My heart bleeds with tears of sorrow at the discovery by iProspect and JupiterResearch that nearly half (45%) of search engine marketers do NOT integrate their search marketing efforts with offline channels.
diable pensez-vous?!? (pardon my french)
How can we be doing this when evidence consistently shows that a majority of searchers are driven to search by an offline channel?!
Over half of paid search marketers integrate at least one offline marketing channel (a moment of silence please, in honor of those of you getting it right…) HOWEVER TV and radio integration trails direct mail and newspaper as though there is some collusion between print and search while TV and Radio (“MASS” communication) neglects that in the 21st century, people SEARCH for information about something they’ve seen, read, or learned.
Perhaps more disheartening, was the discovery that this isn’t the traditional marketers’ fault but that of the SEMs. Offline, marketers are at least including their website address in television commercials and the like but notice how drastically few are aligning keywords with search marketers. I can only infer then how embarrassingly few are running keywords that align with the offline marketing campaigns.
Two of the most often cited excuses? Budget (move the money!) and lack of management buy-in (is it not our jobs to maximize the performance of search??). I’d love to hear what we’re still missing. What makes this so challenging?
From my own experience it isn’t the lack of management buy-in but the inexperience of the traditional marketers and concern, over the threat SEM poses to traditional marketing budgets, should it perform as well as it does. All too often I’ve dealt with the TV or radio ad agencies and marketers who won’t share what they’re doing or are determined to run a search program themselves so the attention remains on them for the performance of their campaign. Frustrating, to be sure, as you are then left managing inconsistent search programs, poor bid strategies, and convoluted campaign priorities.
Bottom line is simple, you must integrate paid search with traditional and offline marketing programs. Do it for yourself and by yourself if you must as the data consistently shows that offline marketing creates demand; demand that will perform for you.