How Search Marketers Expect To Use Data In 2012

Search-AAbout half the search marketers participating in MediaPost's Search Insider Summit survey during the three-day conference said they take responsibility both for search and social campaigns -- making the range of topics discussed at last week's MediaPost Search Insider Summit all the more important.

Most marketers -- 72.7% -- who participated in the survey said they rely on interest-based targeting in search campaigns. Targeting beyond keywords continues as a trend in search engine marketing, as well as social. Evidence of the movement can be found in a recent Twitter campaign connecting AMC TV brands to consumers. 

Search marketers also clearly understand the benefits of tying social and social data into search engine marketing campaigns, as well as search engine data into social media campaigns. When asked whether their company has a Google+ account, 82.4% of respondents said yes.

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It turns out that 60% of marketers said they tie search data into two or more online campaign media. Aside from social, some of the options discussed at the MediaPost Search Insider Summit include tying search data into display advertising or campaigns supported by demand-side platform providers. 

All marketers who participated in the survey said it's possible to get search-like performance from display. It appears that even if search data is not integrated into other media, tactics and strategies, search continues to make its way into other media. Take mobile, for example. 

Search marketers have begun to allocate part of their budget to mobile search campaigns and use traditional tactics to reach consumers locally. When asked what percentage of their online budget they expected to put into mobile next year, 50% said between 11% and 20%; followed by 25% between 1% and 5%; and 25% between 6% and 10%. No marketers said they would push more than 20% into the pot and stir.  

Google Director of Mobile Advertising Michael Slinger also shared consumer behavioral patterns on smartphones and tablets that clearly impact paid-search campaigns. Tablets seem to travel with their owners on business trips and on vacation -- but unlike smartphones, they don't get tossed in a pocket or bag and taken to work.

When it comes to determining their company's budget for paid search, half of marketers said they set a budget and then try to maximize return on investment, 25% said they spend to an efficiency target and try to maximize volume in that constraint, and the remainder said none of the above. 

Search syndication was another topic discussed at the MediaPost Search Insider Summit. When asked about monitoring their company's performance of search syndication buys, 85.7% of survey participants said they monitor them separately from the primary search platforms, such as AdWords and adCenter. The remainder said no.

Discussions were not limited to search marketing strategies. They also linked to current events such as the 2012 political landscape. It turns out that 84.6% of MediaPost Search Insider Summit survey respondents do not expect the 2012 U.S. elections to influence their company's search strategy, although searches on engines clearly shed light on what searchers consider important -- especially when it comes to political scandals and events. This is not only in the United States, but worldwide.

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