Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Use the Web in Your Marketing Mix – Integrate Online Media for Depth and Measurability

If your marketing plan is not shifting towards more online communications and integrated programs, you are not adapting the way you should be. Proper integration of online media adds depth and measurability to your programs. But most importantly, it makes you more accessible to your customers. Accessibility is an important key to marketing in today’s business environment. You have to make it your mission to understand how your products are researched and be a resource to people who are in search of information.

Strong marketers are working feverishly to get and stay ahead online. In the recent “2008 Marketing Priorities and Plans” survey published by B2B magazine, 79% of B2B marketers planned to increase their online marketing budgets for 2008. That is up from 76% a year earlier.

Areas reported for increases included:
  • Website development (cited by 74% of marketers)
  • Email (70%)
  • Search Engine Marketing (64%)
  • Video (40%)
  • Webcasting (39%)
  • Banners (36%)
  • Sponsorships (30%)
  • Social Media (26%)

It is projected that as much as 37% of budgets will be channeled to online spending. Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) continue to rise as critical components that must be factored into the marketing budget. These tend to pull dollars away from traditional programs, but can also work hand-in-hand with targeted promotions and lead generation tactics.

Dedicating funds to organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can pay dividends in several ways. The obvious direct benefit comes from increasing your presence for searchers looking for your products or services. However, other important benefits come from the process of developing and monitoring your keywords – you learn how people are finding your products. Good keyword research will tell you what words and phrases you should use in your ads, PR and on your website. An evolved SEO program will benefit many of your programs; it adds a component of constant research to your marketing mix. If you are wondering where to start – start there. SEO should be in everyone’s plan. It may well be the single tactic that gives you more insight than anything else you do.

Sources: e-marketer, B2B Magazine

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