I have one word to say about why auctions work. That word is "scarcity." Scarcity's the only reason anyone would enter an auction, and scarcity's the only thing that keeps people in auctions, even after bid prices keep moving up. And scarcity explains why Google Publication ads--its auction-based print ad network--hasn't worked; and why its entrée into radio advertising will be a hit.
Last month I went to my 25th high school reunion. It's fascinating to me that with very few exceptions, people don't change a whole lot. The "cool" people were still cool, and the nerdy ones had pursued a consistent path as well. And my ultra-cool classmates were still so hip that they didn't even show up.
In the 1600s, Samuel Pepys became history's most famous diarist. From 1660 to 1669, this English Member of Parliament kept a detailed diary, which was published posthumously. In it, we gain a fascinating eyewitness account of the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London. Most passages were not so monumental, however....
A white paper was recently released by Slack Barshinger and Search Channel touting the emergence and merits of vertical (or specialized) search engines. The authors' basic assertions are on point. Vertical engines are a great source of targeted information for niche categories or situations in which the general results of the Big 4 (Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Ask) are not customized to the intent or profile of the searcher.
The long tail is wagging the dog....
One of the oldest truths in marketing is that it's easier to sell to returning customers than it is to capture new ones. That's undoubtedly correct in the bricks-and-mortar world, but it might be less accurate when it comes to e-tail. The source of that distinction lies in search.
It is a critical component of the day-to-day tasks that occur behind the scenes of any paid search marketing campaign. It is a necessary evil. It is something that does not need to be so complex and cumbersome--but often is. Simply put, it is customer service. But in this case it is the engine's service of its customer--the agency.
After looking at thousands of search sessions in detail, one thing is becoming clear. Searchers are incredibly adept at focusing in on just the portion of the results page that interests them. The time required to relocate to the prime real estate is literally a fraction of a second. Yet that real estate isn't always the same spot.
In my past two Search Insider columns I advanced a concept of relevant segmentation of consumer search. If my theory is right, then search strategy should be built off consumer behavior. This is one of those statements that often gets heads nodding--but doesn't get executed. Here's how I think it actually works in reality...
For most retailers, holiday shopping is undoubtedly the most challenging, competitive, and crucial six weeks (or so) of the entire year. And it's the time when small flaws in your search management can easily turn into serious issues. I bring this up now because it's July already--and the entire process of transitioning search firms is a long one.