Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Search Is Not Just A Safety Net

In response to my comment that search was increasingly taking the first spot on the marketing plan over TV this post on adliterate talks about search as a necessary evil. I have detailed my response below:

Whereas search is increasingly the first or at least constant thing on your marketing plan, of course it is not the only thing.

As information becomes increasingly available navigating it becomes exponentially more important and search is the number one activity online.

It is not my job to educate about the merits of search advertising quoting facts and figures but suffice to say a much more sophisticated tool than it is often given credit for, not just at the bottom end of the funnel but across the whole of the purchase cycle.

It is hugely accountable, it allows you to optimise in real time, it gives you a cost effective way to have a constant presence and manage volume. Also, as you point out, it provides an indispensable safety net.

Most importantly however rather than, as with most other channels, taking a proxy for audience intentions deduced from the content they read, we actually know what their intentions are because they type them into a little box or a clever little spider analyses the content they are reading. It is obviously not a bad model as Google’s advances into print, TV and radio seems to indicate.

It would be remiss of us as brands not to be there for these; our most important and qualified audience; advertising is about relevancy after all.

Of course the rest of the marketing mix and how it all works together is vital but for you to dismiss this offhand and a necessary evil is irresponsible. Do you think the same about shelf wobblers?



richard said...

To be fair I didn't say it was a necessary evil. There is nothing evil about search, millions perhaps billions of us depend on it every day of our lives. I suggested it was necessary but not sufficient. A way to catch people that would otherwise never come in contact with a brand though their search indicates a strong match between consumer and offering.


Giles said...

ok r, so maybe i was a little harsh. i think we are violently agreeing on the broad point that search is a necessity supported by, and supporting other communications. that no matter what other comms you do for the majority of products online search will be a touch point and therefore warrants a permanent place on the media plan.

Amelia said...

There is an interesting debate that a Wired journo has started about Google as a repuation management system not a search engine
Would be good to get your thoughts