MoreVisibility's President, Andrew Wetzler's article "Search Essentials for 2017" is featured in the newest Statistical Fact Book (2017) from the Data and Marketing Association. Following is a copy of the article:
My tenure with the DMA dates to the heyday of the call center and direct mail industries. It was a bit like the wild west in the sense that the more you called or mailed, the more revenue there was to be generated. It was a brutal, costly and tiring existence, particularly from the perspective of staffing and managing an outbound telesales team. There was also a huge degree of variability in the quality of the lists used for mailing or calling.
What’s transpired over the years has been a 180-degree shift in the fundamentals of direct marketing. Instead of having to chase and literally hound people to take an action step, through mail or telephone, with Search Marketing, interested prospects can reach out and identify themselves and for many businesses, consummate a purchase. That’s not to say that the human element has been removed altogether, but instead of conversing with lots of folks who have little to no interest in a product or service (very costly), Search has presented the ability to zero-in on those who do, thus making direct marketing dramatically more efficient.
Here are a few keys to availing your brand the greatest opportunities in Search right now and into the future. You’ll see that these recommendations are foundational, not leading edge. While there are always new channels to test and additional strategies to employ, most organizations remain deficient in the fundamental blocking and tackling aspects of their Search / Digital Marketing. This inhibits their ability to reap the benefits that Search can deliver and makes more advanced tactics / strategies less relevant.
One example of how analytics has evolved is through cross domain tracking, which enables a marketer to identify the person who began a search on their mobile device, yet converted later via tablet or desktop as the same buyer. This helps with attribution so that the appropriate marketing efforts are receiving the appropriate degree of credit for contributing to a conversion.
Search will continue to evolve in 2017 and new opportunities to test will arise. Additionally, the algorithms of Google, Bing, etc. will undergo change, as they always have. Be sensitive to those opportunities and updates, but be sure that a plan is in place to address the fundamentals outlined here as the most important steps.