Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Why don’t we just call it “Customer Engagement and Conversion?”

I’ve spent some more time looking at the Marketing Executive Networking Group (MENG) 2009 Annual Survey released Monday – particularly at the marketing concepts that were grouped under the umbrella “Marketing Basics.” Here they are in order as ranked by respondents:

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Customer retention
  • Marketing ROI
  • Brand loyalty
  • Segmentation
  • Quality

Marketing ROI is the one mentioned in my previous blog that has a direct correlation with the measurable value of search marketing as a medium (and the one in the group that jumped the most over 2008 results).

Now, looking at the grouping as a whole, I think I also need to expand and expound on the impact of search across all these basics.

Regarding customer satisfaction and retention, I was reminded of a presentation by Peter Blackshaw, Executive Vice-President of Nielsen Online Digital Strategic Services and author of the book Satisfied Customers Tell 3 Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000. The title pretty much says it all about the growing power of consumer-generated media and the importance of proactively managing your brand’s reputation across social media and other digital outposts. And, in case you weren’t aware, DBE added
social media marketing and management to our search umbrella several years ago.

You could say that social media also covers brand loyalty and quality to an extent but I’ll go further because of the proven impact on brand awareness and positive perceptions created from high rankings on search engine results pages. As reported in our December newsletter, several studies have shown the combined power of top natural positions gained from search engine optimization and paid search advertising listings.

Now as for segmentation, all forms of search marketing naturally segment/personalize results based on keyword phrases chosen by the searcher. In this sense, the searcher is already prequalified and predisposed to your brand based on its relevance to his/her search. What other medium offers segmentation that gets you so close to customer action?

So rather than looking at these concepts as Marketing Basics, look at them as “Customer Engagement and Conversion” concepts or, better yet, as “Search Marketing” concepts.

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