Search is from Saturn Traditional Marketing is from Mars – Part 1


After being involved with search marketing for over 25 years (yes, over 25 years …) it still continues to amaze me how much of a divide there is between the search community and the traditional advertising community; It’s almost as if these communities are from completely different planets. The problem that this divide creates is that it doesn’t always give clients the best return on their advertising investments. This being said, it is my hope that we can take the first step towards improving the issue- which starts with admitting that we have the problem. Before we begin let me clarify something. When I refer to “Search” I am referring to “Search Engine Marketing” (predominately search engine optimization, pay per click, and on-line directories).When I refer to “Marketing” I am referring to the Traditional Advertising community (magazine, direct mail, promotional campaigns, branding, position, etc.). Certain aspects of Interactive Marketing, such as e-mail, would still fall in the traditional advertising category because they are based on the same push marketing strategies associated with traditional advertising. What amazes me most about this situation is how slow the traditional advertising agency has been to embrace search marketing. Rather than seizing the powerful search marketing medium,  it seems that many traditional advertising professionals view this medium as more of an irritant than anything else. At the same time however, the “Search Agencies” who have been fighting for respect within the halls and conference rooms of the traditional agency, often times fail to appreciate the power of traditional push advertising and branding methods. There is a reason this industry has continued to exist even after Google was introduced to the scene. The fact of the matter is, there is more to life and marketing then “Search”. So to get this started I thought I’d solicit input from our readers on two situations.


1.Where have you seen a lack of appreciation for search have a negative impact on a client’s return on investment?


2.Where have you seen a lack of appreciation for  traditional marketing concepts have a negative impact on a client’s return on investment?


Also, let me leave you with this to consider;  If there are two different planets –  search oriented from Saturn, and  traditional marketing from Mars- what do these two worlds look like? How would the citizens of these various planets perceive the world? What would they value? By understanding the perspective of people from each world perhaps we can more effectively and efficiently apply our areas of expertise for our clients.