Theories are for science!

Just recently I had an interesting conversation with a fellow PPC colleague of mine that left me curious and frustrated at the same time. The discussion surrounded the topic of local sponsored search campaigns. She was explaining to me how local search listings, like those of Yahoo’s Local Advertising, or Google’s geo-targeted network, allow the marketer to have a more focused listing while costing less per click.

Now I’ll admit I am a bit green to the vast world of SEM. However, as a recent graduate with some professional business experience under my belt, I feel as though I can walk the walk and talk the talk… up until now. After thinking about this conversation for a couple of days, I began to question certain concepts and skills I learned a year ago in a college classroom.

This idea that a focused ad aimed right at your target audience can cost less per-click than that of a general campaign has just disproved many marketing and advertising theories. Typically, the cost to promote your product/service increases as the media becomes more targeted toward your audience. At least that is what we’re taught in academics.

However, in the real world of search marketing it seems to be the exact opposite. Perhaps someone out there in book publishing and university land might want to give students a heads up on newer technologies and what is really going on. Other than the obvious, “general search terms cost more than targeted terms” or “targeted terms are just not searched on as much as broad terms” I am curious as to what others have to say or think about this concept.