I’m Running On Google. I’m Covered … Or Am I?

by Peter Platt, PSquared Digital

Recently I was a panelist at OMMA Global where we discussed whether or not Google was taking too much credit (http://bit.ly/bc0IMh).

The premise of the discussion was based on a report from Google stating their search and advertising tools generated $54 billion (yes, that’s a “b”) of economic activity in the United States in 2009 (www.google.com/economicimpact).

Although Google clearly deserves credit for helping people find product information and pushing them through the sales funnel, what the report doesn’t consider is this: In order for consumers to find something on Google, they first need to be inspired to search for it. That inspiration can come from many other channels—social, traditional, direct, display, word of mouth.

The Snuggie® is a good example. The keyword “Snuggie” receives a huge number of searches (over 165,000 a month according to Google’s keyword tool). Google definitely helps people find out where to buy this product … but two years ago, no one searched for the term “Snuggie.” Google didn’t start the Snuggie craze. It was the Snuggie direct response television campaign that inspired the initial interest and drove people to Google to learn more.

This effect is not just limited to new products. We’ve seen similar trends with many digital marketing campaigns. For example, we typically launch branded keyword campaigns on search engines prior to other efforts. Consistently, there’s a spike in search volume for those terms when we start running display ads.

So whether you’re promoting the next blanket with sleeves or you’re marketing a product that’s been around for years, pay close attention to search–but make sure you consider other efforts to ensure consumers are inspired to find you.

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