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Better Together – Cross Channel Marketing

Some people get really confused about Search and Display and don’t understand why they might need both.  Advertising is not about accumulating as many clicks as possible for as little money as possible – it’s about achieving your Return on Investment goals.  Different business will have different needs when it comes to generating a return on their investment and using cross channel marketing is a great way to ensure you’re able to most effectively meet your goals.

The key difference between PPC and Display is that PPC is directional advertising and Display is stimulative – or more broadly speaking; PPC helps people find you when they’re already searching and Display goes and finds people who are not actively looking for you.  Each medium has its virtues and there are a number of factors which will help you decide what your business needs.

Here’s an analogy I’ve often used which sometimes helps to bring the purposes of each channel to life.  I hope it helps!

Your website is your online shop window and everyone now has one. In order for potential customers to linger and make a purchase or want to contact you, your shop must be attractive and informative.

If your website is your shop, then PPC is street that it’s on. When people come looking for your shop, PPC will help them find you.  Whether PPC advertising will benefit you depends on what sort of street you’re on.  Are you on a main high street, with a steady footfall of traffic to your shop (are plenty of people searching for you on Google)?  …or are you in the middle of the  desert, where no-one is searching for you?  Your shop needs to be on a street so that people can find it, but if no-one is looking for you, then you can’t rely it solely – you need to drum up some footfall.

If PPC is the street you’re on, Display is like sending someone out with flyers to let people know about you. If you’re on the main high street but you’ve got a lot of competition, you might want to go out with some flyers. If you’re in the middle of the desert (no-one is searching for you on Google), you definitely want to send someone out with flyers!  Display advertising will help you to reach an audience that is not looking for you and to make them aware of your existence.

Finally, If Display is like sending someone out with flyers,then Display re-targeting is like sending out some sort of flyer ninja. This person handing out flyers remembers who has looked in your shop window (advert and website re-targeting) and they could know who has been looking around at the competition (Yell.com re-targeting) – they go out and about and give people a gentle reminder to pop back to the shop.  This is hugely powerful for most businesses, with the possible exception of what I call ‘now’ verticals (like taxis and emergency plumbers).

Most businesses could benefit from a combination of Search and Display but how you weight your budget should depend on your businesses circumstances including demand (are people searching on Google), competition (are you losing your Google traffic to your competitors?), consideration period of purchase (do you need Display re-targeting to give people a gentle reminder or is yours a ‘now’ business?)…

Most of the time, search and Display are better together!

  • Ian Clarke

    Great analogies to help explain.

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