Nearly half (45%) of search engine marketers do not integrate their search marketing efforts with offline channels, according to the iProspect Search Engine Marketing Integration Study, conducted by JupiterResearch.
Just over half of search engine marketers (55%) intentionally integrate their efforts with at least one offline marketing channel, the study found: most often with direct mail (34%) and magazine/newspaper advertising (29%); both television (12%) and radio advertising (12%) trail behind.
However, according to the iProspect Offline Influence on Online Search Behavior Study (Aug. 2007), two-thirds (67%) of search engine users are driven to search by an offline channel (37% of them because of TV advertising), and 39% of those offline-influenced search users ultimately make a purchase from the company that prompted their initial search.
“Despite such a clear demonstration of the power of integrating search and offline channels, surprisingly, the strategy has yet to gain widespread adoption,” said Robert Murray, President, iProspect. “Unfortunately, by failing to integrate their efforts with offline, search marketers are essentially ignoring the very channels that drive users to search. Obviously, there is a big disconnect between search marketing strategy and search engine user behavior.”
Marketers attribute the lack of integration to various factors, including lack of budget (19%), lack of human resources (15%), not considered (13%), lack of senior management buy-in (11%), and separate people managing search marketing and offline channels (11%).
The study also discovered that when search marketers are optimizing various digital assets (press release, images, video, etc.), they give priority to images (58%) more than press releases (32%) or videos (20%).
However, findings from the iProspect Blended Search Results Study (April 2008) show that when measured by their propensity to click on these asset types within the blended organic search results of Google, Yahoo, and MSN search engine users attributed importance to these forms of digital content in the following order: news (36%), image (31%), and video (17%).
Other key findings:
- The two integration techniques most frequently employed by search marketers are prominently including the company web address (84%) and the company name (66%) in offline marketing initiatives:
- Only 26% of marketers use the same keywords in offline campaigns as those used in search marketing campaigns in their integration efforts.
- Nearly a quarter (24%) of companies do not participate in offline marketing at all.