Search marketing DOES build brands

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Leave it to someone who has little to no experience with any real world search marketing to make a ridiculous statement that “search advertising does NOT build brands.” That is what Scott Karp from Publishing 2.0 is saying today.

Google needs to figure out brand advertising or it’s going to hit a wall very soon.

Those us who actually have experience using search marketing for branding knows this couldn’t be further from the truth. Search marketing can and does work as a medium for building brands. I make this statement with first hand experience. Search marketing’s what I do and brand building has been a big part of that for many clients.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that building a brand like Apple or Nike from the ground up is probably not possible through search alone. But it should certainly be used as a serious component in the overall campaign. It would be like me saying that magazine advertising does NOT build brands.
Big brands, or any brand for that matter should still use search engine marketing for branding. Consumers are researching your brand and your competitors’ brands constantly, if you don’t have that presence you’re missing out big time. What does it say about your brand if you can’t be found, or all that shows up in the listings are negative results?
Danny Sullivan makes a good point in the comments…

The traditional ad agencies dis the brand value of search because they fear search will suck up their overpriced dollars. And it will, as search is undervalued.
It’s the model of traditional ad agencies who have yet to realize more and more spend will have to go to search, impacting their higher margin ad campaigns. Search marketers who have been in the game for a long time won’t be weeping about that.

I encourage everyone to read the post, that way you can hear both sides of the argument. At the very least you should read the comments where Danny Sullivan, the ambassador of search, tears Scott a new one. Great job Danny!

Cameron Olthuis

Cameron Olthuis

Cameron Olthuis

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