REVIEWER: Brian K. Takenaka, director of e-business for AIU Travel Japan Service.

BACKGROUND: AIU Japan Travel Service, a division of AIG Japan, provides flexible travel insurance packages for international, domestic, business, leisure and student travelers.

PLATFORMS: Covario Paid Search Insight is delivered as a software as a service (SaaS) solution.

PROBLEM SOLVED: There were two issues fueling our search for a solution to manage our online advertising campaigns. The first was visibility and control. We had no real-time visibility into current ad placements or campaign performance. All reporting and analysis was manual and time-consuming, minimizing our ability to make timely evaluations of campaign performance and responding to changes in the market. The second driver was the opportunity to bring the expertise in house.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Two functional areas of Covario Paid Search Insight have proven invaluable: Campaign Summary and Quality of Visitor. The integrated campaign summaries provide visibility into the performance and cost of all active campaigns and keywords across multiple search engines. These types of reports and aggregations used to take weeks/months to compile. Now I can analyze performance and identify trends within 24 hours, which allows me to alter paid advertising strategies, test assumptions and take corrective action. I can monitor the polarization of travelers and adjust our campaigns accordingly. The goal is to extend the right offer in the right place at the right time with the right messaging. While we have an e-agency that helps with campaign setup and generating test creative, I can now hold the e-agencies accountable for results. We can measure in real time the cost of each ad and the value created. We are now able to evaluate the ROI of specific keywords, campaigns, advertisements and search engines. I can measure the profitability of a keyword across multiple search engines. This information helps direct strategic actions. Covario Paid Search Insight monitors the pulse of our business and enables us to maximize the effectiveness and ROI of our paid search advertising versus organic search results. It’s a real eye-opener for any organization trying to cut costs and maximize ad spend. A simple add-on tool can become your search engine management (SEM) director and eliminate headcount and e-ad agency fees for all of your e-business lines.

STRENGTHS: The most significant strength of Covario Paid Search Insight is the company and people behind the product. They have built a solution that addresses the needs of a relatively new industry growing in complexity. Covario innovates and builds enhancements to meet the changing SEM/search engine optimization (SEO) landscape with unique insights, hands-on experience, a broad base and in-depth understanding of maximizing SEM/SEO ad spend.

WEAKNESSES: The most significant weakness is the lack of full double-byte Japanese character support in the downloads, which should be fully supported in 2008.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We selected Covario Paid Search Insight because it was the only tool in the market that provided the visibility, analysis and expertise that we required to meet our business objectives. It was affordable to test pilot and confirm that it actually did what it said it would do. The experts at Covario really understood what we needed and made it easy to explain how the information collected and presented in Paid Search Insight was different than what standard Web analytics packages offer.

DELIVERABLES: Covario Paid Search Insight provides a number of valuable and actionable reports such as MyInsight Analysis, which is a high-level dashboard that displays the performance of global paid (and in some cases organic) search programs. We use it to evaluate overall ROI of our search programs. The Budget and Spending Analysis reports show users at the keyword, spending for paid search by campaign and business unit, how spending compares to allocated budget, budget remaining and spending on media versus services. The Return Analysis reports allow us to evaluate the returns on paid search programs based on a tailor-made, quality-of-visitor scorecard.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Support from the Covario team has been excellent and consistent. The experts at Covario have even been able to help us answer questions and develop SEM strategy.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation was complete and easy to understand.

Covario Paid Search Insight
Covario, Inc. (formerly SEMDirector, Inc.)
10650 Treena Street
San Diego, CA 92131
(858) 397-1500

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