In the early years of personal computer advertising, there was no one clear winner in the battle between advertising and search engine optimization. However, changes in the landscape of search engine optimization, as well as online marketing strategies over the last decade, have produced a much clearer picture of which promotional mix strategies help achieve specific goals. It’s a useful guide to the process of deciding on a campaign mix that works best for any given situation. By comparing these two marketing styles, you can be better equipped to direct your advertising efforts in a productive direction.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing websites for search engines. For example, if you entered the words “dog” in a typical search engine, you’d likely find sites focused on pet care or animal videos. These sites would likely not be considered to be the ideal choice for what you’re looking for. On the other hand, a SEM message strategy would target web surfers seeking information about particular dogs. In this case, a more informative advertising approach would be more effective than a more persuasive approach.
Informative advertising is an integral part of many successful advertising campaigns, but it can be hard to formulate for a business with limited marketing resources. Effective informational advertising relies on well-planned meta-tags and descriptive anchor text that effectively describe your products and services. Keywords are an important part of an effective campaign as well. Effective keyword research will pay off in your campaigns by increasing your search engine rankings, drawing in more traffic, and ultimately increasing customer conversions.
PR works behind the scenes, but it must be communicated to the public through strong promotions. A successful public relations campaign requires comprehensive communications planning to build consumer awareness and to shape attitudes toward your products. A marketing plan that successfully integrates PR, advertising, and public relations will have a greater chance of success.
Many businesses have used traditional direct marketing strategies in the past, such as direct mail, newspaper ads, and telephone calls. Some companies have developed new, innovative pull strategies in response to new market conditions. Pull strategies can be a valuable tool when executed properly, but there are many different types to choose from. Which promotional tools should you use? The answer depends on your audience and market, your budget, and the direction you want your marketing efforts to take.
Integrated marketing communications (IMC) plan will typically begin with an analysis of your audience and market, including segmentation, age, gender, geographic location, and purchasing habits. Based on this information, the promotion mix you choose can be implemented. Your integrated marketing plan will guide your media planning, your promotions, your customer relationships, and your marketing message.
The first step in implementing a plan is developing your message strategy. Message strategy is an intricate combination of design elements such as graphics, copy, media planning, and product information. In order for your message to be effective, it must be well-crafted and targeted towards your target audience. It also needs to be consistent with your company’s overall branding efforts, and it should be in a style and format that is easily recognizable. Next, your message strategy will depend on the type of promotion you choose, including your target audience, media plan, and advertising appeals. Your message strategy will help guide your target audience and your advertising appeals.
The last element, which is combining the above three elements to form a solid promotion mix strategy, is what I like to call the nonpersonal communication element. This concept is what really ties everything together. The nonpersonal communication element will include everything from your company logo, trade show giveaways, and other promotional and marketing materials to your company’s postcard and brochure designs. When you combine this concept with the above three components, you have the makings of a solid which promotional mix strategy which directs marketing efforts toward final consumers.