Upon recent viewing of the very serious movie No Country For Old Men, my friends and I could not help but hysterically laugh when Josh Brolin appeared on screen. We immediately identified him as Brandon “Brand” Walsh from our favorite childhood movie The Goonies.
The “Brand” recognition was so strong that we had a hard time taking this very serious character, seriously. While my friends and I may not be the most austere movie watching audience, this got me thinking about how branding can create a lasting impression on consumers. Specifically, this “Brand” recognition can be applied to the effect a brand can have on your direct response search campaign and how to measure the effectiveness.
For as long as advertising has been in existence, branding has been a major goal for marketers. Branding typically has taken place offline, but in recent years we have seen a significant shift in ad dollars spent towards online branding. Up until recently, the major goal of any Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaign has been direct response, with the goal to drive customers searching for a specific product or service to drive sales or leads.
Search Engine Marketing has increasingly become a medium for branding, whether it was intended or not. Direct response SEM campaigns create brand awareness with each impression. The bigger your campaign, the greater your reach and ultimately the impact of your branding.
For example, if your ecommerce store, “XYZcomputers.com,” is matched to the keyword “custom computers” and every relevant variation and your text ad displaying XYZcomputers.com is triggered with a high frequency, your brand will be associated with the sale of custom computers. To measure the extent of that association, two factors must be monitored closely.
1) The number of impressions and clicks generated on your brand name keywords in the major search engines,
2) Direct type in traffic,
Looking across multiple direct response campaigns, I have noticed a steady growth trend in the effectiveness of each brand. From the time campaigns launch, we see an increasing volume in brand name search volume, type in traffic, and ultimately an increase in sales/leads. The “Brand Effect” can be seen most everywhere, it is all just about looking at the “Data.”