Over the weekend I was out on Long Island and in need of a home service provider, specifically an exterminator. I setup an appointment and quickly realized my problem was “wildlife” and not “vermin” and needed a new provider. I was told to check the “phone book” and look for a specific company that could deal with the raccoon who moved in.
I consulted all kinds of variations of Yellow Pages online, phone books, yellow business directories – you name it, and I searched it. I found plenty of providers, but all of them did not service my area. I wasted a ton of time and phone energy calling these places only to be told that my area was outside of where they would travel. I soon learned to check the service area first…
Fast forward to my Google search and I found a few paid SEM ads that all seemed relevant. A few calls later and I had two prospects and finalized on a totally qualified company.
I clicked a paid SEM ad, found a provider, and signed up for business.
This is an activity that happens all the time, but it was still light years ahead of the targeting, comprehension, and experience of using a traditional yellow pages, or other online business directory.
Paid search continues to deliver the right contextual message as long as there is enough intent. The rest was generated through geo-targeting, keyword broad matching, and budgeting.
Many people ask me about customer acquisition costs through banners, email marketing, and all other forms of advertising. My answer back is always to force them into a cost-per-customer model so they can track and document what it takes to get a new user and assign them a lifetime value.
For me, paid search continues to be what I recommend the most.