Stop Online Conversion Thefts by Implementing a SERP Control Strategy

Jun 23, 2022 11:00 AM11:30 AM EDT

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Key Discussion Takeaways:

All brand channels are interconnected. Therefore, if you lack control over one channel, it disrupts your entire ecosystem. So, how can you take control of your channels and manage distribution, brand protection, and unauthorized sellers all at once?  

This is where the SERP control strategy comes into place. Focusing on channel strategy, foundation, monitoring and precision insights, and enforcement, the SERP strategy protects brand ownership, improves ROI and traffic, mitigates channel conflict, and builds customer trust. 

In this virtual event, Nick Sands is joined by Whitney Gibson and Jake Morgan of Vorys eControl and Lori Weiman and Danielle Oldham of The Search Monitor to talk about implementing a SERP strategy. They discuss the reasons why many brands are losing profit, the four elements of the SERP strategy, and how to utilize insights that make an impact on your brand.  

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • What can disrupt your brand’s channels today?
  • How Vorys eControl is providing tools and capabilities to control your channels
  • The four facets of the SERP strategy
  • Looking at search ads and brand data to see how you compare to competitors
  • Building your foundation and developing policies
  • Tips for dealing with gray market and unauthorized sellers
  • What data should you focus on?
  • The benefits of implementing a SERP control strategy
  • Answering tough questions around distribution agreements, policy, and brand strategy
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Event Partners

Vorys eControl

Vorys eControl is a top 150 law firm that has an expertise in implementing legal strategies to stop unauthorized re-sellers, control MAP pricing, eliminate channel conflict which all ultimately lead to online marketplace sales growth.

Connect with Vorys eControl

Guest Speakers

Whitney Gibson LinkedIn

Partner | eControl Attorney

Whitney Gibson is a Partner, Chair, and eControl Attorney for Vorys eControl, an online seller enforcement team. Whitney integrates technology, data, and services to confront online sales control challenges. He also provides manufacturers with innovative approaches to protect and grow brands online. Whitney received his JD from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

Nick Sands

Vice President at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.

Lori Weiman

CEO at The Search Monitor

Lori Weiman is the CEO of The Search Monitor, a company that tracks activity on paid search, organic search, and shopping to identify advertising strategies and marketing activity. Lori is also a Columnist for Search Engine Land, a publication covering all aspects of digital marketing, advertising technology, and the MarTech landscape. 

Danielle Oldham

VP of Client Services at The Search Monitor

Danielle Oldham is the VP of Client Services at The Search Monitor. She is skilled in SEM, SEO, competitive analysis, copywriting, advertising, and product management. Previously, Danielle held positions at AOL Advertising and PaySimple.

Jake Morgan

Senior Director of Brand Management at Vorys eControl

Jake Morgan is the Senior Director of Brand Management at Vorys eControl. He’s skilled in account management, leadership, and eCommerce and has previously worked at companies including CPM Educational Program, OpSec Security, and MarkMonitor.    

Event Moderator

Whitney Gibson LinkedIn

Partner | eControl Attorney

Whitney Gibson is a Partner, Chair, and eControl Attorney for Vorys eControl, an online seller enforcement team. Whitney integrates technology, data, and services to confront online sales control challenges. He also provides manufacturers with innovative approaches to protect and grow brands online. Whitney received his JD from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

Nick Sands

Vice President at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.

Lori Weiman

CEO at The Search Monitor

Lori Weiman is the CEO of The Search Monitor, a company that tracks activity on paid search, organic search, and shopping to identify advertising strategies and marketing activity. Lori is also a Columnist for Search Engine Land, a publication covering all aspects of digital marketing, advertising technology, and the MarTech landscape. 

Danielle Oldham

VP of Client Services at The Search Monitor

Danielle Oldham is the VP of Client Services at The Search Monitor. She is skilled in SEM, SEO, competitive analysis, copywriting, advertising, and product management. Previously, Danielle held positions at AOL Advertising and PaySimple.

Jake Morgan

Senior Director of Brand Management at Vorys eControl

Jake Morgan is the Senior Director of Brand Management at Vorys eControl. He’s skilled in account management, leadership, and eCommerce and has previously worked at companies including CPM Educational Program, OpSec Security, and MarkMonitor.    

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Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution.

Co-Founder & Managing Director Aaron Conant runs the group & connects with dozens of brand executives every week, always for free.

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Discussion Transcription

Nick Sands  0:18  

Thanks everybody for joining um, mixed in with BWG Connect. You know, we're you know, for those are joining for the first time we're networking knowledge sharing group of 1000s of brands and we do exactly that we network and knowledge share together to stay on top of the latest trends related to eCommerce and digital strategies. So BWG Connect speaks with one to one with about 30 to 40 brands every week to stay on top of the latest trends and also help the brands or network out with service providers selection connecting you to one another and other industry peers that are very intelligent upon the latest digital trends. When we use the same pain points and hear about the same solution providers popping up over and over again. And we put together an event like the one today to help address any of the key questions that are out there. You know, make sure everybody's educated on key topics like the one that we're going to get through in a little bit here today, there are top of mind, for all the brands in our network will do about 250 to 300 of these virtual events in the BWG Connect division this year. And we'll also do about 100 in person networking events as well. So if you're interested in today's topic, and there's others that you are interested in hearing about as well always feel free to reach out to us. And she suggests any topics, you know, you could check out our website, and see what else we have coming up or what events we've done recently, if there's any content you'd like to request from past events, as well, you know, we're building out a content library there, that's, you know, welcome to anybody to go in and basically, start learning more about BWG Connect in our events after the fact as well. So if you miss any of today, feel free to go there and check out the notes, request recording things like that. So we want to try to stick to the timeline, and we'll wrap it up, you know, as close to on time as possible today, you know, if there's q&a that goes beyond the 30 minutes that we've scheduled for that, you know, we'll be able to stay on and go through those for sure. For anybody that has the time. Just a reminder that we want this discussion to be as valuable as possible for everybody dialing in here today. So please send over any specific questions or topics that you would like us to address today, you can send them in the chat here, right on Zoom, or you can send them over to me directly at I'm also happy to have anybody asked live questions throughout as well if you want to ask them directly. If you ever want to talk about digital strategy, partner selection, anything like that, please feel free to reach out to myself or any others on the BWG Connect team. You know, we're happy to set up a one on one conversation and see if there's any way that we can help. But with all that said, I'd like to kick it over to Whitney for a brief introduction on himself and who Vorys eControl is and how they're helping people with the topic today of stopping online conversion deaths by implementing a SERP control strategy. So right after when you provide some background and sell from the company, we'll also be launching two quick poll questions to start off the conversation. With all that said, you know, Whitney, I'll kick it over to you. Go ahead with an introduction on yourself and we'll

Whitney Gibson  3:24  

take it from there. Yeah, sounds good. Thanks, Nick. Yeah, my name is Whitney Gibson. I'm the chair of Vorys eControl. We we've worked with over 600 brands and helping them control their digital channels. So excited to be here today. We do have I have with me, Jake Morgan, who leads our brand protection group. And then we also have for this particular solution, we have teamed up with a company called Search Engine Monitor and they have some of the best data and insights that were located in the industry around paid search and search share. So we'll get into some of that. I don't have Lori or Danielle, you want to just give a little intro on yourselves.

Lori Weiman  4:10  

Whitney, thanks. This is Lori Weiman. I'm the CEO of The Search Monitor. Thanks, everybody for joining today. Just a quick, brief intro on what we do and why we're here. So we monitor search listings, both paid and organic. And our customers are using us for brand compliance on those channels. In your case in the motor manufacturer view. They would also be using us for competitive insights looking at retailer reach and the impact on selling your products online versus your competitors who are also selling products against you. And I think we're going to talk about a little bit further down the road in this webinar. We'll be going through some examples of how you can actually see those matchups lined up against each other. Thanks for including us. Thanks, Lori. Absolutely, and

Nick Sands  4:59  

you know Vorys eControl? By the way, you know, great partner of ours has been in the network for years. And they're one of the top around something I should have mentioned the beginning that we've found over the years that can actually fundamentally help stop anything with unauthorized resellers brand protection in the marketplaces. And we'll share more today on how they're helping with that holistically through, you know, your SERP control strategy as well. So I'm gonna go ahead and launch these polls here really, briefly. So I'll give everybody a few minutes to go ahead and read through these and provides your answers. Any feedback here would be definitely helpful for us to kind of drive the conversation forward today. So we'll just take a couple of minutes here. And in the meantime, Whitney, if you want to give some background on, you know, just kind of surf control strategy at a high level. We can do that. And we'll get into more of the presentation here in a second. But I'm seeing the responses rolling in right now. And I'll share the results here. And about 1530 seconds or

Whitney Gibson  6:02  

Okay. Yeah, so now I'm gonna get started i up. Yeah, we, we have worries, we're really believe in the power of integrated solutions. And we've talked a lot about people that have seen us speak and talk and worked with us have seen just just our focus on working towards outcomes. And you not so much just focused on, here's a tool you can use here, here's a tool you can use there, but what are the different pieces and components that you put together to deliver an outcome and in particular, for the brands we work with? That's typically trying to give them holistic controls over their digital channels, from marketplaces, to social media to search, and other channels. So what I'm going to just run through here is a little bit of background about us the platform, and then we're going to talk a little bit about the paid search advertising solution. So, Nick, do you want? Or is it okay, if I started flipping through,

Nick Sands  7:10  

are you gonna share, you know, just briefly, I just shared the poll results, everybody should be able to see these interesting that most people you know, here, thanks to everybody for participating. Most people understand that they're having an issue. You know, losing web traffic due to unauthorized sellers. And most people here don't understand how to, you know, stop that, which is, you know, exactly what we're gonna get into now. So with that said, I'm going to flip this over to you, Whitney and let you go through the

Whitney Gibson  7:40  

presentation. Yep, that sounds good. So can you see my screen here?

Nick Sands  7:47  

I just shared host control. So you should be able to share your screen now.

Whitney Gibson  7:56  

You took back so you can see. Can you see my screen? are now. Okay, no, let me do this. How about now? Let me look here. Yep. Perfect. We got it down. Okay, the full screen? Yep. Yep. Okay, so we have a short amount of time here. So I'm gonna go pretty fast. So just a little bit about the way we view things. So today brands and for those that have worked with us have seen this before, but I just want to cover at a high level. The problems brands face today really stem from the fact that they distribute their products broad and widely before the age of eCommerce. That platform came along from search platforms to marketplace platforms to advertising platforms. And those were different than that, instead of one party being able to sell anybody could go from your own resellers to the brand, the counterfeiters, and then you ended up with pricing, transparency and price matching. So it's the convergence of all those dynamics created a situation where many brands today, they want to sell on their channels to their distributors, their regional sellers, or retailers, they want to sell to them in their channels where they're selling directly to customers at the same price. Typically, national retailers, Amazon, Walmart, they want their products to appear in the Google search results at a particular price. But what happens is, they really don't have that tight control over their distribution. So their distributors will go they'll sell on Amazon, Amazon will drop the price and the distributor will drop the price the national retailer will see that and they'll drop the match and all of a sudden don't charge back to the brand. We call this or the profitability death spiral when brands don't have good control over their distribution or the sales of their products. Ultimately, we'll come back to the brand eroding their profitability. This will occur on Walmart, where more and more clients now are realizing that we work with wanting to get control, Walmart, same thing, and diverter will get the products from the distributor, Amazon will match Walmart, the diverter will draw, all of a sudden the national retailer, they'll stick with the promotion they've been running, they won't raise it after the holidays. All sudden Walmart says, You know what? This pricing, we don't want to promote your products anymore. Maybe Amazon then says, you know, we want to go and we want to suppress the buy box because we're seeing products over in the Google search that are being sold, and they don't realize it's counterfeit, but it is. And also the national retailer doesn't want to carry the products anymore. So the challenge brands face is that there's all these different channels, and they're interconnected today. And if they don't have good control over each of their channels, then it can disrupt the entire ecosystem. And the other problem that they face is, within each of those channels, there's several different types of violations and marketplaces alone, you've got your own resellers doing things they shouldn't. You've got brand protection type issues from IP infringements to counterfeits stolen product, and then you have grey market, people that aren't your own sellers are getting hold of the products and selling it. And when you go down each of the channels, you've got these different categories, you've got authorised resellers, you've got brand protection issues, and you've got grey market issues. And what makes it difficult is that if the brands were to go out, and they were to try to find all the competencies that they need to be able to control those channels and the different types of violations that occur in them. There's a lot that they would have to put together, they'd have to go to a law firms and, and typically, the law firms, some understand the US policies, but not the international policy, then they have to figure out what what's the data and insights I'm going to use. And then often you don't know who the people are or where they're getting it. So it's hard to even know what type of violation they're doing. So you got to do an investigation. And then you have to be able to efficiently enforce your own policies, new distribution, you got to do the types of thing that brand protection companies do from doing marketplace takedowns, submitting things with the marketplaces, submitting things with the search engines working with them. And then you got to figure out how am I going to deal with grey market issues that the marketplaces aren't going to be able to deal with. So really, our mission and Boise control is to build a platform of capabilities that has the data, the technology, the services, that can help brands efficiently deal with all the issues, they need to control the channels. Jake Morgan, is on the phone here, he leads our brand protection team came from one of the largest brand protection companies.

We have people that focus on foundational policies, people that focus on the data and insights, we have an executive that used to work for Nielsen that leads that team. And then we have, you know, a whole strategy team. So when we look at controlling of channels, we take, what we did is we set out to build all those capabilities. And then we said, okay, how can we put it into a process to make it efficient, and effective? And what that really resulted in is sort of a four part process. One is defining your optimal strategy, how do you want to go to market a channel? How do you want to distribute? How do you want to advertise? How do you want your pricing to appear the advertised pricing, but you got to figure out as a brand? What's my optimal strategy that I want to do? Because a lot of times people will say, Hey, I just want to get rid of bad stuff. And we'll say, Well, what are you trying to look like? It's like trying to build a kitchen without having the design, I need to know what's your optimal way that you want to be advertised, marketed and sold, and then we can build in the controls to achieve that. So there's that then you've got to figure out, Okay, what's the foundational policies I'm going to put in place to go out, people go out and try to enforce they don't have a basis to go after their resellers, they don't have a basis to go after grey market. They don't have the basis to remove things. So you got to make sure you got the foundation. And then you've got to have precision insights. And that's typically going to tell me who are the most high impact sellers. With all the different types of violations going online, you can't go after everything. And in order to achieve your optimal go to market, right? You've got to focus on who's disrupting you, right, who's disrupting your own sales and your marketing, not every single person on the internet that may be committing a violation. And then you got to figure out the tactics. And then in each and then the channels, you've got to be able to do three things, you got to be able to control your own resellers. You got to be able to address IP and brand protection type issues, and then you got to be able to deal with grey market. So here we're going to talk about search engine results pages and basically what we call our cert program and this is basically what comes up when somebody searches for your product under your under your keyword. words that you care about. And we're going to focus on Google. I mean, when I'm a big believer, we, we preach precision a lot. And one of the areas that we apply precision is focused on the channels that are important to your business. All right? Do I need to monitor 1000 marketplaces all over the world globally and find every infringement? Or does my business care about sales on Amazon? Does it care about sales on my DTC site? Does it care about driving traffic through the ads on Amazon ads on Google search and ads on Facebook, or a lot of the brands we work with? That's what they care about, you know, after Amazon, the number the second place where people do product searches is going to be in the Google search. So typically, a lot of brands want to go and say, How can I get how can I get control over that? So I'm gonna kind of walk you through a four part step process here that, that we found to be a good framework to look at this. So when you think about Google SERP and you think about keywords, it's similar to the marketplace is in there's these all these different kinds of violations from unauthorized sellers to counterfeit or retailers. And these violations can occur in different places they can occur. And I'll kind of break this down product listing ads, your search text ads, or your organic search. Alright, and when you think about control how you want to control it, so it shows up in your search engine results pages, I think you might want to think about in each of those buckets, what do I ultimately want to look like and what do I want my strategy to be? So interestingly, sort of like the marketplaces, I think a lot of people get confused by the brand protection industry. And what I mean is, there's all these products out there that say, Hey, I'm gonna go find your trademark violation, or hey, I'm gonna go find your counterfeit violation. What, but similar to marketplaces, when we dig in on the data, the vast majority of people that are on there that are that are advertising are are the brand's own. resellers are the brands and retailers are the brands and distributors are grey market sellers. Right, this is an example of the data we run. And we said, we we partner with search engine monitor on this on, we're a big believer in the data and insights as we'd like to aggregate the best data sources that are out there in the world. We're a data aggregation group, and we like to go out and find those best insights and bring them in and just see the awesome killer data. And so they'll run these reports for the brands that we work with. And what we see often is that a lot of times, it's the brand's own resellers that are that are selling this so you can go and hey, I'll find a chive trademark violation or a counterfeit, but you're not going to move the needle a whole lot and controlling the the advertising and the traffic that's generated from those. And so you got to think about how am I going to control my own resellers? Same thing in text ads, here's an example of a brand we looked at the big problem was the brands and resellers or what are they doing? So as you think about strategy, and you think about data,

there's all sorts of different angles to look at there. I was looking at the brand is the brand's own keywords and hear search engine monitor, they ran data on not necessarily the brand's own keywords, but the more generic keywords and what's showing up there. And just as we're thinking about strategy, I think it's important for the digital marketing eCommerce teams to really take a look at the data on a lot of the relevant keywords, I think about strategy, maybe. Lori, could you maybe just kind of cover here sort of, you know, if you're a brand, and you pulled this data, how can I help you think about your own strategy and controlling the digital ads.

Lori Weiman  18:53  

Thanks, Whitney. So this is this chart is showing a sample size in the generic industry for running shoes. So we're just looking at generic terms in that space, and we're just comparing the brands, Adidas, Nike, Brooks and ASICs. Just so you can see how prevalent they're brand mentions are crossed. They're a seller channel, and then you'll see the sellers down the left. So Amazon, Zappos, Nike, Dick's Sporting Goods, Adidas, these are the sellers that popped up, there are many, many more that are actually 46 results in this sample size i But we wanted to showcase here is that we can see from this data, the Amazon, Zappos, etc. Have the top market share as sellers across the board. So that means that they have organic listings, paid ads and shopping ads or product listing ads showing on these terms. And how often are they actually promoting these individual brands? So we can see like, for example for Amazon, they are promoting Adidas for that category over Nike over books and over ASICs the majority of their ads have brand mentions for Adidas. So as a manufacturer, this means a lot to you, this is your distribution channel, this is your visibility out into the world. As when he said consumers start at Google, they started their searches there, they start doing research there maybe high level, until they really can hone in on the products that they want, then they may travel over to an Amazon or another marketplace to check pricing. So the beginning searches start here. And this is what they see. So you're not you're not just looking at how am I doing? But you really need to see how are you doing compared to your competitors? And are your retail sellers promoting you? That's important. So that's what this is demonstrating here.

Whitney Gibson  20:42  

Thanks. Yeah, I think it's interesting that there's lots of things about in your in your strategy around the ads. You know, one is obviously, the the foundation enforcement that we're talking about to is, you know, I look at that data, how do you want to work with your retailers? How do you want to incentivize them? In order to promote your products over others? Which retailers do you want to work with? You know, that's an area to where we would typically involve our antitrust counsel in thinking about strategies that can help you in your distribution, that fashion that don't get you into issues, you know, from an antitrust perspective, but you know, as you think about the strategy, I think another thing to think about here, what we see a lot of times, is when the brands are selling on Amazon, or Walmart, and we get Amazon cleaned up, and we get Walmart cleaned up, what'll happen is, people will start advertising on Google or their products, and then all of a sudden, Amazon will match that. And the people are like, I cleaned up Amazon, I just did this, but I didn't have Google under control. So you know, that's another thing that you want to think about a Why do I want to clean off this search ads is, you know, it may be to drive traffic to a DTC site, it may be having a strategy to have retailers promote, or it can be to preserve, preserve what's going on in other channels. So I know, we're about a half hour here. So I'm going to try to move pretty quick. You know, I think one of the other things you got to think about is just what Where are you trying to drive traffic and what what margin of the channel so a lot of people want to get traffic to their DTC site, even over Amazon or the retailer. So if that's a strategy of yours, you know, to improve profitability and drive traffic, that's another thing you got to think about. So ultimately, what we're sitting there with brands, and and we're looking at the type of data that search engine monitor can provide that what I'm trying to do is figure out in in these different buckets, and the Google search, text ads, what do you want your market share to be brand? What is it? Is it something where for these 20 keywords, you you would prefer to have 100% of the market share? And then maybe the rest, you would want to allow your retailers and distributors to be able to bid on those? Is it when you go to the product listing ads? Do you have a lot of competitors that are bidding on the product listing ads, and maybe you want it to have all your retailers that are incentivized to bid along with you in order to to drown out the competition? So these are the types of things I just think you have to think about and it's very similar to when we are in the marketplace is you want to be one p three P Do you want to have 12 authorized sellers? You got to think through these things, organic share, obviously, you got to think about and the organic search. How important is that for you to control? But ultimately, you know, once we define that, and then we got to figure out okay, how are we going to actually get there? And the next step is going to be alright, we've defined your your go to market, what foundation do we need to put in place? Now, the foundation is typically going to be some sort of research resell our search engine, marketing related policy. Now, this is an area that you definitely want to consult with antitrust counsel, we have a number of attorneys in our firm that work closely with our group that focus exclusively on antitrust related issues. And they work closely with brands on on policies and these types of issues. And this is an area where the case law is evolving. And so you want to know and i Whether you work with us or some other firms, this isn't something you just want to go slap together yourself or put together some agreement and go out there and do it because I Um, there are a lot of rules and laws around it. But, you know, I think generally, this area is very similar to minimum advertising pricing policies. Where it's a best practice, if you're going to go down this road, to look at doing a unilateral policy versus versus an agreement, to apply it uniformly. To think very clearly about which keywords you want to apply to, and be very clear in your enforcement structure and the consequences that you're doing it. So for most brands, you want to you want to think about having a unilateral policy versus some agreement.

And you want to think about the justifications in the policy that are focused on the pro competitive reasons why you're doing it for protecting your brand and protecting your trademark, you want to be very careful with your internal communications around the policy. And you want to make sure that you train people around why you're doing it and the discussions and for those of you on here that have been involved in implementation of pricing policies within your organization and kind of understand the different steps that you go through to ensure that you're doing it away. That you know, that is consistent with the law and not creating issues for you. So but you know, that's the same, we are seeing a lot of brands that are implementing these policies to provide the foundation for being able to deal with their own authorized resellers. Now, the other thing and this is, if you don't already have this in place for a marketplace program that you've done with Vorys your own resellers as part of the problem, the other thing is, you're gonna have to deal with grey market sellers, they're going to be selling and bidding in your text ads, they're going to be bidding in your product listing ads. And if you don't have control over them or a foundation, you're not going to have any big deal with them. You know, for those who worked with us or speak before you're fully aware that that will tell people look, you can have your your policies with your authorized sellers, you know, that relate to advertising and marketing and selling. But, you know, unauthorized sellers are gonna say, Look, I'm covered by the first sale doctrine, there's nothing I can do about that. You can't go after me. There's two exceptions to that there's the material differences that differences don't have to be physical can be a satisfaction guarantee loyalty program can be differences and warranty can also be quality controls, you can have quality controls that apply to your authorized sellers, things that Hey, you, you've got to sell on her name that's approved by the brand, you have to report back to the brand with any problems, you have to respond to customer messages. These are things that the grey market sellers typically will not or cannot abide by. So you know, in your thinking about your foundation, you want to make sure that you have a basis to deal with the grey market. And in typically some quality controls or retail differences will give you that foundation. But once you have your policies around the bidding and the keywords, and you have policies to deal with the grey market, unfair sellers, now it's time to go out and enforce, again, monitoring and precision insights. We were really excited about the data here because it really serves our mission of precision and focusing on the high value targets that that drive impact to the brand. Maybe Lori if you don't mind, just me just give just a little overview of some of the some of the key things here that you know is in your data. And I've worked with it and seen it. But since you know since you guys are in it every day, maybe just give a little overview.

Lori Weiman  28:54  

Sure, love to so on The Search Monitor crawls and monitors, Google, Yahoo, Amazon being on desktop and mobile. And we're reporting on all the page elements all the search share page elements includes organic, the shopping ads, and paid text ads in our reports, and those are broken down into competitive insights and brand compliance type reporting. So when I look at the boxes that when he has here in Google Search, text ad market share, that's some data that you can get from the search monitor for yourself as well as compared to your competitors. And in the previous slide that we were showing when we were talking about running shoes, we can also look at not just yourself and your own website, but your entire retail channel and their share across it for you and how they're representing you. Same thing with organic organic and the search text ads share those belong side by side when someone runs a search. The first thing they're going to see on the page as it breaks down is going to be those shopping ads. The next thing below there are page paid text ads, so they're very important. And then below that, you start seeing the organic listing. So they're kind of pushed down on the page, understanding the Page Layout, where you appear, how prominent these ads are, and how many positions that you own is very important to getting your distribution channels are getting the word out about your products, and being as most visible as possible in the market.

Whitney Gibson  30:22  

Thanks, Lori. So, again, we like to focus on the highest value targets, advertisers with high Google ad market share, and it typically this the way they calculate market shares, they're looking at the time that they that that individual, or that company is spending in the advertising for those keywords, and how high they're ranking. And they're combining those together to give them a market share score. So I really like the calculation that that's in behind that. And the nice thing about this is it's like, like the marketplaces and other places where typically the top 10 20% of sellers are causing 80% of the problem. So it really helps separate out the wheat from the shaft there and and you're not spending your budget, chasing down ankle biter like trademark violators when maybe it's a distribution issue or something that is causing the mass majority of the issue. So do that. And then enforcement, it's really a similar framework to what we apply, but in a different channel, which is the data driven precision enforcement where you're looking at who's having the biggest impact on your KPIs. And then you're using the data on the particular violator, to figure out what your enforcement tactics going to be. We see so many times because people may sign up for a brand protection company or sign up for a reseller management company, or have a law firm, they're applying the wrong tactic to the wrong sellers. But if you use the data and investigation to figure out okay, this is a reseller of mine, they are subject to my our search engine, marketing reseller policy, or this is a grey market seller. They're violating the quality controls material differences, or this is a trademark violator or counterfeiter. I work with the marketplaces to bring them down. So use that data and then all the data that we've collected over the last few years working with brands, typically, we can look and see the sellers is that someone we've gone against in the past, what was the reaction? Where are they located, and we use that data to further inform the enforcement tactics. But you know, it's really instead of just going out there with one set of tactics, it's looking at this and saying, Okay, I want to get holistic control of my channel through managing my distribution, brand protection and grey market all at once. And that's, that's really how we how we conduct enforcement, when we go through this. So here's just an example, the reseller search and a marketing policy, you've got warnings, withholding, stopping supplying products do not sell less IP reporting, you've got Google marketplace, the listing, you've got UDRP register, registrar notices for legal enforcement, you can have C and D letters, we can show them decisions, judgments, draft complaints, and other things there. So it's using that data to segregate, segregate that out and apply the right tactics. And ultimately, we're really excited about this. Because it really is really as a frontier that a lot of our clients have found important after we get outside of Amazon. And you know, I think for brands to get better control this it can help them own their strategic keywords, it can help improve their ROI on their marketing and advertising initiatives, it can help them with traffic, you can make a channel conflict and you know, eliminate consumer confusion. So we have a very short amount of time here. I think I'll just Nick turn it back over to you. And if there's any particular questions, we're happy to address them.

Nick Sands  34:08  

All right, actually, I was just about to jump in. So perfect time, we can leave this slide up to what Nina that's totally fine. So I mean, I think you will address some of the questions that came in at least partially here. But for starters, you know, we talked about math and kind of a universal protection policy. How do you effectively approach and an authorized reseller policy for products that are not on Mac? So anything international or anything along those lines? Can you kind of go through that in a little bit

Whitney Gibson  34:42  

more detail? Um, if I think I understand the question you're saying, you know, if you have a product that is being sold by an international seller, that may not be subject to your map. policy in the US?

Nick Sands  35:02  

Yeah. Either that or even if you don't have a MAP policy, if you're, you know, how do you how do you enforce pricing, you know, when map is, is either not defined or not available to be used as an enforcement

Whitney Gibson  35:17  

policy? Yeah, so there's I mean, there's a lot of different dynamics that can go into what the best approach is there. If you have a situation where you have an authorized reseller, and you're concerned about advertised pricing, and they're selling in the channel that they're allowed to, and in the region that they're allowed to under the policy, then you can, you can look at things like stopping supplying and and products and other actions there if it but if it's somebody, like let's say that selling internationally back into a US when they're not supposed to, or they're selling into a channel, they're not supposed to, then you have that reseller policy, if it's a, you know, a grey market seller, then you have the quality controls and material differences. So, I think it just kind of kind of depends upon are there other parameters that you set up of which they're violating? You know, so we, I think it just, it's hard for me to answer that question without knowing exactly what I guess all the parameters around that particular seller.

Nick Sands  36:32  

Got it. But But essentially, you It's you can enforce an effective pricing policy without having the need to define it with Mac, regardless of whether it's us or international, correct.

Whitney Gibson  36:45  

That's something you would want to consult with your antitrust counsel on what to do there. Okay. Because international the laws vary a lot internationally. How you treat people? I mean, it gets very nuanced. What's your market share? How are you treating your other sellers? So really, I mean, the best thing for brands to do a lot of times is to talk with their antitrust counsel about what are my goals? What are my business goals? How can I achieve those in a way that is compatible with antitrust? You know, antitrust laws. So I think that that's something that that's typically the phone call that we'll get is like, here's what I'm trying to do. You know, can you help me through it?

Nick Sands  37:28  

Got it. Okay. And then the, you know, jumping to another question that came in here, I'm actually going to start backwards on this one. So is a brand distribution policy, the core foundation that's really needed in order to, you know, enforce on authorized resellers, you know, pricing compliance, things of that nature?

Whitney Gibson  37:51  

Well, you need to have a foundation to be able to take action on the violations that are occurring in that channel. So it starts with the data typically, and looking at what is disrupting that channel. And then you got to work your way backwards and say, Alright, for me to be able to, if I want to have control of that channel, what what are the types of violations that I need to be able to deal with. So when I'm looking at that Google SERP data that search engine Monitor provides, that helps inform my strategy because I know that if I want control of that channel, then that I need to consider putting in a search engine marketing policy that applies to my authorised retailers or distributors. Because that was 60 to 70% of the people that were selling on there. Now, I also then need there is a percentage that's grey market. And for those, I am going to need to have products that are distinguished from a quality control or service or benefit perspective. And then the IP, I've got to have the IP registration. So that's why we have this whole like, well, we call it we don't really have a whole team. That's just the Foundation team. That's that looks at the channel looks at the violations that says how do we create the foundation to achieve the control you want. So it's hard to point to one particular key but it's typically reseller policies where you can and can't sell, it's going to be at some point advertising price policies that you're allowed. At some point. It's going to be your marketing and your advertising policies. What do you want those to be? It's going to be your quality controls and material differences to support enforcement against grey market and your IP registrations. And you kind of have to ask yourself like in the age of eCommerce, if I want to control my digital channels, what do I want each of those things to look like? That gives me that foundation that have control and what we tell brands a lot of times is prior to the age of eCommerce, those things did not need to be as strict because you didn't have to have as much control because nobody saw it. You know the repercussions. The world's changed now you're in the age of eCommerce. Most people have to evolve to a stronger foundation. Shouldn't in each of those buckets? And that's what we sort of worked through. And the

Nick Sands  40:04  

second part of this question, and this will, you know, this will probably be the last question that we have time for. So, the second part of the question is basically, you know, is it common for brands to have distribution agreements that have evolved over the years? And if so, what does that mean for maintaining a, you know, consistent universal policy for you know, managing authorized resellers managing those that are, you know, going to try to bid on your keywords and company name and likeness and things of that nature.

Whitney Gibson  40:38  

It's very common for people to evolve their distribution policies over time. I mean, the the importance of more heightened controls, is, it's just much, it's much more important today than it was five years ago, even before, you know, before the eCommerce became what it is today. So it's very, it's very, I think it's much more important, and it's very common for people to evolve and update those over time. I think a lot of people get nervous about having those conversations with their distributors, or retailers. And I think they're often surprised that when you communicate, very clearly the reasons to the distributors or retailers, why you're doing this and how it helps them, and why it's important in this new era, that we have some of these additional controls. And they're very surprised how receptive the distributors and retailers are to those updated policies. People are just scared to change. But there's a head of our foundation group, you know, more than isolate, you know, you can put a policy in place, but the implementation is also like super critical how you communicate it, what you say, the steps you take, you know, to effectuate it. So I think that's a really important part to really get right. In that implementation. Awesome. Well,

Nick Sands  42:06  

thank you, Whitney. And thank you, Lori, for you know, sharing everything here today. If anybody is interested in getting a copy of the slide deck here, we can connect your way over to Whitney and the Vorys team. And I'm Whitney, this is you're willing to share this with anybody who's interested? Correct? Yeah, that's no problem. Okay, awesome. So if anybody's interested, you know, let us know, we'll connect you to the Vorys team, they're happy to share the deck. And, you know, like I said, In the beginning, we're doing a tonne of these events virtually and in person over the course of the year. So if there's any topics you see on our website that you're interested in, feel free to register yourself for. If there's anything that you'd like us to talk about, that you don't see on the website, or things that you'd like to learn more about, you know, feel free to give us a call directly, or shoot us an email and say, Hey, here's some interesting topics that we'd love to hear you guys cover, you know, over the coming weeks and months. So, once again, thank you, everybody, for joining me here today and we'll see you all the next event. Thanks. Take care. Thanks again. We'll be right back.

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