Can a good search presence improve an offline marketing campaign's results? You may be surprised to hear ... ABSOLUTELY! Offline and search campaigns are actually very symbiotic in nature. See the proof abreviated in graphical form below, but also be sure to check out the full study.

The Proof:
Offline Marketing�s Influence on Search
Courtesy iProspect

The Cudos:
The study was commissioned by iProspect and was performed by Jupiter Research. It was titled iProspect Offline Channel Influence on Online Search Behavior Study. Check it out! Our industry needs more of these studies performed. Google, Yahoo, ermmm MSN ... please step up!

The Interpretation:
The findings suggest that 37% of online users perform searches as a result of something they saw on television, 36% as a result of word of mouth or friend's recommendations, 30% from magazine and newspaper ads, and much more. This is significant. Essentially it means that employing search in your overall marketing strategy increases the effectiveness of each and every marketing medium used, and not just offline media. That might be worth repeating.

"employing search in your overall marketing strategy increases the effectiveness of each marketing medium used ..."

Hello, agencies ... are you seeing this? Search has a crucial role in the marketing mix of virtually any campaign. Gord Hotchkiss ... maybe this will help convince agencies of the value of search (see Gord's posting on SearchInsider titled Will Agencies Get Search? Don�t Hold Your Breath). In fact, this is such an important point, I'll post later this week on precisely how search fits into the marketing mix.

Other Findings:
Types of Keywords Used in Offline Driving Users to Search
Courtesy iProspect

This graph helps to tell us the relative prioritization of terms we should be targeting with search to complement the offline campaign. Its rather obvious, but companies need to ensure they appear for any and all terms relating to their business name(s), product names of products being advertised, and company slogans. As iProspect alludes to in the study ... it also means all companies should prominently displays their domains in their advertising.

Courtesy iProspect

This graph suggests that some media are better at driving sales through search than others. Presumably those media at the top of this chart drive a more qualified user.

All in all, tremendous cudos to our friends at iProspect for performing this study. The industry certainly needs more like this one.

To those of you who do not necessarily buy into the concept that social media can generate significant business (erm Dave (TheGypsy) with his latest volley at Social Studies), consider that Word of Mouth/Friend's References, are often a big part of the social media effort. Ohhh ... and look at those numbers.

In conclusion ... search appears to be the only media that can improve the effectiveness of every other media in the marketing mix. So if you're not engaging in search, you're missing out! What a great space to be in!