September 2008 - Editor’s Perspective

Study Shows Missed Opportunities

By Vitisia Paynich

Since its inception, Electronic Retailer has been showing readers how companies in the industry are “connecting the dots” with the various marketing channels available today. These are companies that know how to market their products and build their brand by leveraging the power of online and offline marketing. That’s why we are proud to feature Murad on our September cover.

Not only has the skincare company found its marketing niche with its highly popular Resurgence anti-aging product, the company has successfully shown how blending DRTV, print, e-commerce, search marketing, print advertising and social networking can also help Murad’s retail efforts.

So, you can imagine how surprised I was when I came across a recent study conducted by JupiterResearch for iProspect, which found that 45 percent of search marketers do not integrate their online marketing with offline. In fact, according to the study, there seems to be a dramatic disconnect between search engine marketer strategy and search engine user behavior.

Of course when you look at the glass half full, 55 percent of search marketers are integrating their online marketing with at least one offline channel. In addition, 34 percent are combining it with direct mail and 29 percent with magazine/newspaper print advertising. The bad news is that only 12 percent of search marketers integrate online with television. Radio also accounts for 12 percent. Talk about missed opportunities!

The JupiterResearch study also reveals a number of factors for why integration is not taking place, including:

  • lack of budget (19 percent);
  • lack of human resources (15 percent);
  • not considered (13 percent);
  • lack of senior management buy-in (11 percent); and
  • separate people managing search marketing and offline channels (11 percent).

The two reasons most disturbing to me are lack of senior management buy-in and separate people handling online and offline. Clearly, it’s important to achieve consensus throughout the company, especially when it comes to your marketing message and the channels you choose to utilize.

We could all learn something from Murad. This multichannel marketing company knows how a good, consistent marketing message across all channels can put your product and brand on the map. As a company, the employees agreed it was important to reach out to customers in whatever way they choose to receive their information and make their purchase. What’s more, Murad built sites to support their product lines and DRTV campaigns, such as and Clients who view the infomercials can learn more about the Murad products by visiting those sites. If they prefer to order by phone rather than online, they can call the 800 number listed at the top of the site’s home page-something Murad realizes is out of the norm for traditional online marketers.

However, there are certainly plenty of other companies and brands in the industry that have effectively combined their online and offline marketing efforts, such as Gaiam, Bare Escentuals, Guthy-Renker and Kodak, to name a few. Perhaps those of you out there who are only marketing online might want to consider introducing another channel into your marketing mix. You might be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Vitisia Paynich

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