SMX East Case Study: Integrating & Measuring Search as Part of the Marketing Mix

One of the sessions I sat in on yesterday featured three case studies of how search marketing had been used to drive foot traffic and in-store referrals. The panel was moderated by Sara Holoubek, and the panelist included Keith Boswell, Michael Kahn, and Jonathan Treiber. Jonathan Treiber The CEO of RevTrax, a company that does offline affiliate marketing, Jonathan shared his experience with a Jackson Hewitt campaing. Here are some facts on Jackson Hewitte:

  • is the #2 tax compnay in the US (second to H&R Block)
  • has 6,800 retail locations (soon to be 8,000)
  • has no ecommerce infrastructure
  • and is publicly traded

Jackson Hewitt’s goal was to use search marketing to drive foot traffic to brick-and-mortar (B&M) stores for 2009 tax season. So Jackson Hewitt approached 31media, a RevTrax partner, to drive traffic via multiple search engines to specific landing pages (LPs). RevTrax tracked impression, click, and store visits. And the LPs had ability to provide various local content relevant to the user’s geo-location (i.e. store addresses with relevant store info) that offered either a printable coupon or mobile SMS coupon. The campaign results exceeded expectations:

  • 40% of clicks resulted in a printed coupon
  • 22% of printed coupones converted into a sale
  • 40% of those conversion were new customers
  • $190 was the average transaction size
  • with the eCPC generating $17.19 of in-store revenue

Overall, 60% of new customers printed the coupon. The 40% cited above was when new and existing customers were blended together. Michael Kahn As the SVP of Marketing at Performics, Michael sees that search is present at all levels of the sales funnel — i.e.Initial brand awareness, brand engagement, product discovery, consideration / options, and product selection. So even though there are SEM challenges to driving foot traffic, they also have their solutions. Here’s a break down of those challenges and their solutions:

    • Challenge: using search to drive in-store traffic. / Solution: integrate offline promos with search campaings.
    • Challenge: measuring search’s impact on offline sales. / Solution: Creating a bridge/loop such as coupons that can be used to track those refers.
    • Challenge: moving from a click focus to consumer focus. / Solution: micro-targeting to better target & convert “audiences of one” (i.e. making search ads very relevant to my location, etc.).

So it comes down to micro-targeting, and going after users that are close to your physical locations.This way, they’ll already be somewhat aware of your brand because they see your points-of-sale, and they’ll have more opportunities to buy from you, which is opportune because multi-channel customers are more valuable. Michael’s case study was on Cabela, a huge outerwear company that needed to push online users offline and into their stores. So they implemented apaid search coupon strategy for a holiday event that featured:

      • search campaings for each store
      • geo-targeting strategies within a certain mile radius
      • ad copy that offered in store coupons to the micro-targeted audience
      • and intuitive landing pages

The resuts were that:

      • 10% of clicks downloaded the coupon coupon (3% was the initial target)
      • 40% of those 10% were redeemed (20% was the initial target)

Kieth Boswell According to Keith, search has been a transformer for how Kaiser Permanente (KP) acquires new customers and plans its marketing. When KP offered a geo-based drop down menu site, they went form 60k indexed pages to just 3, so paid search became very important for KP’s traffic and visibility. And eventually, they became the top spender in healthcare on Adwords. In fact, their 2009 paid search spend was $6M, and paid inclusion drives 1/3 of their new customers. The future of search at KP will also be focused on mobile & local, and KP will keep improving precisely what they point users to (such as micro-targeting mentioned above). They are also very interested in making everything searchable through universal search, and will keep developing their understanding of how search fits into verticals like social, mobile, etc. Finally, Keith offere 10 Tips to Integrate Search: 1. Do keyword research. 2. Tight segmentation. 3. Test and apply you learning. 4. Create a CPC for SEO by adding your marketing budget and SEO budget, and dividing that by the number of new customers. 5. Analytics is a must. 6. Reporting – open access. 7. BLOG! 8. Leverage your agency properly. 9. Change works, so implement it when something isn’t working. 10. Stay in sync for success.

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