Search Insider Summit Round Table Recaps

Day 1

As usual, the round tables were filled with eager attendees willing to share their opinions, provide insightful feedback on the sessions and made for some very good discussions.

"Lead Gen Advertisers Unite!" Round Table: Frank Lee, SVP, Agency Strategy, The Search Agency led this roundtable and provided the following notes:

Much of our conversations surrounded the use of Facebook ads, Google Instant and changes to the organic results, and early findings on the Microsoft/ Yahoo! Search alliance.

  • Facebook Advertising
    • The effectiveness of Facebook advertising was mixed depending on the industry.  For example, dating and community lead gen advertisers were having better success, while financial services and enterprise software advertisers were not successful when measuring to CPL metrics.
    • Some advertisers were looking to leverage Facebook ads to begin a relationship with their target audience vs trying to capture leads directly.
    • Linkedin seems to be better for B2B advertisers, however volume is very light.  Additionally, Linkedin provides limited sales resources, even for large advertisers.
    • Everyone agreed that optimization on Facebook is very different than search.  Creatives get stale quickly, audience segmentation needs to be very granular and more frequent bidding is needed.   One suggestion was to compress the flight dates for a set budget from say 1 month into 4 days to maximize opportunity.
    • Google SERP
      • Google Places, Instant and increasingly local results in the Google SERP are becoming a big challenge for advertisers' SEO efforts.  In some cases, traffic declines are significant.
      • SEO specialists are scrambling to find resolution.
      • Microsoft/ Yahoo Search Alliance
        • Mixed results to date, but many advertisers have expressed concerns over lower volume compared to the past.  But there is confidence that the new marketplace will get better.
        • Editorial problems and account settings are a couple of the gating factors.  In addition, Microsoft's greater focus on user intent results in less ad distribution across queries.

"eCommerce - We Snuck Away During the Holiday Season to Chat" Round Table: Danny Huynh, Group Search Director, Mindshare led this roundtable and provided the following notes:

  • While 2010 has been better than 2009, the consumers are demanding everything at discounts, coupons, and specials; brands are now incorporating discount/specials as part of marketing
  • We have black friday, cyber monday .... what's next?  media seems to be driving most of these "days" - good for advertisers, from a site stability perspective
  • e-Comm primary focus is on online sales; some category have implications for foot traffic
  • Yahoo/Bing alliance, has been weak and have made little to no impact overall
  • Implications of Google instant

"Branding Discussion Forum" Round Table: Jeff Ferguson led this roundtable and provided the following notes:

The brand roundtable leaned towards the viral, local, and "Top of the funnel" discussions rather easily – great group.

  • Viral content:
    • Brands should worry more about creating compelling content than "what will go viral"
    • They should skip out on things that are overtly branded, unless they are more informational in nature (info-graphics, apps, etc.)
    • Brands should remember that not all viral activities are videos of cats or people getting hurt, but can take the form of info-graphics, apps, tools, etc. 
  • Local "Check-Ins"
    • The big question here was if there was any brand value to the check-in apps, etc.; most agreed there was, but it was mostly accidental since the apps and Facebook clearly don't have brand in mind when they create the applications.
    • Another big question was if users discredit the brands when a check-in moves from the organic to the "official"; most agreed that it did not harm the brand because in most cases, there was a deal involved. 
  • Traditional media and "top of the funnel"
    • All in the discussion were still amazed how much they have to battle internally to remind their brands to continue to do "top of the funnel" brand advertising using traditional media.
    • However, all were amazed how hard this inclusion was still hard to track in the grand scheme of the campaigns.
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