At the start of last month I did a talk for Network Northwest about incorporating online marketing into your overall strategy. I was intrigued to see that the feeling around the room was that social networking, search, blogging and video were all quite separate from the activities of traditional marketing. Many of the SMB owners were concerned that they were not joining up all of the possible marketing efforts.
It’s interesting to see that integrating search in particular to the overall strategy is something that the UK’s biggest businesses also see as a challenge.
The IAB’s Search Marketing Barometer 2010 interviewed 140 marketers across 91 of the top 100 advertisers in the UK. Nearly all of them believe that there is work to be done to properly integrate search into their overall brand strategies.
60% of them put this down to a lack of digital understanding from many of their marketing professionals/agencies. Despite this, 58% were intending to increase spend on search and 72% felt that no matter what they were able to spend it would not be enough to fully capitalise on this form of marketing.
Jack Wallington, the IAB’s head of industry programmes feels that a knowledge gap is emerging as search transitions into a new form and it is the duty of agencies, search engines and marketing industry bodies to educate brands with the knowledge they need to understand the medium.
Naturally, the knowledge gap offers excellent education based marketing opportunities for agencies and the like to attract new clients and create new revenue streams. However, at UKFast we have always found that the best way for a brand to understand more about a form of advertising is to get involved – rather than go and seek advice. After all, the experts are becoming experts in real time as they devote their resource to understanding the form.
It’s far more powerful for a business going forward to have an expert within, rather than have to outsource the need. We’re lucky to see the activity of thousands of businesses online. Talking to many of our dynamic clients the feeling is that knowledge is most certainly power when it comes to search marketing and gaining that knowledge and keeping it for yourself offers in incredible advantage over the competition.