Search Insider Summit Round Table Takeaways - Day 2

Search Insider Summit’s Day 2 Round Tables recap -  

eCommerce Advertiser Round Table: Lance Loveday, CEO of Closed Loop Marketing led this roundtable and gathered the following key takeaways from the group:


·         People were struck by Google's dominance globally - and the ascent of Europe and Asia over the U.S. in terms of search volume. The mainly US-centric attendees seemed a little stunned by this. The non-US attendees and those already running global sites just rolled their eyes.

·         We discussed Mike Moran's point about how to make a business case to the C-Suite. One idea presented was to show both the upside $ potential AND the downside $ risk associated with not maximizing Search. It's a lot easier for execs to rationalize spending money in order to maintain what they have as opposed to investing for some indeterminate level of gain.

·         There was consensus around the point that search and search tools need to be more central to most Marketing decisions. The idea was that Search could provide valuable intelligence for any marketing-related decision. But the adaptability of the search marketer mindset was also cited as a valuable trait that most marketing organizations should try to adopt. However, everyone acknowledged that the organizational inhibitors are significant.

·         Search is not dying, but it is changing and becoming more important.

Lead-Generation Advertiser Round Table: Olivier Lemaignen, Director, Retention Marketing for Kodak Gallery led this roundtable and gathered the following key takeaways from the group:


Most of the conversation focused on conversion.


·         Need different success metrics depending on the segmentation method used

o   Funnel

o   Buying cycle

o   Persona

o   Visitor segments

·         Buying cycle is often overlooked

·         Move beyond aggregate conversion figures to focus more on mini-conversions that take visitors from one step in the buying cycle to the next

o   Aggregated conversion is not as helpful or interesting in understanding true performance. Instead look at subsets:

§  Conversion for search traffic

§  Conversion for brand vs. non-brand terms

o   Leverage the knowledge you have. For example, differentiate conversion for new vs. returning visitors

·         Go for incremental improvements for sub-segments or sub-channels

o   More actionable

o   Allows focus on corresponding levers

·         2% convert and 98% do not

o   If 98% don’t convert, does it mean that you are not doing enough to pre-qualify your keywords and search traffic?

§  Debate about how to strike a balance between being extremely targeted and the business requirement of driving traffic volume

§  One agency feels that focus can sometimes be too much on the 98%

o   We naturally started measuring search with a direct response mindset. In order to take full advantage of search traffic, direct response may not be the right yard stick

o   There a branding aspect to search: both brand awareness/consideration and brand erosion

§  Brand erosion can come from delivering the wrong content or a bad experience on an ongoing basis.

§  One opinion was that focusing on driving high traffic volume at the expense of relevance could contribute to brand erosion.

·         Metrics participants are likely to focus on:

o   Traffic

o   Cost per lead

o   Cost per acquisition/application

o   Downstream/offline conversion

o   Engagement

o   Cost per transaction

o   Cost efficiency

o   Volume of inquiries

·         Other angles to look at:

o   Focusing on the people falling off on the path to conversion, versus optimizing only against the primary objective / conversion event

o   Take a look-back at visitors who converted, understand their path (what pages did they look at?) and optimize/elevate that path to make it easier for future visitors to go down the path to conversion

o   Make sure you test your hypotheses

·         Focus on understanding the customer experience:

o   Customers think about products from a particular company in a way that does not necessarily meet the way the company is setup organizationally

§  Information architecture and taxonomy on the site is critical

o   This opens up new opportunities to present a company’s offerings:

§  Needs-based

§  Usage-based

§  Persona-based

Some take-aways around attribution:

·         Make better assumptions

·         It’s often a challenge to know how to attribute budgets accurately

·         Bigger question is:

o   “how much bigger should the budget be”

o    Vs. how to divide up the existing budget â€" especially since we often cannot effectively tie budgets to outcomes.


Brand Advertiser Round Table: Lucinda Holt, CEO of Click Equations led this roundtable and gathered the following key takeaways from the group:


This round table was very small this time around so the discussions were focused on a couple themes.

·         We had a long discussion about agency-client relations and how to align them better (essentially, trust and verify).

·         The other conversation was about how much of a struggle social media is for large brands. It worries senior management and lawyers, and it's difficult to operationalize.


Search Engine/ Portals/ Resellers Advertiser Round Table: Charles Knight, Editor for  led this roundtable and gathered the following key takeaways from the group:


Summary: Good SEO / SEM products and skills are needed across a wide spectrum, from individual and small firms like Connectual and Kenshoo to major firms iCrossing and Yahoo! Search Marketing.

The Search Idol panel raised the question of the role of smaller alternative search engines versus the giant "Tier 1" search engines.

Innovation is also present in huge number crunching projects like Anchor Intelligence and ebay, as well as the super clever custom ad tag cloud developed by adMarketplace.

The take away was that heading into 2010, firms of all sizes continue to impact advances in SEO / SEM.

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications