SEM turns the media world upside down

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SEM turns the media world upside down
SEM turns the media world upside down

Search engine marketing can do something that no other advertising medium can do — that is, turn the media world upside down. Since the dawn of advertising, companies have spent untold fortunes on the creation of their marketing mix. The traditional approach to this process was typically “top-down.” That is, messages were created to tout the attributes and benefits of a product or service. This would be followed by integration of the messages into each chan­nel in the marketing mix. Finally, conventional marketing research would be employed to ascertain the effective­ness of the messages.

Unfortu­nately, this tra­ditional process often failed in hitting its mark. Today, ever more savvy marketers are waking up to the fact that SEM is not simply an ancil­lary channel in their marketing mix, but rather the actual foundation upon which to build their overall marketing plan.

Professional SEM campaigns extract precise behavioral information pertaining to exactly who is searching for specific products or ser­vices, which messages resonate with them and what factors entice them to become a customer. Armed with this knowledge, today's advanced marketer can create targeting and messaging to drive actions through all marketing channels, including online and traditional campaigns.

The in-depth research and rigorous analysis of consumer behaviors, coupled with instant ROI measurement, have resulted in search mar­keting flipping the marketing mix on its head.

An example of this powerful “bottom-up” strategy can be seen in a recent engagement launched at EngineWorks.

When our company was approached by Los Angeles clothing boutique Lisa Kline, we imme­diately implemented a comprehensive research and analysis process to determine critical online demographic and behavioral data. During this action, we identified this prestigious client's online audience, and the most popular search phrases used to find the brands offered through its new Web site.

The engagement began with “top-down” mar­keting messages received from the client that centered on the phrases, “Los Angeles boutique clothing” and “Hollywood fashion.” However, through in-depth research, we discovered that the actual phrases which resonated with Lisa Kline's online audience were focused on “celeb­rity boutique clothing” and “celebrity fashion.”

Optimizing the client's Web site around these phrases resulted in a 59% surge in revenue through the search engines, compared to a total online revenue increase of 17%.

Now here's the part that reveals just how powerful SEM can be in creating the founda­tion for an effective marketing mix: When craft­ing targeted messages for all of its marketing channels, including print, online and in-store, Lisa Kline starts with the invaluable knowledge gained through our SEM efforts.

The decision to have search marketing drive Lisa Kline's overall targeting and messaging has resulted in dramatically increased revenues throughout all its marketing channels.

Sean McMahon is president and CEO of EngineWorks. Reach him at


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