Lost in Translation
Most business people acknowledge the value of integrated marketing communications. They generally try to promote a consistent brand strategy across media in traditional advertising and most offline marketing materials. However, many are falling short when it comes to integrating their offline and traditional marketing materials with their online marketing efforts. This creates a serious disconnect between marketers’ search engine strategies and the behaviors of search engine users.
Nearly half of marketers (45 percent) are not integrating their search marketing efforts with their offline initiatives, according to a report from iProspect, conducted by JupiterResearch.
What makes this lack of integration problematic is that 67 percent of Internet users decide to go to a search engine after seeing an offline marketing message. The iProspect Offline Influence on Online Search Behavior Study also found that 39 percent of the search users who were influenced by an offline ad ultimately made a purchase from the company that prompted their initial search. Needless to say, the potential for missed sales is huge.
The iProspect report also revealed that only 55 percent of search engine marketers intentionally integrate their online efforts with at least one offline vehicle. Direct mail is the offline channel where integration takes place most often at 34 percent. Magazine/newspaper advertising follows at 29 percent, while television and radio advertising come in last at 12 percent each. However, television advertising ranks high as a potential driver of users to a search engine, according to 37 percent of the respondents.
The lack of integration found in this study can be attributed to a number of factors.
- Lack of budget (19%)
- Lack of human resources (15%)
- Not considered (13%)
- Lack of senior management buy-in (11%)
- Separate people managing search marketing and offline channels (11%)
Other key findings from the study include:
- The two integration techniques most prominently employed by search marketers are the inclusion of the company Web address (84%) and the company name (66%) in offline marketing initiatives.
- Only 26% of marketers utilize the same keywords in offline campaigns as are used in search marketing campaigns.
- 24% of companies do not participate in offline marketing at all. This speaks to a growing trend among marketers to abandon offline efforts in favor of sole reliance on Internet marketing based on perceived cost savings (a subject worthy of another article at a later date).
So the next time you review TV or radio scripts or creative for a print ad or direct mail piece, be sure to consider the importance of online/ offline integration. If someone hears or reads a keyword that they then try to look up in the search engines, will your web site be found? Marketers need to be sure their targeted keywords for search engine marketing are also being used in their offline media messages.
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