When Search Engine Marketing (SEM) was invented, the entire marketing world was instantly and forever changed.
For the first time, we could actually read the minds of potential customers as Google became our therapist to solve all our problems.
Psychographic and demographic information paled in comparison to responding in real-time to the thoughts of consumers. It created an entirely new type of marketing – Response Marketing.
Prior to that, we really only had Interruption Marketing.
Response Marketing presents a message to a consumer in response to an action he or she has taken.
Interruption Marketing presents a message to a consumer without any input from the consumer.
Here are a few examples of both…
Response Marketing Examples:
- Search based – Results shown in search engines like Google, Yahoo, YouTube and Amazon
- Survey based – Whether on a website or in an email
- Event/Action driven communication – You spent $100 at a business so they send you a 10% off coupon for your next purchase. You bought a pair of running shoes so they recommend some running socks.
Interruption Marketing Examples (everything else):
- Display Advertising (Google Display, Facebook, LinkedIn)
- TV (though Google is working on changing this to response)
- Direct Mail
As the founder of a company that specializes in Search Engine Marketing and Scientific Websites, obviously I’m going to tell you Response Marketing is the best way to spend your money…
However, that’s not true…
Yes, Response Marketing CAN be an amazing, cost-effective, and powerful form of marketing but it can only work if a few conditions are met.
- People must know they have a problem.
- It’s something people actually research. When was the last time you did a Google search for toilet paper?
- There are many people searching for it.
When you understand the difference between the 2 types of marketing you will better know when to invest in and how much to spend on Response and Interruption Marketing.
For now, forget about ONline vs. OFFline marketing since both can be Interruption or Response marketing.
Let’s look at a few examples starting with the extremes.
When should your entire marketing budget to be focused on Response Marketing?
When you have a consumer who knows he has a problem, researches the solution to that problem online, and there are a sufficient number of people searching online to meet your sales goals.
Most often this occurs in highly competitive industries in competitive markets because then it’s just a matter of being the BEST online.
Think of it this way, if you are the only one in your market selling your new widget inventions, very few people are searching for your widgets because they don’t know about them.
However, if you have 20 competitors selling a similar widget and at least a few of them are marketing, people in your area will be searching for your products. All you have to do is have the BEST online Response Marketing out of your competition.
When could your entire marketing budget to be focused on Interruption Marketing?
When people have no idea your amazing product or service exists and so won’t be searching for it. My business, Optimized Marketing, is this way since our scientific approach to online lead generation is completely unique and we only work with very specific industries.
With Interruption Marketing you have a very difficult task ahead of you. You need to generate enough interest in a very short amount of time (the time of a billboard, radio, TV or direct mail ad) to get someone to take an action.
Historically, that action was to contact you and sign up for services.
Unfortunately, that’s a large leap to ask someone to take. A much smaller leap is to generate enough interest through Interruption Marketing that she is curious enough to search for you online.
In other words, when looking at the entire Sales/Marketing Funnel for your business, at some point, all marketing can turn into Response Marketing.
If your web presence hasn’t been optimized to convert those searchers to contacts, that gives your competitors a great opportunity to steal the leads your Interruption Marketing is generating.
How much of your budget should be allocated to Response Marketing?
As much as gets a solid ROI. Then put the rest into Interruption.
There are 2 major factors in determining how much to invest in Response Marketing:
- How many people are searching for your products.
- How much you can spend and still get a great ROI.
If only 100 people each month are searching for what you provide, SEO and SEM are going to provide very little help for you. Your goal at this point is to get more people searching through Interruption Marketing.
However, if you spend $1000/month online and get 20 leads at a cost of $50/lead and your other marketing is generating leads for $75, keep increasing your Online Response Marketing budget (i.e. SEO, SEM and online testing) until your lead cost is higher than your other sources. A previous blog addressed how you can learn to balance out your online lead volume and cost.
Once your Response and Interruption lead costs match, invest more in Interruption knowing that your online Response system is already well-optimized to handle the increased searches.
Your 3-step summary to optimizing your marketing budget
- Implement a testing strategy to get a strong ROI from your Response Marketing.
- Keep increasing your Response Marketing budget until the ROI no longer makes sense.
- Invest in Interruption Marketing to increase the volume that your optimized web presence will be able to turn into contacts for you.
To better balance between Response and Interruption marketing,
P.S. If your service-based business has at least a $1000/month online marketing budget and you would love to turn your online presence into an optimized Response Marketing machine, get in touch.