The relationship between SEM, Online PR and SMM

So last week I was trying to explain to a friend the difference between Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing using a napkin and a lip pencil. This is sort of what I drew. (Click to enlarge.)

The relationship between SEM, Online PR and SMM

Do you agree? Is there anything else that needs including? Let us know in the comments.

  • Tom Albrighton
    Posted at 08:59h, 25 May Reply

    Nice diagram.

    I guess the only observation I would make is that while all the three themes do fall into digital marketing, digital marketing as a whole is bigger than these three themes.

    For example, you’ve got affiliate marketing and online advertising as major marketing channels, albeit not for smaller brands or SMEs.

    Affiliate would sit somewhere alongside PPC (since you’re paying for clicks, and affiliates might PPC on your behalf), while advertising would probably sit somewhere near social media (since advertising on Facebook is such a big deal these days).

    Another thing that I’d feature (for talking to any client, of any size) is conversion optimisation/tracking. This diagram tells the story of getting visitors to a site, rather than making a sale. Many companies waste resources driving traffic to a site that can’t convert that traffic to business.

    Just my thoughts!

    • Sarah Turner
      Posted at 09:17h, 25 May Reply

      Hey Tom
      Yes, digital marketing is more than these 3 strands. But it was a handy umbrella term to use.
      And great points re affiliate marketing and online advertising with the likes of Facebook and YouTube. I’ll include them in a version 2!
      Thx Tom

  • Larner
    Posted at 10:01h, 25 May Reply

    Hi Sarah – nice work indeed. As a fellow copywriter, I would agree with Tom in that I’d like to see the process followed through until the customer has the product in their sticky little hands or has benefitted from the service. And then the whole process has a big part to play in retention, repeat business and customer loyalty – but then you’re into a bigger can of worms I guess – or at least a bigger diagram!

    And I know you’re talking all things internetty here, but I can’t help thinking that word of mouth has a massive part to play in the whole digital process – ie; stuff has to get talked about before it can spread and grow. I just haven’t decided where the box goes!

    All good stuff in there – nice post.



    • Sarah Turner
      Posted at 12:50h, 25 May Reply

      Hey Larner
      Yep, a bigger diagram may be needed!
      How do you plan, manage and measure WOM though? Would be interested to hear your thoughts.

  • Larner
    Posted at 12:40h, 26 May Reply

    Hey Sarah,

    I’m not sure you can measure WOM. I think it’s a vital consideration of any integrated mktg campaign though (especially digital) and I think you can certainly plan to generate WOM. As part of an integrated campaign it may be hard to discern its effectiveness, but still vital nonetheless.

    WOM for me is a bit of a holy grail that should be aspired to and can be achieved with the right chemistry – it certainly helps with virals – and by viral I don’t mean any old video that’s been shoved on the net – I mean something that has been designed to be talked about, passed on and raved about.

    As for managing WOM – the bigger the spread, the better the impact so keep feeding the fire – as long as it’s all positive.

    Negative WOM is obviously a different discussion entirely but the need for management is perhaps even greater in this instance.

    A couple of my thoughts on the abuse of the term ‘viral’ are detailed in a rather grumpy comment here

    All the best,


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