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July 20, 2010

Marketing Strategy: Dont Forget Search – BlueGlass LA

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Let’s just jump right into the next section, shall we? We’re talking about building your marketing strategy as it relates to paid search marketing with Melanie Mitchell, SVP/Search Marketing Strategy at Digitas, David Szetela, CEO, Clix Marketing, and Dave Roth, Director of Search Marketing at Yahoo.

BlueGlass LA search panel

Dave Roth @daverothsays starts us off by complimenting us on how great a crowd we are. And it’s true. We are great.

What he’s covering today:

  • Search Marketing at Yahoo!
  • Valuation
  • SEM for Branding
  • Paid v Organic
  • Yahoo/Microsoft deal (maybe)

Search is the best way to acquire customers, even if you’re among the biggest sites on the web. Yahoo has more than 10 different properties they’re marketing at even given time, each with its own business models and conversion points. Sales, downloads, clickthroughs, lead gen, CPM, etc.  To look at all of that they focus on valuation — they look at lifetime value of a conversion, the net present value, the acceptable profit margin of NPV.

Comparison shopping is the exception to those value markers.

Defining LTV allows you to define your budget and allows you to defend it when they want to cut it.

They supported a global brand relaunch (Yahoo! Mail) with paid search marketing. He says when it comes to global, outsource. Don’t try to do it on your own, hire an agency that specializes. Build your budget from the bottom up, by region, by product.

Use analytics for tracking the dollars you’re spending. They had to get clever about how they were going to do that because out of the box measures wouldn’t work for them. Because they were building brand, they were measuring engagement points.

Include customary PPC metrics (CTR, CPC) with valuation metrics in your reports. Show how much traffic you brought compared to the budget you were given.

Paid vs Organic: Doing the math

Should you run a campaign when you already rank number one for Yahoo! Mail or any other branded term?  Is it synergistic, cannibalistic or both?  Run the test and find out: when they did, they found that as they bought more inventory on the paid side, they saw an increase in organic traffic at the same time. It might just be correlation and not causation.

Yahoo! Microsoft Search Alliance

  • unified marketplace (“You’ll stop using YSM and whatever attention you give the YSM you’ll give to Microsoft Ad center.” [Translation: Pretty please? Don’t leave us!]
  • transition with quality — they’re testing right now. if it goes well, organic switch will be September followed by PPC, Looking to launch fully in Q1
  • publishers/advertisers/domainers – your YSM rep will not change.
  • large v small
  • resources

Summary:

SEM can support any business goal, model

Use math, not philosophy. “You can’t win a philosophical argument, you can win a mathematical argument.”

David Szetela skids into the room and is given a chance to catch his breath while Melanie Mitchell @melaniemitchell takes the podium.

Search is the marketers’ holy grail. Search delivers 100% composition. The people who want to find a product are actually looking for it. Search is just one part of a larger mix and you need to understand those other parts. They dropped TV as part of an ad campaign and saw a drop in the search traffic as well. Coordinate online and offline efforts because they do impact each other.

Offline triggers online.

She uses Eclipse as a case study. (“High schoolers are biting each other!”) They have a lot going on in their website. They send you to the Facebook page, to Twitter, YouTube — all the places where their community lives. They also have (as I’m sure you’ve seen) a huge media blitz.

What’s their search component? Nothing.  Their site doesn’t rank first, they’re not buying adwords. (There is a Volvo dealership capitalizing on it. Go dealer dude.)  Those keywords are crazy cheap btw.

Apple was quiet during the iPhone issues but competitors weren’t. Blackberry bought ads, HTC bought ads. They capitalized on the fear created by the silence from Apple. They weren’t engaging the community and so they left themselves open. Even after the emergency press conference, they’re still not buying “iPhone issue” and driving traffic to the webcast.

Search reacts to traditional media placements, closes loop. Coordinate offline with day-parting and geotargeting. They saw a 9 percent overall CPA reduction and a 300 percent increase in sales from search. As a result of the coordination they had an 800 percent increase overall.

Display and search work together and reinforce each other.

Behavior drives the marketing message.

It’s not just about the search box. It’s everywhere.  The search engines are listening to your customers but are you? Make sure you’re in the places that people are looking for you.

It’s Dave Szetela‘s turn. He doesn’t have a powerpoint. And he’s improving his presentation from notes. He doesn’t know why he’s on this panel because he only does PPC. Hee.

He asks for no liveblogging of his three most important points. Hands off the keyboards! You guys will just have to imagine awesome excellent information getting all poured out here. (Or you can check to see if Alan Bleiweiss covered it on Search Engine Journal but I doubt it. Just remember to come back.)

BlueGlass LA search panel

Q&A

When you’re doing LTV, what do you do in terms of discount rate?

Dave Roth: Most of the time it’s roughly the cost of capital.

Will we get the ability to distinguish between ad networks with Bing?

DR: There will be a  unified marketplace. They do know there is concern about the lack of distinction but that’s up to Microsoft to make the decision.

What will happen with display advertising?

DR: My understanding is that the existing display relationships stay in place. I’m not 100% sure about that or if Yahoo will be doing the selling still on display.

Melanie agrees from what she’s heard.

What do you think the future holds for Red Software and other bid management software?

DS: The short answer is that I think they’re toast. Google has already said that they’re trying to get as close as they can to asking what the company is selling and doing all the rest for them. Bid management works better on display but not on search. Google’s conversion optimizer works better on search because they can base it on all keywords, not just one advertiser.  Check out his interview with Brad Geddes on PPC Rockstars.  Micromanaging bid pricing has the least impact and there’s no way a human can outperform an algorithm.

MM: We’re still using it because not everyone will use Google.

Loren talks for a bit about couchsearching — doing searches while sitting on your couch and he thinks that it should know where you live so that it can figure out when you’re probably not doing a location search but a hard information search.

MM: I don’t think anyone’s really solved how mobile works with search. Some people don’t like getting just a regular page, they want something tailored. They want to do banking and the banks can’t handle it, or shopping and the store can’t handle it.

what is the role of the agency going forward?

MM: We look at search as a partner. It’s just one component.

DS: Google recognizes that agencies play an important role. There’s always a place for specialized services. It’s like a tax accountant. Most people don’t need a tax accountant year round.

What is the best way to track activity on the content network?

DS: If we’re managing by hand, we use total number of content conversion – half of view through conversions.

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