The search journey for one-third of shoppers begins before the device is announced and it often lasts up to three months.

New device launches like today’s iPhone event can translate into big opportunities for retail advertisers. And  Bing Ads research shows just how big.

Below I’ve called out some key insights to help retail advertisers make the most of new device launches based on activity analyzed around previous Apple announcements.

Plan early

According to our data, the search journey for one-third of shoppers begins before the device is announced, and although the average length of their journey is 59 days, it can last up to three months. While shoppers are anxious to get their hands on sleek, new tech, they also take time to do their homework. And they’re not just researching devices. They’re looking at phone plans (leasing over contracts), upgrades and trade-ins, and accessories.

Frances-Donegan-Ryan-Microsoft-BingAds

Frances Donegan-Ryan, Bing Ads Global Community Engagement, Microsoft

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That means you need to get your campaigns in order well before the announcement (you may have missed the window for the Apple event but there will be more tech releases as we get closer to the holiday shopping season). Be sure that your campaigns focus on providing helpful information and that you make it easy for searchers to check out devices and corresponding phone and data plans.

Keep in mind that during the pre-order and general sales periods, reviews and comparison shopping is high, so you’ll want to serve up content shoppers are looking for to help them decide.

On the other hand, once the device goes on sale, you’ll want to make it easy for searchers to complete their purchase with clear calls to action. Take advantage of Product Ad Extensions and Expanded Text Ads to catch shoppers attention.

Anticipate activity spikes

Know when shoppers are searching. For example, our data shows that searching for iPhones peaked on announcement day. In addition, searches for phone plans and upgrades/trade-ins spiked on the announcement day, pre-order day, and on launch day itself. Another noteworthy spike happened on the day the Google Pixel was announced.

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When planning for a new device launch, make sure that you have a lock on key dates and that you have budget in place to accommodate spikes in searching. Take note of upcoming launches of competing devices, so that you can make necessary campaign and budget adjustments.

Who is searching for what?

Of course, as with all campaigns, you’ll also want to look at who is searching and exactly what they are searching for. For example, while our data shows that searching spikes followed the same pattern regardless of audience, during the last iPhone launch, 32% of searchers fell in the 35-49 age group, followed by 27% in the 50-64 age. You’ll want to ensure your campaigns are targeting age and other audience demographics.

When it comes to brands, your keywords should reflect how people are searching. Our research shows that only 2% of accessory shoppers (who, by the way, were primarily searching on weekends on their mobile devices) were performing branded searches. Only 7% of searches for trade-in and upgrade programs were branded.

How they get there matters

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And finally, not to toot our own horn, but according to comScore qSearch, searchers on Bing-powered platforms spend about 24% more than the average internet searcher. We also know that the Bing Network delivers major value for telecom, with 12 million searchers conducting 26 million telecom searches, yielding 35% of all telecom paid clicks.

Furthermore, Bing Ads data shows that 6.4 million consumer electronics searchers conducted nine million consumer electronics searches, yielding 24% of all consumer electronics paid clicks.

What is clear from this research is that search engine marketing delivers big value to retail advertisers. Make sure you have your SEM campaigns set up and ready to go, so that you can capture revenue from these spenders.

I highly recommend that you take some time to comb through the full Bing Ads research, which includes a device launch campaign planner and a helpful checklist to get you started.

And be sure to get those upcoming device launches on your calendar and campaigns ready to go.

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