Communicating the importance of online and offline marketing integration is something that I speak with clients about on a regular basis. As a Client Strategist at an online marketing agency, the typical conversations tend to deal with SEM, SEO, and design efforts. However, I try to stress the importance of understanding their offline marketing efforts, to better implement what we are promoting online. Each medium used in a marketing plan needs to work together to tell a story. That being said, in today’s economy, it is more important than ever to allocate your marketing dollars to the most effective media. Due to the tracking and analytical capabilities of online search marketing, paid search seems to be the first choice for many organizations.
Despite the instability of today’s economy and the decline in traditional media spending, the future of online ad spending in the US looks to increase over the next several years. According to a recent eMarketer report, more than eight out of 10 marketers who spent at least $50,000 per month on paid search said they planned to maintain or increase their spending during the next 12 months. eMarketer estimates that paid search spending will not only rise in 2009, but double between 2009 and 2013, when it will approach $24 billion.
Advertiser’s migration toward search advertising stems from its measurability and accountability functions. Companies are looking for a more defined method to apply to their marketing plans, hence the spending shift from offline traditional media, to online media.
So as 2009 marketing plans are being budgeted for, advertisers need to keep two things in mind. First, advertisers should consider allocating more of their marketing budgets to search and other online initiatives, due to their tracking capabilities. Search spending is on the rise, and every company should be on board! Second, advertisers need to make sure that every marketing effort is integrated together to tell a consistent story. Televisions ads should drive people to search for the products, services and promotions mentioned in the ad. Search needs to represent the same products, services and promotions. The landing page that search traffic drives visitors to needs to represent the same offerings, etc.
Over this next year, I challenge advertisers to work with their marketing team and/or agency to determine the best strategy for the company and its services. Working together will drive the best results!