Separation Prevents Dilution
Effectively manage divergent SEM goals with branding and sales buckets
By Stuart Larkins
Editor's Note: The first part of this article lays the groundwork for developing brand and direct sales SEM objectives and then selecting keywords that can best deliver the desired results. For the full article, also covering program structure and optimization tactics, visit the "Web Exclusives" section at www.targetmarketingmag.com and click on "Separation Prevents Dilution."
Savvy direct marketers capitalize on pay-per-click (PPC) search engine marketing (SEM) programs through Google, Overture and other PPC engines by cost effectively acquiring customers.
Unfortunately for many marketers, this success will become more challenging. It's important that they learn to integrate branding initiatives into their SEM programs out of pure necessity. The channel quickly is gaining acceptance as a brand marketing vehicle, and companies are complementing offline and other branding efforts with SEM. In fact, industry research released by comScore and Overture indicates that about 90 percent of consumer electronics purchase transactions resulting from a search on the Web happen offline. Considering that this trend is likely at work to a lesser degree in many product categories, it's no wonder brand marketers want SEM to play a substantial role in their efforts.
Some marketers will suggest that a direct sales-oriented SEM program consumes a great deal of their time and still offers a wealth of opportunities for optimization and growth, wondering how they could possibly manage both. Once CMOs and marketing managers understand the many advantages of integrating these initiatives though, they opt for a comprehensive, integrated SEM program nearly every time.
This approach allows performance to be analyzed at the micro and macro level for branding or sales initiatives, which each target different goals. A comprehensive keyword portfolio with branding and sales "buckets," or segments, helps marketers avoid such costly pitfalls as wasteful spending, ineffective efforts to improve the programs' results, and internal competitive keyword bidding.