An incredible number of options exist for those who need to engage in online marketing.  You’ll find article marketing, SEO optimized websites, affiliate marketing, link exchanges and much more.  However, whether you are engaged in marketing for yourself, or market for your clients, pay-per-click, or PPC, has become one of the most powerful advertising solutions on the Internet.

However, if you wish to take advantage of PPC competitive intelligence, then you’ll need to know a bit more than just how to create a compelling advertisement.  Knowing what the competition is doing with their own marketing campaigns, for instance, is just as vital online as it is in traditional marketing.  If you do not know what the competition is up to, then you are at a singular disadvantage.  Therefore, you need to know how to gain access to intelligence that helps you define not only where the competition is at in terms of marketing strategy, but where they intend to go from this point.

PPC campaigns can be remarkably effective when marketing products, regardless of what those products might be.  However, if you do not have access to the right metrics and the top keyword research tools you might not have a good idea of where your company stands in the industry.  For example, if your PPC ads have increased your annual revenue by 30%, you might feel that there is cause for celebration.  However, what if your competition has used their PPC campaign to increase their sales by 100% or more?  How does your 30% compare to their 100%?  Obviously, there are many variables to consider, but you can see how vital competitive intelligence in the PPC world can be.

Gaining access to this intelligence can prove to be problematic, though.  You will find an incredible number of programs that promise to deliver the needed results, but which ones do the best job?  Which ones offer the best mixture of accuracy and cost savings?  For instance, Alexa can be used to considerable extent, but it can be a bit biased, as the data is only collected from toolbar installations.

As you might imagine, the means by which the information is gathered is quite important.  You will also need to consider the scope of the collection process.  Is the data collected only from the US market?  Does the date reflect global trends?  These are vital concerns when contemplating launching a PPC campaign and in need of accurate intelligence concerning the competitive market.