A Snow Day Post: Why You Should Use SEM

I’m working from home today because of the winter weather. Since I’m trying to be healthier this year, I figured I’d get a small workout in by shoveling my driveway. I was about a quarter of the way done when a neighborhood kid came up to me and asked if he could finish the job. “Sure, I’d appreciate the help”, I said ecstatically. (Even after four months of living in my house, I still don’t know any of my neighbors. So I was kind of excited that someone was reaching out.) “Cool, I’ll do it for fifteen bucks” he said. “Ah the fine print. Damn the kid has good timing.” I thought to myself… then I agreed and he went to work. Much like this eager boy, choosing the right moment to market your brand is very important.

Pat's Snowy Driveway

Even after the neighborhood boy shoveled my driveway the snow has kept falling.

There’s something to be said about having the right timing in your marketing. Even a well-targeted ad presented at the wrong moment will underperform. This is why Search Engine Marketing (or SEM) is so successful for many companies. Services such as Google AdWords only display your ad when a user searches by typing in keywords pertaining to the content in your ad. SEM is a highly relevant touch point. It reaches your customers at the exact moment that they are seeking information about your products or services. Just like the boy who saw I needed my driveway cleared, SEM works in the exact same way online. Google calls this phenomenon the Zero Moment of Truth.

Many brand interactions are happening on the Web even before a consumer goes to the store or picks up the phone. This is yet another reason why companies should optimize their online presence, because if you don’t you’ll lose business to a competitor who does.

As for my neighbor, I found out that his mother told him to stop playing Call of Duty: Black Ops and to go do something productive outside. I’m not sure who the entrepreneurial genius was, the mom or the boy? However, I’m very happy that my driveway is cleared, and the kid made twenty bucks out of the deal (I gave him a little extra for being nice). What a great way to take advantage of a snow day!
How are you using your online presence to connect with your customers? Do you use SEM at all?

Picture via Instagram: http://instagr.am/p/9LiH/