Search and Display Integration: The Dynamic Duo
When integrated, search engine marketing (SEM) and online display advertising can deliver far greater results than the same campaigns planned in isolation. In fact, a recent study from Forrester and iProspect (my firm) shows exactly that.
Conceived to examine the relationship between search and display, the study found that almost as many internet users initially respond to an online display ad by conducting a search (27 percent) as directly click on the ad (33 percent). Furthermore, not only are their searches related to the company, product or brand in the ad, but when latency is factored in, that 27 percent jumps to 49 percent.
These findings underscore the importance of integrating SEM and display advertising. Clearly, display is driving demand, while search is capturing the demand it creates. This dynamic has important implications for marketers. To fully capitalize on it, marketers should support display efforts with SEM to boost overall return on investment.
In other words, consider search as a form of insurance for your investment in display ads. Failure to integrate the two could result in missing nearly 50 percent of your audience.
Seeing it in Action
A luxury bath, body and hair care retailer was struggling with the same challenge many marketers face today: its SEM and display campaigns were managed by separate teams who rarely communicated their efforts to one another. By working closely with the two teams, we were able to outline an integrated approach that would achieve each of the team's individual goals (this element was crucial to attaining their buy-in).
The campaign was designed to retarget customers who visited the company's retail website but didn't convert on the site. It had two core elements: (1) an open ad network for better control over the sites to be used for display ads, and (2) message and product offerings were integrated between the display ads and SEM creative.
Ultimately, this integrated campaign produced a 185 percent increase in conversions compared to the search-only campaign that ran prior to this effort. This represented a $1 million increase in revenue over six months.