Where should you be spending your $$$
The never-ending battle goes on and marketers constantly find it difficult to gauge how to split a budget between PPC and SEO.
Search marketers frequently try to profile consumers who click on paid ads against those who prefer natural search results. Unfortunately, the reality is there isn't much difference between paid and organic clickers. Your better targets are consumers who click on a combination of paid and organic listings, (Forrester, 2011).
Research by Forrester also shows that concentrating on SEO search marketing and combining it with a limited PPC budget may be your best bet! The clicks speak for themselves.
Where PPC has its role to play, it devours budgets and may not always deliver enough on its own to justify this spend.
Sorry Guys, the battle doesn't end there!
The marketing mix is expanding and spend on interactive marketing is growing like never before.
Over the next few years marketers are predicted to invest more in interactive channels because they believe they will generate better results over time. Investment in search marketing, display advertising, email marketing, mobile marketing, and social media will near $77 billion and represent 35% of all advertising, as interactive channels gain legitimacy in the marketing mix, (Forrester, 2011).
Traditional tactics are going to decrease in effectiveness.
Paid search listings were the least likely to increase in effectiveness and 57% of those asked said that it would stay the same.
Social media, mobile marketing and online video had the biggest increases in effectiveness.
The battle between PPC vs. SEO may become overlooked as new players enter the marketing mix.
Search engines are not the only way that consumers 'find' something online anymore. A cut of marketers' search budgets will move to mobile and social networks as more users rely on other devices and search engines like YouTube or Facebook for searching.
Forrester also noted that the number of firms spending to optimise their sites for natural search results will continue to grow, particularly in competitive paid search markets.
The Digital Age
The mix has become more complex and figuring out where to put your budget is a mammoth task.
When interactive marketing reaches 35% of all advertising it will be the second-largest line item in the marketing budget.
So...where do you start?
Plan based on customers, not on your past budgets.
1) Determine key audiences
2) Identify points of influence along their paths to purchase
3) Test to see how much of what medium and through what channel, will drive desired action
4) Roll into a master budget the amounts of media and channel usage you need
Documenting best practices is a good idea, encouraging tests, trials, and risk taking is just as important - taking risks doesn't have to mean becoming reckless.
This isn't an easy task and the battles between the elements of the marketing mix are never-ending!
In an ideal world you'd have the budget for everything! But, just remember to focus on your strengths and always keep the consumer in mind.