This is the fourth in a series of SEM tactics you can use to generate greater ROI from search campaigns. (The first focused on online/offline data integration, the second on keyword assist or cross visit participation, and the third on cost of goods sold.)
A disconnect seems to exist among marketers about the process of measuring ROI as customers move through multiple touchpoints. Most marketers are familiar with the conversion funnel — beginning with creating awareness, then on to consideration and from there to the conversion and the remarketing cycle — but they often struggle to properly attribute the dollars brought in from each step of the process. Because of the challenge, ad dollars may end up being distributed unevenly, with too much money spent on one channel and not enough on others, causing marketers to miss some big returns. When ad dollars are spent more efficiently, ROI increases.
Let me give you an example of what I mean: imagine an electronics company that is launching what’s certain to be the “next big thing.” If the company doesn’t have much brand awareness, they may prep the launch with display advertising, along with offline media such as radio, TV or print.
Once awareness begins to build, the company may begin a search campaign to capitalize on people who are searching by brand name. They might also create a marketing effort around the blogosphere to continue to build awareness of the product. As browsers become ready to buy, a search campaign focusing on the specific item name or model number, along with marketing on the company’s Web site, can help push consumers to make the purchase. After the purchase, the company remarkets to them via email.
In other words, buyers make a purchase after first being made aware, then clicking through to the site from display advertising (and perhaps other online efforts), ending up at the Web site through natural search Keyword A and then finally making the purchase after clicking on paid search Keyword B. If the company does not tie together all elements of the marketing campaign — if, in other words, it gives credit for the sale only to the last touchpoint, or Keyword B — they’re not properly monetizing the earlier campaigns. Display, for example, may be given less money in future budgets, despite the fact that it had a great hand in raising awareness for the product.
Omniture can help keep this from happening via its complete and accurate cross-channel measurement available through a Genesis integration of SiteCatalyst, SearchCenter and other Omniture products with Dart, iBlaster, and other ad servers. With such a cross-channel plug-in, marketers can tell what percentage of the sale should be attributed to the different touchpoints in the conversion funnel, allowing them to make more accurate decisions about their online ad spend and thus improve ROI.