I get frustrated when I see companies throwing money down the drain.

As a marketing professional, I almost cannot believe that some companies are unaware of how interrelated various marketing channels (TV, radio, internet) have recently become.

No one just watches a TV any more. Today, we watch TV while playing with one of our mobile devices, like a smartphone or a tablet. What happens when we see a commercial that interests us? We Google it, right?

This is more than a fleeting trend. 71% of smartphone users have searched for a product after seeing an ad for the product. 71%! I bet that after seeing this fact you feel like I do when I see a company advertising their products or services on TV or radio but failing to support it online.

Multichannel Marketing

Here’s an example that illustrates the enormity of missed opportunity a company suffers when the company doesn’t support all marketing channels.

Let’s look at Pat O’Brien Chevrolet. They are an Ohio car dealership with locations in Medina, Westlake, Vermilion, and Willoughby Hills. One night I noticed their commercial on TV. The commercial caught my attention because at the time my friend was shopping for a car. (Ding: Potential Lead!) Actually, her old car had broken down, so the whole buying process had to be quick. (Ding, Ding: Potential Customer!)

As usual, I was watching my favorite TV show while browsing the internet on my smartphone. After I saw the commercial about “Chevrolet Dealers in Cleveland,” I decided to Google it. I Googled “Chevrolet Dealers in Cleveland” which brought me to this page:

Google search results page

Why didn’t I search for “Pat O’Brian Chevrolet in Cleveland?” It’s simple: they are not a huge brand so I didn’t even pay attention to their name. I needed a Chevy, so that’s what I looked for. I took it for granted that this particular company’s website would show up high on the results page.

I researched the dealerships that showed up on the search page, looked at their offers, and plugged their addresses into Google Maps to see which one is closest to my friend. But then, I had one of those “wait a minute” moments after the Chevy commercial showed up on my TV again. The dealership advertising their promotions on TV was “Pat O’Brian Chevrolet.” Guess which was the only dealership that wasn’t showing up on my screen? If you guessed Pat O’Brian Chevrolet, you guessed correctly. I couldn’t believe it!

While the Pat O’Brian dealership does show up on the first page of search results, it is buried. There are banner ads, dealerships’ Google Places, and organically ranked sites all shown—all from competing dealerships. All of these are “above the fold” on the page. Users spend about 80% of their viewing time above the fold. Since I had many different options easily presented to me, I had no need to scroll. I never would have found Pat O’Brian’s website.

Let’s try to understand this marketing strategy. Pat O’Brian Chevrolet creates TV commercials. They pay for the creative development of the commercial and they pay for the time on TV. The commercial advertises great deals in Cleveland, Ohio. 71% of people who see that commercial will likely go on Google and search for “Chevrolet Dealers in Cleveland.” Odds are that these people who searched after they had seen the ad went straight to competitor’s website.

Support All Marketing Channels

With the introduction of smartphones and tablets, there has been a big change in in our behavior. As marketers, it’s the mobility we should think about, not just mobile optimization. Today, more than ever before, is important to create advertising strategies that support all three major channels: TV, radio and internet.

Any type of offline advertising must be supported online. It is crucial.

Nowadays we Google everything. When potential customers see or hear your name, you better make sure you show up on Google. If not, you should at least ask your competitors to send you a thank you card. They should. After all, if you are going to keep bringing customers to their businesses, it is only polite for them to say thanks every once in a while.


There is room for great improvement for companies that still don’t implement multi-channel marketing strategies. At the very least, companies should stop referring potential customers to their competitors. With strategic search engine optimization and search engine marketing, including pay-per-click campaigns, these companies can increase their visibility and grow their businesses.

What is your marketing strategy? Do you support all marketing channels?