It’s not marketing when we do it online. Let me explain.
We all know that the basic principle of marketing is to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. There are countless studies, white papers and even books written on the subject. In fact, there are volumes of books on marketing, all of which try to help us understand our marketplace and communicate our products and services to the audience that would benefit from them.
The first goal is to discover the needs of the prospective client or customer. This may sound like an easy task, especially in the search world, when a search query often indicates what we perceive to be the need or desire of that customer. However, just because someone searches for “stamps” doesn’t necessarily mean they want the postage kind. The same hold true for terms like “online bachelor” -- which could mean dating or degree, two completely different intents. There are many more examples, some even more confusing than those I’ve mentioned. So what are we to do? Yes, we can use negative keywords, etc., but we still get more than our share of unintended clicks. And just like a cell phone device receiving wrong incoming calls, we are still paying for those unwanted clicks.
The second goal is to reach the right audience. Google gives us two lines of copy to use, with a maximum of 70 characters under our headline of 25 characters. Not a lot of room there to communicate a clear, descriptive message for searchers so that they understand what you are offering to stimulate them to raise their hand and say they’re interested in hearing more. Gee, I wonder if that’s intentional. We can target using specific levers like GEO, time of day, day of week. Google.com vs. Google.com & Syndicated partners, language, by device and in mobile by carrier, for now.
I understand there will be more robust targeting to come some time down the road, but does this really gives us the opportunity to market to our potential customers as we do offline?
We buy catalog lists and email lists based on users who have shown a behavior to buy our wares or subscribe to our services through those channels. We would not re-purchase those lists if they were not successful for us. So why do we purchase keywords that are marketed across the country in one fell swoop? We think t we can make a difference by the keyword universe we select, so we continue to add additional keywords to find that magic bullet. We relentlessly test ad copy against landing page relevant offers and hope to glean a few more conversions so we can feel good about what we are doing. But does it really produce a scalable difference?
After all that, we still do not know who clicked on the keyword.