By all accounts, the OMMA Global Conference & Expo held in New York two weeks ago was a resounding success. In my last column, I previewed the conference with a look at how the Search Insider track has evolved over the years.
With sessions ranging from branding to silos, we covered a broad swath of the key issues facing search marketers today. That said, the topic of search -- and, more specifically, Google -- pervaded many of the other tracks as well as the keynotes. As I noted on the Resolution Media blog, it seemed like nary a panel went by without some mention of Google -- good, bad, or otherwise, but certainly not indifferent.
The one that really stuck out was in Friday's keynote, when Nigel Morris of Isobar relayed this quote from a conversation he had with Google's country manager in Belgium: "All agencies are [the] middleman and we want to destroy you."
Now I'd like to think I know good British humor when I see it -- I'll take David Brent over Michael Scott any day --- but I couldn't tell if Mr. Morris was joking here. Regardless, it got me thinking about the context in which we'll be talking about Google -- and search -- at future OMMA shows. So here's a glimpse of what select Search Insider track sessions might look like over the next 10 years.
The Blue Oceans of International Search
With the U.S. economy still struggling from last year's historic stock market crash and ill-fated government bailout plan, many U.S. marketers are turning to International channels to reach audiences that still have disposable income. This session will highlight innovative strategies for managing global search campaigns to help you get the most for your weak dollar.
PPC Management in a Monopoly
With the Microsoft-Yahoo post-merger integration nearly complete and the combined entity outsourcing its paid search to Google, we'll dive into the tactics of campaign management across the one-party system. We'll also show you how to leverage Google Analytics (fka Omniture and DoubleClick) to track each dollar spent and optimize to on-site activity. Finally, we'll touch on best practices for rotating text, image and video ads on the SERPs.
Outsourcing Your Search Campaigns to India
Why use automated tools for bid management when you can get perfectly good human labor for pennies on the dollar? Over the past year, many leading marketers have hired teams in India to manually manage their paid search programs. It's not for everyone, though. We'll discuss the pitfalls of spell-check and currency conversion. And we'll address the challenges of keeping your staff engaged when they could be soliciting millions in wire transfers on behalf of the King of Nigeria.
The Politics of Search: Justifying Paid Search Budget in an Election Year
With Obama up for re-election and the resurgence of the Green Party in light of the melting hydrates in Western Siberia, competition on the SERPs is tougher than ever. Keywords like "global warming" now carry higher CPCs than "mesothelioma." This session will feature case studies proving that marketers can successfully build brands by attaching themselves to current-event keywords. The research presented will go beyond mere survey data and show the cumulative effect of years of latent offline and online purchase activity attributed to paid search advertising exposure.
TV Search: Is Your Brand Ready for Prime Time?
Now that all television content is available digitally on demand, it's more important than ever to make sure your brand has full coverage across the spectrum of paid and natural TV search listings. We'll explore tactics like face-match, closed caption optimization, and picture-in-picture inclusion.
Social Search: My Graph is Bigger Than Yours
Remember when search results were not influenced by your social network and you saw the same listings as everybody else? Remember when all that mattered was Quality Score, and there was no Social Score? Those days are long gone -- so let's tackle the key challenges of social search, including friend forecasting and third-party tweeting.
Mobile Search is Here
Even though we've been saying it for the past 10 years, this is definitely the year of mobile. With the Apple iPhone now carrying 2 terabytes of memory -- although still only getting 10 hours from a single charge -- and Google's G1 on pace to outsell Dell, the mobile phone has replaced the computer as the gateway to the Web. This session will feature case studies from marketers who actually receive traffic from mobile search.
Going for the Gold: Paid Search Olympics Integration
With the Summer Olympics looming in Chicago this summer, there's going to be an influx of ad dollars in the market. Search already commands the lion's share of TV, radio, and online budget and CPCs are hovering steadily in triple digits, so it's going to be tougher than ever to maintain your search ROI. In this session, we'll look at ways you can justify search budget by showing the impact is has on display TV, radio, and online ads.
DTO is the new DAO
Forget Digital Asset Optimization, the new acronym you need to know is DTO -- Digital Thought Optimization. With the advent of Google Mind, SEO is officially rocket science. It's no longer enough to make sure your brand is findable through distributed assets -- your brand has to penetrate the mind of the consumer to show up in their thought index. In this session, we'll cover best practices for DTO ranging from RFID tagging to avatar optimization.
Just Give it to Google
With marketers now turning over their entire ad budgets to Google, there's no longer any need for media and marketing trade shows. Come celebrate the final OMMA as we reminisce to 20 years ago, when Google was just a made-up word.