SEM Blog

Paid Search Marketing / 19.11.2010

Before allocating your marketing budget, consider this approach to assessing your options. On top of being massively successful, entrepreneurs like Geek Squad founder Robert Stephens are often blissfully free of academic distinctions. Call it marketing. Call it unmarketing. Call it "doing what works." Stephens is widely quoted as saying: "Advertising is the tax you pay for being unremarkable." His views were formed from not having any money when he started Geek Squad. What a great story. What...

Paid Search Marketing / 05.11.2010

Are you using ROI to justify your ad spending? An alien analysis might be more effective. In online marketing, everything is good to do, and nobody wants to be left out. That is to say, all sub-disciplines, sectors, channels, tactics, and professional organizations in online marketing and advertising compete for marketing budgets, and most claim effectiveness. Many have a good claim. As I pointed out in the last column, we often question inexplicable marketing allocation decisions. Sometimes, we...

Paid Search Marketing / 22.10.2010

Are other people's marketing allocation decisions driving you crazy? Is there a way to make a firmer case against these decisions? Let's examine a strange form of madness: other people's marketing allocation decisions. Hereafter, OPMAD's. Maybe it's a client, or senior management of the company. They've passed over the important increase in display advertising again. They've cut the budget for the website redesign. Whatever it is, you scream (always in private, in a locked room) under your...

Paid Search Marketing / 08.10.2010

Want to more reliably test key variables in your Google AdWords accounts? Try these two tests. Issues of test design, keyword auction dynamics, and statistical significance are complex. To help marketers more reliably test key variables in their AdWords accounts, Google has created a killer little feature called AdWords Campaign Experiments. You've no doubt heard of the concept of A/B testing landing pages by evenly rotating them to website visitors. The same concept, applied to ad copy,...

Paid Search Marketing / 24.09.2010

When managing ad campaigns in small markets, it can be difficult to obtain statistically significant conclusions. Here's how to overcome that obstacle. How can one apply North American search marketing insights to a very small market in Europe? I was reminded of this question when I recently spoke at a conference in Norway. Norway's e-commerce market is a slim 1 percent of that in the United States. I sometimes assume I instinctively "get" the small market equation,...

Paid Search Marketing / 10.09.2010

If you optimize highly targeted digital direct response campaigns, conversations, and other buy cycle functions, you are the future. The last of a four-part series. Previous columns in this series have argued that paid search is the most sophisticated current version of a true direct response "machine," and that companies typically under-invest because they fail to see long-term predictable profit potential inherent in the "marketing asset." Meanwhile, under the "chaos scenario" of rapid deterioration in traditional media...

Paid Search Marketing / 27.08.2010

Part 3 of a series on building marketing information assets. The "Chaos Scenario" is upon us. It's not proving to be an orderly transition. On one side: "old, dead media" (and the advertising that assumed and furthered its continuation). On the other side: "something very different," and possibly far less valuable. There is hope…if you're nimble enough to find value in something very different instead of clinging to the status quo and trying to survive on...