The End Game To A Means

Grant Simmons, VP, Performance Marketing,, didn't just give a keynote presentation at this morning's MediaPost's Search & Performance Insider Summit -- he gave a performance, not really strange given his job title. Padding across the stage on sneakered feet, Simmons ran through 125 slides in 30 minutes, bringing the audience along for his ride. 

Starting off, he startled any sleepy heads when he named's competitors, Realtor, Trulia, Zillow and proclaimed, "We're above them ... in the alphabet."

His four-person team is trying to optimize every part of what it's doing, including the people around them.

He says's 110 million pages are "smart but sometimes slow." They are focused on traffic and have found leads a great retention tool. He tracks traffic to page views, to leads, to customer retention, to revenue to, finally, a happy boss.

After targeting an audience, Simmons counsels in his distinctive British accent: "Let the data decide who the audience is," using Google and Amazon to build it out. "A crap ton of testing" ensues, with dynamic search ad targeting giving his team an idea of who they are looking for.

He offered this final advice: "If you're lucky, half the stuff you try won't work -- but enough will." 

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