What Is Integrated Search Marketing?

Integrated Search Marketing (ISM) is the process of you getting in front of your customers before you or even they realize they are your customers. But it’s also a bit more than that.

It starts with being found where people search for what they need or want. These searches can take place on social media, in videos, blog posts, search engines – even at offline venues, events – even billboards.

The goal and resulting effect of this approach is to not just identify customers before they start shopping so you get to those customers before your competition. That part happens automatically (and is why you don’t have to wait forever to see results), but it also includes what could be called a creation of customers that are inclined to choose you over your competitors when they are ready to buy.

The ISM concept opens up the opportunity to establish your brand’s recognition sooner rather than later – meaning you make more sales sooner than later. This approach puts you in a better position to capture more customers, sales and referrals than your competitors.

What does having more market share mean to your company?.

Getting in front of your prospects before they’ve even considered doing business with you or your competition is an extreme advantage for any business.

Integrated Search Marketing is a foundational, all-encompassing marketing strategy long before being a tactical implementation of specific actions. The basic strategy of ISM is simply to be where people are looking for something directly or indirectly related to what you offer with a message or statement that compels them to pay attention to you and eventually become interested in your brand.

As opposed to “spray and pray marketing” where one message goes out in all directions, ISM involves individualized messaging that connects on different levels with a wide range of your present and future prospects.

How wide you want to go is up to you. Just know that going as wide as possible is not necessarily the best choice. There are efficiencies of scale at work here.

Going deeper this strategy focus forks into two targeted segments:

  1. Current Prospects – those who are currently shopping or ready to finalize a purchase in the relatively near future (you get to define how near that future is to you – we can help).
  2. Future Prospects – those who are not currently shopping for what you offer, but per their personas and demographic profiles will likely be within a time frame that is acceptable to your marketing and customer acquisition goals (you again define your goals and limitations – our help here, too).

Most businesses focus almost specifically on targeting potential Current Prospects – the well-known, always delicious and ever-so-juicy “low-hanging fruit”. In this harvest businesses end up tripping over each other chasing the next hot marketing tactic-without-a-strategy – which means the tactic eventually gets copied and diluted to the point of becoming marginally effective and all too common.

Nevertheless, few can thrive on fruit alone, especially when you have to share it with your competition. More recently marketers have realized that getting in front of prospects sooner rather than later helps to line up sales more predictably.

And while that can be a challenge to consider, it can’t be ignored because there are always more opportunities in your Future Prospects. In fact, the future survival and growth of your business is in those customers that aren’t even shopping for what you’re selling right now.

This is especially valuable when you consider the value of you being able to groom customers to your brand long before they are in need of you. It pre-sells them in your favor.

Compared to Integrated Search Marketing, common branding activities are EXTREMELY passive and do little if anything to directly drive sales for most of the businesses that use it.

This concept has been around for a long time – maybe centuries, but few businesses apply it because it takes a more dedicated commitment to their customer acquisition. It takes more work, more time.

They assume it costs a lot more, but it can actually cost less because you are literally feeding new customers into your business – not waiting for them to show up on your radar as the same Current Prospects everyone else in your industry targets at the same time you do.

With Integrated Search Marketing, you’re not waiting for customers to raise their hand. With ISM, you’ve been holding their hand long before now and you’re just leading them to their best solution and result.

The tactical implementation of this strategy is in how you impact prospects wherever they are looking – AND where they are not necessarily expecting to see your brand.

This is especially valuable when you consider the value of you being able to groom customers to your brand long before they are in need of you. It pre-sells them in your favor.

Common branding activities are EXTREMELY passive. Integrated Search Marketing believes effective branding should be a natural by-product of more effective marketing – not something you pay extra for.

Remember – this strategy segments two types of prospects. The marketing content you create (or that we create for you) attracts prospects from both segments at the same time. That way you’re not waiting for results any more than you do from your current sales cycle.

In fact, Integrated Search Marketing can literally pull in more customers faster than most anything you are doing right now.

Let’s have a 15-20 minute conversation to discuss your options and where you might consider starting…

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