Everything I Know about Marketing I learned from Google

Rob Garner, iCrossing

Rob Garner
Strategy Director

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from Google?

One of the most important things I learned from Google was that marketing and advertising could be permission-based, relevant, and useful to the target audience. It is the antithesis of the traditional blaring, interruptive advertisement. Marketers across a broad spectrum are now able opportunity to meet directly with their highly targeted audience at the point of intent, and this approach translates to more efficiency in ad spend, and higher ROI [return on investment]. By dominating and capitalizing on this once novel approach to marketing, Google has effectively built a major cornerstone for the future of advertising and marketing.


Can you give me some color commentary on your “Natural & Paid Search Symbiosis” report? Were the results surprising to you? How have you acted on the findings for your clients? What are some best practices that were developed based on the research?

The study strongly reinforced the concept of using both paid and natural search to extend the benefits in the entire channel. It comes down to a matter of real estate, and when there are two fundamental opportunities to appear on a page, as a marketer you need to capitalize on those opportunities. The biggest surprise was that the campaign lifts were so significant -– 35-45% lift over five different metrics.

The research was useful in making the case for sharing data and learnings between paid and natural strategies. Paid search analytics data is now a key consideration for our natural search strategists when creating content strategies, and also prioritizing keywords targeted for natural search campaigns. Many other areas are impacted, from messaging and landing pages, to managing CPC [cost-per-click] costs and deeper content development. The premise that SEO [search engine optimization] could positively impact paid search performance was a particular eye-opener.

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