Brand marketers must look at search and other online media in new ways, based on how consumers have changed media consumption behavior. Traditional media metrics don't always fit a brand marketing strategy for search. Given some recent data from Nielsen//NetRatings, traditional media metrics may be losing their applicability across all media. Brand marketers are used to metrics that reflect not only campaign objectives but also the way media are sold. Both evolved hand in hand.

The Internet and search engine new-user tide has virtually dried up in the U.S., according to a Nielsen report, which states the unique visitor growth rate is nearing zero. Yet the number of pages viewed per person is growing rapidly in certain verticals, indicating a shift in online media consumption. Clearly, as the percentage of time spent online grows and the percentage of time spent with other media drops, traditional marketers will follow direct marketers online (including to search marketing).

Which metric is right for search, once a marketer extends a campaign beyond obvious keywords that relate to the brand?

Let's take a look back before discussing how brand marketers should approach search.

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