The Vice Presidents Of Search Marketing

Aug 9, 2006 • 8:27 pm | comments (12) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Search Engine Strategies 2006 San Jose

Danny Sullivan introduces this panel, how he was amazed big companies have VPs of SEM.

Abhilash Patel from Passages Malibu is up first. Lots of people raised their hand for people who have more than a hundred employees in the company, wow. Since when does SEM/SEO get a VP? So who needs a VP for search? As "relative CPA" valuations and studies become more widely read, anyone with significant offline media budgets, which is more important, sales or leads and if you separate sales and marketing, it is time for a VP of search and if you want to quantify the market for the growth. How big should a company be that deserves a VP? Are you prepared to go after 70-80% of search traffic? The future of corp SEM. Obstacles and opportunities, if profit maximization dictates a smaller operation. What does the VP do? Progress on a daily basis with constant execution, a level of harmony with the technologist and sales/marketing, independent of growth stats and revenue channel numbers, accountability for significant levels of traffic, and for e-commerce you maintain affiliate relations, and providing invaluable consumer data back to other arms of the company for employment. Things he did? install web stats, web usability, SEM, and lots of work in click fraud, does organic SEOs (content production, site pops, link building, reputation management, affiliate management, and business development through the web) and then viral marketing and community building. The argument for in house and the relationship with vendor outsourcing: they are not mutually exclusive, many things can't be outsourced, how many times have you been burned by a vendor, and the scalability issues. Case Study; skipping...

Marshall Simmonds VP of NY Times and and also a consulting firm. NY Times has high resistance to change, 11 million documents, email registration wall, paid subscription wall, it issues and so on. Working together was dealing with turf wars and getting people to work together, education was key and is key here. There was an internal approach, reach each player. There was an external approach, users, spiders, engines and the mother factor. The process is to integrate search into the workflow, small changes are big results, buy in from the bottom up, enhancing writing styles and multi-departmental communications. Everyone owns search marketing; the challenges of working with old school marketing... Selling search to NYTimes, they had to show the results of, easy to follow examples, finding projects with extensive involvement, consistent communication. He shows some examples, all very good examples. Training is key, so they do lots of training over and over again. Checklists are key, he said (unique titles, annotations on all links, etc.). Putting fun graphics in fun of people. And then establish baseline metrics. External they make it more user friendly, push back registration walls, SE friendly approach. He then sums up.

Sean Smith from Citigroup made me remove this and threatened a lawsuit. So it is removed. Apparently, I misunderstood what he said. This is the first time I have ever been threatened like this.

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Paul Roudermund

08/10/2006 03:20 pm

This is a free country, isn't it? Why are you afraid of posting a summary of an actual session? Didn't Sean Smith speak voluntarily? Do not be stifled by threats! Publish what Sean said.

Barry Schwartz

08/10/2006 03:42 pm

I pulled it because I don't want to go through an expense of a lawsuit and because I don't want to ruin this guys life, if it will affect his job and his life.

Paul Roudermund

08/10/2006 03:50 pm

Wow. Did he really say things in a public forum that could get him fired? Without saying exactly what he said, what was the subject that he discussed that was so sensitive? I thought there were supposed to be 1-2 additional panelists presenting as well. Were they no-shows?

Barry Schwartz

08/10/2006 03:53 pm

Nothing so sensitive. He just said I misunderstood what he said and I guess it could of got him in trouble. So he was very serious about me removing it. Trust me Paul, there was not much to his speech that you probably did not already know. He did speak well and it is possible I was so tired I misquoted him. So it has been removed.

Paul Roudermund

08/10/2006 04:00 pm

I will ask around. I know several event participants who tape recorded most sessions If I can find the recording, I will snet it to you. You should listen to what he said and check it against what you originally wrote. If you accurately summarized what he said, you should re-post what you wrote. This is AMERICA!

Michael Martinez

08/10/2006 04:30 pm

Without dwelling on the negative aspects of Sean's private communication, let me say again that I appreciate all you do for the SEO community. It's not easy to summarize a thousand points of view on a daily basis.

Barry Schwartz

08/10/2006 04:43 pm

Michael, I really appreciate that.

Kim Krause Berg

08/10/2006 06:29 pm

Ditto to what Michael M. said. You and the SERoundtable team are not always quoting verbatim. While its good to get permission to reprint quotes, people are misunderstood all the time, and mis-quoted. The responsibility falls on Sean to make sure he presents his company in proper light, and allowing him to speak comes with a risk the company should already be aware of. I commend you for taking a step back and honoring his wish, whether or not anyone would agree with his right to ask if of you.

No Name

08/10/2006 06:53 pm

I too, attended the event. Sean's comments did get the crowd buzzing. I saw several 'competitors' cringing after Sean made a few 'revealing' remarks about Citi. Kind of like, thank goodness that isn't me on stage revealing company, uh, I mean insights. :) Oh well, another conference, another business gaffaw. Makes for sizzling blog posts though!

Barry Schwartz

08/10/2006 07:12 pm

Honestly, there were no secrets posted. It was just some remarks I wrote, I guess, misguided, about what he said about his company. Not about any secrets...


08/11/2006 12:17 am

Barry - being threatened with a lawsuit has got to be a scary thing. I also wanted to let you know that I greatly appreciate what you do. I'm really curious as to what was said now. Hopefully another attendee can provide a hint. -Dustin

Lee Odden

08/22/2006 04:25 pm

Wow Barry, I had no idea this happened. While I agree with Paul about the freedom of speach stuff, I would do the same thing and take it down. It's just not worth the trouble. Covering as many sessions as you do, I am continually amazed at your "staying power" for doing such a great job. Three cheers for Barry!

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