A new report from iProspect, conducted by JupiterResearch, says that 45% of search engine marketers do not integrate their search marketing efforts with offline channels. In addition, it uncovers a big disconnect between search engine marketer strategy and search engine user behavior.
The study finds that just over half of search engine marketers (55%) intentionally integrate their efforts with at least one offline marketing channel. Specifically, that integration most often takes place with direct mail (34%) and magazine/newspaper advertising (29%), while both television (12%) and radio advertising (12%) trail behind.
Integrated Offline Marketing Channels Into Search Marketing Efforts (April-June, 2008, % of Respondents)
Billboard/Sports Venue Sign
< $50 mil
$50 mil +
Overall Ad Budget
< $1 mil
$1 mil +
Online Ad Budget
< $1 mil
$1 mil +
Search Marketing Budget
Source: iProspect, August 2008 (eMarketer graphic)
When compared to the iProspect Offline Influence on Online Search Behavior Study, these results take on new meaning. Published in August of 2007, the study revealed that two-thirds (67%) of search engine users are driven to search by an offline channel, and that 39% of those offline-influenced search users ultimately make a purchase from the company that prompted their initial search. Moreover, it also shows television advertising to be the leading offline channel that drives users to search (37%).
Robert Murray, President, iProspect, says "... the strategy (integrating search and offline channels) has yet to gain widespread adoption... there is a big disconnect between search marketing strategy and search engine user behavior."
The subpar state of integration revealed in this study can be attributed to a lot more than search marketer failure. The study shows the lack of integration can be attributed to a number of factors, including:
The study discovered that when search marketers are optimizing various digital assets (press release, images, video, etc.), they give priority:
Findings from the iProspect Blended Search Results Study (April 2008), however, 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 forms of digital content in the following order:
Other key findings from the study include:
For more information about the iProspect Search Engine Marketing Integration Study, please visit here.