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Mixed Media & Marketing Messages

Posted on 2.20.2006

Via MediaPost, e-commerce sales accounted for 2.4 percent of all sales in the fourth quarter, up from 2.3 percent the previous quarter, according to new figures released Friday by the Department of Commerce ( Total fourth quarter e-commerce revenues came to a seasonally adjusted $22.94 billion. For all of 2005, e-commerce sales rose by 24.6 percent. Despite this record growth some are taking the stand that retailers are over-relying on Internet search. You have to be kidding! It is these mixed media and marketing messages that confuse SMB's into not focusing in on what works – Internet search promotions (search advertising and search optimization).

According to Aaron Kessler, a senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, retailers should rely less on search engine marketing and develop a more comprehensive, multi-channel strategy because of the rising competition over internet paid-search keywords. Kessler, who follows e-retailers for Piper Jaffray continued “Three years ago, Internet search was a good value for any retail category, but now it’s not always the value it was,” he says. “It’s a great marketing channel when it works, but many retailers have become too reliant on it.”

My response to thinking like that is "rubbish." When it comes to promoting an online business you need to go with what works and hands down, search marketing works better than any promotional method, get this, in the history of marketing promotions.

The key to successful search marketing, he and other experts say, is to find a way to fit it into a complete marketing strategy. No kidding!?! Take a look at Best Buy, also covered in the Internet Retailer article. “Our SEM effort has been very profitable because we manage it as part of an overall online advertising portfolio and because of our strong brand, which we build through multi-channel national advertising and in-store service,” says Sam Taylor, vice president of online stores and marketing for Best Buy Co. Inc., adding that Best Buy will aggressively expand its budget for search engine marketing this year, just as it did last year.

Got that? "Best Buy will aggressively expand its budget for search engine marketing this year, just as it did last year." That means that SEM (which includes pay-per-click and search engine optimization) should be an integral part of your overall business strategy if you take a page from Best Buy's promotional playbook. A diverse marketing plan (including direct mail, TV and radio is smart if you have the budget for it but if you do not then search is simply the best thing to grow a business and generate revenue.

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