If you are a marketing professional, chances are you’ve heard the claim before: “Search Engine Marketing is the new ‘new’ thing”.

But what makes search that good? What’s the catch..? And what if your business is mainly offline?

“Google Marketing” – What’s the ROI?

Quite simply, search engine marketing gets a better return on investment than any other form of marketing. There is no catch.

Why does marketing your website on Google, Bing and Yahoo get a higher ROI versus marketing in traditional media..?

The answer lies in the age-old adage about 50% of marketing going to waste (“we just don’t know which 50%”). The fact that this aphorism remains in-use is no longer funny. Tools exist today to minimise marketing budget waste through accurate, mature, scalable targeting. Search engine marketing software and analytics is the epitome of these tools.

Pre-qualified impressions and leads

Search marketing; both paid ads and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), is like “making a coke machine spring up in front of a thirsty person”. Because your ads and website are shown to people searching for your products and services, all ad impressions are pre-qualified to people who are most likely to convert. Search marketing – referred to simply as “Google Marketing” by some people these days – produces highly qualified leads and thus minimises your spend on irrelevant clicks automatically.

Accountability through direct tracking and measurement

Have you ever had to justify advertising spend to your CEO/CFO? What was the look on their face when you explained that the marketing response survey is based on statistically questionable extrapolations of estimates of opinions? (- Say what..?)

Wouldn’t you rather prefer the ability to show them real data instead, data that is clear and actionable?

Data from search marketing campaigns can show you:

  • How many people searched for your products and services
  • What your most popular products are
  • Conversion rates by customer location and segment
  • Ideas for new products by identifying gaps in your product line where demand exists

The technology to track each search impression, click, and conversion exists right now.

What if you are mainly an offline business?

Google marketing helps offline businesses too – here’s how:

Searchers spend more

A joint Comscore and Procter & Gamble study found that consumers who search for a product online spend on average 20% more in store.

Google marketing can produce an offline return on investment (ROI) from online search

Search builds brand awareness and brand preference

The effectiveness of Search for direct-response advertising is well documented. However, the effect on brand awareness and brand preference is only now being fully understood. What happens in the mind of the consumer when they see your brand appear in the search results?

Metrixlab, Google and Twist came together with Heineken Netherlands to answer this question definitively. They conducted a study to find the effect of Search on branding and found that:

  • A Search impression alone creates 23% more brand preference for Heineken than the whole Heineken campaign without search. A search click creates 69% more brand preference.
  • The addition of Search to TV increased the overall branding effect by 1.5 times, illustrating the synergistic effects of Search and TV.
  • Search proved to be 53% more cost efficient than TV in creating Top-of-Mind Awareness.

Search advertising drives customers into stores

It is well known that consumers are likely to research products online before buying offline. This behaviour is known as “ROBO” or “Research Online, Buy Offline”. 87% of consumers ROBO, according to a report by BIGresearch.
The effects or ROBO were studied in an eMarketer report “Multi-Channel Retailing”, which concluded: “For every $1 in online sales, the Internet influenced $3.45 in store sales”. What’s more, according to a Jupiter Research report, by 2011 40% of all retail sales are expected to be driven directly by online research.

Take a look at our blog post on New Zealand Retailers, the presentation available for download further explores the role of online search, offline purchases, as well as using Google Analytics for measurement.

So, can you afford not to be represented in a medium that is 53% more cost efficient than TV in creating brand awareness, brings customers that spend on average 20% more, and is projected to drive 40% of all retail sales by next year…?

First Rate can make it happen

First Rate is New Zealand’s leading search engine marketing and search engine optimisation consultancy. In the last 10 years we have developed a methodology that enables us to consistently achieve measurable results in ranking websites on Google, Yahoo and Bing to produce a high marketing ROI. We have worked with over half of NZ’s top 50 websites and 8 of the top 10.

In 2010 search is no longer the new ‘new’ thing, but the tried and tested tool for 21st Century marketers. It’s an absolute must.

Can you afford to forego the benefits of search engine marketing? Contact us today.