Though many of the paid search success stories you hear about feature online retailers with tens of thousands of keywords and a simple goal of acquiring new customers, some of the greater successes fall outside basic e-commerce.
Two cases from our firm illustrate that search engine marketing works for a range of marketers and can help resolve channel problems that have developed because of the inability to track activities effectively.
Euro-Pro is a major manufacturer and direct marketer of kitchen and cleaning consumer appliances, selling both direct to consumers using direct response television and through various resellers.
Over the past few years, a trend by consumers to respond using the Internet while moving away from the traditional telemarketing channels began to cloak true return on investment of the DRTV spots. During this time, reseller performance grew exponentially.
We found that many of Euro-Pro’s resellers already were bidding on Euro-Pro’s brands – “Euro-Pro,” “Shark” and “Fantom” – as well as product lines such as “Shark Cordless Sweeper” and “Shark Steamer.” Essentially, resellers were benefiting from Euro-Pro’s brand awareness generated by the millions of dollars spent on DRTV media, and Euro-Pro’s direct response became “indirect.”
A multifaceted approach was developed for a paid search engine marketing program. First, an intensive keyword development strategy of more than 5,000 listings was launched focusing on both branded product terms and general terms. Second, a determination of the best landing pages that would provide relevancy and lend themselves best to conversion was conducted.
Finally, a marketing communication strategy was crafted focusing on leveraging a “factory direct” message, specifically enticing consumers who prefer to buy directly versus the reseller.
The paid search campaign launched in first-quarter 2005 with a focus to “recapture” direct response to its DRTV campaigns while also entering the consideration set of searchers earlier in their decision-making process.
Euro-Pro’s paid search campaign delivered a 300 percent increase in the return on advertising spend in comparison to typical offline response through the telephone, and exceeded the ROAS goals set for this program by 85 percent. The program is now in rollout and active across numerous paid search media providers.
Rhino Linings manufactures spray-on truck bed liners to help truck owners preserve their truck beds and extend the life of their vehicles. The company’s marketing specifically targets prospective and new pickup truck owners who are potentially still in the marketplace for a bed liner.
Rhino Linings’ efforts to generate leads of new pickup truck owners for their dealers had been escalating in costs, more than tripling in two years. Making matters worse, new competitors were continuing to enter the marketplace, including the auto manufacturers. A new marketing plan, including paid search marketing, was devised to address these challenges.
We determined that success would hinge on the offer strategy, keyword targeting and a solid landing page conversion process in order to meet lead volume goals within cost allowable.
Considering that there was a lot of guesswork on consumer intentions related to their search queries, we used a sweepstakes to obtain leads, as they historically have some of the highest conversion rates.
We targeted keywords that hinted a person was either in the market or recently had purchased a pickup. We developed a landing page focused on sweepstakes entry capture, but asked an additional qualifying question: “Are you planning to buy a new vehicle in the next 90 days?” This filter would alert us to actionable leads.
The result of the paid search campaign was not just a return to previous cost-to-acquire metrics, but a solid improvement that exceeded cost-to-acquire objectives. In total, paid search delivered a cost to acquire that was 85 percent lower than the company’s traditional marketing channel costs with a similar lead quality.
Like Euro-Pro’s, this program now is in rollout and active across numerous paid search media providers.
For more articles from The Direct Marketer’s Essential Guide to Search Engine Marketing, visit www.dmnews.com/search .
A PDF of the guide is available at: //www.dmnews.com/pdffiles/semguide.pdf