The game winner: using SEM in your media plan

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In the 1987 NBA Eastern Conference Finals, with the Boston Celtics down by a point and a few seconds to play, Larry Bird stole a pass and fed Dennis Johnson for the game-winning layup. Michael Jordan also made countless game-winning shots and Tiger Woods multiple tournament-winning putts.

What if they had missed? Well, they wouldn't be superstars, and their competition would've won, right?

Building a multi-million dollar media plan without search engine marketing is essentially preventing your company from being a superstar and letting your competition win.

Media plans that have been built without integrated search marketing plans ignore the goal of a good media plan: to drive consumers to react to a specific message.

Search inventory fluctuates with demand influencers such as television gross rating points, online display impressions, PR buzz, e-mail and direct mail flights and countless other traditional and online marketing efforts.

While SEMis used for branding and other marketing efforts, it's still the net at the bottom of your media plan that will pull in consumer demand generated though your more expensive traditional marketing efforts.

If you are working for or with a traditional agency, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Develop an equation for mapping offline efforts (e.g., television GRPs) to search click volume.
  • Allocate enough budget before you seek client approval.
  • Map keyword bundles to your overall goals; don't just map lower-funnel acquisition efforts.
  • Remember that if your client doesn't allocate enough budget to SEM, a competitor will gladly take the increased search volume.

Don't miss the game-winning layup or that crucial putt. Integrate SEM into your media mix, and close the loop on costly traditional media plans.

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