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What’s the Goal – Brand Awareness or Sales?

Greg Sterling talked this week on Search Engine Land about new SEMPO data on the state of search engine marketing.

I would agree with Greg’s take that one of the most interesting findings of the study was that respondents said “brand awareness” was the top goal of paid search. Last year, “sales” ranked first.

I would be interested to see how this varied by size of business among the 800 respondents.

I can understand where large companies might want to use search engine marketing to build brand awareness, but it almost seems counterintuitive that small businesses would rank branding more important than sales.

Branding is accomplished most effectively through mass media, not targeted media. And it’s something that’s usually of greater interest to larger size companies.

For small businesses, advertising strategy is generally centered on expanding sales and reaching motivated buyers. And in online advertising, the buzz is all about targeting based on location, demographics, or perceived interests of the user. That’s why our industry performs so well with small businesses, because we can reach highly targeted consumers online – consumers who are usually ready to buy.

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