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Search Engine Marketing is the Next Frontier for Consumer Package Goods Companies
A recent eMarketer article highlights the emergence of an under-recognized trend in search engine query behavior. Consumers are increasingly using search engines to find and purchase consumer package goods. No trip to the store required, search engines are becoming the most-frequented direct-line to consumer package goods for many Americans. Sixty-seven percent of the participants in the cited survey reported search engines as their number one means of finding consumer package goods online (eMarketer, December 29, 2006). And these survey results don’t just include people who are searching for clothing and other products that are more typically associated with online research and shopping. Instead, the survey results show that food, personal care items, and cleaning products, are high on consumers’ lists of products they find via search engines.
So what does this mean for consumer package goods companies and their advertising dollars? Search Engine Marketing is the key to reaching your customers online. Consumer package goods companies need to start invigorating their advertising strategies and budgets with more search engine marketing. And as these search behaviors increase over time, advertising online via search engine marketing will increase consumer package goods companies’ visibility and ensure they are reaching these consumers right from the start.
As of yet, this trend in consumer behavior isn’t being sufficiently recognized by the consumer package goods industry. While many industry leaders as diverse as Colgate and Gap Corporation are utilizing search engine marketing as a means to drive sales, most others aren’t reacting as quickly. It is estimated that only 1% of the overall 2006 advertising spend of U.S. consumer package goods companies was devoted to search engine marketing (eMarketer, December 29, 2006). For an industry so large and far-reaching, this lack of emphasis on search engine marketing as a heavily used advertising strategy is a hindrance to growth — the consumer package goods industry would be best advised to stay ahead of the consumer-behavior trend and engage in search engine marketing as a way to capture its evolving customer base.
I have been employed at MoreVisibility for one year and it has taken that same amount of time to explain to my parents what I do for a living. They finally get it. At first they thought I was building websites, which took about 3 months to convince them otherwise. In trying to explain internet marketing and search engine optimization to two 70 year olds, there was bit of frustration. However, they are both somewhat computer literate; my father looks up stock market information; my mother shops at her favorite online stores.
After our holiday dinner last week, my father stood up from the table and said “come look at this”. He was referring to a trip itinerary of a recently booked tour to China. I asked how he did the research and he said he just typed “cheap tours” into Yahoo! and clicked the first few listed websites (sponsored listings) that appeared. He now uses the same website to book all of his tours since his first online experience was so wonderful.
My 70 year old father may have just paid in full for the monthly PPC spend of your website. My parents booked a tour to China and a tour to Europe and you just made your money back from your initial investment. And to think that it was MY parents!
It’s never too late or too early when considering optimization for your website. From this year’s online holiday shopping trends, we should be excited about what’s to come for 2007. With more people purchasing laptops and PC’s, consumers are becoming internet savvy and increasing their online spend.
This is where Search Engine Optimization comes in to play. Make sure your business/service can be found on the web. Keep your site user friendly, and run effective paid campaigns. These are basic steps to roll into the New Year.
Start your action plan for 07 and let SEO become a business driver for your website.