Staff Reporters
Nov 23, 2010

Search performance optimised through integrated strategy : iProspect

ASIA-PACIFIC - iProspect, Aegis Media’s search marketing agency, has released findings from the first ever regional study on the role of search from awareness to purchase for consumers.

Peter Hunter, CEO iProspect Asia Pacific,
Peter Hunter, CEO iProspect Asia Pacific,

The research was conducted amongst 15,000 APAC consumers across 11 markets, including China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand.

It reveals the growing importance of search, how APAC consumers use search and how marketers can best use search to drive better performance.

The research also reveals the growing use of mobile search as consumers switch to smartphones.

Peter Hunter, (pictured) CEO iProspect Asia-Pacific, said, “A brand can no longer afford to omit search from their media mix given 71 per cent of respondents have increased their search activity over the past six months.”

Hunter believes that the days of simply buying paid search as a search strategy at lower cost per click, have gone. "A holistic strategy across all search assets is now vital for a brand to succeed at connecting with consumers via search,” he added.

The key findings are:

Search performance is enhanced when it is part of an integrated strategy with offline and other online communications.

Word of mouth is the most significant prompt to search, closely followed by TV and print advertising, although behaviour differs across the region with Japan, Thailand and South Korea more influenced by TV advertising.

The majority of APAC consumers (77 per cent) search the web via search engines several times a day. In the last six months there has been a net increase of 71 per cent claiming to have increased their use.

APAC marketers need to develop comprehensive strategies for Baidu, Yahoo and Naver as a minimum, in addition to Google. The research indicates that Microsoft’s Bing has struggled to build significant share in APAC.

Building top search listings in both organic and paid search is critical to driving awareness as 58 per cent of consumers cannot distinguish between paid and organic search results.

With 79 per cent using mobile search, it is now a mainstream behaviour requiring integration into online search strategies. China, Thailand, India and South Korea are the largest users of mobile search.

Search is an essential marketing channel for computer and electronics, entertainment, food and drink, banking and finance.

Computers and electronics accounted for 66 per cent, entertainment 60 per cent, food and drink 53 per cent and banking and finance 50 per cent. Without an active search strategy across these and other categories, marketers are likely to lose consumers during the research and purchase process.

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