The most successful search engine marketing initiatives are those that integrate with other marketing channels. That was a common theme expressed by a number of experts gathered for the Search Engine Strategies conference this week in New York.

"It's time to start thinking of search as an advertising vehicle, and not just as a direct response channel," said Ron Belanger, VP of search at Carat Interactive.

He pointed out that mass media consumption habits are changing, and with them the mass media advertising model. Instead of conducting campaigns across multiple media in a vacuum, it is more effective to use the strengths of each channel to complement each other. For instance, a campaign could use search to help consumers conduct research online and then drive them offline to make a purchase.

"It's harder to send a single message to a mass audience, and the response vehicle is not as immediate -- they research more, and consider more before making a purchasing decision," Belanger said. "When they go online to validate a decision, they will go to search."

Get the full story at ClickZ