|image courtesy of Jazz Hostels|
Most cities are known for tall buildings and flashy ads on busy streets; there's almost limitless opportunity to utilize creative advertisement space. For businesses looking for customers, that can be extremely appealing. But that all comes with a price tag - a big one, at that. Furthermore, the big investment for traditional advertising and marketing may not even be yielding a positive ROI.
Grabbing Attention vs. Holding Attention
Walking through the street s of NYC, you'll see tons of glitzy ads and gaudy billboards; it's true, celebrity endorsements, crude humor and sex appeal can definitely grab a consumer's attention. It can capture attention, but can it hold it? The truth is, people walking through the streets of a city or flipping through the magazine will see these advertisements, but will they yield consumer conversions? Probably not. Why? Because who says they are in the market for an advertisement's specific services or products?
Seth Godin, author of Permission Marketing, refers to these advertisements as "interruption advertising" because they do just that: they interrupt the consumer.
Let's say you work for Volvo. A person sitting on the couch watching The View is probably not in the market for a fuel efficient car. Paying millions of dollars for countless commercials will undoubtedly help Volvo gain brand recognition, but is it successfully targeting those consumers who are in the market and likely to make a purchasing conversion as a result of seeing the ad? Again, probably not.
Reverse Marketing: Strategic Search Engine Marketing
So where am I going with this? Ironically, towards reverse marketing. Don't let the term fool you; it is the future of strategic marketing. Reverse marketing is search marketing.
Experts call it reverse marketing because the consumers are seeking out the services or products whereas in traditional marketing efforts, the brands initiate the first contact point in the consumer-brand relationship. Search marketing - evaluating and investigating how and what searchers are searching - allows for some unbelievably valuable insight.
Let's return to the Volvo example for a moment. If a consumer is searching "fuel efficient car with top family safety features", you know exactly what consumers want. Analyzing search term data helps companies to predict industry trends. That specific search would tell a marketer that fuel efficiency is a top priority with consumers in the market for a new car. However, they want fuel efficiency without compromising safety features and family-friendly space. Marketers and even product developers can then use this information to meet these consumer needs.
Prior to reverse marketing, companies would need to conduct extensive surveys and market search to understand market, competitor and consumer trends. Now, with Google Analytics or any other traffic analysis tool, marketers and business owners have real-time data and insight at their finger tips.
Reverse marketing is a far more strategic that meets consumers at the critical moment: when they are searching for the specific product or service that you provide. At this moment, they are pursuing more information via search engines before making a purchase; meeting them at this moment is more valuable than meeting distracted consumers making dinner with a commercial on in the background. Strategic search engine marketing also requires a relatively low budget, making it a good marketing strategy for small businesses.