Regular readers of Strictly Business undoubtedly know that search marketing does not happen in a vacuum. Instead, it both impacts, and is impacted by, other forms of marketing. In fact, search has the inherent ability to both capture the demand created by other marketing channels, as well as to drive prospects who seek products and services online to convert offline. So why then do BtoB marketers make it so damn hard for prospects to connect the dots between their search marketing efforts and their other marketing initiatives?
The problem at hand
An August 2008 JupiterResearch survey of search marketers sponsored by iProspect sheds some light on the reason. The survey revealed that only 55% of search marketers intentionally integrate or coordinate their search marketing efforts with their offline marketing efforts. The study also found that of the 55% who do integrate or coordinate their search and offline campaigns, only 26% of them use the same keywords and messaging in both channels.
Given that lack of integration or coordination, it’s easy to understand why prospects might get confused. For example, a prospect might very well read a print ad running in a trade publication, or view a TV ad, or see signage at an airport, and remember something about the ad, and then perform an online search based on what they remember yet not find the company who ran the ad. Why? Because the offline ad read “enterprise security solutions” while the website and search marketing campaign focused on “large company security systems.”