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The search juggernaut continues
Our market update: search engine advertising
Digital Insight Report
August 2006

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Lead analyst for this report is Danny Meadows-Klue.

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The revolution in direct marketing continues as more firms realise the power of search. Search engines account for half the online advertising industry in some countries and they're changing the nature of customer acquisition marketing forever.

Now Central and Eastern Europe are heading towards their tipping points in the growth of search, and with the engines continuing to deliver waves of new products and tools, it's clear the growth will not slow down.

Best regards from all here at Digital,

Danny Meadows-Klue
Founder and Chief Executive
Digital Strategy Consulting

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"The search juggernaut continues: growth continues to be rapid and spreads to Central and Eastern European Markets"

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Europe's switch to search

Search has fundamentally changed direct marketing in Western Europe and it now promises to do the same in Central and Eastern Europe. What the founders of Google, Overture and E-Spotting stumbled upon at the very moment of the dotcom crash in the US was the golden formula for customer acquisition. Many of the inefficiencies in the traditional advertising model are swept away by search engines as they connect buyers and sellers together at the very moment of greatest interest.

In the UK last year the search engine market was worth more than the whole radio advertising sector, and this year it should top consumer magazines, taking more than 5% of total UK adspend. All this only six years on from when Google hired its first international employee and set her up in London. It's still staggering when you reflect on the pace of that growth.

Speed read

  • Search continues to revolutionise the direct marketing industry
  • The commercialisation of search is spreading across Europe
  • All advertising markets will discover the power of search for acquiring customers
  • Search is a model native to the digital networked economy
  • Google continues to have the lead in audiences and this is replicated in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Accountants are starting to see search as a cost of sale rather than a marketing cost
  • Innovation within the engines will continue rapidly
  • The effects of search on the traditional media and marketing industries are understated

Search strategies for publishers
Key questions facing website publishers

Digital Insight Report

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"Search engines can be the primary circulation-building tools for your online editions."

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Search: a wake-up call for publishers

Web publishers need to embrace search engines and devise the right strategy to reach the audiences they attract, while maintaining ownership of their copyright and content. In this Digital Insight Report we investigate the issue around search partnerships and outline the key questions every publisher must face. Failing to act is acting to fail.

Speed read

  • Search engines change the way we access information. The relationship with the
    creators and owners of the information is no longer as strong.
  • Search advertising revenue has grown exponentially on the back of its ability to offer real
    results and accountability at a lower cost than alternative media.
  • Search means established information brands face a plethora of new rivals for audience
    and that has a serious impact on their value to advertisers.
  • Search enables businesses of any scale to attract customers (both online and offline)
    without the need for intermediaries such as directories and publishers.
  • The revenues now being devoted to search are having a serious impact on classified
    advertising, direct response and direct marketing. The scale of this will grow.
  • Online ad revenue goes to the biggest players; everyone else is fighting over the crumbs.
  • Any product must aim to be number one or two in its sector.
  • Publishers need to determine their attitude to search if they are to help their businesses
    develop in the new environment. The first decision they need to take is how much of
    their information they will allow the search engines to 'see' and how much is protected.

Publishers: our four key questions

The various roles search engines play within the business can be complex: potential revenue streams and audiences are matched by threats to mitigate against. Having researched many magazine and newspaper publishers in Europe and North America, we remain concerned at the lack of investment and focus displayed so far. Few have a coherent strategy for dealing with these changes. That's why we developed this set of key questions to publishers, to help them structure the issues they have to deal with.

  1. How much of your site should you open to search engines?
  2. How do you maximise the audience you have, and then monetise the traffic
    that comes from search engines?
  3. How much contextual advertising should you take?
  4. How do you retain your value proposition with your advertisers?

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