In this post, Account Director Lesley Ross explains the importance of integrating online and offline campaignsÂ to maximize budgets in anÂ uneasy economy.
Q: Online advertising spending is projected to increase by 8.9% this year, how do you suggest this spending be used most effectively by Marketers?
Lesley: The necessity for a â€œholisticâ€ approach to marketing has become over-stated, yet we (as industry professionals) still do not see the majority of brands acting upon this advancement. While online advertising dollars may be increasing, overall ad budgets are going to be scrutinized much more due to the weakened economy. Â It is imperative that a brand integrate all of their marketing activities to align with their overall strategy and brand goals in order to provide the greatest return on these ad dollars. Each marketing effort should support one another so as to enhance the entire brand, driving a single integrated message to reach the same overall objectives.
Q: Why is this â€œholisticâ€ approach, of integrating online and offline advertising channels within campaigns, so important?
Lesley: Simply put: offline drives online. This is old news. Yet it still is not fully embraced and leveraged for the most optimal campaign results. With search we have an opportunity to capture the furthest of the long tail queriesÂ that may arise from curious consumers who have been exposed to offline messaging, now searching for further information online. Most importantly, any offline spend that is not supported by robust visibility onlineÂ may effectively drive interested consumers to a brandâ€™s competitor on the search engine results page when they are looking for more information. Therefore, not only does a holistic approach improve a brands visibility among competitors, it also helps to establish the brand as a category leader among target consumers.
Q: In what types of ways should Marketers consider integrating their search campaign within a larger advertising campaign?
Lesley: Marketers should include search in their overall brand plans, with the understanding that the larger advertising campaigns will drive consumers to search for further information. Therefore, the brand messaging should be carried from advertising campaigns online to the search campaigns in order to capture active information - seekers who have already had exposure to your messaging. An even greater opportunity is to reverse this process â€“ use a Paid Search campaign to test various messaging. For example; how are your target consumers searching for relevant information to your brand? Can you incorporate these insights into not only the content strategy not only of the website but of all advertising messaging in order to further connect with your consumers?
Q: Should all campaigns in 2009 be fully integrated or should some search marketing campaigns continue to stand alone? Why?
Lesley: The most effective use of advertising dollars in 2009 will come from fully integrating marketing efforts. Â It is imperative for brands to focus these dollars rather than investing in disparate efforts. While there may be opportunities for standalone search marketing campaigns â€“ as we have many long tail opportunities that we do not have in other media â€“ the brandâ€™s search strategy should be driven by the overall brand strategy in order to align with overarching brand goals and objectives.
AboutÂ Lesley Ross, Account Director, Catalyst online
Lesley Ross is an Account Director at Catalyst online whoÂ has developedÂ over eight years of Marketing and Operations experience throughout her career. She leads her team with an MBA and MS in Information Systems andÂ loves to follow the trends and best practices of both online advertising and search marketing.