Consumer Search Habits Changing

The search tactics consumers use to find and purchase goods and services are changing. Up until this point, information was primarily disseminated through print resources like newspapers and magazines. But with the emergence of the Internet, the reliance upon hardcopy print material is dwindling.

Though by percentage, television is still the most used form of media, the amount of its usage declined in 2010 along with every other form of media except for the Internet and mobile devices. A recent study by eMarketer reveals that in 2010 television use went down 1.1%. Radio went down 2.0% and the use of print resources went down nearly 10% while Internet usage continues to grow about 6% each year. Mobile device usage skyrocketed by an impressive 28.2% this year.

Shifts in Marketing Dollars

Obviously, there is a major shift in the winds of consumer and marketing trends. With fewer consumers clamoring to the magazine and news racks, a significant percentage of companies are shifting large chunks of their marketing dollars towards the digital realm. This is wise given that over half of the world’s Internet population make a purchase online at least once a month according to a Nielsen consumer trends survey.

In a recent survey of business executives by StrongMail, 65% of all businesses are predicted to increase spending on email marketing; 57% will increase spending on social media; 41% will increase spending on search (SEO/PPC) and 35% of all businesses will gear more marketing dollars towards mobile advertising. Fewer will increase their investments in traditional advertising and direct mail.

The Need for Strong Search Engine Marketing

Behavioral advertising is a tactic that targets online ads towards consumers based on the websites they’ve visited. Recent studies conducted by Gallup and USA Today show that over two-thirds of the national population are at odds with this form of marketing.

Because email marketing relies heavily upon behavioral marketing, those wishing to increase email marketing budgets should be careful when over 60% of the population disagrees with the tactics used to create and implement these strategies.

With the majority of online users still depending on the search engines to find goods and services, businesses need to take Search Engine Marketing (SEM) strategies seriously. The largest returns in digital marketing still exist in SEM—and strategies like PPC and SEO are not likely to lose their recognition as mainstream contenders in online marketing anytime soon.