Verklin: Search Crucial To Marketing
"Search will become ubiquitous," Verklin said, adding that the concept of "search" already had moved beyond the notion of searching the Web: Tivo, he said, is "a search engine for television," while GPS is a form of search for cars.
"Search is becoming the behavior of choice," he said. "Our job as advertisers," he added, "is to put our clients' products in the path of search behavior."
Verklin also proposed to the audience of about 100 advertising executives that they employ a so-called "Web first" strategy, centered around using search engines to send consumers to a client's Web site as a first stop.
"In my perfect future," he said, "the strategy for any client is focused on driving prospective customers to a Web site first." From that Web site, he added, consumers could then either browse, make a purchase, contact customer service, or find a brick-and-mortar location.
"The role of search is evolving, and we are only beginning--beginning--to appreciate its potential," he asserted, referring to recent research that shows that consumers who visit search engines frequently make a purchase offline, at a traditional brick-and-mortar establishment.
Verklin made his remarks at the Yahoo Search Marketing conference in New York, "Thinking Outside the Funnel," devoted to creative uses of search marketing.
Four agencies--RPA, Avenue A/Razorfish, Agency.com, and GM Planworks--also sent representatives to the summit to share details of search strategies for specific campaigns. Some of the campaigns relied on a strategy that involved purchasing low-cost keywords specifically related to TV ads.
RPA's Mike Margolin, associate media director, discussed the Honda Element search campaign, which played off animated TV spots that featured animals interacting with the automobile. The agency purchased the names of those animals as keywords--platypus, possum, and the like--and the sponsored links drove people to a site where they could view extended versions of the TV ads.
Avenue A/Razorfish's Elaine Boxer, senior account director, and Matthew Greitzer, director of search engine marketing, used a similar strategy for a Chase bank branding effort that used the tagline "Love the Double."
In both cases, purchasing keywords related to the TV ad campaign was cheaper than buying terms like "credit cards" or "automobiles," which tend to command higher cost-per-clicks.