February 2, 2011, 2:39 PM

Search marketing enters a new era

Online shoppers are searching in new ways, and marketers must adapt, Forrester Research says.

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Only 61% of consumers rely on traditional search engines to find web sites today, compared with 83% in 2004. That means marketers need to become well versed in multiple types of online media—not just search engines—to help consumers find products.

A new Forrester Research report, “The Forrester Wave: US Search Marketing Agencies,

Q1 2011,” predicts search will converge with other online media as consumers’ expectations for what constitutes a search versus a social or display ad meld together.

Search marketing agencies can play an important role in helping marketers adapt to the evolution in online shopper behavior, says the report.

“Even though search marketing has a heady and complex outlook, most marketers today still seek help with the basics,” wrote report author Shar VanBoskirk. “And with search marketing accounting for the majority of interactive marketers’ budgets , marketers want a partner proficient in search in order to manage that money wisely.”

Moreover, advanced search marketing requires specialized support. And, as search programs evolve to include mobile devices, biddable display media and advanced analytics, many marketers will seek the help of specialists.

 

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