Search Works with TV…….Sometimes!

A couple of weeks ago The Search Works asked me to kick off their client summit – The Search Sessions – at the fabulous Vinopolis by the river in London.

Honoured as I was, I thought it both polite and in my interest to stay on for the rest of the day and hear the other speakers. Very often I learn a great deal from being at these kind of affairs as I pick up nuggets of information or different points of view that are both thought provoking and provide interesting content for this blog and articles I write elsewhere.

The Search Works content did not disappoint.

Jeff Revoy and Dominic Allon were there from Yahoo! & Google respectively and provided talks which were informative and entertaining to say the least.

My favourite session was addressed by Gary Reid, TSW’s new Director of Search Performance.

Now there’s something comforting about a northerner talking about online marketing. Maybe it’s the southern bar steward in me, but I find the accent so organic and at odds with the cut and thrust of agency-land in the big smoke that a new level of trust is surpassed. If anyone gets a chance to hear Dave Naylor speak you should. He’s from Ripon!

Anyway, Gary’s talk was: “On The Edge of Search – The New Economics of Organic Search” and in a nutshell was approaching the subject of online/offline marketing integration and suggesting many companies hadn’t quite cracked it yet.

Gary gave a couple of examples where TV taglines gave spurious and in some cases brand-damaging results in the organic search results pages.

I’ve mentioned recently about how brands are battling on the box for our online time and it’s a crucial thing to try and do seeing as TV and Online have proved to be Better Together.

Gary’s tips:

– Pass consumers between channels with clear calls to action
– Develop a cross media message that is suitable for search

Ensure the call to action is:

– Easy to remember
– A product feature or benefit
– A slogan or marketing message
– A top performing key term
– Built around a key term you can dominate in SERP’s

Things to avoid:

– Don’t use URL’s in traditional media
– Avoid new phrases/generic phrases
– Don’t assume you can easily get a good position for a generic key term
– Don’t forget to assess the search landscape for possible threats
– Don’t discount possible competition for key terms you make popular

Not sure about not using URLs in traditional media. This is pretty new stuff so surely two bites of the cherry would be better than the chance of no searches or direct visitsat all?

Maybe Gary will chime in and clarify…..

I may be guilty of being a “search” guy through and through, but I cannot see how the channel cannot be at the heart of every marketing campaign helping drive consumers through from awareness to purchase.

Making sure your product or service can be easily found is the whole point of marketing surely?

  • Gary Reid

    Mel, thanks for the mention and hopefully the whole subject of cross channel integration will start to rise to the top as more people see the effect it can have. On the issue of URL’s it is something I should have clarified in the presentation, but in the heat of the moment… My view on this is that a well known brand using their URL, one which is easily remembered is fine, my point was aimed more at the micro-site URL’s that would require more exposure to guarantee good callback. Of course you are right, having two bites of the cherry isn’t a bad thing, having a great call to action plus the URL could be the best option. As more brands decide to follow this route so we’ll have more information on what best practice should be. And of course we need more Northerners in digital marketing 😉

  • Mel Carson

    There are loads of Northerners in Digital – Scotland’s a huge hub too!

    I’ve just been talking about all this at – TV came up again. Very pertinent stuff. Thanks again for inviting me!

  • Gavin Ailes

    Thanks again Mel for your contribution to our event.
    To your last comment, David Ogilvy would certainly agree with you:
    ‘A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself.’
    I hale from the Ogilvy and Mather side of MindShare in the late 90’s and slogans like these were drummed in to us from the outset. Despite being a creative, Ogilvy understood the commercial realities of advertising before he even started his own business. Search embodies the spirit of this quote more than any other marketing medium in my view. Without the benefit of a graphical representation of the brand and in just the smallest number of characters search remains one of the highest converting media at the lowest cost of sale.

    On northerners in digital you might also want to check out the Big Chip Awards focusing on digital advertising from the North West region at which I happened to be a judge at the event earlier this year in May.