A Kinetic Twist On The Search Mentality

Talk to Kevin Ryan and Giovanni Gallucci for a while about their new search engine marketing and interactive agency Kinetic Results, and several phrases keep coming up: the search mentality, the search perspective, and the search discipline. It's almost cult-like, except the leaders are better-dressed. I spent some time with them discovering exactly what the search mentality is.

Ryan said, "Part of our thought process was to approach the rest of the online world from the search perspective... understanding the knowledge gained from all points of marketing and pulling them together to optimize and create a more robust or sound marketing initiative."

It's the light from the search industry's torch that Kinetic wants to carry to the rest of the world. But there's more to it, too (if you read Ryan's articles on search marketing, you know there's always more).

The search mentality "is the discipline of constantly being in touch with your client and customer base," said Ryan. "Search advertising forces you to have an interaction with your audience on maybe a minute-by-minute basis. The search discipline is a constant reminder of what your audience wants and what they're looking for. It's constantly being aware of and interacting with your audience."



Kinetic plans to offer both marketing strategy and heavy duty technology. The first three products launched are Kinetic Report, web-based analytics software; Kinetic Recon, click fraud detection; and Kinetic Retail, which helps online retailers optimize their Web sites for search engines. Gallucci described the product focus as on "predictive technologies that will allow us to predict what that user's going to be looking for." He added, "We're going to serve up content and products based upon the information we have in our systems that would be most likely to result in a conversion."

Is this behavioral targeting? "A little bit," said Gallucci. "We're looking at Web analytics and compiling data based on the history of previous visitors to [a] Web site. It's not reinventing the wheel, but the difference is we're going to be tying this into search. We're developing technology so that once somebody has come to an Internet property, [we're] directing them in the way we want them to go by helping them find what they're looking for much quicker." He said that will increase the probability of making a sale.

Ryan also stressed that this wasn't behavioral targeting, saying that's becoming a bad word due to its association with adware. Interestingly, adware itself has become a bad word due to its association with spyware, which has always been a bad word.

Elaborating further, Ryan said, "We're pulling together the universe of what we call behavioral targeting in the smart capacity." The intelligence he refers to is in how to shorten the purchase funnel for publishers, and to show the value for high-traffic search terms. Ryan said it's "taking knowledge from every piece."

Ryan defined publishers both as the engines and content sites. He said publishers are seeking to raise searches on high-traffic terms (such as "DVD player"). "Everybody knows that in order to keep making these amazing quarterly numbers you have to keep the money coming in via the cash cow, and the cash cow is, and probably will be for some [time] in the future, high-traffic terms," says Ryan. Yet "high-traffic terms don't see the direct desired activity [(that is, the conversions)] that low volume specific terms do."

As Ryan describes it, a consumer will search on the vague term, visit a publisher such as CNET for more information, and then ultimately visit the retailer when ready to purchase. With all of that back and forth, Kinetic will aim to better target the consumer. "There's an amazing amount of information that the publishers can provide as a resource," Ryan noted.

Ryan added, "What we'll do with that information is understand what the behavior is like after [consumers] go to the site. Our value is enhancing the messaging and how we reach them. Knowing about them is only one piece of it. Understanding their activity in the buying cycle and using that information cumulatively is tremendous."

Most telling of Kinetic's approach is a question on its homepage. At, the visitor is asked, "What are Kinetic Results?" If referring to the company, the proper phrasing would require the singular verb, "What is Kinetic Results?" The use of the plural shifts the focus from Kinetic to the results.

That's exactly what the search mentality is all about.

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