Another spring Search Insider Summit has come and gone. As always, the weather was hot, the conversations were warm, and the emcee was cool -- so cool, in fact, that one attendee was overheard proclaiming, "Gord, you're my hero!"
In my last column, I revisited the Buzz-O-Meter from past summits and offered my predictions for Top 10 buzzwords at this one. Since I was pretty close, I'm not going to spill much digital ink on explanations or context for this edition of SIS buzzword bingo. Instead, I'll quickly recap the Top 10 and start a new tradition sharing additional Top 10 lists.
First, a glance back at the Top 10 buzzwords I predicted in my column, "Which Way Will the Captiva Buzz Blow?"
3. Recession, Opportunity (tie)
4. Attribution, Post-Click (tie)
6. Microsoft, Live Search, MSN, Kumo (tie)
7. Social Media
here's how things shook out last week...
As expected, the little micro-blogging platform that could (drive usage but not revenue, that is) had everyone buzzing. Midway through day 2, the buzz over Twitter had reached such a fevered pitch that it had not only clinched the spot atop this list, I realized I had to rename the list in its honor. In addition to being the buzzword du jour, Twitter was also the platform of choice for keeping SIS attendees connected to each other and those who couldn't make it to Captiva. To see what I mean, just do a search on Twitter for #MPSIS. (Heh, I almost said, "Google it on Twitter.")
2. AttributionIt also came as no surprise that there was a lot of chatter about attribution as marketers try to stretch every dollar they invest and seek to understand its impact on the bottom line. Whether it was disambiguating conversions between search and display, post-impression measurement or even post-engagement tracking, the topic of attribution was hotter than the folks that spent all Friday afternoon on the beach
I was caught a bit offguard by the volume of discussion around ad exchanges -- not because they aren't an increasingly popular way for marketers and agencies to buy digital media, but because we were at a search conference. I guess it just goes to show that, as Chris Copeland eulogized, the pure SEM space is now defunct. And, as a few attendees pointed out, the same skills that are required to manage search programs apply to managing exchanges and other auctions.
In another surprising turn of events, Last-Click handily beat out Post-Click to claim a spot on the Tweet-O-Meter. Methinks Last-Click benefited from the popularity of attribution and a certain SIS sponsor to ClearSale into the Top 10.
5. Bless You, Gezundteit (tie)
Not sure if it was the AC in the main conference room (let's just hope it wasn't swine flu!) but the SIS buzz was nearly drowned out by all the attendees sneezing.
6. Economy, Recession (tie)
There was no escaping this thread -- although kudos to keynotes Gian Fulgoni and Jordan Rohan for trying to keep us focused on the potential upside.
7. Free, SEO (tie)
As I should have suspected, with the economy mired in recession, more attention was paid to un-paid media channels, primarily SEO. Marketers need to be careful, though, because SEO is not really free.
In what felt like a time warp back to 2005, there was a decent amount of discussion about affiliates -- the pros and cons for using them and best practices for managing them. My best guess is that attempts to leverage more low-risk, cost-per-acquisition channels was what drove the chatter around this channel.
9. Social, Mobile (tie)
Whether it's the effect the economy has had on marketers' testing budgets for emerging platforms or the fact that no one's really cracked the code on how to effectively leverage and scale these channels, social and mobile barely limped into the Top 10 in Captiva.
Well, it wasn't the no-see-ums that left a lasting impact on Summit attendees -- thanks, in large part, to the bug spray that Elaine Wong from MediaPost kept handy on everyone's table. It was the osprey that literally stole the show in Captiva by flying into a transformer and cutting the power to the Island smack dab in the middle of Gian's Day 1 keynote. The full details of the incident have yet to emerge, but I'm betting it was an "insider" job designed to drive foot traffic, er... eyeballs to Gord's eye-tracking clinic -- which was definitely a conference highlight, by the way.
For those of you who follow me on Twitter, these may be familiar -- but for those who de-follow me prior to trade shows (I'm looking at you, @schmogel) so as not to endure the onslaught of tweets that is my typical conference coverage, here are a couple more Top 10 lists:
Top 10 Best Quotes Taken Out of Context at SIS:
1. "At Yahoo, we expose our entire back end." -- Dan Boberg, Yahoo
2. "The good news is we've bottomed out." -- Gian Fulgoni, comScore
3. "Today I'd like to announce our intention to buy Omniture." -- Brian Boland, Microsoft
4. "Apparently you can pinpoint stuff on the moon with this." -- Gord Hotchkiss, Enquiro
5. "I'm the crazy guy working in the Interweb group" -- Rob Griffin, Media Contacts
6. "This is like the golden sprinkle." -- Scott Brinker, ion Interactive
7. "We're not gonna spam your kid or anything." -- Lance Loveday, Closed Loop Marketing
8. "It's like saying the one-night stand is a good indication of what the marriage will be like." -- Olivier Lemaignen, Intuit
9. "Hey, we met on Twitter." -- Micah Nyatsambo, Media Contacts
10. "Can I get a foot-long spicy Italian?" -- Janel Landis, SendTec
Top 10 Things You Don't Usually Hear at Industry Conferences:
1. "We're going to start on time."
2. "Make sure to grab a Bloody Mary before the presentation starts."
3. "Gord, you're my hero."
4. "The island you're on was almost wiped out by a hurricane."
5. "The conversations from the sessions today will carry on in the kayaks."
6. "I've just been told that the entire island has lost power."
7. "Someone moved our cheese."
7. "What I love about this product is that there's never a winner."
8. "Yahoo is the only one to offer it."
9. "And the winner of best shelling is..."
10. "The after-party's in Room 1620 and it's BYOB."
Tweet Ya Next Time
All in all, it was another great SIS and I'm looking forward to regrouping in 6 months for the winter show. Just remember folks, as I said during my RFP panel, anything you say or do can and will be tweeted against you!