlantic states. Households with over $100,000 in income account for 38% of Bing users, 30% are college-educated and 43% are married. These statistics are important when deciding whether or not to allocate advertising spend toward Bing, but it is pretty clear that depending on the market, Bing can provide a company with a more targeted audience than what can be captured with Google’s “everywhereness.”

I certainly am not advocating switching all of your Google advertising budget to Bing, but allocating a portion might make sense if:

  1. 1. You’re marketing a B2B product or service.
  2. 2. Google Analytics shows a high percentage of desktop users visiting your website.
  3. 3. If your target market skews toward higher income, older, and married consumers.
  4. 4. You have or want to obtain a more extensive geographic market presence in the Southeastern United States.