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Ask, Analyze, Apply: Creating a (Search) Data-Driven Marketing Strategy

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Political figures like President Obama need to appeal to passions and interests, as a New York Times Magazine article put it.

Agree or disagree with Obama's in-office efforts, but there is a similar parallel to such in marketing.

There's a need to continually ask what drives consumers (passions) and what daily needs incent their desires (interests).

Marketing is not about you, it's about them.

The blending of passions and interests, often referred to as implicit and explicit behavior in marketing, is what drives efficiencies.

If we aren't asking, we're often either too broad or too narrow in our definition of online targeting.

Tactically speaking, consumer search activity is a bridge to understanding and informing all digital marketing channels.

Based on the explicit (keyword search) and implicit (category of search, frequency of search), you can start to deduce if your existing/planned online targeting techniques are actually relevant to your core audience.

Lee Odden expertly articulated the bridge between search and search engine optimization (SEO) at OMS.

He specifically spelled out how search analytics can allow you to build customer profiles, create audience-specific content, and inform other online channel to invest in more customer/prospect-centric targeting solutions (i.e., behavioral targeting, audience segmentation).

In short, it's about asking the right questions (why, where, when?), using the right tools (search) and ultimately, your ability to analyze data to create actionable insights to prioritize marketing initiatives.

Applying insights from consumer search activity requires distilling mission-critical learnings (i.e., users searching for my product/service are x age, live in x location and largely male or female) from the warm and fuzzy data points (i.e. search query pathing) that are more challenging to apply to immediate media buys and/or content development.

Particularly within display, there is a growing need to:

  • Apply search insights to develop customer-based lifetime value (LTV) targeting.

  • Re-evaluate the metrics by which we measure success. CPA, CPL, and CTR are short-term, campaign-specific metrics that should be analyzed across multiple campaigns, multiple media channels, and synthesized to inform attribution/conversion-based models.

In sum, ask more about your target audience -- starting with your customer.

Leverage search as a means to learn and analyze.

Finally, apply insights in a meaningful way that will allow short and long-term measurement to occur across multiple marketing channels.

Aaron Kahlow will speak during the Update on Real Time Search: I Want It Now! session on Day 2 of SES London.


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