Posted March 18, 2010 1:04 pm by with 3 comments

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Yesterday at OMMA Global in San Francisco, US Cellular illustrated a unique way they were using search campaigns: to test calls to action for their print campaigns. According to MediaPost:

U.S. Cellular tested six paid-search campaigns to determine the one targeted message that would reap the biggest rewards and conversions. “The messaging is limited because you have 70 characters, so it won’t be exactly the same message, but you can see specific calls to action that might work better than others,” [EVP & Managing Director of SMG Search Jill] Balis explains.

Of course, print and PPC are two very different media—what works for one might not work for the other. PPC requires only a click to act, where print requires a lot more initiative for the consumer to take action. However, identifying which calls to action encourage users to click may help narrow down which ones are more effective at getting them to put down what they’re reading and go to the phone or computer.

Cross-medium integration is becoming ever-more important:

Balis says about 80% of online sessions begin with search and 67% of searchers are driven to search from an offline channel, followed by 37% from television, 30% from newspapers, and 20% from in-store point of purchase. Search accelerates consumers down the purchase funnel, from creating to capturing demand.

So print does have at least some power in driving people online. (I’m a little confused by MediaPost’s wording here—67% come from an offline channel not including TV, newspapers or point of purchase? Are they sure that’s not 67% of searchers are driven from an offline channel, and of those 37% are from TV, etc.?)

What do you think? Would the same calls to action work for PPC as for print?

  • Integration is HUGE, this is a very interesting mix of online and offline.

    .-= Mukul Verma´s last blog ..Getting On Peoples Radars =-.

  • Although print and PPC are two different media, they do influence thought processes and consumer behaviour. In fact, there is a distinct propensity of website visitor increase after a print ad with an appropriate call for action inbuilt with an incentive to pay a visit.

    It is also a great way to funnel visitors to your website especially in geo-locations where internet usage is not by default (apart from email, perhaps) and print can and does create new visitors who are destination centric by nature.

    A good article appropriate for the times when the integrated approach to internet marketing is the way forward.

  • Although it is a good way to test, I doubt you can compare the non-paid ads to paid. They are only similar up to one point.