Adthena Launches its Search Intelligence Index to Help Drive Strategic Decision Making for CMOs

The first-of-its-kind index evaluates the leading players and challengers across the search landscape

AUSTIN, Texas — Adthena, the leader in AI-powered search intelligence, today announced the availability of its Search Intelligence Index – the industry’s first global measure of search engine marketing (SEM) success for chief marketing officers (CMOs). Built around Adthena’s patented Whole Market View technology, which delivers the most comprehensive view of a company’s entire search landscape, the index reveals how leading brands and up-and-coming challengers are performing in SEM, giving CMOs and other marketing leaders a benchmark for their own success. The index will be released on a quarterly basis to evaluate performance, market opportunities, and challenges across various industries.

“Search has become a staple marketing function. Despite this channel making up the largest digital marketing budget line, marketing leaders are failing to leverage its full value”

Paid search advertising is responsible for almost half of internet advertising revenues globally. However, many CMOs are failing to leverage the full power of their paid search programs by viewing search solely as a tactical element of their digital marketing programs, rather than considering the strategic value it can deliver. To gain a better understanding of perceptions towards this marketing function, Adthena recently conducted its 2019 CMO Survey. The survey revealed that 92% of marketing leaders believe paid search can help them make more informed business decisions, yet 41% have never tracked how competitors in their relevant search landscape are performing. By analyzing a company’s Search Excellence, Market Leadership, and Brand Ownership, Adthena’s Search Intelligence Index enables CMOs to measure the success of their SEM in the context of their competition, industry, and past performance, providing the necessary insights to:

  • Optimize search spend
  • Capitalize on new market opportunities
  • Extend brand awareness and protect mindshare
  • Gain a better understanding of their customer journey
  • Adapt to industry shifts

“Search has become a staple marketing function. Despite this channel making up the largest digital marketing budget line, marketing leaders are failing to leverage its full value,” said Ian O’Rourke, CEO of Adthena. “While SEM has the power to check all the boxes, CMOs are sitting on untapped market and competitor knowledge that could help guide the activities that most affect their bottom line. Our Search Intelligence Index gives CMOs the insight they need to inform the strategic decisions that matter most to them, like driving company growth, improving customer experience, and catalyzing digital transformation.”

CMO Search Intelligence Report: Finance Industry

As part of the Search Intelligence Index launch, Adthena also released its first quarterly CMO Search Intelligence Report today, evaluating the finance search market for Q3 2019. The report ranks and evaluates the search behavior of 150 companies across 11 finance categories, while providing strategies for how companies in the finance search market can improve their performance.

“With consumer demand for digital experiences in the finance industry at an all-time high, CMOs are facing incredible pressure to transform their marketing functions and keep up with increased competition,” said Ashley Fletcher, Vice President of Marketing at Adthena. “In order for finance CMOs to be successful, they must continually measure their search performance to determine how, when, and where they can optimize their customer journey across touchpoints.”

Key takeaways from the Q3 2019 CMO Search Intelligence Report: Finance Industry

  • Banking and financial services companies, including Chase, American Express, and Capital One are among the top search marketers in finance.
  • Insurance companies are trailing in their SEM performance, with notable players including Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Farmers, and Prudential not appearing in the upper third of the index.
  • Fortune 100 companies are dominating the finance search market. However, many are being outperformed by more agile players when it comes to their efficiency and effectiveness in search.

As transformation remains top of mind for finance marketing executives, the report also found that agile fintech companies, like Credit Karma and Quicken Loans, are driving a new digital-first business model and disrupting every category in finance, particularly banking, payments, and insurance. To keep up with these emerging players and successfully evolve their digital strategy, CMOs need greater visibility into their market and competitor movements. Previously, this wasn’t possible in the realm of search, but advanced technologies like artificial intelligence have made search a more intelligent competitive tool. With better insight, CMOs can minimize market-entry risk, identify new business opportunities, and better combat competitor strategies.

To download the full CMO Search Intelligence Report: Finance Industry, visit Companies interested in an in-depth analysis of performance in the context of their specific industry and competition can request a personalized Search Intelligence Scorecard here:

Search Intelligence Index Methodology

Adthena’s Search Intelligence Index benchmarks advertisers in a specific search market against their peers. The Search Intelligence Scores are calculated by averaging three dimensions of SEM success – Market Leadership, Search Excellence, and Brand Ownership. The composite score, along with its three dimension scores, fall between 0-100, with 50 being the average score across all competitors in a search market. Each dimension of the score is determined by underlying metrics that most directly benchmark companies against each other. The score analyzes more than 600 thousand generic and brand terms across the Google search landscape to provide the most in-depth assessment of search performance in the finance market.

Within finance, specific search categories include banking, credit cards, insurance, accounting and auditing, ATM sales and processing, business finance, business news and media, financial planning and management, grant, scholarship and financial aid, investing, money transfer and wire services.

Search Intelligence Score Metrics

Market Leadership

  • Search Term Coverage – How many search terms a company’s ads appear on
  • Share of Impressions – How many times a company’s ads are seen, relative to other advertisers
  • Share of Clicks – The number of clicks a company gets, of the total clicks in the market, relative to other advertisers

Search Excellence

  • Click-Through Rate – How often ads are clicked, on average
  • Cost Per Click – How much is paid for each click, on average
  • Average Position – Where ads appear on the page, on average

Brand Ownership

  • Brand Coverage – How many brand and brand generic terms a company is advertising on
  • Brand Bidding Defense – How well a company protects its brand from competitive bidding
  • Position 1 on Brand Terms – How often a company appears at the top of the page for brand searches

Adthena’s 2019 CMO Survey

Adthena conducted an online survey of 151 marketing decision makers in the US and UK to gauge their current knowledge and awareness of paid search and its value to the marketing function. Survey responses were fielded from June 24 to July 10, 2019.

Respondent Breakdown

Marketing Roles



Vice President Level








Senior Manager



Business to business technology






Financial Services


Consumer technology






*Personal services, Non-profit, Consulting, Media, Entertainment, Marketing, Business Services, Fundraising, Healthcare, Education, Social Media, Publishing, Ministry, Government, Wholesale

About the Search Intelligence Index

Adthena’s Search Intelligence Index is a global measure of SEM success. The index reveals how leading players and up-and-coming challengers are performing in SEM, giving CMOs and other marketing leaders a benchmark for their own success. Each company in the index receives a Search Intelligence Score calculated using a proprietary methodology that evaluates its Market Leadership, Search Excellence, and Brand Ownership in SEM. The score considers factors such as a company’s advertising effectiveness, search spend optimization, and search market share. Adthena produces each score using its patented, AI-driven data model, Whole Market View, which delivers the most comprehensive view of a company’s entire search landscape. By analyzing more than 200 million keywords and processing 10 terabytes of new organic and paid search data every day, Adthena helps companies assess challenges and opportunities across their market.

About Adthena

Founded in 2012, Adthena is the world’s most advanced competitive intelligence platform for paid search advertising, processing over 10 terabytes of new data, while indexing 500 million advertisements and 200 million keywords in 15 different languages every day. Powered by its AI-driven Whole Market View data set, Adthena’s carefully designed solutions of Market Entry, Campaign Optimization, Strategic Advantage and Brand Protection help marketers target and reach consumers that matter the most to their business according to their business objectives. Globally, Adthena works with more than 250 clients across 18 different business sectors, including finance, education, gaming, automotive and technology. Brand customers include Autotrader, Air New Zealand, Atlassian, Citibank, Burberry, Toyota, and Volvo. Agency customers include media specialists like GroupM and channel-specific paid search experts like iProspect. In addition, Adthena is the winner of several leading industry awards — including the Search Engine Land Awards, Stevie® Award for Customer Service, and European Search Awards, among others.