Conquest Campaigns for Google Ads (Adwords) – Competitor Brand PPC

What’s a Competitor Conquest Campaign?

For our purposes a competitor conquest campaign is something of an inverse to a brand protection campaign. Basically the conquest campaign places ads for product X when people search the brand name of one of product X’s competitors. The idea is to target customers who are interested in a product related to yours when they are searching for information about that related product. Here’s a good example. Most of us are familiar with the popular bookkeeping software Quickbooks. As shown below, Netsuite (an Oracle product that combines eCommerce, accounting, and other business systems) is encouraging users who search the Intuit brand term “quickbooks” to consider their product.

competitor conquest ad google adwords

What are the costs and benefits?


In addition to the costs inherent in all advertising efforts, competitor conquest campaigns raise some common questions. It’s not unheard of for a competitor conquest campaign to create some friction between the brand that’s placing the ads and the brand being targeted. While brand conquest advertising against competitors is a totally legal, and I’d argue ethical, it’s not unheard of for  brands to engage in click fraud, vent their frustrations publicly online, or even attempt to file a lawsuit in retaliation for seeing their brand conquested against. My understanding of the current state of the law in the United States is that suing a competitor for advertising this way will be completely unsuccessful in court and likely result in the defendant winning dismissal and payment of legal fees if the suit actually went to court. Additionally, most conquest campaigns do not spark this level of aggressive negative reaction.


Branded search lives very low in the funnel. Consumers searching on branded terms are often deep into the customer journey and very close to the point of purchase. Due to this, a conquest campaign can be a very effective lead generation or eCommerce tactic. Ensuring that prospective customers are aware of your brand, and the ways you differ from the brand they are searching about, can absolutely drive incremental sales. In many cases targeting your competitors brand keywords can produce a lower cost per lead/sale than targeting normal non branded product/category terms. This tactic is particularly useful for challenger brands who are taking on a more established brand in their market. One of the best


Targeting competitor brands with a search conquest campaign is a tactic that presents unique opportunities. Strategies such as comparison landing pages can help improve quality score and conversion rate. While there’s always some risk to any advertising campaign, targeting competitor brand names is an established tactic that is often worth pursuing. Want to make sure your competitor conquest campaign has the best chance of success? Schedule a consultation and find out if working with Samurai DR is a good fit for your business.

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