On the tube this morning I noticed that Orange are using an offline campaign to push people through search engines to their website by prompting readers to go to type in “I am” (page 11 of the London Metro, 7th July 2008).

On arriving in the office this morning I typed “I am” into Google, and found that within the Google results, 3 campaigns are appearing within the sponsored links. However they are not appearing within the organic listings meaning Orange have opted for a PPC campaign without integrating it with any obvious SEO strategy (i.e they do not rank in the first 3 pages on the 7th July 2008 for the search term “I am”). This can be a rather risky and expensive strategy, especially considering money has been spent on newspaper advertising.

Below are the 3 campaigns that are appearing at 9:23 am on Google;

I Am Everyone, Orange
People are just better together.
I am who I am because of everyone
I am everyone campaign

I Am Your Connection
I am a guy. I am a girl. Find me!
I am your soulmate. Chanced it.
Chance IT

Official Orange Website
Exclusive monthly discount online,
£5 off selected Orange talk plans
Orange Shop

Interestingly when I type “I am” into Yahoo there are over 10 results and Orange only appear at number 3. This tells us two things;

  1. The Google “Quality Score” is in play and not letting irrelevant adds compete with the Orange campaign
  2. Yahoo’s lack of an effective quality score is allowing 3rd parties to piggy back on the Orange campaign. This factor needs to be seriously debated when discussing any large scale search engine campaign.

Am Torreluz in Almeria City
Save now with a cheap late deal at
the Am Torreluz in Almeria City.
Great deals URL

Am Congress in Almeria City
Book here now and save up to 70%
at the Am Congress in Almeria City.
Travel Republic URL

I Am Everyone, Orange
People are better together & can do, enjoy & discover more together.
I-am-everyone campaign URL

12 Hotels in Velden Am Worthersee
All hotels shown on a city map. Book online now, pay at the hotel.
Booking URL

Official Orange Website
Save up to £5 per month online with exclusive Orange talk plan offers.
Orange Shop URL

Agon am Alexanderplatz in Berlin
New – Save up to 75% when you book Agon am Alexanderplatz in Berlin.
hotels.germany URL

I Am What I Am at Amazon.co.uk
Low prices on new & used music. Qualified orders over £15 ship free.
Amazon URL

Am Your Connection
I am a guy. I am a girl. Find me.
I am your soulmate. Chanced it.
Chance IT URL

You Am I
Buy Films, Music, Games & Gadgets.
Play URL

In conclusion this could be a very expensive campaign for Orange with lots of potential wastage. It is also teaches us four very important lessons about search engine marketing

  1. Integrate ALL PPC campaigns with SEO
  2. Do not ignore smaller search engines such as Yahoo! when putting an SEM plan together
  3. Execution is key. This is an example of a very good IDEA for a campaign that integrates off and online media. The campaign will undoubtedly perform well due to the resource Orange has at its disposal but the ROI could have been much higher if executed correctly.
  4. Timing is key. If the campaign had waited for the SEO strategy (assuming there is an SEO strategy) to catch up there would have been much less wastage and the ROI would have been much higher.

4Ps isn’t just another SEO agency. To discuss how to integrate your SEO and PPC with other marketing and media channels, give us a call on +44 (0)207 607 5650 for a no-obligation coffee and incredibly geeky chat about data, marketing and user behaviour across all inbound channels. What could our PPC management do for your business?