Search Marketing Strategy | Sustainable Value Creation
Simply Clicks has the capacity to make a strategic contribution to your search engine marketing. Whilst we recognise you may have an immediate opportunity to exploit or a short-term problem to solve, we would much rather work with you to create sustainable competitive advantage.
The Bigger Picture
In many ways, online marketing is very similar to traditional offline marketing – researching your market, producing a quality product or service, precise positioning and branding, good promotion, acute pricing and ensuring the right people with the right skills enhance your customer's satisfaction. However, in other respects, online marketing is very different. Online customers are better informed, pricing is both more acute and transparent and the competitive cycle is significantly faster. Merely replicating the marketing techniques of the offline world will not be sufficient to guarantee future prosperity in the internet environment.
To be effective in the online world you must understand and exploit the implications of search marketing. In the offline marketing environment the targeting of consumers is driven by the provider. In the online marketing environment the targeting process is reversed. Consumers drive targeting via the mechanism of search. Search is the ultimate permission marketing tool.
The Internet is profoundly shaping an increasing range of markets. Today 70% of UK homes have access to the internet and half of these are utilising broadband. About 15% of consumer purchases now take place online. In a recently published market report, 18 million people claimed to have made an internet purchase in the last 6 months. In the final analysis, the growth of online marketing means your market will almost certainly be increasingly competitive.
Branding and Positioning - The Battle for the Consumer's Mind
In the 1970s, the marketing profession absorbed and applied the lessons of positioning. Positioning was seen as the battle for the consumer’s mind Share of mind, and terms such as saliency and relevancy, became the watchword of the profession. In a cluttered world of communication, the consumer could only absorb and digest so much information. To be front of mind in key categories was the only solution to protect your brand investments.
Trade Marketing - Retail Power
As the 1980s unfolded the brand battleground shifted to the shelves of major retailers. As major retail groups emerged to dominate market categories from grocery, to DIY to travel retailing, access to shelf space and promotional slots became the key to accessing consumers. It didn’t matter how strong your brand portfolio was or how much you spent on advertising – if you couldn’t access prominent shelf space and display, your brand position was hopeless.
The Early Internet
The arrival of the internet as a commercial proposition in the 1990s saw the boom and ultimate bust of many short-lived dotcom stars. But the web survived. Aggressive direct marketing from brand such as Amazon, Ryanair, Dell, Lastminute and Easyjet carved major online market positions from once insignificant niches. As a consequence, the major offline brands were forced to compete and take on the “net” brands in unfamiliar territory. They were forced to mimic their direct marketing competitors, cutting margins and commissions and simplifying their pricing in a desperate attempt to compete. Some major high street names have suffered the painful consequences of not moving fast enough in the newly aggressive atmosphere.
Search Engines - Google
The arrival of Google opened a new front in the battle to attract the consumer. The new battleground is the search market. The internet is finally emerging as the preferred method of shopping for a vast swathe of consumers. But how do you get your expensively crafted website in front of these consumers? The battle is partly about branding, positioning and other aspects of the marketing mix. But the first effective stage of customer attraction is search marketing. The crucial issue is now the battle for positioning on the search engine rankings. Top of page 1 and your traffic flows. Relegated to the bottom of page 3 and your brand and website are effectively invisible.
Once, you had to pay the mass media of television and consumer press to get your brand in front of consumers. Then you had to pay retailers to access display. Now you have to pay the search engines to show your wares and generate clicks. This pay per click market is now expanding and evolving rapidly. It is now the most important way to attract targeted customers to your organisation’s website. If you are a commercial enterprise, it is a medium that you just cannot ignore.
Simply Clicks can offer both strategic and tactical approaches to customer acquisition. We are UK based, but as part of the vSente network based in San Francisco we have access to a vast array of global expertise.
Strategy is about the ability of your organisation to compete in the new environment. Your website is not just an adjunct to your business. For your customers and potential trading partners it's a window into your organisation.