Aug 5, 2008 1082 reads by Navneet Kaushal

A recent Search Engine Marketing Integration study carried out by iProspect shows a disturbing statistic, that is fast growing in the field of search engine marketing. According to the study, 45% of the search engine marketers do not collaborate their search engine efforts with offline factors. Apart from this estranged relationship, there also seems to be a deep void between the search engine marketer strategy and search engine user behavior. The search was sponsored by iProspect and carried out by JupiterResearch

However, as per the study, 55% of search engine marketers routinely tie up with offline marketing channels. This integration between the online and offline channels includes direct mailing methods that constitute 34% of the offline efforts, along with magazine/newspaper advertising (29%), television (12%) and radio advertising (12%).

However, the iProspect Offline Influence on Online Search Behavior Study that was published in August 2007 showed that, 67% of the search engine users were compelled to conduct online searches due to the efforts incorporated by the offline channels. Furthermore, 39% of these search engine users that were compelled to use the online methods, then led to effective offline conversions for the company that led them to perform their initial query. The Online Search Behavior Study also showed that television campaigning (37%) captivated the most users use the online channels due to the extensive advertising undertaken via this medium and it proved to be one of the foremost offline advertising tools.

Coming back to the latest Search Engine Marketing Integration Study, President of iProspect, Robert Murray said, “Despite such a clear demonstration of the power of integrating search and offline channels. Surprisingly, the strategy has yet to gain widespread adoption. Unfortunately, by failing to integrate their efforts with offline, search marketers are essentially ignoring the very channels that drive users to search. Obviously, there is a big disconnect between search marketing strategy and search engine user behavior."

However, the lack of integration of the two channels cannot be solely blamed upon disinterest. As per the study figures, the following are some of the factors that have also played a big role in the massive disconnection between search marketers and offline advertising channels:

  1. Lack of budget (19%).
  2. Lack of human resources (15%).
  3. Not considered (13%)
  4. Lack of senior management buy-in (11%).
  5. Different management for online and offline channels (11%).

According to John Tawadros (COO, iProspect), “There's no question about the combined power of search and offline channels — that is well established. What's missing from this equation is the right environment. To truly push integration forward – and fully reap its benefits — it is incumbent upon the CMO to break down the silos, eliminate the obstacles that plague its progress, and create a culture that rewards integrated efforts."

Moving on, the study also established that, the search marketers were quite 'choosy' about the various digital optimization assets such as press release, images, video, etc. Here is how the search marketers prioritize these digital assets:

  1. Images (58%)
  2. Press releases (32%)
  3. Videos (20%)

According to Robert Murray, “While search marketers are diversifying their digital content portfolios with videos, press releases, and images to remain competitive in the blended search landscape. their lack of alignment with user behavior suggests that they are missing the mark. Again, this speaks to the big disconnect between search marketer strategy and search engine user behavior. To fully capitalize on their efforts, search marketers need to take user behavior into consideration at all times.”

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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