Jan 16, 2011

Managing display and search simulatneously

An interesting new research study by Efficient Frontier and Forrester Consulting showed that digital marketers are struggling with managing integrated search and display campaigns.

I have witnessed these struggles on my own as a pharmaceutical manufacturer employee, and see it now in my clients, as we deliver communications and we partner with media companies.

Some possible underlying reasons for the struggle

* Media companies are often conglomerates, and have acquired distinct and separate sub-agencies that handle search from the people who handle banner placement.

* The two tactics have fundamentally different objectives: search is for mid to bottom of funnel consumers that are expressing an interest in finding out more or in making a transaction. Banners are for upper funnel consumers, where you catch them by surprise in their reading other web pages, and hope your visual branding and offer may be appealing to warrant an interaction or a click.

* You cannot use impressions for both in the same way. Search text boxes do not grab the same share of attention as banner ads do.

* Therefore click through rates mean slightly different things.

* Interestingly, search click through rates are much higher than banner click through rates, since the consumer is more interested in the results. This despite the over-inflated impressions.

Nonetheless, a good marketing agency or media company should explain the relevant value of each of these digital channels, as they relate to the client's brand goals.