Search marketing has gone through lots of changes over the past several years. The most significant of those changes is the way that customers search for information, brands, and products — from primarily using Google on desktop computers to using any source or website on any device. But most marketers have not evolved their search marketing strategy with those changes in customer behavior. Specifically:
- Marketers still strictly define search marketing as only occurring on Google. Ok, ok, I hear you few Bing supporters: I will admit some people still use Bing, and many marketers do buy ads in Bing. But the bigger problem is that we as marketers only think of “search” happening on search engines. And that is just not the case anymore…
- Search marketing should include many more channels. The definition of search marketing I use is: the practice of optimizing or buying ads in channels where customers intentionally go to seek out information. Those channels could include Google, Bing, but also places like: Amazon if you are a CPG company, TripAdvisor if you are a travel company, Pinterest if you are a manufacturer, and many other “vertical” or “niche” search engines.
So, the question becomes, how do you determine what channels should be part of your search marketing strategy? That is exactly the question my next piece of research is going to answer. But before I kickoff that research, I want to hear from some of you. If you are a marketer, I’d love to know:
- What channels or search engines do you optimize for and buy ads in as part of your search marketing strategy?
- How do you determine the channels/search engines that are included in your search marketing strategy?
- How do you prioritize which channels/search engines are most important to the ways that your customers actively search and seek out information?
Please reach out if you have an interesting perspective or story that might answer any of these questions. And look for this research to hit Forrester.com some time before the end of the year.