• The Search Insider RFP Panel: Truer than You Know
    Another Search Insider Summit is in the can. And one of the most interesting panels we had was the one put together by Aaron Goldman about the RFP process in search. Aaron picked up from where he, Steve Baldwin and Janel Landis left off in a string of columns talking about the frustration of RFPs and RFQs. Aaron posed the question of whether the RFP process was fundamentally broken to a balanced panel of clients (represented by Olivier Lemaignen from Intuit and Tom Bombacino from Restaurants.com) and agencies (represented by Tom Kuthy from Resolution Media and Janel from SendTec).
  • Understanding Human Behavior: It's A PIC-NIC
    A year ago, I wrote a post about behavioral science, prompted by a conversation with UK-based behavioral scientist Howard Lees. Today's post was prompted by Lees' son David, who practices the same discipline in New Zealand. The motto of behavioral science is "Why ask why?" Behavioral scientists don't bother with "why"; instead, they worry about "what." What do people do? How do people react? If we give them this stimulus, what is their response?
  • Search Insider Summit Tweet-O-Meter
    Another spring Search Insider Summit has come and gone. As always, the weather was hot, the conversations were warm, and the emcee was cool -- so cool, in fact, that one attendee was overheard proclaiming, "Gord, you're my hero!" In my last column, I revisited the Buzz-O-Meter from past summits and offered my predictions for Top 10 buzzwords at this one. Since I was pretty close, I'm not going to spill much digital ink on explanations or context for this edition of SIS buzzword bingo. Instead, I'll quickly recap the Top 10 and start a new tradition sharing additional Top ...
  • The Mobile Search Roadblock
    I recently returned from a few weeks in Europe. I ended the trip visiting my wife's family northwest of Manchester, England. Along the coast there, Wi-Fi is so sparse I spent most of my time trying to get information online using my BlackBerry because the signal for my phone worked everywhere. This is what led me to realize what is holding mobile search back: mobile browsers.
  • Going Out of Business: The End Of Search Marketing
    A guy walks into a search pitch meeting and says, "Thank you for inviting me here today. But I'm not in -- and you don't want someone in -- the search marketing space to be your search vendor." Now the punchline to that could have been the guy ends up on a barstool in about 15 minutes because he was thrown out on his ear. But it wasn't. In fact, the reality was a two-hour discussion about the change that is taking place which has its roots in search, but transcends our business entirely.
  • Live From Captiva: The Digital Divide
    As the chairman of comScore, Gian Fulgoni has access to a massive database that captures every click of online activity from over 2,000,000 panel members. As you're reading this, Gian's probably giving the opening keynote at the Search Insider Summit on Captiva Island in Florida. I'm not sure what he will be covering, but he did share a few slides with me -- the results of a study that showed the relative effectiveness of online and television advertising in driving purchases of consumer packaged goods. 82% of the online campaigns showed positive sales or unit lift, with an average lift ...
  • A Few Things To Expect At Latest Search Insider Summit
    As this column goes out on the wire, many of you will be en route, or will have arrived on Captiva Island, Fla., for the Search Insider Summit, which starts today, and goes through Saturday. I'm personally looking forward to moderating the "Branding and Post-Click SEO and PPC" roundtable discussion on Thursday. In a previous column, I noted a number of unique aspects about the show that are worth briefly reviewing here as this year's conference gets underway....
  • Search Is Still, And Always Will Be, About People
    Here at Search Insider, we spend a lot of time talking about people: who we are, how our brains work, what motivates us. Last week, for example, I explored the connect/disconnect cycle of human social behavior. My esteemed colleague Gord Hotchkiss unraveled why it's so much easier to persuade people face to face. Admittedly, there's plenty of technical fodder here as well: metrics, analytics, optimization, and other serious words. But there's a reason we write about people, and there's a reason you read about people: it's because, at the end of the day, search is only about people.
  • Give Me Buyers, Not Searchers!
    What search marketers want more than anything is what old-line direct marketers have had for a long time: lists of people with money in their pocket and a history of executing online transactions. Search engines have this data (how many sites now run Google Checkout?). But inexplicably, the engines refuse to let marketers bid for these valuable people, reducing them to fighting over keywords that only prompt waves of noncommittal "hand raising."
  • DRTV & SEM Together: Oh, What A Beautiful Thing!
    Coming from an agency that specializes in both direct response television and search engine marketing, we are adept at tracking the correlation between the two channels. And the availability of Google Trends and the upgraded insights for search tools have given us a terrific, third-party view of this fascinating juxtaposition between DRTV and SEM. Consider, for example, a new television series entitled "Pitchmen," which chronicles the everyday lives of infomercial personalities Billy Mays and Anthony Sullivan. Throughout the show, they introduce potential new products and talk about whether or not each product will make it.
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