Recent research from GroupM Search suggests that retail brands should develop marketing strategies to reach buyers through generic search terms. The 13 month study provided an in-depth look at the relationship between consumer search behavior and in-store purchases. Top retailers were featured in the study, including RadioShack, luxury Audi, and a national entertainment brand.
The research makes it clear that shoppers have established search as their key resource for product discovery and buying decisions. According to Chris Copeland, CEO, GroupM, “This new understanding of the retail shopper represents a behavioral shift. The intent shown in search provides brands and opportunity to maximize their online revenues and encourage and cultivate in-store sales.”
Although paid search on a brand name is a valuable mechanism for driving website traffic, marketers may be overlooking the power of generic terms and organic listings. The new research shows that 86% of buyers who purchase in-store search on generic terms versus brand terms. In addition, the research revealed that when consumers search online and click on a link, 90% of those clicks are on organic search listings.
With such a high percentage of shoppers clicking on organic link results, Copeland suggests that many brands and retailers may want to rethink their strategies, and find ways to connect with buyers.
Another that brands may want to connect with relevant in-market shoppers is through search retargeting. Take a look at SEM – its about being present when the customer begins researching their decision, the beginning of the funnel and when they execute a sale, at bottom of the funnel. However, search retargeting is about being present during the consideration phase, after the customer has raised their hand, signaling intent within the search engine.
This year’s Super Bowl commercials were a driving force behind top internet searches -this is easily discovered by a simple peek at Google Trends (see below). In many cases, searchers were seeking the ads – in other cases, they were seeking the brands directly. Did Super Bowl advertisers do everything they could to capitalize on this search interest?
In a recent article on Search Engine Land, contributor Vanessa Fox tackles this very question. Out of 53 brands that she tracked, 44 bought a paid search ad, and 51 ranked organically for the brand name. Paid search ads drove consumers to specific landing pages based on their search, including custom YouTube pages designed to engage users. It seems that the Giants weren’t the only winners – Super Bowl XLVI advertisers seem to have carefully strategized how to capture users in the heat of their search.
Digiday and Vizu Report: Online Brand Advertising 2012 Outlook
Consumers are migrating online at a rapid pace, and this year brand marketers are predicted to follow their lead. While online marketing budgets have traditionally been devoted to direct response advertising, a recent report from DigiDay shows that 2012 may be a year of change — brand advertising is positioned to take the lead in digital spending in 2012.
The report, which surveyed more than 450 digital marketing and media professionals, predicts that nearly 60% of digital advertising dollars will be devoted to brand advertising this year. For the first time in history, marketers could potentially spend more on brand advertising than on direct response advertising.
Brands: Projected spending increase over 2011 and allocation of 2012 budgets
Source: Digiday; Online Brand Advertising 2012 Outlook
According to Forbes contributor, Robert Hof, “the findings also come as some analysts, such as J.P. Morgan’s Doug Anmuth, also sees a shift in growth prospects from search and other direct response ads to branding or image ads.” A recent report from Forrester mirrors these predictions and expects the search market share in interactive ad spend to drop significantly in the coming years.
Search Retargeting and Brand Marketing
Despite these predictions, brand marketers and agencies are skeptical that media sellers can even reach their narrowly defined target audiences. According to Digiday’s report, “only 6 percent of brands and 16 percent of agencies surveyed said they “strongly believe” media sellers’ claims that they can reach the custom or niche audiences that brands seek.” As brand marketers explore channels for display advertising, search retargeting’s ability to target in-market ‘hand raisers’ could prove to be a useful tactic to successfully reach those ‘niche’ audiences through online advertising.
Magnetic’s Meg Maginnis, a Founding Member of NYC Organization Sumeria Group Focuses on Social Change
Do you have a Magnetic personality? Meg Maginnis, Account Manager for Business Development at Magnetic, certainly does. Meg is one of the founding members of Sumeria Group, an organization that ‘uses social engagement to achieve social change.’ Through mentor programs and city-wide events aimed at young professionals, Sumeria group supports underfunded schools with both their time and funding. Founded in 2011, Sumeria has already completed two fundraising initiatives to benefit Harlem RBI Baseball and My Good Deed.
Meg says she is really lucky to be a part of such a young organization — “The people that I’ve met through Sumeria and the kids that we’ve been able to connect with are all really tremendous and inspiring individuals. We hope that we’re creating the foundation for something that will be around for many years to come.”Sumeria Group’s next event will be Winterfest 2012 on Saturday, January 21st in New York City. The goal of the event is to raise $75,000 to benefit St. Joseph School in the Bronx. As part of the St. Joseph School initiative, members are also participating in a mentor program during the months surrounding the event.
In their first games of the season, Magnetic’s Dodgeball team left the court undefeated. Stay tuned throughout the season as they raise money for the Big Brother Big Sister foundation, and work their way to the playoffs!
While TV remains the king of ad spending, Interactive Marketing is predicted to overtake its throne by 2016. According to Forrester, investments in digital (this includes search marketing, display advertising, email marketing, mobile marketing, and social media) will climb to $77 billion and represent 26% of all advertising.
What role do Search and Display play in the predicted growth of Interactive Marketing spend?
Source: Forrester Research Interactive Marketing Forecasts, 2011 to 2016
Search will remain the key player in interactive marketing ad spend, growing to more than $33 billion over the next five years. However, as marketers explore new marketing strategies and tactics, the search market share is expected to drop from 55% today to 44% of interactive ad spend by 2016.
Forrester’s forecast also shows that display advertising has a renewed momentum, with investments reaching $27.6 billion by 2016, claiming 36% of interactive spend. While a couple of elements play into this spending boost, one that stands out is the shift of search dollars to display. Forrester claims that marketers experiencing high keyword costs in paid search will look to biddable display media as another way to drive effective and cost efficient advertising.
The migration of dollars from paid search to biddable display media will mean a lot for search retargeting.
For more information on the Forrester report, click here