Search Integration: Are We There Yet?

Oct 6, 2008 - 9:54 am 0 by
Filed Under SMX East 2008

People have been talking about search being integrated with other types of marketing for ages. How's it going? Is search now second nature when creating an advertising campaign? If not, why not? Thoughts and examples of integration challenges will be shared in this panel.

Moderator: Sara Holoubek, Consultant, Columnist and SEMPO Board of Directors

Speakers: Peter Hershberg, Managing Partner, Reprise Media James Lamberti, Senior Vice PResident, Search and Media, comScore, Inc. Robert Murray, President, iProspect Don Steele, Vice President Digital Marketing, MTV Networks

Robert Murray is up first. He asks if we're soccer fans and if we've been to soccer games. In the game of soccer, integration is key. When you have 11 players on the field and they're all united for one common purpose, the results can be inspiring. He equates this with marketing online and offline.

Some background: search marketing does not exist in the backend. Unless you've been living under a rock, you have heard to "integrate or die." However it's packaged, the message is simple - integration matters. But what are marketers doing about that? What techniques are they using? If they're not, why not?

He found research from JupiterResearch in August 2007 where he pulled data from consumers - offline marketing on online behavior. 67% of polled individuals were driven to perform a search after they were exposed to some sort of offline messaging. Further, 39% of those people actually made a purchase of a product or service and not just from any company they found in the search results but from the initial company that exposed them to the offline messaging.

This year, they did more marketing between April and June of this year - 289 qualified search marketers completed the survey for 3 objectives: - to uncover extent to which search efforts are integrated with offline marketing channels - to reveal techniques used - if there were any obstacles faced

The concept of integrating search with offline marketing channels is not new. Only 55% of the search marketers polled, however, did this. 34% of these actually integrated with direct mail, 29% integrated with newspaper or magazine ads. 12% integrate with television. However, that's odd - TV is one of the biggest influencers in online search behavior.

If people aren't integrating, why not? 19% said a lack of budget, 15% said lack of human resources, 13% didn't consider it, 11% lacked the senior management buyout. Others said that the offline marketing was separate from online marketing. Some also said that they just didn't do offline marketing.

What techniques are people using when you're integrating? 84% said that they're integrating a web address prominently in offline messaging. 66% said adding the company name. Robert says that this isn't integration - it's coordination. That should be a given. Only 26% are using the same keywords offline that they were using online, which he finds shocking.

What does this mean for you? Some people are put at a competitive disadvantage.

Like a soccer coach, the CMO is someone who works to build a strategic plan that drives towards coordination. CMO needs to make sure that data is shared continuously. You want to reward this behavior in your organization.

If you're a search marketer with a lot of great information, you should share that with your offline counterparts. The offline people should come to the table as well.

Testing is also important: this can save time and money.

The bottom line: we're all in this game to win but the marketers doing the best job integrating search with all other forms of offline marketing will most likely take the cup home.

James Lamberti of comScore is up next.

Are we there yet? He's going to talk about 3 things that are still missing - the all important consumer (and how they're left out of the conversation), measuring the full value of search (most people aren't), and search-driven planning and strategy.

Advertising a la "madman" - 1950-2001 RIP - you give them awareness, they go through the funnel, and they buy. Not anymore, he says. The world is complex - there's eyeballs, then offline media, online media, social media, and friends and family. In the center of this is search. All of this stuff that happens to the consumer and is simple for the marketers is search. comScore pulled up data to show that 17.1 billion US searches occurred. 194 million searchers searched about 8 times. Search is growing double digit numbers off the base of billions of billions of queries.

Most people search based on the brand trademark and brand communication, even graphically, he displays in a slide. As a desired outcome, you're getting people to search. How can I make sure my search marketing catches that activity?

He shows data that says that 55% of generic queries are undermeasured and undervalued. 45% are branded. Therefore, you need to think about the more generic searching. If you're just hanging on your trademarked terms and ignoring generic, you're missing a huge part of your addressible market.

Why are people searching? It's not seeking coupons, it's not navigational - they really want help and information for a purchase decision. Nonsearchers are often looking for promotions versus searchers. They're at a point of influence.

Measuring the full value - It's not dead. We need data that's familiar to us to get the conversation going. He shows real data that was aggregated across 6 month and 9 million people hit a specific campaign with a reach of 6 million reach. He explains a computer search had a 69% reach because 6 million people were buying computers a month.

If you calculate your ROI compared to competition and you're getting less, you're at a huge disadvantage. Your competitor will have more paid impressions, more clicks, and they will gain share.

He shows multi-channels retailer actual results - multi-channeling - market mixed models. He says that you should provide the right data and the results will show that the organization will need to be spending more money on earch.

4 pieces of advice 1. Establish common ground. SEO marketers want to be talking to offline folks and the CEO - get the types of data that will get them interested. 2. Measuring full value is key. Know what the offline multiplier impact is. 3. Measure search as a desired outcome. 4. Treat organic and trademark as unique efforts: most organizations ignore generic through inappropriate comparisons to trademark. If you under emphasize generic, you ignore a huge part of the market.

Up next is Peter Hershberg about Microsoft as an enterprise brand. Microsoft is in dozens of businesses from Zune to Office to Live to XBOX to Small Business Servers. He is focusing on Vista and the work done with Vista. There are a lot of products associated with the Vista brand and there are also stakeholders. There are also a lot of goals that are conflicting.

How do you approach this problem and how do you deal with it? The first way to do that is through education - there are challenges because there are 5000 marketers with individual search budgets. Therefore, you need to create universal processes for budgeting, management, and reporting to measure success on an apples to apples basis. You also need to compaign metrics to marketing goals.

How do you do this? The strategy is to contribute to a Search Center of Excellence to sehare best practices and processes in search. It's like a forum for all the policies with campaign data and other information. There are training sessions (Search 101) tailored to the needs of each Microsoft department and its line managers. They are recorded and archived online. They also established a uniform 3-phased approach for taking fully integrated campaigns from concept to launch over a 5 week period.

Offline absolutely drives online behavior specifically in the area of search. As high as 80% of all internet sessions begin at a search engine, according to data. Something piqued their interest to perform that search.

Here's a Microsoft and their consumer campaign: some people are seeing the commercials with Seinfield, for example. People are going to start searching if they see the commercials. They need advanced knowledge about campaigns so it makes it possible to predict the unpredictable. They had access to the script so they bought the most obvious keywords including random (shoe circus, worm churro, etc.) If someone was searching for those, it was because they had seen the ad and wanted to know more about it. Keywords that are disconnected from Windows and Vista but resonated from the commercials were included in the campaign. Sometimes the least obvious things drive those searches.

Microsoft and Corporate Communications: active keywords that include Vista as part of a phrase. Close coordination of paid efforts and PR improved Vista caomapgin results - selected related keywords, aligned creative to increase response rates and conversion rates, and coordinated landing pages that linked to articles.

The whole idea of aligning goals with the channel has been mentioned, but the goals for Microsoft were related to reach and frequency to drive to site engagement. Where reach is concerned - how many of my customers saw my message? How often did they see it? For engagement, what did my customers do once they visited the site? This all ties into optimization.

The most interesting thing is that search is driving marketing intelligence. When we think of search, we're aggregating tons of data which is being used in the interest of improving results in the campaign. Search is a realtime focus group and you can analyzizesearch traffic and behavior to gain insite that can influence the entire mix: marketing messaging (emails, banners, onsite), media selection, communications strategy, and more.

How are we able to do this with Microsoft in Japan? Print was the biggest driver of traffic there. They found that this can optimize the banner campaign. The result was a 3x rise in the conversion rate.

The lessons learned - Educate all stakeholders and understand their roles - Repeatable rocesses for effectively shaping assets - Measure success in the search channel - recalibrate goals to match strengths of the channel - Repurpose search learnings to inform the overall marketing program

Last up is Don Steele of MTV.

Why we market: Branding, Awareness, Target, Interaction/Sampling.

How we market - there are some billboards that he shows that do brnading and targeting and awareness.

They use search for marketing. * Branding: Search engine space is the new billboard for branding. * Awareness: Search is awareness for visibility for shows. * Target: Search also targets as it delivers a timely and fluid message to users who are expressing an interest in it. * Interaction/sampling: Smart search campaigns should encourage interactive behavior whree a brand is delivering upon a user's expectation

He shows a search for "bill cosby" and how there's a paid ad that shows the Cosby Show on TV Land. It's the only paid link there.

He shows other examples with other related brands. When the Elliot Spitzer scandal came out, a big search was for spitzer jokes. They were able to do very well there.

How can you sell this internally? Well they are a media company and if they're not advertising, they're making a big mistake. - Core audience - Reporting - Self selection - Evangelism The biggest challenge is that we can do billboards and search, but these tactics are not equal. You need to talk to people who are self-selectedness - giving people what they're looking for.

Sara asks a question about frequency reach. Peter says that search is more measurable. But we only pay on a cost per click basis. We're dismissing the value of all the impressions. Back to his Microsoft example, in the Vista campaign, he served 5 billion impressions on MS's behalf. There is no meaningful way to show the reach of impressions. Sara admits that it's a relatively new phenomenon.


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