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Uniting Search and Display for Stronger Results

Overcoming the challenges can bring efficiency and performance

April 13, 2011

Search and display bring distinct strengths to the marketing table and typically complement each other. Too often, though, separate, siloed groups within companies buy and measure the two interactive ad formats. Integrating search and display can bring greater efficiency and greater understanding of how well marketing efforts are working.

Tools for integrating display and search into holistic campaigns, such as attribution modeling, offer marketers detailed pictures of their work, which can yield more efficient and effective results.

“Most conversions occur as the result of long-term, complex interactions among a variety of ads and marketing channels,” said David Hallerman, eMarketer principal analyst and author of the new report, “Integrating Search and Display: Tactics for More Effective Advertising.” “However, even after years of research, some marketers still give more weight to the consumer’s last click—often on search results, both ads and organic listings—than any other step in the purchase funnel leading to conversion.”

Such an assessment fails to account for how earlier exposure to display ads may have boosted search performance. Research from iProspect and comScore demonstrates how search and display together enhanced unaided brand recall among the exposed group. In contrast, display or search alone had little or no effect on recall.

Unaided Brand Recall* of Major Brands by US Internet Users, by Search/Ad Type Viewed, May 2010 (% of respondents)

The difficulty with multitouch attribution is capturing accurate data for the customer’s path along numerous touchpoints. Attribution modeling done right takes an enormous amount of data from a wide range of sources over a period of time and unifies it into a tool that’s useful both for analyzing what occurred in a campaign and for planning elements of the next campaign.

Manipulating large amounts of data to get a handle on combined search and display ad campaigns is still at an early stage of development. Common spreadsheets were the tool most US marketers employed to manage search and display together, according to a September 2010 study from campaign management solutions provider Efficient Frontier and Forrester Consulting.

Tools Used by US Marketers to Manage Their Display and Paid Search Ad Campaigns Together, Sep 2010 (% of respondents)

“The value of unified online ad campaigns makes overcoming the challenges worth the time and money,” said Hallerman. “As digital advertising becomes central to marketers, developing systems that integrate the parts will become increasingly essential instead of optional.”

The full report, “Integrating Search and Display: Tactics for More Effective Advertising” also answers these key questions:

  • What are key ways search and display work together?
  • Where do display and search fit in the purchase funnel?
  • How can attribution modeling make campaigns more effective?
  • What are the challenges for integrating search and display?

To purchase the report, click here. Total Access clients, log in and view the report now.


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