The Bid Management Bonanza

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Jed Brookes-Lewis recently attended ClickZ's Bid Management Tools Buyers' Guide launch event...

On 21st February, online digital marketing community ClickZ lauched their Bid Management Tools Buyers’ Guide, comparing 6 of the most popular bid management platforms on the market today. Jed Brookes-Lewis attended the launch event and reported back the following…

What bid management platform should I use? This is a question that is being increasingly asked by digital marketers as more and more companies are trying to tie multiple channels under one, convenient, easily-manageable roof.

In an attempt to help navigate the wealth of options currently on the market, digital marketing community ClickZ have released a buyers’ guide comparing 6 of the most popular platforms (Kenshoo, DoubleClick, Marin, Adobe Advertising Cloud, Acquisio and Wordstream), which offers an insight into which particular tech works best, depending on what is required from it.

At ClickThrough we primarily use Kenshoo, so I was keen to see how it stacked up versus the competition. However, we are also always interested in expanding our portfolio to match the requirements of clients, so the guide also offered a solid introduction to other platforms on the market.

The guide was built off the back of a community survey which received over 1,600 responses and covered six key areas:

  • Bid Management
  • Automation
  • Cross-Channel Capabilities
  • Strategic Insight
  • Analytics & Reporting
  • User Experience

Bid Management

All the software reviewed performed well from a bid management perspective which is to be somewhat expected as it is the core function on which the platforms are built. In particular though, Kenshoo and Marin’s methodologies behind their bidding decisions were praised whilst the tangible impact Acquisio had on results also received plaudits.


Automation is a major trend within digital marketing currently so solid performance in this category is a necessity for any bid management tool. DoubleClick performed well in this area across the various aspects that feed into automation, including the creation of dynamically tailored ads.

Cross-Channel Capabilities

The cross-channel capability analysis looked into how each tool supports channels outside of traditional search; shopping, Facebook, display, emerging platforms (such as Pintrest and Amazon) and even offline, whilst also considering the sophistication of attribution models available.

Adobe’s software was a big winner here with users being especially excited about the visibility of online and offline marketing together and the attribution modelling applied. Kenshoo again scored well due to its support of emerging platforms, and Facebook through Kenshoo Social (a feature that we at ClickThrough have also seen great success with).

Strategic Insights

As with the cross-channel capabilities, Kenshoo and Adobe Advertising Cloud were the stand out performers when it came to the insights each platform provides into audiences, competitor activity, and projected account performance.

Particularly lauded was the accuracy of the forecasts produced by the platforms, along with versatility of the data analysis options with Adobe.

Analytics & Reporting

Acquiso received praise for the clarity of the paid search insights it offers, while also having intuitive dashboard functions, making it quick and easy to extract relevant data from the platform. The wealth of different reports offered by Kenshoo and the sophisticated, cross-channel nature of Adobe Ad Cloud were also highlighted as strong features.

User Experience

DoubleClick romped home in the user experience category with its sleek, minimalist, AdWords-esque interface being appreciated. Wordstream’s tailoring towards the paid search novice was also complimented, especially given the fact that the platform is built for smaller businesses, where it may be harder to dedicate significant time towards managing the digital marketing presence.

It would be naïve to expect a report such as the one produced by ClickZ to specifically recommend one platform over all others. My conclusion, having perused it for a number of hours, is that it is very much “horses for courses” with different platforms delivering success in different areas. Kenshoo, however, did receive a number of mentions across the categories suggesting that, here at ClickThrough, we’re on to a winner.

The full Bid Management Buyers’ Guide can be found here.

Get in touch with our paid search management team and discover how we can help with bid management, and make the most of your current strategies.

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