Integrating Search into the Offline World

    December 9, 2008
    Chris Crum

The State of Integration session at Search Engine Strategies Chicago promised to be an interesting one. Speakers included executives from iProspect, Resolution Media, Constant Contact, and TMP Directional Marketing.

Coverage of SES Chicago continues at WebProNews Videos.  Keep an eye on WebProNews for more notes and videos from the event this week.

"Search does not exist in a vacuum," says the official teaser text for the session on the SES site. "In fact, research shows that offline channels drive users to search to the tune of 67%. Obviously search marketers have a huge opportunity to leverage offline channels to drive search. But are search marketers finally catching on? Are they even aware of the relationship between other marketing channels and their own? Are they actually coordinating or integrating their search efforts with their other channels, and if so, which ones? For that matter, what integration techniques are they using? And more importantly, if they aren’t integrating, why not?"

Unfortunately, our reporters were not able to make the entire session, but were able to come away with some interesting discussion nonetheless.

You’ve got to take search offline, but post-search activity is the most important part. "Local search seems to be really close to that purchase point," one of the speakers said. Mobile computing is aiding the measurement of this.

Search isn’t in a vacuum, but we need to ask what media is driving this activity and how we get there.

Some discussion about this took place, and the following points were made:

– Use direct targeting through local

– People do understand cross points and attribution, so they aren’t panicking. Rather, focusing on true understanding.

– Integration strategies for different age groups (ex. baby boomers who have lost during this economy)

– More influenced by TV and radio than new media

– People take broadband for granted too, because it is not universal.

– Search personalization integration?? better targeted for specific generations

– People can capitalize on paid since not everyone knows what paid and organic is.

– In Radio advertising, Emphasize point of purchase

The Future of Semantic Search, and Measuring Success in a 2.0 world sessions were also interesting, and provide more insight into the evolving world of Internet marketing.