At most companies, media buying and planning has long been done by a team that is comfortable with traditional media. As traditional media companies began to pitch online display or videos spots, the same people continued to do business with each other. This established arrangement explains why a format like search is often an afterthought. New research from Forrester, paid for by Microsoft Bing and Catalyst, shows marketers can improve their ROI on their search budget by changing their planning process. The same research also shows that businesses are having trouble using data to develop sound marketing strategies.
Marketers who are relegating search to the back room are missing an important opportunity. Rob Wilk, VP, North America search sales at Microsoft, observes that search is “a primary source for consumers to find information.” With at least 19% of consumers saying that search is key in helping them during their most recent purchases, marketers need to include planning for the format in the early stages of discussing marketing mix for any campaign.
Surveyed marketers give search (PPC/SEM, SEO, local) high ROI scores. Seventy-four percent say the format delivers excellent value. This rate compares to 74% for organic social media and paid social media and 71% for TV advertising. However, over half of marketers, 53%, say they have trouble tracing ROI across media formats, or they lack data to inform their strategies. The situation grows especially complex when marketers are trying to attribute activity to search versus television or print. This is an opportunity for media sellers to help clients who are struggling with their attribution models. These businesses may be receptive to pitches designed to manage attribution models and data streams, processes that will enable them to develop more effective media mixes.
Also, with search poised to capture $34.9 billion in ad spending this year, your clients can’t afford to make the format an afterthought. If you’re selling digital marketing services, include details in your proposal to support the positive impact search advertising can have when your clients make it part of their marketing mix.