Integrating offline and online – most organisations missing the point….

by Peter Young on February 21, 2011 · 6 comments

I always watch with interest the adverts which increasingly use the ‘search for’ options within the above the line advertising activity, particularly television. This is something we increasingly see the larger brands utilising, sending offline consumers of their advertising online – and then tracking them back via online analytics (or uplift there of at least)

Today I noticed one for new movie ‘I am number four’ – coming out this spring here in the UK, which encourages users to go google number four:

The net result is as follows and may suggest a Health and Beauty Salon in Cornwall may be getting a boatload of unexpected traffic:

I can’t help thinking the whole campaign however has been woefully implemented given the potential real estate on offer both from Google and secondary sources. One only has to look at the first result to suggest driving traffic to this result may not have been the best idea – with the first organic result a imdb result suggesting the site was a 2/5 film.

This is representative of a number of the campaigns out there which have tried to integrate the two channels. Tactical use of PPC in such cases is obviously essential however more and more of these campaigns should integrate the considerations of organic search into these campaigns. For example,dropping users into a google search for ‘I am number four’ see a much better overview and one that may actually provide people a better source into the website itself.

Further to that, some foresight in terms of planning may have provided them with some capacity to actually optimise their site for the term ‘number four’ or ‘ I am number four’ instead of leaving organic search as an after thought and relying solely on the Facebook PPC ad at the top – which in my opinion doesn’t really offer much.

So where did they go wrong

1) Don’t rely solely on paid search. In many of these instances particularly with movies organic search is going to offer significantly greater returns for two reasons – one it gets more clicks naturally – and two its possible to integrate the blended search results in – which again is likely to draw traffic to the organic search results.
2) Plan in advance. This in my opinion smacks of an after thought. Integrate such planning months in advance so that all your ducks stand a chance of being in order.
3) Pick a particular niche term – This will allow a greater transparancy in being able to track effectively the incremental uplift in traffic as a result of the above the line activity.
4) Don’t leave things to chance – The likelihood is that your campaign will significantly under perform.
5) Track track track – Get your baseline identified early – and understand the trend. This will allow you to better spot the opportunities as they present themselves.

This is still early days for many of these ‘integrated’ campaigns, however again it seems extremely underwhelming much like many of their predecessors. Perhaps it is due to the lack of case studies maybe,or it may simply be down to segmented marketing activity. However the net effect is this campaign could have been so much more powerful if they had incorporated consideration for both SEO and PPC and integrated subsequently with the social and above the line activity.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

james February 21, 2011 at 11:26 am

You’re right on this, it seems pretty strange that an advertising campaign that was planned well in advance would overlook the opportunity to tie in the different channels to dominate the front page of the listings.
They could have had:
Their own website
Their Facebook profile
Their Youtube trailer
Their Twitter page
With the results set that they’ve ended up with, their only real presence is the paid search listing, and it would be pretty simple for a tickets website or movie gossip site to start grabbing some pretty cheap PPC traffic and ultimately push up the marketing costs.

Judith Lewis February 21, 2011 at 11:34 am

WOAH – I think that is a bit unfair.

Firstly are you suggesting Hollywood should force scriptwriters et al to change the titles of movies because a beauty salon somewhere has the name and so someone regionalised to a certain area might not get their site first?

Secondly 3 out of 5 stars isn’t bad – the fact it is there shows they were thinking ahead and the fact it has rankings just means some folk got to see it and liked or didn’t like it. Taste is personal ;-)

I get the IMDB result first and the official site second on a clean browser within the IP range of a PR company that does have a lot of women working for it and no beauty salon for me. Should I feel left out?

Anyway – I think it is a touch unfair to slate them totally. They did try and make sure there was something there with paid, the IMBD entry was there and I get their official aite (badly optimised, yes, but there).

Just compare it to the Orange “I am” campaign where the call to action was to search for “I am”. This is not as bad as that surely!

Peter Young February 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Of course not Judith – I think you missed the point. After all in this instance the film is ‘I am number four’ yet the call to action was to Google ‘number four’. The fact the salon was there was a sidenote rather than anything else – and not something I saw in there yesterday.

THe imdb result was further to that 1/5 yesterday – it would seem there has been some ‘positive reinforcement’ since which has increased this perception to 3/5. That said surely how much mroe effective would this have been should the official movie site have come up number one or at least a trailer for the movie.

Thus I do think it deserves the slating – maybe we will get to the point where they are correctly implemented as with this example from the Co-Op Group.
(Courtesy of Neil Yeomans – Lake Star Media)

John Callaghan February 23, 2011 at 10:48 am

I agree with Peter and James. Marketing is crucial to mainstream cinema and can make or break a film’s success at the box office. This campaign has been terribly exectuted. I have no idea why you’d want to encourage people to search for a phrase that you don’t dominate on page one for. I’d like to think that they’re strategy wasn’t to rely so heavily on paid.

paul morris August 9, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Great post and could not agree more on most companies missing the point. Simply sticking a web address at the bottom of an advert or directing people to search for a keyword where you do not dominate is not my idea of great integration!

I have put my own checklist together that broadly documents what to do that you may find vaguely useful….

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