Search Insider Summit Round Table Takeaways - Day 2

SIS Round Table Recaps

Day 2

The round table sessions following day 2 of the Search Insider Summit were just as thought-provoking as the sessions.  Here is the update -

eCommerce Advertiser Round Table: Matt Lawson, Director of Marketing, Marin Software led this roundtable and provided the following notes:

  • Social Media Influencing Search: How do you measure it?  How do you manage it?
    • Organic social media efforts require investment and there is no formula for the number of posts, tweets, etc that work.
    • Keys are to identify experts within the company and respond to consumer questions with true insight. for example has experts respond to questions about pet health.  K12, uses employees with expertise in teaching and curriculum as advocates.
    • Innovative ways to grow programs include personal outreach through social networking and physical events to connect with key influencers in the community.  For example, K12 organizes events for parents who are active in working with schools.
    • Working with multiple agencies for search, display, and social makes integration and attribution a challenge.  The brands working with agencies need to do a better job of pulling disparate agencies together and encouraging them to collaborate through vendor summits and shared objectives.
    • Facebook Ads is paying dividends for some, especially vendors who invest in testing.  Some advertisers are seeing good lifts from day parting on the platform.  
  • Does the company need a chief marketing technologist?
    • Absolutely, but challenges abound. 
    • A lot of the thought leaders within leading brands are here at SIS, but getting buy in for the business case for a new technology can still be a challenge when they return home. 
    • Implementation of new (proprietary) tagging solutions remains a major challenge for almost every new technology.  Vendors agreeing on a universal tag to use would be a big win.

Search Engines/ Portals/ Resellers Round Table: Janel Laravie, Co-Founder of Chacka Marketing led this roundtable and provided the following notes:
Main Topic – Organic listings are increasingly becoming less prominent and how advertisers can better utilize paid and local opportunities to dominate the search results page. 

  • One theory is that the traditional search results page is driving fragmentation of searcher behavior and the dominance of paid results is causing searchers to look elsewhere, like social networks.  Ironically though, attendees feel Social media cannot be ignored, but it is the driving force behind fragmenting the search experience by displacing relevant organic listings.
  • As paid search results offer more opportunity to dominate a page, the barrier to entry is greater in search.  Anyone used to be able to play, but now big brands have site links, product plus boxes, super affiliates and GAN image ad placements.
  • With searchers seeking answers outside of search engines, attendees wonder if search will become more like TV media buying.  Big networks command higher rates even though their consumption is down, TV as a whole is up because there are more networks available to buy from.  This theory stems from the fact that most advertisers see their highest CPC’s from Google followed by Yahoo and Microsoft and even lower CPC’s on expanded PPC placements like adMarketplace and Looksmart.
  • Local search and the prominence of localized listings was an important topic, but overall, agencies agree that a localized campaign strategy is a lot of work with little tangible returns and is extremely difficult to justify.  This doesn’t diminish its importance, as local is critical to creating continuity in the overall brand experience delivered through retailers, resellers, etc.; however, it does not seem to be a core component of SEM strategy for national brands due to the lack of concrete results and tracking.

Lead Generation Advertisers Round Table: Olivier Lemaignen, Director of Marketing at Kodak Gallary led this roundtable and provided the following notes:

Two main topics were discussed with a passion at the Lead Generation table:

  1. For B2B, it is hard to target the right businesses. Tips to do it successfully.
  2. Marketing and technology: Marketing VS. IT


Below are the notes from these conversations:


  1. For B2B, it is hard to target the right businesses. Tips to do it successfully.


    • Move away from trying to target businesses in search based on the firmographics approach.  Go back to “learning phaseâ€�, determine which problems businesses are trying to solve, and build content to help/educate how to solve the problem
    • Leverage search levers other than keywords to help direct searchers (e.g., ad copy, landing page content). Use creative to differentiate audience – help businesses self-identify
    • Start bidding on features
    • Use negative match to eliminate keywords that drive B2C
    • Partner with other companies that have similar B2C products => split leads based on site behavior
    • For keywords desired across business units, leverage multivariate testing on landing page content to define which BU should get placement

   2.  Marketing & Technology

    • For SEO specifically, Marketing needs to help IT
      • Training, education
      • Incorporate search tasks into existing processes
      • Rate BU performance on SEO compliance, then compare monthly to trigger some competition
    • Online marketing is shifting to the search paradigm
      • Relevance
      • Accountability

Search marketers tend to be more technically adept => need to define how marketing evolves.  Put more pressure on technology companies’ shoulders to enable marketing and avoid IT roadblocks.

    • Marketers also need to get a better grasp on how to talk about “why marketing matters and what it can do for the companyâ€�.
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