People who know how to do offline marketing are often mystified by how to get started with search marketing. They know how to think about their market segments in terms of demographics, so they know which magazines to buy ads in and which industry trade shows to attend. But search seems somehow different, because there are no demographics to latch on to. When I talk to them, things often become clearer when I explain that search keywords are their search market segments.
It's not that demographics will never be important in search. As personalized search takes hold (and especially as mobile search grows in importance), marketers are likely to know much more about searchers than they do today. So, you might, in fact, know gender, age, industry, and other demographics (and firmographics).
That's the key to success. Put your messaging ability to work. Instead of trying to think about what message you want to send, and blanketing it over as many people as possible, you must do your keyword research to find out what people are looking for. Then, like a good salesman, you tailor your pitch to hit the points they need.
So, market segmentation isn't dead when it comes to search marketing. You just need to take what you know about segmentation and apply in in a new way. If you do, your skills in messaging will suddenly start to make you successful in search marketing, too.
Mike is an expert in search marketing, search technology, social media, publishing, text analytics, and web metrics, who regularly makes speaking appearances.
Mike's previous appearances include ClickZ Live, RKG Summit, Ticket Summit, Webdagene, the CiTE conference, and the Forrester Marketing Conference.
Mike also founded and writes for Biznology, is the co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc., and sole author of Do It Wrong Quickly, named by the Miami Herald as one of the 11 best business books of 2007.
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