What leads you to search?
There’s always some stimulus that triggers a search query. Often, that’s a marketing message. Google knows this. That’s why it doesn’t rely solely on search engine marketing (SEM) to promote its products. And that’s why it doesn’t count on SEM alone to grow revenue.
For years Google did very little traditional marketing but now it is active in out-of-home and even bought a Super Bowl ad.
Microsoft launched a full-blown multi-channel campaign for Bing — including a Bingathon on Hulu — and saw its user-base increase by 30%.
Research from iProspect shows that 40% of searchers make a purchase after being driven to search by exposure to an offline ad.
A study from Yahoo! revealed that 88% of sales influenced by online advertising was spent offline.
A GroupM Search report found 94% higher click-rates when people were exposed to both paid search and brand-influenced social media. Tracking — and acting on — these linkages is critical for marketers.
Orbitz shifted too much marketing budget to SEM and saw its volume dry up because there was nothing priming the pump at the top of the funnel.
Marketing channel integration can be difficult, especially when silos have been erected between corporations, agencies, and media companies. To overcome these hurdles, align incentives and centralize data systems. It’s an over-used buzzword, but a “holistic” approach is critical.
“People don’t just magically search.”
“Can’t wait to watch the Superbowl tomorrow. Be sure to watch the ads in the 3rd quarter (someone said ‘Hell has indeed frozen over.’)”
“A search is a response to something.”
“The biggest opportunity moving forward is to understand the interaction effects between media.”
If you want to bring home the bacon, don’t put all your eggs in the SEM basket. Try to maintain some SEM-blance of balance.
June 21, 2010: Kelly Graziadei was quoted in this chapter sharing key takeaways from Yahoo’s research online buy offline (ROBO) study. Kelly recently left Yahoo and is now on the Brand Agency Strategy & Account Management team at Facebook.
June 22, 2011: Speaking at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity after accepting the Cannes Lions Media Person of the Year Award, Eric Schmidt confirmed that Google’s Superbowl ad “paid for itself” based on incremental search traffic. Reminds us that we can’t rely on SEM alone but also that it’s critical to track everything.