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February 5, 2009

3 Phases of Search Marketing Integration

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While I drove home from the office last night I listened to the radio. I can’t remember the commercial, the product or the URL, but I remember that at one point on my journey, while listening to an ad, I made a mental note to check out the Web site of the advertiser. It obviously never happened.

That was anticlimactic, I know. But it made my point. There’s a lot to be said for integrating your online and offline marketing channels. But which offline marketing channels, and how?

Phase 1: Integration Affirmative

The coveted Super Bowl ad spot is a hot commodity that seems to have easily crossed the bridge between marketing channels. But if you don’t have $3 million handy, all is not lost. Vanessa Fox examined GoDaddy‘s go at a winning Super Bowl ad. It turns out, the combination of Danica Patrick and more than 98 million hyped football fans brought GoDaddy’s new orders up 110 percent! Vanessa also points out that GoDaddy has other videos in the same campaign available online and wisely stuck with their own brand rather than devoting time to branding a microsite.

Phase 2: Integration Potential

I’m not the only one eager to find opportunities for newspapers to get a better grasp on new media. Video optimizers ReelSEO have published a whitepaper about how video optimization is a chance for newspaper publishers to gain user engagement and revenue. I can’t think of an industry — other than the banks, and the auto makers, and real estate (hmm… am I even making a point anymore?) — more hard pressed to get back to its former glory. It looks like integrating video into their content model could be part of the answer because there’s a big demand for video and online ad spend is climbing.

Phase 3: Integration Horizons

Unlike newspapers, radio is in a different sort of sticky situation. Like my beloved newspapers, radio is clawing to maintain relevance in the face of the flashy, shiny and new technologies that just won’t quit. Unless a site name is paired with a catchy jingle, I’m sorry to say the chances of me remembering the URL from the radio are slim. Not that I don’t love the music and the occasionally LOL-worthy DJ banter, but the ability to instantly reach out to the consumer is missing.

But what if it wasn’t?

The smart folks over at TechCrunch are working on a prototype touch screen Web tablet. Think of the possibilities! If your TV and tablet could be synced up, the ad playing on the television could put a link on the tablet, letting viewers go straight to the advertiser’s site or even the particular product. For radio users the tablet could display nearby stores.

Of course most businesses aren’t able to invest in TechCrunch’s CrunchPad technology, but they’re certainly able to take advantage of the offline-online synergy available now. There’s so much evidence that supports how great offline marketing can be for driving online traffic, and vice versa. Make sure to look for the opportunities that fit your market and your message. Focus on getting the basic integration down pat and then don’t be afraid to venture into unfamiliar spaces.





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