Paid search has had its day – postscript

According to the report, “Surviving the Current Market Mania with a Solid 2012 Plan,” by Bronto Software, while traditional digital channels such as search and email continue to dominate retailer marketing spending, social and mobile channels are growing in importance.

Use of Mobile and Social Marketing Tools (% of Respondents; November 2011)
Tool In Use Now Plan to Use in Next 6 Months
Facebook fan page and/or shopping 87% 8
Twitter publishing 82 8
M-commerce site 29 42
Bar, codes, QR codes in traditional advertising 38 31
Mobile application 19 27
Collecting SMS opt-in (all channels) 14 29
Texting marketing messages 7 29
Texting transactional support messages 6 26
Source: The E-tailing Group, November 2011

Marketers are also seeking to improve data analytics capabilities to identify the most profitable channels and design the optimal marketing mix for driving engagement and sales. Important tactics include:

Planned Improved Tactics
% of Respondents
Tactic Critical Very Important
Capturing phone numbers during call center transaction 13% 15%
Capturing phone numbers during online transaction 10 16
Capturing phone numbers during retail transaction 3 12
Executing email campaigns with SMS opt-in objectives 5 9
Executing traditional marketing or advertising campaigns with SMS opt-in objectives 1 9
Source: The E-tailing Group, November 2011

Respondents, when asked how they are likely to allocate their 2012 digital marketing budget, as their top priorities retailers identified:

  • Paid search (30%)
  • Email (18%)
  • SEO/natural search (11%)

In the coming year, retailers said they may shift these priorities in response to changing dynamics in today’s marketing landscape with plans to allocate more spending to SEO/natural search, social strategies (blogs, social networks), email, and retargeting/behavioral marketing. Regarding revenue generation, merchants surveyed said that they expect top-performing channels will be:

  • SEO (31%),
  • Mobile (mCommerce, iPads, mobile application (30%)
  • Email (22%)
  • Paid search (22%)
  • Social media (14%)


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