More often than not, when we talk about search, we almost by default think of the B2C (define) environment.
Search marketing seems perfectly suited to a variety of direct-to-consumer industries, such as hospitality and tourism, retail, pharmaceuticals, and aesthetic services. Jane is searching for a new hair salon. John is searching for a cold medicine. Jack is searching for a hotel to stay at on his vacation. If you offer a solution for a consumer, it makes sense to have a presence in the search engines.
But what if someone is searching on behalf of their company? What about procurement officers, purchasers, operations managers, resource managers, and the like? Don't they also need to undertake research and seek out information on potential vendors or suppliers to obtain products and services to run their business?
So why do so many business owners think they don't need to consider search because they aren't marketing to individual consumers?
Just like an individual consumer searching for something to meet their needs, the B2B (define) information seeker has unique information needs to be met. These users seek out this information online, either to complement or replace traditional sources of information gathering (e.g., company brochures and trade shows). The Internet has become a reliable source of information for businesses and consumers alike, providing 24/7 access, along with typically more complete information than could be obtained through a direct mail piece or conference collateral.
And because online marketing can be so targeted and measurable, it's an efficient use of tight marketing dollars. And we're all feeling the need to stretch each dollar a bit further.
So consider search marketing if you're a business that offers products or services to other businesses. Here are some thoughts on why and how to do so:
While there are many other ways to leverage search for your business, these five suggestions are a good starting place for the B2B marketer. Invest in a small search pilot (with strong measurement in place) to test the space out and see if it drives ROI (define) for you. I'm quite confident you'll see a positive return on your B2B search marketing efforts.
Join us for Search Engine Strategies New York March 23-27 at the Hilton New York. The only major search marketing conference and expo on the East Coast, SES New York will be packed with more than 70 sessions, including a ClickZ track, plus more than 150 exhibitors, networking events, parties, and training days.
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Julie is a member of the senior strategy team at Klick Health, focused on online media and digital. Julie initially established and led the media practice at Klick for several years, relinquishing leadership to expand beyond media into additional digital tactics. She brings a wealth of experience in search marketing, digital media, and all facets of digital strategy to bear, helping Klick's clients develop innovative digital solutions. As her role has evolved, so have her contributions to ClickZ, which she has been writing for since 2007.
June 20, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT