Commentary

Full Funnel Attribution: Start With Search And Display

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Google will continue to try and make it easy for search engine marketers to buy display ads in 2011, appealing to the simplicity of paid search campaigns and integration of multiple media to drive higher conversions.

Avid readers of Search Marketing Daily know I spent the latter part of the year talking about the integration of paid search marketing and display advertising. The second-day keynote at the Search Insider Summit in Park City, Utah, earlier this month highlighted Yahoo's VP and GM for Display Advertising David Zinman, who explained how search can integrate with display.

Imagine a world where search and display are bought simultaneously and managed by the same objectives. It would allow the free-flow of budgets and dollars back and forth, Zinman says. It's not such a farfetched idea, especially as Yahoo continues to focus on display and Microsoft Bing focuses on search--at least on the backend infrastructure.

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Interactive marketers should integrate search and display because many of the experiences for those searching the Web already overlap, according to a Forrester Research report published this week. The research firm estimates that nearly 50% of marketers with revenue of $500 million or more use both search and display marketing.

Forrester recommends testing search-based remarketing, aligning search and display creative, and facilitating communication between search and display teams. Later on marketers can add reporting and measurement.

No doubt the advertising industry will see a variety of reporting and measurement tools emerge in 2011 to monitor the combination of search and display campaigns.

The Forrester report suggests several reasons why marketers might want to integrate search and display campaigns, but one of the most interesting, I believe, uncovers customer interest and intent data. The example in the report explains how the timing of display ads can change based on search data. It also highlights how Accordant Media used display media to determine the products users who searched for, but didn't convert on, based on keywords the company bought.

Forrester also guides marketers how to get started integrating search and display. They include targeting display ads to relevant searchers, creating consistency across search and display messages, and facilitating communication between paid search and display teams. Although the advice seems like a no brainer, the latter could become more difficult than first thought, especially when companies outsource tasks.

It's the SEM manager's job at the company to facilitate open conversation between the two teams: search and display. Just remember to keep the lines of communication open and moving.

The next step will become tackling deeper integration by unifying paid search and display into one dashboard and adopting an attribution model that spans across offline and online campaigns.

At least one company, Magnetic, already uses search data to retarget display ads, but in 2011 plan to see many more. Some marketing agencies already offer complete attribution funneling, but plan to see a sled full next year.

1 comment about "Full Funnel Attribution: Start With Search And Display".
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  1. Mark Hughes from C3 Metrics, December 27, 2010 at 7:56 a.m.

    Bravo Laurie !

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