The Online Offline Synergy of Search

Feb 27, 2008 - 7:23 pm 2 by
Filed Under SMX West 2008

Moderated by Jeff Rohrs of Exact Target.

First speaker is David Feldman from iProspect. He describes a study done by iProspect and Jupiter research of how Offline Channels influence search. 67% of searchers are influenced by offline advertising. The first step is to “walk down the hall” and plan together with the offline marketing folks. Of the 67% of the searchers that were influenced, 39% ended up main a purchase. Knowing this, you should “walk back down the hall” and tell the offline marketers to include keywords that lead to conversions in search within the offline creative.

He will now share a more national example. The Priceline Negotiator…he plays an ad with William Shatner that focuses on the term “name your own price.” When he does a search, Priceline is both buying ads and has organic top potion for this term. This is good, but he focuses on the competitors that are in there as well. This is an opportunity to pay attention to.

James Lamberti is going to “pinch hit” for Stephen the other speaker who could not make it. James is from comScore. He will talk about findings from Key Research Studies in Partnership with Google and Yahoo! Key comments: buyers do not use search in a vacuum. What he means by this is probably pretty obvious…when you talk to consumers search is not the only thing that exists in their life. In fact, they may not even know when they searched or saw a print ad etc.

Chart: People who bought consumer electronics online versus offline purchasers. What were the most important influencers? “Search” 24% and 25% respectively, and “online banners” close to the same percentage. Next chart: “helped me learn about a brand or product” and “helping decide what to buy.” Again the search space percentage of influence was indifferent to online or offline conversion. How important was seeing the product in person? If buying in store, 69% felt is was important but still 49% of buyers online felt it was important too…these people would go into a brick and mortar location to see/feel the product and still buy online.

There is a clear lack of pattern in regards to where the purchase happens, but it is obvious that search is important to both. Of total buyers, 59% of all buyers searched first. He then showed a couple verticals where the numbers were lower or higher but I missed it. 83% of the sales impact of search is latent. Of those latent conversions, 17% direct purchase online and 20% latent search purchases online, but the majority (63%) are doing offline purchases after search. If you exclude travel and event tickets, the number jumps to 92%.

Calculating ROI, the full sales impact. Shows a variety of ROI’s ranging from $1.00 from direct online purchase to $4.00 for offline sales. In 2006, PWC estimated that >50% of ALL sales are impacted by search.

Data is a universal language. CMO’s relate to reach, frequency, and GRPs…don’t talk to them about keyword research etc…they want to know what the Gross Rating Point is. Another way to use search is as a “leading indicator” metric when relating to CMO’s. tell them the demographics and take that down the hall to plan with the offline marketers. This is a common metric that they will understand and can plan to.

Use test groups to measure actual ad effectiveness of linking to offline sales. Consumers are easily confused. The key is to understand that a single integrated message is absolutely critical. Search should not be performed in a vacuum. He shows data that supports the value of the synergistic impact of a coordinated campaign. Search is a desired outcome because of the brand search lift. Search is a sign that awareness has been built.

He shows a couple examples. Kellogg’s. They are seen as one of the leaders in digital from a CPG perspective…they are seen as quite forward thinking. They tied core products to organic positioning. The effort probably cost them a couple years, 100 people and a couple hundred million dollars. The problem is that it hasn’t translated to search success.

4 recos: understand the consumer use of search in your category. Diving deep to know where search fits in. Second: market with a single integrated message. Third: use “old school data” to your advantage - there is nothing wrong with speaking the language that has been in media for years. Lastly: measure the FULL ROI of search. This is not just a direct response medium by any stretch, in some cases not even at all. Link the return to what is happening in stores and to site traffic.

Next up is Ken Jurina from Epiar. He will talk about gaining insight using advanced keyword research. There are not four Ps in the marketing mix, there are five: “People” is the fifth. Uses of advanced keyword research for offline include business research and social research. “Authentic marketing is not selling what you make but knowing what to make…”

Ken is rolling through slides pretty quick… He shows the top 15 topics in online searches surrounding televisions. Then he shows another about salsas. the marketer selling salsa was worried about sales of pineapple salsas not doing well…the keyword research here led to insight that more people like mango salsa, so they ramped that up and sell much more of that in stores now.

Speaking your customers’ language…where to use the keywords. Obviously in areas of high visibility. Use them in offline print and media…combine both online and offline. What about product and service gaps? Keyword research will allow you to identify new products or benefits associated with them. uses the example of “countertops.” What kind of countertops are people looking for? This should lead to R&D around the demand.

Brand fragmentation and brand equity is also something that can benefit from advanced keyword research. “True brand loyalty must be earned and reinforced” quote from Larry Light from Arcature. How does search influence offline sales? Many people look for specific details about products online but do ot purchase online.

He shows some examples of Super Bowl Ads to see how well the big dollar spenders are doing with integrations. Shows the “Amp” ad with the “Amp yourself” tagline. They do not have a Microsite or any ads in search. Then shows some issues with the Taco Bell Think Outside The Bun campaign. Lastly he gives kudos to “” Victoria’s Secret did the best in terms of traffic with an 86% lift in traffic to the web site after the Super Bowl. Sex sells. Ken had some technical difficulties trying to show the ads.

Last speaker will be Joel Toledano from Krillion. They have done specific research around this topic of the “cross-channel shopper.” This is the fastest growing part fo the retail pie. All national retailers now support in-store pickup. Take Circuit City…2 years ago every single ecommerce purchase was sent to the consumer. In 2007, 55% of the purchases were picked up at the store. 2007 40% of Wal-Mart online purchases picked up in store. Both averaged more per sale…$154 more for Circuit City and $60 more at Wal-Mart.

What shoppers needs to know: who carries it? What does it cost? Is it in stock? Krillion drives in store sales, he claims, because they answer “who carries near me, plus in store price, plus first of a kind in store availability.” This is turning into a bit of a pitch…blah blah blah about what you used to have to do before Krillion came around to save the day.

Will now talk about a study that they did with the eTailing group. Large study of multi-channel shoppers. Over half of the 1000 users have bought a product for in store pickup. All of them said a high level of awareness was driven by the retailer ads. Next, shoppers researched multiple sources online before buying offline…72% will visit the retailer site. The last metric really stood out: 2 biggest factors that drive in store pickup. “Save shipping expense” and “convenience.” “I want to get it today.”

Note this is live coverage of SMX West 2008, and there may exist grammatical or typographical errors in this post. Please share your thoughts in the comments!


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