Thursday, March 30, 2006

SEA as a Market Research Tool

Is anybody else as intrigued as I am by the ways SEA can be used as a market research tool as much as it can be used to generate leads and orders?

Recently we ran an SEA program to help a new software company attract beta testers for its product. The test was a success on two levels—one: it helped them gain valuable beta testers at a much lower cost than through traditional means. The other was that it showed yet another way this fast-response marketing mechanism can be used beyond simple selling.

We’ve used SEA in the past to help identify the keywords that our clients would want to invest in from an SEO standpoint. Keywords that generate lots of traffic but at a high cost per visitor, or terms that are similar but varied (e.g., tax lawyer and tax attorney are similar but according to Yahoo’s search stats, the latter was searched 556% more in February) are terms we typically want to use SEO to target.

And we all know that SEA is a great way to test offers by changing landing pages and messaging and testing responsiveness as well as letting ads land on natural site pages and testing pathing through the site through to orders or other actions.

Using SEA as a research tool makes good sense…there are probably a lot of applications that could be explored down this track…just something else to think about…advertising in traditional markets has been all about testing, so why not in the electronic realm too?

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