• Three Reasons Why eBay Is Wrong About Paid Search
    Recently Harvard Business Review asked the question: "Did eBay Just Prove That Paid Search Ads Don't Work?" According to HBR, eBay conducted a study of paid search marketing habits and found that paid ads are not worth their expense and were focused on consumers who would shop on eBay regardless of whether they saw paid ads. Speaking generally, eBay suggested that brand-keyword ads have no short-term benefits, and that returns from all other keywords are minimal.
  • Psychological Priming And The Path To Purchase
    In marketing, I suspect we pay too much attention to the destination, and not enough to the journey. We don't take into account the cumulative effect of the dozens of subconscious cues we encounter on the path to our ultimate purchase. We certainly don't understand the subtle changes of direction that can result from these cues. Search is a perfect example of this.
  • Narrow & Deep Or Wide & Shallow: How Does Your Tech Partner Roll?
    If you've ever eyeballed a LUMAscape, you know there's no shortage of digital advertising technology providers. And if you've ever had to evaluate the various players within the ecosystem, you know they can be difficult to differentiate. To make sense of the options, I've found it helpful to bucket companies into two types of, well, buckets: 1) narrow and deep and 2) wide and shallow.
  • Don't Waffle On Making A Digital Disaster Recovery Plan
    As a rule, any brand should have its messaging in order, including reactive ones in the event of a digital snafu. Using a basic SWOT analysis, identify potential issues including shifts in regulations, social media misuse, a competitor's surge, zombie uprisings, hacked accounts, or Mayan Apocalypses.
  • Beyond Key Performance Indicators: Communicating With Analytics
    There's an art and science to delivering insight via data. Selecting appropriate key performance indicators (KPIs) is a hugely important first step, and one that I've grown accustomed to discussing in my columns. Determining how to best visualize data is arguably the next most important task. There's more required of us if we're to succeed as data-driven communicators, though. I've frequently been guilty of overlooking these requirements myself, but have come to understand that communicating effectively with analytics involves three key considerations beyond KPIs and data visuals.
  • Eight Ways To Prove To Google You're A 'True Merchant'
    This past week there was big news from SXSW of great interest to etailers: First, Google's latest Panda Update will roll out in just a few days. Second, Google is further tweaking its anti-spam algorithm to further prune the ranks of "unreliable" ecommerce sites.
  • Sifting (And Searching) Through The Inspiration At SXSW
    In coming to Austin, I had one simple goal: seek out insights and experiences from other industries. Since arrival, I've forced myself to break away from the usual suspects of search, social, and data analytics. Instead, I very deliberately sought topics that would expand my perspective on the digital communications landscape. I wanted to hear from thought leaders in complementary spaces. So far so good.
  • Viewing The World Through Google-Colored Glass
    Let's play "What If" for a moment. For the last few columns, I've been pondering how we might more efficiently connect with digital information. Essentially, I see the stripping away of the awkward and inefficient interfaces that have been interposed between that information and us. Let's imagine, 15 years from now, that Google Glass and other wearable technology provides a much more efficient connection, streaming real-time information to us that augments our physical world. In the blink of an eye, we can retrieve any required piece of information, expanding the capabilities of our own limited memories beyond belief. We have …
  • Search Marketing Shouldn't End At the Click
    As search marketers, we focus a ton of money and brainpower testing and optimizing our media to make sure we drive the best results. Most of us do our job (and do it well) and then count on other teams to take the ball to the end zone. In turn, we take what we learned from those wins and then optimize against insights from those conversions reactively. Our focus is on the advertising itself, getting the right message in front of the right person. And while we may leverage landing pages and where users go after they click, the full …
  • Mark Zuckerberg And The Voldemort Strategy
    You can call it business diversification. You can call it being prudent. Whatever you call it, Facebook's announced acquisition of the Atlas digital advertising platform last week marked a very peculiar day in the history of the world's most popular social network. In acquiring Atlas, Facebook may have made its clearest move in pursuit of what I call the "Voldemort strategy."
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