Using SEM in tandem with other DM efforts can help drive sales

Given the economic climate and consumers’ reluctance to spend, one of the most important things you can do to drive e-commerce is integrate search with other marketing initiatives. Search is a great capture tool that can help boost the performance of other channels and net the created demand. Too often, marketing programs ignore the search component and end up creating a significant amount of demand which then is not captured.

To successfully integrate search with other marketing efforts, consider three key things: First, collaborate with your counterparts in other marketing channels. Ideally, you want to keep them informed about upcoming search initiatives and share appropriate performance data. Conversely, these other channels should do the same for search in order to capture the campaign’s resulting demand. Ultimately, it’s a CMO’s responsibility to foster this collaborative environment and ensure integration.

Next, take your best performing keywords, messages and calls to action from these search campaigns and integrate those into other marketing initiatives. Should you get any pushback, sharing the performance data will help facilitate integration and realize a faster buy-in.

Lastly, establish integrated campaign metrics. Doing so will ensure that everyone is speaking the same language so you can truly measure the success of integrated efforts versus simply isolated campaign elements.

Bottom line: in applying these three principles to programs, remember the following: Ensure there’s alignment within marketing channels. Everyone needs to be on the same page with a collective plan for the various promotions, including budget allocation, programs to use and messaging. Look at key data to set messaging for search programs, including historical metrics to determine the appropriate keywords and calls to action. Also, look at competitors messaging for new trends and nuances in the industry. Finally, look at measurement. Defining metrics for success is an essential element that needs to be defined by business leaders.

This article originally ran as part of the December 14, 2009 Technique, “Unleash the power of search and analytics.” To read the entire feature, click here.

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