The retail holiday season is already in full swing. For many retailers the true indicator of how the season will go starts on Thanksgiving, and Black Friday results come in. The retail research firm ShopperTrak estimated that shoppers spent $11.2 billion at physical stores on Black Friday this year, which represented a 1.8% decline from Black Friday 2011. Still, 90%+ of our clients exceeded their projections for those critical days, which signals that the 2012 holiday season should be a strong one for many retailers. As I was reflecting on how we were able to influence results it really came down to 3 things; Preparation, Agility, and People; The PAP Strategy. These 3 key elements drove the success of the season, and I’m confident that no matter what the external factors are that these 3 factors drive the success or failure of any brand, or agencies during the season.
The growing popularity of social media among marketers the past few years has exacerbated an issue I’ve been dealing with since 1996, when I optimized my first website. Essentially, each new revolution in technology brings a flood of developers, entrepreneurs and other non-marketing types into the realm of digital marketing. Unfortunately, this trend has only worsened with the buzz around mobile search and local search engine optimization (SEO).
As Web technology and marketing methodologies mature, there is a greater opportunity for fragmentation between creators of technology and marketers hungry to leverage the latest tools. Internal departments (sales, marketing, IT and operations) are becoming more siloed and competitive. External advertising, public relations, direct response and interactive agencies are fighting for the same marketing budget.
Like many marketing initiatives, search engine marketing integrates into all marketing disciplines and touches all internal teams in some manner. In order for businesses to have a strong bottom line, the top line has to support search engine marketing initiatives. By determining where and how search engine marketing impacts internal and external resources and activities, businesses can build a framework for success. Key elements are outlined below.
One of the most intangible and difficult to... Read more
This week our never ending hunt for all things relevance leads us to examine the increasingly prominent role Data is playing across the web. Data is becoming more and more central to everything, not just marketing and measurement, but content development, navigation, personalization, etc.
The Ad Campaign as Data Asset
We loved this Clickz article by @andrew_goodman which asserts that a paid search campaign can be a data asset which enables marketers to reap much greater dividends than using it strictly as a customer acquisition source. Search campaigns are “response engines” to quote Andrew, and as such, within a few short weeks marketers can get a great understanding about how consumers respond to offers of different types, at different times during the week, in different areas of the country, etc. The article also brings us a fantastic quote by Seth Godin when discussing clothing company Zara: “Zara is an information business that happens to sell clothes.” Here’s hoping that more marketers embrace this approach!
Data as Marketing Content
Scott Brinker, @chiefmartec, writes an interesting article on his blog, Chief Marketing Technologist, around emerging capabilities enabling marketers to publish data to... Read more
Search is a critical selling tool for retailers. Twenty-seven percent of 102 online merchants, cataloguers and direct-selling manufacturers, in a recent Internet Retailer survey, attribute more than 50 percent of their sales to search engine marketing.
Natural search drives more than 25 percent of total traffic for 51 percent of the respondents while paid search accounts 28 percent. And based on the responses these levels are stable with the yield and the click-thru-rates remaining about the same. For two-thirds of merchants, Google accounts for 70 percent or more of their traffic and has the highest conversion rate. Though 4 in 10 expect to shift some paid search spending to Bing in the coming year.
As a result a third of merchants spend most of their online marketing budgets on search. Almost half increased their search budgets in the last year with 23.5 percent spending less than a dime per click and 32 percent investing 50 cents or more per click.
Tactically 56 percent have keyword inventories of 1000 words or less. Improvements planned include experimenting with more multiple-word phrases, rewriting keyword descriptions on product and home pages, incorporating common search terms onto product and home pages, adding common search terms to image file names,... Read more