The New Attribution: Smart Marketers and User-Based Media Optimization

Search marketing is growing up. We’ve been saying this for some time, but growth and maturity continues in our industry. It’s gratifying to see.

It’s always useful to look at what the smart marketers are doing to see where the industry is heading. Based on what we’re seeing, the industry is heading in the right direction.

In the early days the smart marketers recognized paid search marketing as a performance marketing goldmine and put a few quant geeks in a back room and let them work their magic.

As search marketing became more mainstream and competition increased, the smart marketers began to utilize technology to optimize their bids, expand their keyword lists, and manage their landing page and creative ads.

Most recently, smart marketers have understood that user behavior is changing and that there is a purchase cycle that happens entirely online.

Enter the Buzzword “Attribution”

While this is unfortunately still in the aspirational stage for most marketers, understanding how paid search works within the entire customer purchase process is good for paid search and for digital marketing as a whole.

Smart marketers use attribution to optimize performance-based digital marketing holistically — knowing that within this landscape search marketing plays the largest role.

What are Smart Marketers Doing Now?

The smartest marketers today understand that to optimize their digital marketing efforts they need to deliver the right message at the right time to their potential customers whether through media or messages on their web site.

Customers browse. They search. They go to your website. They see display ads.

They search again. They ask their friend about your product on Facebook. They go back to your website. Only then do they purchase.

If you’re spending incredible amounts of time and resources buying digital media and optimizing the creative your customers see, why aren’t you treating your web site — and the message your potential customers see there — as part of the creative optimization process?

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