Rounding out our series on leveraging search marketing data to inform many aspects of marketing strategy, we leave you with final thoughts on how to utilize your search marketer talent outside the scope of traditional SEM work.
Great search marketers strike a balance between understanding data and communicating and understanding people. It’s wonderful that your search team drives and measures strong results at the bottom of the funnel. But are there more ways you can leverage your search marketing team’s rare blend of technical skills, creativity and communication talents? Yes!
Here are 7 ideas to get you started:
1. Business forecasting
Search marketers are masters at forecasting. They are experienced in creating and running estimates to answer questions like, “how much additional revenue will I get if I invest an incremental $10k?” “How much do I need to spend to get 100 leads next month?” There are obvious limitations to forecasts and without access to historical data, the accuracy of forecasts can be diminished. But if you have a need for marketing and business forecasting, you may want to consult with your search marketing team for help.
2. Pricing model analysis
Search marketers can create models to help you understand revenue and profits under different scenarios. Not only that, but for eCommerce businesses, search marketers can run tests to challenge or validate pricing scenarios.
For B2B and lead generation businesses, experienced search marketers have the skills to develop a framework on how to approach labor cost versus pricing on various service packages. Search marketers may even be able to help you identify ways to tweak your offerings to maximize value to the customer while minimizing labor costs.
3. Process development
Speaking of maximizing value and minimizing labor costs, search marketers are skilled in developing streamlined processes. Large scale SEM programs have many moving parts requiring complicated, nuanced steps. Often, search marketing work is repetitive, forcing creativity to streamline and automate the workload. If you have abstruse, recurring, or labor-intensive processes in other areas of your business, you may want to consult with a search marketing team member for advice.
4. Internal training & development
The world of digital marketing is relatively high-turnover. As the digital world evolves, marketing demands are constantly changing and growing. Thus, to maintain a sustainable marketing program, it is essential to have a clear method of sharing knowledge and transitioning projects between team members. Because of this, search marketers tend to have experience developing training materials, cataloguing institutional knowledge, and teaching others. If internal training and development is an area of improvement in your organization, consider reaching out to a search marketer on your team for ideas on how to improve knowledge sharing across teams.
5. Experiment design
Search marketers love a good A/B or multivariate test. At work, they design landing page tests, keyword tests, budget tests and ad creative tests to boot. In their spare time, you may find younger team members A/B testing pickup lines at the local pub and mature team members A/B testing baby diaper changing techniques. Search marketers may have optimal shoelace tying techniques developed through iterative experimentation to arrive at the optimal way to keep laces tied all day long.
While these anecdotes are entertaining, they also indicate the potential value you may have at your disposal in terms of expertise designing experiments throughout your business. In fact, search marketers may even find ways to generate non-SEM related business insights through SEM experimentation itself.
6. Product development
Search marketers have access to data on trends surrounding your brand. They can look at search terms people commonly use when seeking out your brand to inform you of potential product opportunities. They can evaluate overarching indicators on what people are looking to buy relative to what the competition can offer, helping to identify potential opportunities to exploit.
Furthermore, search marketers generally have a basic technical vocabulary combined with a reasonably strong business acumen. This makes search marketers ideal as “translators” between non-technical leadership and technical contributors. If you are in need of product development ideas, want insights into what’s hot, or could use an inter-lexical translator in product meetings, reach out to your search marketing team.
7. Market research
Search marketers have access to valuable market research data and they know how to turn it into actionable insights. Do you want to know how big the market is for Spanish speakers looking for prepaid cell phone plans in major US cities? Do you want to infer the income levels of your customers based on how expensive the devices are that are used to visit your site? Do you want to know in which region your brand awareness is strongest or weakest? Wondering where you should open a new store location? Or to you need to identify gaps in competitors’ strategies? Ask your search marketing team.
It is important to respect the work loads of the search marketers on your team; after all, they are busy bringing in what often amounts to a very high percentage of your overall revenue. But search marketers are a special breed motivated by data and creativity; many team members will likely jump at the chance to take on a new project and use their unique skill sets in a new context. Talk to your search marketing team members and find out how they can help you add value throughout your marketing program and your business in general.
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