Is search alone driving results in performance marketing?

Date posted: 13 Nov 2019

Posted by: Smithfield

Post category: Blog

If you look back over the last 20 years you will see how much your marketing budget has shifted from traditional to digital. In fact, it was in 2000 when advertisers first started spending online; when Google developed AdWords. In that year online ad spend equated to less than 1% of the total spend. 20 years later it is now 62% (Advertising Pays report 2019) and 50% of this is going on Search.

In the latest IAB digital ad spend research they found that growth in Search grew 13% and continues to be seen by brands as a huge driver for their business and growth. This is why we see the majority of digital spend going towards Google and brands increasing their budgets in this space. (IAB; Adspend 2019 H1 figures).  

This change in budget focus is partly due to the complexity of digital marketing but also the need to adapt to the ever-changing customer journey. But with many brands still using last click attribution modelling, the majority of their results will come from Search, therefore they are increasing their spend in Search. With 63% of consumers saying they click on a PPC ad (Search Engine Land, 2019) it is no surprise that marketers see Search as one of the most effective channels of their marketing budget.

The power of search is evident with the fact that there are now over two trillion Google Searches (SEO Tribunal, Jan 2019). Brands need to be active in paid and organic search to capture audiences that are actively looking for your product or service. It is the last step before purchase and people already know about your brand or product. Search is key at directing your audience to your website to continue their path to purchase.

But, just focusing on Search will be detrimental to your business. Marketers need to consider the role Search, especially Paid Search, plays within the customer journey. Because the audience is actively looking for something, if you have low brand awareness, influencing customers at this stage of the journey is more challenging, and over time your Search approach will become more expensive as your consumer base will dry up. This is where a cross channel strategy is needed to drive the success of your Search.

In fact, where Search becomes truly powerful is if you link it with traditional ATL media, like TV and OOH. In research conducted last year by Rapport it identified that OOH boosted the effectiveness of Search by up to 80% (The Drum; Study links ooh advertising with increase search and social media brand activity; August 2018). We have seen this with TV as well, where we have taken clients from PPC to combine it with TV. The results speak for themselves:

  • Competitor Search increased by 600% more for a lead and our clients CPA fell by 30%, enabling us to control the market as the main competitor dropped out.
  • Introducing TV generated enough new leads that a whole new call centre team was created due to the level of demand generated.

So, even though Search is still a powerful channel in its own right, it is important that you utilise other channels to drive the consumer in their decision making.

If you want to learn more about integrating your marketing to be more effective and drive greater ROI, then why not get in contact with us. Give Patrick Woods a call on 020 7257 2600 or Tony Hall, in our Manchester Office on 0161 200 8330.

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