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As we entered New York in the Shuttle, I got whiplash from trying to take everything in, looking left and right and up and down again. I was very excited now, knowing that I was visiting a city full of history, a city that I had only seen on TV on shows like Friends, Seinfeld and re-runs of Welcome Back Kotter. I was in a city that every famous person I knew had some great stories to tell. I wondered where some of these people lived within the city? Would I see any of them in my journeys?
I couldn’t help smile as our driver weaved in and out of lanes. Ahh, this is what I expected the hustle and bustle of the Naked City. We dropped off the first batch of travelers. As I looked out to my right I could see what I thought was Central Park. As it turned out, I found out that it was indeed Central Park. I still didn’t have my bearings so I thought that it was pretty cool to see the famous attraction. It was just starting to get dark and I wondered if I would see someone getting mugged. Of course I didn’t, but that was what I was expecting to see. About five minutes later, it was my stop. Here I was on the Avenue of Americas (6th Ave) and 54th street in mid-town Manhattan. As the driver stopped I was so excited and opened the door nearly forgetting my luggage. I thanked the driver and tipped him $5 which seemed more than fair. I checked into my room. I was pretty tired at this point having been up for nearly 48 hours. I wanted to crash but the adrenaline was carrying me. I splashed some water on my face, changed my shoes and went out to find adventure in NYC.
I just started walking until I could get my bearings which took all of 5 minutes. I had added some directions and addresses for some destinations that I wanted to check out. Being that it was around 9:00 pm EST on a Saturday night, I decided to head down to Times Square. I walked down 6th ave and then moved over a block. As it was getting darker I could see the neon of time square. Not to mention the number of people and street traffic was getting rather congested. I tried not to look like an obvious tourist, but I couldn’t help looking up at the skyline and all of the amazing architecture. At times I would overhear conversation making me wonder if I was still in North America. There were people from all corners of the globe on the street and I could not understand anything anybody was saying. The sounds were pretty amazing though. The honking of the horns, the various accents, the whistles from traffic controllers, the music playing from various shops, the screeching of tires and the yelling of cab drivers. Yup I was definitely in NYC.
I was hungry at this point and was looking for a restaurant to grab a bite. I walked up to a few and there were some pretty long lineups. As I mentioned I was hungry and was not about to be choosy. Just then I saw a neon sign of the world famous golden arches… yup McDonalds. I thought that it would be fast, so I ordered some Chicken McNuggets, refueled and continued with my journey. I know, I know pretty boring for your first meal, but I was hungry and I needed to be able to say that I ate at a McDonalds in NYC. I did scope out some great restaurants for the duration of my week though.
So I spent a couple of hours just hanging out in Times Square. In fact I spent probably an hour in the Virgin music store which was closing for good in 9 days. With massive 50-80% off signs, I went to check it out. The store had been pretty picked over but there were some great deals on DVDs and CDs. It was after midnight local time (but only 9:00 PST) so I decided to head back to my hotel stopping on the way to pick up some fruit for breakfast from a mini grocery store and at a Starbucks to grab a Chai Tea. I ended getting back to the hotel at around 1:30 and was still excited about being in the Big Apple. As I brushed my teeth for the night, I looked in the mirror and saw that my eyes were extremely red from having not slept in a couple of days. With that I ended my first evening in New York and hit the pillows.
Well I’m sitting in the Seattle airport awaiting my connecting flight back to Kelowna. For the past six days, I have been in New York spending the majority of time attending Search Engine Strategies New York. As those who know me, realize that I am a west coast kind of guy. In fact this was my first trip in the Eastern time zone since I was young. I live in the Kelowna, British Columbia in Canada’s most western province so making the 2,408 mile (3,875 km) trip to New York was very exciting for me. I had never been to the Big Apple, and it seemed surreal that I was going to visit what many suggest is the “world’s greatest city”.
As I was travelling by myself, I was a little nervous leading up to the trip. The night before arriving I could not sleep as the anticipation of going to New York got the better of me. (My wife was not very happy with me as she drove me to the airport at 4:30 in the morning…) From Kelowna, I would go to Seattle to catch my connection to Newark…. New Jersey. If I’m not mistaken this was the longest flight that I had been on as I do not recall a previous flight to Mexico taking so long. Regardless it was about a five hour flight which included flying over Chicago, the Great Lakes and Michigan. I sat behind a family from Kenya which was pretty cool. I had noticed one of their Kenya passports. They were wearing traditional garb and had some amazing bracelets and necklaces on. I wanted to ask one of them if they would consider selling me one, but thought against it. It was cool just seeing some folks from Kenya.
With the three hour time difference, I arrived on the East Coast just after 5:00 pm local time. The sun was out and as we made out decent into Newark International, I got my first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. It was small than I had envisioned, but nonetheless was a breathtaking sight. One thing that I always wanted to see was the Statue of Liberty. I can now check Lady Liberty off of my list. The 111 feet, 6 inches statue is just an amazing piece of work. Image courtesy of http://www.statueofliberty.org/Fun_Facts.html
I was so busy trying to take pictures of the World’s famous statue that I nearly missed taking in the skyline of New York. As I looked across the river, I wondered about of the families that had been impacted by the tragic events of 9/11. Even though I am Canadian, I felt a sense of pride as the plane touched down in Newark. I quickly grabbed my carry-on baggage and walked anxiously through the airport. I was impatiently awaiting to hear my first New York accent which didn’t take long as a lady resembling Ellen Travolta was giving her (whom I assume was) husband an earful. A smile ran across my face. Yup I definitely was not in Kelowna anymore. Not knowing where to go, I just followed the crowd which quickly dispersed. I had pre-arranged a shuttle to take me my destination in Manhattan. I called the Shuttle and they told me that it would be there within 20 minutes. Forty minutes later, a fellow came up to me and asked which Shuttle I was waiting for as he had waited over 75 minutes for his to show. About five minutes later, my Shuttle showed up. I looked back and the other fellow was still waiting for his.
The ride from New Jersey to Manhattan was pretty cool. We jammed a dozen or so people in a van and proceeded to head to NYC. It was pretty cozy to say the least. We were all squished in the van and I apologized to the girl beside me for squishing her. She just looked at me, smiled and winked and said “no problem..”. I guess that she definitely was not from New York as I had heard that the people can be a little rude. She kind of returned the favor as she nodded off in the van with her head falling from side to side bumping my left shoulder depending on the corner that the driver was taking. In the van there was about three of four different languages being spoken one being Spanish, another being Scandinavian and I couldn’t make out the third one.
The drivers were nuts with a constant honking of horns on the freeway. We entered the Lincoln Tunnel which I had heard a lot about, but was disappointed as we went through it. Now we were in New York. Within a few minutes we were amongst some of the tallest buildings that I had ever seen. I had arrived.
Day three of SES New York started out with an amazing keynote by John Gerzema author of The Brand Bubble. I would suggest that Mr. Gerzema gave the best "presentation" of the entire conference. His keynote was entitled, The Brand Bubble: The Looming Crisis in Brand Value and How to Avoid It.
John Gerzema is the Chief Insights Officer at Young & Rubicam Group. His presentation was profoundly engaging with various examples that everyone in the audience could relate to. I'll summarize a few of the many interesting items that were discussed. See the end of the post for the actual presentation.
I must admit that I was a little in awe with this presentation. I love this stuff! The presentation itself was cool with all of the examples that John used, and he didn't use just one or two, he had a ton of great examples that help tell his story.
He used elements of real life from humor and sheer numbers to illustrate how brand value has changed over recent times. John started out his amazing presentation discussing the need to manage for an upturn. You need to have superior cash flow and sustainable growth. It is important to align your brand and business strategy. Some of the other items that John touched on included:
It’s time like these when you have to do more with less. John went on to discuss the importance of focusing on the core of your business.
He mentioned that in the US, unemployment is the highest it has been in 25 years. For three consecutive months there have been 600K job losses per month.
In the past few months, millionaires have lost one third of their worth
Marketing must move from passion to compassion – John referenced Maslow’s hierarchy and that the essentials are what’s important to people now. He also said that the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy (fundamental basic needs) is very social as people are focusing on safety. Mentioned a collision of social media. There is a focus on what is real (ie food shelter basic needs)
Mentioned that the only certainty is uncertainty
There is a cultural shift in consumerism based on lack of trust (especially with the corporate world). There has been a failure of regulations and a decay in infrastructure (both emotionally and physically)
The top 250 most valuable global brands are worth about 2.12 trillion dollars
Consumers are re-thinking the trust value of brands (dubbed this the Trust Virus)
Consumer spending has experienced the largest drop in 62 years
John discussed 4 rules for post crisis criticism
John presented numerous great examples of brand success stories including one that stoof out for Kraft and how Kraft has created ifood assistant that creates meals on the go for busy moms. It’s one of the most popular iPhone applications available right now.
There is a new emphasis on self-improvement (people are settling in for a longer period of time; examples included that people are keeping their automobiles for longer periods of time in fact an all-time length of time
Mentioned that high end haggling is in fashion
Active listening w/ big companies
Consumers don’t trust companies, they trust the people with/at companies
He mentioned that companies need to trust their employees to be advocates for their brand (used Zappos as an example)
Calamity Presentation - SES Keynote
Amazing stuff! This was a fantastic presentation, take the time to check it out. Also if you have not yet read The Brand Bubble, you'll want to pick it up. As a side note another great session of the day was the SEO Toolbox session due in large part to the presentation of Bruce Clay. Day three at SES NY 2009 was by far the best of the conference.
Logic361 has announced a new feature of its SEM analysis and recommendation software. Multivariate Statistical Confidence Scoring for Search Engine Text Ads.
Logic361's newest feature automates the analysis of A/B ad testing and speeds analysis by systematically calculating the statistical relevance of competing text ads. It provides search engine advertisers with the unique ability to quickly evaluate their entire ad inventory and make valuable changes with unprecedented confidence.
According to Stephen Schramke, President & CEO of logic 361, "... this new functionality was developed by seasoned "hands-on" search marketing professionals with the assistance of Harvard and Berkeley PhD statisticians and mathematicians. Customers who include GM, Home Depot, ING Direct, Real Networks, Nieman Marcus and Wine.com have generated impressive increases in ROI quickly and easily utilizing Logic361's software..."
Official press release:
Statistical Confidence Scoring Software Identifies Winning Ads, Improves Quality Scores and Lowers Costs-Per-Click For Google Adwords and Yahoo Search Engine Advertisers
Seattle, WA (PRWEB) March 25, 2009 -- Logic361 (http://www.logic361.com/) a leading
pay-per-click search advertising analysis software company, today announced the
integration of text and display ad statistical confidence scoring, a major new feature of its search engine advertising analysis software application for Google Adwords and Yahoo Search advertisers.
Logic361's statistical scoring software automates the analysis of A/B ad testing and speeds analysis by systematically calculating the statistical relevance of competing text ads. It provides search advertisers with the unique ability to quickly evaluate their entire ad inventory and make valuable changes with unprecedented confidence.
Logic361's newest functionality combines years of best practices expertise from companies that include GM, Home Depot, ING Direct, Real Networks, Niemen Marcus, and Wine.com with the expertise of Harvard and Berkeley statistical and mathematical PhD’s. "Statistical scoring of search engine text ads is long overdue," said Stephen Schramke, chief executive officer, Logic361. "Google and Yahoo have been explicit in their efforts to reward quality ads with lower costs per click, better placement and increased impression share while correspondingly penalizing poor performing ads."
Search engine advertisers can review, at a glance, multivariate statistical scores ranging in confidence from 51% to 99% for pairs of text or display ads. Google Adwords and Yahoo Search advertisers can modify or pause ads instantly within the Logic361 analysis application.
"Search advertising costs are rising and competition is increasing. We have to work harder and faster to cost-effectively deliver results," said Chris Gilpin, search marketing director, BuyAutoTruckAccessories.com. "I rely on Logic361’s analysis software to quickly test and evaluate new ads. The results have been impressive; quality scores have improved, conversions have increased and our average cost-per-click has decreased."
Getting SEM Profit Analyzer and SEM Profit Manager
Both applications are immediately available as a SAAS account. Sign-up information can be found: http://www.logic361.com/Our-Solutions/
Logic361's customers range from start-ups to Fortune Top 10 companies and include both B2C and B2B direct marketers. Logic361's hosted, on-demand search advertising analysis and management software eliminates the need for search advertisers of all sizes to make investments in technology or IT personnel.
Well Day Two of Search Engine Strategies New York is complete and I must say that the morning sessions were much better than the afternoon sessions. A couple of the better sessions included:
Social Media Marketing for Brand Building
How are smart companies using social marketing tools to promote brands and reach out to customers? Is it possible to do so without investing a fortune?
Dave Evans, VP, Digital Voodoo
Hollis Thomases, Founder, WebAdvantage.net
Harry J. Gold, CEO, Overdrive Interactive
Not sure if a lot of people were out enjoying the New York nightlife after day one of SES, but the first session that I attended on day two was sparsely populated with less than 50 people in attendance, although it filled up after the session started. I thought that maybe it’s that everyone is getting tired about talking about social media (which seems to be a common perception shared by many that I spoke with).
I must say that I find it annoying on how people come to these sessions and are so disorganized. Getting their laptops out, cell phones ringing, digging through their bags to find a pen... Sheesh, drives me nuts.
Dave Evans was up first and discussed the importance of knowing your objective and your audience. He started off by describing the purchase funnel and how you can use social media to actively measure and listen to your audience. I really liked what Dav had to say. Some of the points he mentioned included:
He discussed social analytics to gain info about the audience
Business Objectives – provided examples of how companies are using social media for everything from HR to team member education
Described some relevant uses of social media (facebook, twitter, Y&R video and community example)
Integration is critical – social media support the conversion process; its one component of your marketing toolbox
Showed Brooklyn Museum example (flickr, twitter etc)
Discussed touch points -> viral examples
Leverage your blog
Do not use social media to spam or splog
Made the comment jokingly, “One of the promises of social media is that in 10 years we will have no crappy products”.
Hollis Thomases was up next and she discussed:
Discussed twitter for brand building
Twitter is the 3rd largest social network (Facebook, MySpace)
Estimated 5000 new twitter accounts everyday
Most users access via mobile
Asked shouldn’t you be where your consumers are?
Twitter is not for everyone or every brand, but everyone is a potential listener as a result you need to be aware of your tone.
Corporate or casual. Research is showing that people prefer something that is more personal.
Who will Twitter? – hiring a community manager or employees, or CEO?
User name is important preserve your brands http://twitter.com/yourbrand
Twitter strategy should scale with the size of your business – single, multi-twitter or enterprise-twitter strategy
Success story: Whole Foods – interact with their followers to get feedback from their target market… like a focus group; free research
Success story: Multi-Twitter – comcastcares for rep. management
Success story: Enterprise – Zappos allowing employees to communicate with customers
Example of how Exxon was hijacked onTwitter
Described some tools including:
URL shortening solutions such as ow.ly, cl.ig, tr.im etc.
Build your follower base – wefollow.com, justtweetit.com, mrtweet.net
Engage your followers – twtqpon.com
Initiate discussions around your brand
Don’t be afraid of negative commentary
Respond in a timely manner
Don’t toot your own horn so much
Don’t link spam
Avoid auto direct messages
Harry Gold was the third speaker and he talked about:
Social media can help build life long connections
Social media is about socializing; embedding your brand into the places where people are already congregating and sharing thoughts. It’s about joining that conversation.
1 person joins and 50 find out, 80, 000 join and 4,000,000 find out
Brand connections to brand evangelism allows you to make peer brand impressions
Facebook Zara fan example
Social media can be overwhelming
Leverage components that apply to you
You need to weave the social Web
Social content + social networks + blogosphere to build your social media platform
Facebook fans pages Harley Davidson example
The other session of the day that was appealing to me was Advanced B2B which I will discuss in another post. As mentioned the afternoon sessions were week. In fact in one of them (which I won't mention by name) four "online experts" could not figure out how to get the slide deck to work. As we say in Canada, it was a little "bush league". Hopefully the sessions will be a little more consistent tomorrow.
Enquiro is currently conducting research in the area of B2B marketing. We would like your input in an online survey, in order to understand more about your experiences when making business purchase decisions, and/or going through the process of short-listing vendors and business solutions. By completing the survey you’ll be adding valuable insight into an area of business that is undergoing tremendous change.
The survey will take you 15 - 20 minutes to complete and you could win a $25 Starbucks card to thank you for your valuable time.
Also, you’ll be able to register to be invited to Enquiro’s 2009 B2B webinar series, consisting of six high-powered free webinars delivering cutting edge insight into what’s happening in the world of online business-to-business marketing.
Click the link below to go directly to the survey, or paste it into your browser window:
Well day one of SES NY has wrapped up and it was a day that got started a little late, but started with one of my favorite speakers Guy Kawasaki talking about Twitter. This ended being my favorite part of day one. Guy Kawasaki gave some great insight into Twitter and described how he uses Twitter as a marketing tool. Other than the keynote starting about 20 minutes late, Guy took the full hour to discuss some of his favorite Twitter tools and gave the audience some great tips on using Twitter.
Twitter As A Tool For Social Media
Guy Kawasaki was great as always. He communicated how he uses Twitter as a marketing tool. If I didn't know better, I would suggest that some of the practices Guy mentioned could be classified as spam. In fact throughout the day there were comments from many “social media practitioners” who were less than happy with Mr. Kawasaki's Twitter skills.
Guy started out by proclaiming his love for Twitter as a “beautiful thing” (his token saying). He said that with Twitter “Nobodies are the new somebodies” It doesn’t matter who you are, Twitter can be a great platform for everyone. Guy went on to suggest that Twitter has a large benefit in that you can reach a large audience for free (he called this the “democratization” of marketing... another beautiful thing).
He went on to discuss 10 tips for leveraging Twitter for marketing:
Forget the A List
Get Lots of Followers
Monitor – what people are saying.
Copy – what other companies are doing. As examples Guy mentioned Jet Blue, amazondeals, cirquelasvegas, and Comcast cares as examples. Twitter yourself or your company’s staff. Mentioned the use of a tool called Twibs.
Search – use the advanced search to filter and segment.
Get the right tools (for Twitter) – listed a number of tools including:
Squeeze the trigger
Make it easy to share - add badges and buttons to your blog or your website to get the most out of Twitter.
Take the heat – if you are going to use Twitter, you need to be able to take the heat and be able to deal with the good and the bad.
As mentioned, Guy was taking some heat for some of his Twitter ideas here are a couple of his tweets about it:
So when these dweebs accuse me of being a spammer, it's like they are saying, "Guy, you're a delicacy." Holy kaw!
@jasonbrummels If I suck, lots of people like how I suck: http://retweetist.com/users
@drewmaniac I think many SES attendees would have preferred a pundit talking about how big social media is going to be than what I did.
Ok so this is more my style a bigger room and a discussion about B2B tips and trends. My only complaint is that yesterday it was Elton John, today it is Tears for Fears. Who programmed the music for SES anyways? The other issue that I am having is accessing the free conference Wi-Fi. The session, was in a larger conference room which is great and I would estimate that it was 90% full.
Scott focused on optimizing landing pages and the conversion
Started out by describing that segmentation matters because in B2B we are dealing with more complex offerings with many value propositions. Multiple people are involved in the buying process, and long sales cycles.
Segmentation can happen in various ways
Through behavioural choices on landing pages
IP address profiling
Site-wide behavorial analysis
Described an example of how a client targeted long-tail keywords “data duplication” with a relevant landing page. Focusing on the right keywords is important when leveraging segmentation.
When segmenting by keywords you need to have many landing pages
A segmented audience is 4X more valuable according to a report from Adweek
Segment via a dropdown in the form (construction example) or if people do not fill out the form, use a two step landing page. Segment on page one and take them to a simplified and slightly “revised” form (landing page)
The Internet is full of people who like to click… a landing page doesn’t have to be just one page…. This will help engage the user
Give the user segmentation choices on the landing page they land on (small-medium business or enterprise?) Overland storageàdata duplication
Landing pages are both part of your ads and part of your site
Book: Honest Seduction
There are lots of challenges for B2B marketers including the ability to pre-select B2B clickers, there is no single decision maker, long lead time and lagged conversions, keywords are not often B2B specific (ambiguity)
Asked the question, how do we segment the B2B prospect?
Discussed a lot of PPC initiatives
Targeting landing pages dynamically based on IP address or reverse DNS;use Ajax layers to swap items into a template based on information that you have about the visitor
Mentioned that day parting is powerful in B2B
Pre-post click behaviour
Lead scoring is important in B2B as is life time customer value
Discussed segmentation levers (geography, time of day, day of week etc)
TIP: custom serving the landing page based on IP block, ISP, cookie
Integration of automated or manual proactive chat
Heavy use of retargeting campaigns for sticky visitors to address the scarcity of the B2B buyer or prospect.
Ian Harris – Search Labortory
PPC based presentation -->keywords-->ad-->Landing page -->conversion-->Post conversion
Another issue with B2B is risk; more at risk than B2C. People and money could be lost as a result
B2B sale is complex; you need a salesperson, you have to build and nurture the relationship depending on the stage that the person is at
Conversion process is longer
Discussed “Setup” Phase – understand the product/service, understand the competition, what are your differentiators, understand your target. Take time on the setup
“Understand” how to sell
Landing pages need to address at each stage [education (ex: an overview for the business executive – ERP example], research (how to choose an ERP, the 7 most costly mistakes), shortlist (take the tour now, instant quotation works well)
Post Analysis – conversions are not sales. Monitor keywords, ads, landing pages, conversion offer.
Use qualifying conversions
Don’t translate localize if doing multilingual ads
Adam Goldberg was up next and I found him to be an engaging speaker with some great information.
Profit is a metric that we do not pay enough attention to
All leads are not created equal
Talked about the numbers with actual numbers example - Cost per Lead-->Cost per Acquisition -->Profit (Google, Yahoo, MSN comparison)
Discussed phone call tracking
Analyze in date ranges that account for latency
Discussed lifetime ad value with a sales call
Q&A: With long sales cycles how are you giving Search the credit it is due? Panelist responded with: build a lead scoring model to predict a strong profitable customer. Other option is using a follow up email that includes additional links (cookie them).
Question: What are some ways to segment out “tire kickers” using keywords?
Answer: Keywords are the most difficult way to segment the user. Try segmenting via their own ad group. Give a choice for the tire kickers. Cookie tracking is important to identify the true tire kickers as opposed to the percentage that clicked and didn’t like the message. Do not make inaccurate assumptions.
So the morning of Day One of SES NY is progressing nicely even with the Elton John music that they keep playing in between sessions. The Guy Kawasaki keynote was amazing, even though it started 15 minutes late.
The current session that I am in is entitled, "Survival of the Fittest 2.o" from the "Search and the Fear Economy" track. Moderated by Sara Holoubeck featuring Bryan Eisenberg, Jason Siment, Bob Myhal, and Kevin Lee. This session's featured speakers who survived the first downturn in online marketing aka the tech bubble burst circa 1999. The session kept being interrupted by the late folks who kept coming in. Maybe one of the sessions they should offer should be on time management.
Anyways the session started with a brief history of each of the speakers. Kind of a retro thing happening there where they talked about competitors who have fallen by the waste side.
Some of the interesting items discussed as part of the session:
everytime you "re-set" your company to adjust to the economic times, the competitive landscape gets redefined
in difficult times you really need to offer exceptional customer service; your most valuable resource can be your existing customers
communicate often with your clients
target niches and dominate these niches; provide them with value and they will promote you and evangelize you in the social spaces such as Twitter
Bryan pointed out that Americans are number illiterate and they need to adopt the Japanese business approach of Kaizan or Six Sigma to learn about and apply continuous improvement and grow
an abundance of capital can lead to lazy marketing was one of the items that Bob mentioned. How many of us have seen this before?
In difficult times, you need to really analyze your analytics to try and understand what your visitors are doing --> listen to your customers
We'll add that in difficult times there are two things that you can do:
Remain status quo and try to hold on and hope you come out alive
Get aggressive and build new relationships and strengthen your existing ones.
The session was ok, a little vague on the strategy side of things. It was kind of an open session with a few questions from the audience. Interesting topic though. I'm a firm believer that during difficult times, it's better to go on the offensive rather than the defensive. Think of a hockey team struggling on the powerplay. They may overthink their plays and as a result remain defensive and not break out of their slump or even worse may give up a shorthanded goal when in fact all they needed to do was get on the offensive and drive more shots at the net and get some traffic in front to bang a powerplay goal in. "Get busy dieing or get busy living" from the Shawshank Redemption says it all. In tough economic times, don't just ride out the storm, hang out in the rain and listen to the thunder.
For those of you attending SES New York this week, here are a couple of sessions being promoted by the folks at SES.
Preview the new AdWords interface
Wednesday March 25, 10:45am-12:00pm
Google believes in releasing new products and features early and often, and a few months ago we began testing a new interface for AdWords intended to make campaign management faster, clearer, and more intuitive. The set of features included in the new interface has grown substantially since our initial announcement. Now we'd like to invite you to preview the new AdWords interface live at SES and tell us what you think!
Ariel Bardin and Angela Lai, AdWords product and engineering leads, will take you on a tour of the new interface, showcasing new features and demonstrating how the new interface can make day-to-day campaign management more efficient. We'll close with an extended Q&A where you can share your feedback and ideas directly with the AdWords team. Finally, all session attendees will receive priority access to the new interface, so be sure to bring your AdWords Customer ID.
Maximizing Your Website's ROI
Wednesday March 25, 4:00pm-5:15pm
Your business probably spends a tremendous amount of time, resources, and capital on your website development and online advertising initiatives. Yet, for many organizations, the most challenging aspect is to retain visitors and convert them into buyers. Google's web search engine has set a high bar for relevance, speed, and ease of use. Unfortunately, most sites don't meet these high expectations: 85 percent of site searches don't return what the user sought, and 80 percent of visitors will abandon a site if search functionality is poor (Jupiter Research).
To help maximize ROI, Google offers a variety of tools that website owners can leverage to. Join Google at this informative session to learn how you can better utilize Google Site Search to maximize the return on your website investment.
Speaker - Alex Torres, Product Marketing Manager, Google Enterprise
Facebook Workshop: Harnessing the Social Graph
Wednesday March 25, 2:15pm-3:30pm
Facebook's easy-to-use ad system enables any marketer to precisely reach the right people at the right time. Come to the Facebook session on Wednesday, March 25 at 2:15 p.m. to learn how you can effectively harness the social graph. We'll also be available for one-on-one meetings in booth 1226 in the expo hall. If you would like to schedule a meeting with one of our representatives to talk about how you can leverage and optimize your advertising on Facebook, please email [email protected]
Well I've arrived in New York to attend SES NY 2009. Stay tuned for posts throughout the week. Looking forward to a couple of great keynotes and a couple of interesting sessions. Some of the sessions that I hope to take in include:
SEO: Where to Next?
Moderator: Mike Grehan, Global KDM Officer, Acronym Media
Marcus Tandler, CEO, Creativity in Action
Bill Hunt, CEO, Global Strategies Intl, Director, Global Search Strategy, [email protected]
Chris Boggs, Director, SEO, Rosetta
Scott Prevost, Principal Development Manager, Powerset/Live Search, Microsoft Corporation
Jill Whalen, CEO, HighRankings.com
The Imperative: Successful Site Architecture
Moderator: Anne Kennedy, SES Advisory Board, Managing Partner and Founder, Beyond Ink
Shari Thurow, Founder and SEO Director, Omni Marketing Interactive
Alan Perkins, Head of Search Marketing, SilverDisc Limited
Moderator: Rebecca Lieb, U.S. Operations, Econsultancy
Scott Brinker, President & Chief Technology Officer, ion interactive
Jeff Woelker, Senior Digital Strategist, Slack Barshinger
Kevin Lee, Co-Founder & Executive Chairman, Didit
Ian Harris, CEO, Search Laboratory Ltd
SEO Tools of the Trade: What's in YOUR toolbox?
Moderator: Christine Churchill, President, KeyRelevance
These are just a sample of the sessions we plan to take in. It should be a good week. It will be interesting to see how many discussions will center around the tight economic conditions and how this is impacting the Search industry.
I attended a Webinar entitled: "Exclusive Insights for Online Marketers Using Lessons from the Barack Obama Presidential Campaign". For those of you who did not know, the 44th President of the United States is a very wired president. Barack Obama's online team has received praise for the effectiveness of their online efforts from last fall and throughout his entire campaign.
The presentation featured Jeff Gottesman the Director of Sales, National Accounts Pontiflex. He started discussing about how online advertising is changing and how online advertising strategies are changing. (The bulk of the presentation discussed Cost Per Lead advertising.)
How online advertising is changing
More advertisers are looking for a performance based model of advertising
Increasing keyword costs
Lack of transparency with CPC - how do the search algorithms work?
Ability to monitor ROI - there is a tenuous link between clicks and the resulting conversion or sale. Its difficult to assign a sale to a click.
During the last economic slowdown CPC grew, in this recession, money is shifting to cost per lead model (CPL)
Advantages of CPL
Pay only for qualified leads - no wasted clicks or impressions. According to Jeff, ROI is 3 to 8 times more than Search.
Transparent - allows for better optimizing of campaigns
Greater ROI Measurability - you can map the life time value of the lead
How online advertising stratagies are changing
Branding is no longer about broadcasting.
It's all about engagement and building a one to one relationship with the consumer. You can use direct mail lists, social networks (Twitter) etc.
Three Stages of the 2009 Branding Campaign
Acquire the Consumer - tips for this include only asking for basic information )name, email and postal code). Ensure complete transparency, be contextually relevant. Start with low hanging fruit. Collect additional information over time.
Engage them through email - build lifetime value with great content, special offers and the like. An Epsilon survey suggested that 56% of recipients of permission based email from companies (retail) said they were more likely to make a purchase. There is a great branding opportunity with this type of engagement with the user.
Brand in Relevant Areas- select where you can build the one on one relationship. Facebook, smart phone apps, widgets etc. Reach out for more information. Use this information to drive the user to a variety of venues (social site or environments) that is relevant to them. Brand throughout and help build the relationship. Work to understand your consumer so that you can earn their trust.
How Obama used CPL advertising as part of his online strategy:
Understood that he was a brand not just a candidate - Hope & Change
Realize the need to drive guaranteed returns - they needed a defined number of leads in a set time period. In an election, a little is too late.
Identified Goals - to increase voter registrations, increase donations, build a database to engage voters all in a cost efficient manner.
The Obama team was open minded to spot new trends, look towards new channels and adopt new approaches
Used a high ROI vehicles (It was noted that Obama's team spent more on CPC/CPL in six weeks than on Washingtopost.com for the entire year)
Used high ROI tactics such as CPL display banners where user information was captured within the banner. It was interesting to see that they did not use a dedicated landing page.
Used co-registration ad creative
Collected only the basic fields top reduce drop off
Kept the campaign management simple by automating simple tasks allowing them to focus on adding value
Engaged with email - they communicated with database through regular email updates
Looked beyond the PC or laptop by leveraging mobile, text messagesd and created an iPhone app.
Continued to engage voters after the election with items such as change.gov.
Used email to direct users to a variety of venues such as Twitter (twitter.com/BarackObama), YouTube (www.youtube.com/user/BarackObamadotcom), Facebook (www.facebook.com/barackobama), MySpace (www.myspace.com/barackobama), Flickr (www.flickr.com/photos/barackobamadotcom), LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/barackobama), iPhone app (my.barackobama.com/page/content/iphone), iTunes page (http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/podcast) etc.
Jeff's take on "Smart Marketing" was this:
Begin with CPM
CPL is the next generation
Brand Relevantly - Embed in the social lifestyle
Jeff did mention a couple of times the importance of good content. We couldn't agree more. It is much easier to engage your audience with content that speaks to them. Marketers need to speak the language of their targeted audience. In order to build that relationship, you need to actively participate in the environments that your audience frequent and when possible provide them with the content they seek at the right time, in the right place and at the right time.
Kenshoo, a global innovator in search engine marketing technology, just today announced a new feature - Seamless Site Tracking, a completely new functionality for SEM campaign management. Expanded tracking, reporting and path-to-conversion details can now be collected without the need for adding a tracking pixel to the website landing page. This is perfectly geared to agencies and affiliate marketers, who most often do not have access to the retailers landing page. With KENSHOO SEARCH, there are many tracking option available, and Seamless Site Tracking now enables all users of KENSHOO SEARCH to experience the benefits of the proprietary and unique tracking system.
Their new client, Wpromote, a premier SEM agency case in Los Angeles, is already experiencing the benefits – now able to build more sophisticated campaigns, better structures and more successful SEM programs for their clients.
Here's the official new release:
Revolutionary tracking option for KENSHOO SEARCH changes the game
/ 19 March 09
Kenshoo Search new feature provides seamless site tracking for unmatched accountability
San Francisco, CA (March 19, 2009) – Kenshoo Ltd. is excited to announce the release of a new feature for KENSHOO SEARCH™, the end-to-end Search Engine Marketing Platform. Seamless Site Tracking allows for unmatched expanded tracking, reporting and path-to-conversion details to be collected without the need of adding a tracking pixel to the website. This revolutionary capability has never existed before in search engine marketing, and it changes the rules of the game.
“We learned from our years of experience with advertisers and affiliates that it can be a pain point to implement a tracking pixel in their site and that pixel based tracking systems are not 100 percent accurate. Seamless Site Tracking, beyond being more accurate than any pixel base tracking, enables users to enjoy all of the information provided by KENSHOO SEARCH tracking and reporting without the need to place the KENSHOO SEARCH tracking pixel or any other pixel on the advertiser’s web site. This is highly beneficial for our affiliate advertisers who work across different affiliate networks. It allows them to see all their tracking information easily and conveniently,” says Alon Sheafer, VP Product and Co-Founder of Kenshoo.
This new ability enhances the flexibility and customizable aspects of KENSHOO SEARCH. Being able to specify what type of tracking and how to track gives advertisers and affiliates greater control over their SEM activities than ever before. Detailed tracking and reporting allows them to optimize their campaigns and therefore improve ROI.
A new client of Kenshoo’s enjoying this functionality is Los Angeles based Wpromote. Wpromote is a premier SEM agency with unmatched experience in search marketing and an unrivaled dedication to their clients' results.
“Before we started to work with KENSHOO SEARCH it was difficult to get accurate conversion tracking data. The KENSHOO SEARCH Seamless Site Tracking technology enables us to collect rich tracking data related to our clients’ conversions based on their website’s database conversion report and accurately analyze the traffic we drive to their websites. As an agency, having this information enables us to build more sophisticated campaigns, better structures and more successful SEM programs for our clients” Says Mike Mothner, CEO Wpromote.
Kenshoo (http://www.kenshoo.com) is the provider of KENSHOO SEARCH, the only 3rd generation end-to-end search marketing platform. Built utilizing the Quality Management™ approach, KENSHOO SEARCH enables marketers to optimize every aspect of their campaigns to achieve maximum ROI. Kenshoo's automation and optimization technology is being used today by ad agencies and advertisers on five continents and in dozens of languages. Kenshoo is backed by venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Arts Alliance.
Kenshoo provides its licensed SEM platform and services to agencies, advertisers, and affiliate marketers worldwide.
How many of you would agree with me when I say that Microsoft dropped the ball with Search? Like for example, is it me or do they re-brand their Search product every four years? C'mon people it's not the Olympics, it's Search. Does the average user relate to Microsoft's Search product as MSN, Microsoft Search, Windows Live, MSN Search, Windows Live Search, or Live Search? Of course there were the Micro-Hoo rumors as well. Now enter Kumo? Sheesh where will it end? No wonder people are confused.
Every year we keep hearing about the big things that are coming from Microsoft with regards to Search, and every year there is nothing. They still have about an 8-9% market share and they still have not dealt with relevancy issues that plague their search products... but they're working on it. That is apparently to this interview with Stefan Weitz a member of Microsoft's search team.
"We're not at where we'd like to be," Weitz began, and then dove in to explain that people are generally happy with how their search engine is working, until the data shows that they are not. In the last 6 to 12 months, Microsoft has learned that only about a quarter of users are satisfied with the results of their first query, about half end up having to refine their query or start with a completely different one, and another quarter abandon their search altogether. At first I thought this data was largely incorrect, and then I remembered how some of my friends used web search. It's actually spot on. What Microsoft is saying here is that everyone should be able to find what they are looking for on their first attempt, every time. That's a goal Live Search is nowhere near reaching.
The author of the piece, Emil Protalinksi, suggests
While that didn't blow my socks off, the interview only further increased my suspicion that Microsoft has quite a bit up their sleeve with Kumo, especially since it's only available to the company's employees. Whether I end up using Kumo or Live Search as my main search engine isn't what I'm really looking forward to here. What many users, including myself, really want is a real competitor to Google, so that web search can seriously start moving forward and so that something better than the "10 blue links" can finally emerge.
I think that the world is ready for a richer search experience. Whether that comes from Microsoft, Google Yahoo or ASK for that matter, Search is more than just 10 blue links. It's about finding the information that you are looking for at the right time, the right place and in the right format.
Without much fanfare or publication, Yahoo has released its day parting and demographic targeting technologies. This is a great stride forward for Yahoo and, until now, has been a pain for many search marketers advertising on Yahoo. Yahoo now joins the ranks of the other major Search Engines (Google, Microsoft Live Search, and ASK) with offering a greater level of sophisticated targeting tools to help advertisers eliminate wasted advertising dollars.
What is Day Parting?
Day Parting, can also be referred to as "Ad Scheduling" is an advanced targeting option that allows you to control what days and hours you want campaigns to run. The main benefit of day parting is to show your ad when people are more likely to buy. Think of it as time sensitive advertising.
With Yahoo offering day parting, this new functionality will allow advertisers to be able to expand day parting for their clients to further achieve their campaign goals.
Kurt Opsahl over at Electronic Frontier Foundation had a great post about Google's new behavioral targeting ad program. Google's plan is to create technology that makes the advertising on Google, and the sites of their partners, as relevant as possible. This "internet based advertising" as Google is calling it works by collecting a cookie to remember a user's visits. Google stores a number in the user's browser to remember their visits and as the user visits their sites of choice Google will serve ads up to the user based on their past browser experience. There is an opt out option for those concerned with privacy issues.
The issues with behavioral advertising have been with us for over a decade (DoubleClick was founded in 1996, and privacy issues soon followed), and have grown as more people use more services online and more information has become available about your online behavior. Many, including EFF, are concerned about behavioral targeting because it means that information about how you use the web is collected, stored and associated with a cookie on your browser, which can track you across different websites and online services. One way to help protect your privacy is to clear cookies regularly. However, this is insufficient, because a new cookie would be written the next time your browser loaded a banner ad.
The most privacy protective solution would be to have behavioral targeting systems be based on the user's opt-in. To no one's surprise, Google has not gone down that road ("'Offering advertising on an opt-in basis goes against the economic model of the Internet,' Google spokesperson Christine Chen told the IDG News Service"), and we are not aware of any major player in online advertising that has an opt-in targeting system. Google has, however, done some things that make opt-out quite a bit better.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out and whether Google is successful with these behavioral targeting ads.
Forbes released its richest people list for 2009 and like always we like to dissect it and examine the top Canadians that are on the list. Just who are the richest Canadians in 2009? Well there was a drop in billionaires in 2009 from 1,125 to a mere 793, there are a number of Canadians on the list. In fact there are 20 Canadians on the billionaires list. They include Edmonton Oiler owner Daryl Katz who ranks #468 with an estimated worth of $1.5 billion. Here is a look at the rest of the richest Canadians:
Rank Name Citizenship Age Worth Residence
David Thomson & family
Galen Weston & family
James, Arthur & John Irving
Bernard (Barry) Sherman
David Azrieli & family
Emanuele (Lino) Saputo
Pretty great list of the richest Canadians for 2009.
Forbes released its annual richest people list and the number of billionaires is down over last year. According to the report the average worth of the world's 793 billionaires is $3 billion (which is down by 23% over last year).
What I find surprising is that the US billionaire contingent went up accounting for 44% of the worth represented through 45% of the people on the list despite the terrible economic conditions being experienced by the United States. Even more surprising is that last year there were 1,125 billionaires in 2009, there are 793 with $1.4 trillion vanishing.
For those interested, Bill Gates tops the list with a net worth of $40 billion. The top 5 look like this:
Net Worth ($bil)
William Gates III
Carlos Slim Helu & family
Ingvar Kamprad & family
The richest Canadian on the list is David Thomson & Family holding down the number 24 position with a net worth of $13 billion. For the record, the Google Guys, Sergey Brin and Larry Page can be found in positions 26 and 27 each with an estimated net worth of $12 billion. Not bad for a couple of guys who's business is barely 10 years old.
Other notable "online" related billionaires:
Michael Dell - of Dell worth $12.3 billion
Steve Ballmer - CEO of Microsoft worth $11 billion
Jeffrey Bezos - Amazon worth $6.8 billion
Hiroshi Yamauchi - of Nintendo fame worth $4.5 billion
Eric Schmidt - Google worth $4.4 billion
I find these lists fascinating to see how all of these people have acquired these massive fortunes of wealth (some easier than others). Look for our richest Canadian post soon.
Compete.com has released their data for February 2009.
February Fast Movers: Fast Food, Flower Power and a New Leader in Monthly Attention
Compete data from the year’s shortest month tells some interesting tales of love, speed, and the pursuit of sandwiches. Perhaps the biggest story, however, comes at the top. For the first time ever, Facebook overtook the top spot in Monthly Attentioncommanding nearly 6% of all time spent online by Americans in the month of February. Good news for Facebook, but a tough defeat for dethroned Yahoo. Looking at the graph below, it appears that Google is next in line to make the pass.
Monthly Attention - Facebook, Yahoo, Google, MySpace
(The total time spent on a domain as a percentage of the total time spent online by all U.S. Internet users, February '07 - February '09)
For many who have attended any of the larger search marketing conferences, PubCon is touted as one of the better ones to attend. The sessions are top notch and the list of keynote speakers that have participated is tremendous.
Starting tomorrow the three day PubCon South event will be happening in Austin, Texas. Following a three track format, the conference is billed as an Executive Educational Conference with topics including:
Video and Multimedia
As mentioned, keynote speakers for the event include Guy Kawasaki, and a Matt Cutts "Super Session" with Lee Odden, Chris Brogan, Wayne Sutton and Reem Abeidoh. While the conference does not have B2B specific sessions, there are a number of great sessions to attend. Some of the sessions that we recommend include:
Guy Kawasaki Fireside Chat With Chris Brogan - Twitter and social media maven Chris Brogan will interview Guy in a fireside chat format. Topics to include, Social Media, Search SEO/SEM, Twitter, Startups, and the current state of the web. You definitely will not want to miss this keynote.
SEO Landscape - features some savvy folks from the industry including Bill Hunt and Brett Tabke.
Organic Keyword Research and Selection - I love that there is a session geared towards organic keyword research. This is fantastic. Tremendous session to help understand methods for refining, researching and expanding your organic keyword baskets.
Keynote Address - Matt Cutts of Google will be fiedling questions via Google Moderator and Twitter. Always entertaining and action packed.
Organic Link Building Campaigns - The panelists in this session are experts on linking and will take a critical look at linking strategies including outbound link optimization, outsourcing link building, old-fashioned linking via directories, and hiring an in-house link developer.
Tracking and Results Analytics - these are always great sessions, this particular session includes Enquisite CEO, Richard Zwicky who we interviewed at SES San Jose last August.
The Twitter and Micro Blogging Revolution - This panel will look at real world microblogging through Twitter and other outlets to drive website traffic and branding campaigns.
Great job by the conference organizers as this looks to be one of the better shows to take in.
Pubcon South takes place in Austin, Texas from March 11-13th, 2009.
PubCon South Agenda
Original Post on ASK Enquiro: B2B SEO vs. B2C SEO: How Different Is It?
I’ve been asked a couple of times about how B2B SEO differs from B2C SEO. Is there a difference? Well there is a difference and it depends on how you look at SEO. If you are looking at SEO as strictly a tactical tool, B2B SEO can be quite similar to B2C SEO. From a strategic perspective, B2B SEO can be quite a bit different than normal B2C SEO. The fact is that when someone is ready to purchase a cell phone that person moves through the buying funnel fairly quickly. There is limited research conducted, there is quick consideration and then the purchase is made. Sometimes there is post purchase remorse or questions, but all in all the consumer walks through the buying funnel fairly quickly. Now consider a business looking to purchase CRM software. For one, there is probably more than one person making the ultimate purchase decision. In fact there is most likely a committee that will make the purchase decision. Secondly there are users and there are buyers. These are two entirely different audiences. The end result is a longer buying funnel that is nowhere near as linear as the B2C process.
So how does this affect SEO efforts? Well we know that, quite often B2B transactions take longer. Therefore, Search will be used at different stages of the buying funnel, especially during the research phase. In addition, search may be used at different intervals by various people contributing to the ultimate purchase of a solution:
Searching to identify consideration sets
Searching to research additional information about potential vendors
Searching to find case studies and testimonials
Searching to find solution comparisons
Searching to find demos and pricing
What this means from an SEO perspective is that you have to understand your target audience. You need to know who will be searching for your solution. You need to speak their language not yours and you need to help them find the information that they are looking for in a quick and efficient manner.
How Different is B2B SEO from B2C SEO?
The fact that B2B SEO is devoted to business to business search engine optimization and B2C SEO focuses on the consumer is one of the more obvious differences between B2B and B2C SEO. At the heart of everything the SEO fundamentals are not that different in B2B SEO and B2C SEO. In order to understand the difference between the two, let’s look at a couple of fundamental SEO areas.
Keyword Research for B2B SEO
At the heart of any SEO campaign is keyword activity. The difference between B2B SEO and B2C SEO when it comes to keyword research is that keyword selection in B2B needs to cover a longer buying funnel and as a result needs to be more diverse than with a B2C keyword basket. Keyword strategies then become more robust. Identifying the proper head, torso and long-tail keywords that will engage the searcher at the longer stages of the buying funnel. Keyword research is a more repeatable process with B2B. Remember we’re talking about SEO, so the identification and selection of keywords needs to adapt to the language of your target audience. At different stages of the buying funnel, you will have different types of searchers looking for your information (users vs purchasers). With B2B SEO, an effective keyword strategy can be even more critical than what we would find in a typical B2C keyword strategy. The main difference is in scalability of the keywords and the ability to select and optimize keywords for multiple audiences at multiple touch points.
On-Page Optimization for B2B SEO
The fact of the matter is that when you compare on-page optimization options for B2B SEO and B2C SEO, there is not a whole lot of difference. After all there is only so many ways that you can optimize meta data, page titles, page headings, your URLs and your page copy. As a fundamental component of SEO, on-page optimization is often overlooked by large business. Addressing on-page optimization for B2C vs. B2B sites does not differ greatly if at all. The difference is really in the page copy that you provide on your web properties. For all intensive purposes on-page optimization is pretty much the same for a B2B site and a B2C site.
Content Development for B2B SEO
Content is the key to your online success. It’s not about the look of your site (although that may help) and contrary to popular belief it’s not about the number of links that you get for your web properties (although that will help too), without content that speaks to your target audience you are not going to do well in the algorithmic results of the search engines. While B2C sites feature content focusing on a product or series of products, content on B2B sites has an entirely different purpose. A B2C site may in fact have conversion triggers to guide the user to making an actual purchase. Conversions on a B2B site are more in the vein of building a relationship with the users and will consist of items such as case studies, demos, newsletter signups and the like. As a result content on B2B sites may need to be in different formats (think video demos vs. traditional web pages, downloadable case study PDFs vs podcasts etc.). Remember, the majority of B2B purchases are not quick decisions. It can take months before a purchase decision is made. Information is being gathered and decisions are being made, so providing the right type of content and making it available at the right time is key.
The content that you feature on your site needs to help you build a relationship with your audience. You need to earn their trust by providing them will all of the information that they seek. Especially knowing that competition may be fierce and the purchase decision may be months away.
Inbound Linking for B2B SEO
Yes, still in 2009 links are still important. Building your inbound link inventory does not differ for B2B SEO that it does for B2C SEO. If you produce unique and informative content on your site, you are going to build your link inventory. No question. This is not unlike what you would do for B2C SEO. Should you choose to purchase links (while we do not recommend this) this is no different than what many in the B2C arena are currently doing. In this respect, inbound linking does not vary for B2B SEO vs. B2C SEO.
So how different is B2B SEO from B2C SEO? Well at the fundamental level, there does not appear to be a lot of major differences. Yet with SEO aspects such as keyword research and content development there are great differences between B2B and B2C SEO. We might argue that the stakes are a little higher in the B2B arena and that B2B SEO is not just an option, but a mandatory piece of your overall marketing pie.