What's missing in most marketing plans involving TV commercials? A search component.

After a consumer's curiosity is piqued by watching a broadcast branding ad, they head straight to the Internet to uncover more information. If the advertiser didn't invest in keywords on search engines, they end up where AT&T did after spending millions to introduce m-life (its mobile initiative) in Super Bowl ads four years ago. Consumers flocked online to find out what m-life was. But since the telecom hadn't purchased any search terms related to the ads, consumers remained clueless about the concept. AT&T was nowhere.

And many marketers are still nowhere when it comes to continuing the conversation with the consumer after running a branding commercial and remaining top of mind through the buying cycle.

"Marketers are basically used to a spray-and-pray kind of world ... and hope it reaches the right audience -- and they are taking the same type of approach online," says Peter Hershberg, managing partner at search agency Reprise Media. "We have clients that have as many as 12 different agencies, and none of them talks to each other."

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