Search For Creativity?

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“SEM is the current state of marketing – with the highest ROI.”

Bet you weren’t expecting a start like that?
But seriously, how many times have we heard this statement, just this year!

As someone whose heart beats for stories, I had never thought that when the time came for my first big job in Madison Avenue world, it would be in Search! And wow has it been a journey! – one of immense growth, but more so of understanding – this medium, its channels, of people, and communicating with them.

I’ve been fortunate enough to enter into this field at an interesting time at my agency – from new campaigns to new accounts – it’s been lot of ground up work. Maybe it’s the way I’m naturally wired, but I started looking for stories through this approach early on. What’s challenging is when you have to fit within 30 | 30 | 80 characters. (Thank you Google for the extra space!)

Over these past few months, I’ve interacted with a lot of people about the opportunities and limitations of Search Marketing. As technical as it is, it is equally customizable for each brand. It has flexibility of scale, location, targeting, so on and so forth. I’m not here to talk about the benefits of Search – there is plenty of detailed content on that already. What I am here to talk about, rather find an answer to is – how can you use it creatively? Can you use creativity to disrupt the boundaries of Search? And the answer should be YES!

Search is the closest connection to your customer. You are literally in their mind – if done right, you have leverage, if not, then a grossly  missed opportunity. “Micro-Moments” – It’s NOT a buzz word. As someone who’s always wanted to be a psychologist, understand the way the human mind works, I feel somehow I’ve ended doing just that today. We in the Search world actually have the power to influence, drive decisions. And we all know with great power, comes great responsibility. So why be afraid to draw within the lines (well in this case we have to be within character limits!). Point being – there is no definition of the right kind of creativity, so why restrict yourself in Search? You can tell a story in less than 80 characters. The brands that have not been afraid to take risks, go broad (yes I had to have one keywords cliché), really understand their audience – they’ve discovered THE Search.

I’m still on the road of this discovery, of doing it right, yet different for every different Search. One undeniable insight from this is the Insight of Search itself. What I mean by this is, each search term is a data point for search behavior, an insight into greater consumer behavior – an opportunity for audience development. This is the link to connect the overall strategy – Search augmented strategy. I come once again to this conclusion – one of storytelling – that we no longer live in a world where these mediums can work in silos. Each channel needs to tell the same story – the one your audience wants to hear, the one you as a brand stand for.

The world of Search is a vast expanse of data, behavior, insight, decisions, behavior, story, creativity. It’s wouldn’t be a Search if that wasn’t the case!  So as my closing remark I would like to say, “Go make the impression your search campaign would!”


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