Pricing Engine, a company that guides small businesses through the process of buying online ads, is presenting its first report today (at the Street Fight Summit New York) on data from its customers.
That data is already an important part of its business, because Pricing Engine (which CEO Jeremy Kagan demonstrated for me last week) compares the performance of its advertisers to related companies and is able to provide recommendations, as well as a report card. (Companies with a similar approach include AdStage.)
This, however, is the first time that Pricing Engine is sharing information about the broader trends it’s seeing from around 1,500 accounts. Kagan admitted that the data is “not statistically rigorous,” but he said his goal is to more “to get the conversation started about the VSB [very small business] level of business.”
That’s an important point for him — he said there are other companies claiming to serve small businesses but still targeting customers larger than Pricing Engine’s, who typically don’t spend more than hundreds or thousands of dollars on online ads in one month.
One of the main points in the report: Even though small businesses are (understandably) focusing most of their advertising on Google AdWords, there may be a bit of an untapped opportunity in Bing. AdWords advertisers through Pricing Engine saw an average clickthrough rate of 2.4 percent (compared to 2.3 percent on Bing), but the price for those clicks was lower on Bing, which saw a cost-per-click of $1.10 (versus $2.40 on AdWords).
Pricing Engine also said stores were the biggest category in terms of number of accounts (17 percent of the total), while digital services firms were the biggest spender on AdWords, with an average monthly spend of $3,200 per month.