Thursday, March 09, 2006

Search advertising crash doomspeak misses the point

Trying to measure the value of search advertising against time spent or "stickiness" in Scott Karp's post misses the point and uses the wrong measuring stick at the same time.

It doesn't matter how long someone spends on a page if their intent is not commerce. Google is the big search winner precisely because they more their users to their destinations faster than the competition.

What search advertising does so well is capture traffic of good intent as I research and price purchases. The real question is really one of "response marketing" vs. "brand marketing" and whether the dollars are being spent effectively. I'm not sure how useful it is to interrupt me while I'm reading the news or my mail with a floating ad that obstructs my view of the content.

More interesting is whether the new demographic targeting capabilities of AdWords will enhance clickrates and conversions by allowing advertisers to spend their money more wisely. More effective response marketing doesn't mean that fewer dollars are spent . . . in fact by increasing sales based on the same dollars spent, it enables companies to grow faster and spend more in the future!


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