Search Engine Marketing (SEM); – SEM, paid search, Pay Per Click (PPC) – why would this particular form of online advertising appear to be just about recession-proof? Google’s continued growth in such a down market is just one example of how SEM continues to grow at a faster pace than nearly any other form of marketing.
It is expected that SEM/PPC will grow at a rate of 13% a year up to 2013, even where print, broadcast and other offline mediums are stagnating or declining.
What is it exactly that seems to make SEM recession-proof? SEM does what marketers need a marketing medium to do in a down economy: it generates better returns on the smaller budgets organisations have to work with.
The true power of Search Engine Marketing lies in the fact that a search user is telling the advertiser exactly what he or she is looking for, and search engines provide the relevant results to the user. Other forms of advertising by contrast push a message to the consumers who may or may not be interested in them.
The fact that advertisers place their messages in an environment that is relevant to the user mean that SEM is a powerful tool for branding as well as achieving customer acquisitions and conversions.
SEM is cost-effective and efficient. Because you are getting the right message to the right people, at the right time, there is far less wastage than there is in most other forms of advertising.
The flexibility which SEM provides is another key strength. One could easily set up a branding campaign that will see a longer tail of keywords and the possible use of the content network. The focus is on achieving critical mass or to reach it in a cost-effective manner. Sales-driven campaigns by contrast, will be more targeted with a strong ROI focus.
Around the world, industry is buying into search. Research conducted by Forrester in Asia Pacific, North America and Europe shows that 85% of marketers are using, piloting or planning to pilot search marketing programmes this year.
Search marketing should be a cornerstone of any marketing strategy. Any company which isn’t visible when users are looking for their services or products online is throwing away opportunities to capture new sales and customers.