Giant Focus Group

Jun 5, 2007 • 6:14 pm | comments (0) by twitter | Filed Under Search Marketing Expo 2007 Seattle
 

Moderator: Jeffrey K. Rohrs, VP Agency & Search Marketing, ExactTarget

Panelists: John C. Kim, Senior Director, Advertiser Product Marketing, Yahoo! Search Marketing James Colburn, Product Manager, Search Strategy & adCenter Go To Market, Microsoft Tom Leung, Product Manager, Google, Inc. Paul Vallez, Director of Product Management, Ask.com

John Kim, Yahoo: I want you to start thinking about different ideas that Yahoo is interesting in hearing about from you. Some of the things we’d like to give you to think about are:

Trends/Key Hypotheses • More Search Tools Developing To Improve User Experience • Search Formats and Types are Changing • Best of Breed is Still King • Off-Browser Search Could Explode • Ranking and Matching Based on Personalization and Community Factors

Implications • Need More Data – SKU level information, meta data • Needs Ads in Multi-Media Formats • More Vertical Fragmentation • More Experimental Models to Emerge • Less Transparent

More Trends • 360 Audience or Action Based Buying • Organizational Silos Becoming the Norm • Increased Bifurcation of Advertisers Into Sophisticated and Unsophisticated Advertisers • No More Time for Experimentation and New Tools • More Fragmentations and Customized Needs • More Focus on Interaction Effects and Advanced Analytics

1. How do you think these trends will impact you and what do you need? 2. How do we keep it simple for the advertiser? 3. What ideas do you hope emerge from the commercial API program?

James Colburn, MicroSoft: Really when usually get the opportunity to speak, but this time we are here to listen. There are two focus areas I would really like to focus on: AdCenter and AdCenter Labs.

AdCenter has been in the market for about 13 months now. In this area, I’d like to know your thoughts on what can we improve… editorials, tools, UI, etc.

AdCenter Labs, which is almost exactly a year old, is really being focused on. How many ppl are familiar with the AdCenter Labs? (few hands) How many people would like a quick refresher? (few hands).

Help us shape how we work with you, where we go in the future, etc. (Provides various ways to contact the AdCenter team on the screen).

What I’d like to talk about out front is making sure you’re aware that we have a very strong commitment to increase query share. Our Sr. VP talked about it extensively during the keynote, and I wanted to reiterate here.

Tom Leung, Google We’d like some “meat and potatoes” feedback, things about the existing tools and features. We’d also like to feedback about new things that we’re trying, and then also we’d like to hear sort of your fantasy wish list for things you’d really like to see. We appreciate everyone coming out. Please don’t be bashful and if you don’t get all your questions answered, please come down to the booth and talk to us personally.

Paul Vallez, Ask.com Just wanted to take a few minutes to talk about the things we’re working on right now. Our focus is primarily to ensure that you have the right tools to work with our system in the most efficient way possible. We’re trying to make your advertising campaigns transparent across all ad platforms. One of the things we’re trying to do is show the difference between Search Advertising and Display Advertising…we’re trying out some new types of ads… hybrids, almost, between search and display.

URL Stuffing… we’re working on the ability to include various elements into the tracking URL.

Publisher Controls... Relevancy Thresholds: Work with publishers to define vertical relevancy thresholds; Meet strict relevancy vs. Coverage needs

Ad Performance Thresholds… CPC/CTR Thresholds.

Open Client Questions: 1. How often do publishers want to make changes? 2. Is Vertical Granularity too much? 3. What’s the right interface? API vs. UI (both?)

Open Questions/Feedback

Q: There seems to be an uneven enforcement in policies when it comes to trademark violations in paid search. Do you have any plans to offer new tools to help advertisers see people using their trademarks in campaigns?

(silence)

Paul: That’s a hard one to solve. We tend to approach that manually. On the SE side, I imagine it’s very difficult to keep track of which terms are okay to use and which aren’t.

John Kim: I just read a media post about how Saatchi and Saatchi got fired for using the image of Kurt Cobain w/o permission. That was an asset management issue rather than a trademark issue, but they’re similar issues for the SEs.

James Colburn: How many ppl would like a clarification on how the trademark violation policy works at Microsoft? (third of the room raises hands)

Tom Leung: If you own a TM and you’re very concerned about other ppl using your terms in ads, there’s already a place in AdWords where you can indicate you’d like to prevent other ppl from using your terms in their campaigns.

Q: Why can’t you go through the USPTO’s db of trademarks and cull out all the trademarks and *know* who is authorized to use them and who isn’t?

Q: I would like to see Google have an alt-text feature or some way that we can specify parameters like misspelled keywords, etc.

JC: How many people find parameters confusing or annoying? (a few hands)

Q: On the AdWords editor… it crashes ALL THE TIME. We have a campaign with a million keywords. We’ve escalated it through our contacts, and if we move our account to a new one, we’ll lose all the history. For Yahoo, I don’t seem to have the support level that I’d like… do you see that changing anytime soon?

John Kim: We’ll have Stew Easterby chat with you after the session.

Feedback: The way my management system works, impression share is important to me. Ask gives it to me once a week, but the others don’t really at all and I’d love to get that from them. Also, exclusion keywords are my best friends… they improve my CTR and they’re good for you because they help you make the most of your inventory… I think there should be more keyword exclusions. Also, I’d like to be able to switch geography to see what the SERPs will look like in each of the geographical locations I’m targeting.

Question: Has anyone found the UI on AdCenter is confusing? How many people get lost in the UI? (a smattering of hands)

Feedback: I’d like to see something so if you have an acronym… like DVD or CD that it actually LETS you have all caps instead of Cd or Dvd since it makes us look stupid.

JC: Just so I can do a little nyah-nyah we already have that. We already have that in AdCenter.

Feedback: We’d like to see more explanation regarding why we’re getting discounted clicks (as a result of detected or suspected click fraud) because my executives are wanting to know what exactly was happening to cause you to give us a discount or a refund without us asking for it.

TL: We definitely understand your need for transparency, but at the same time, we have to not be completely transparent because by providing too much detail, we’ll be exposing the system to additional exploitation. So we really have to walk a fine line, but I’ll definitely be bringing your concerns up with our team because I understand where your team is coming from and why they want that information.

Matt Van Wagner (in audience): I have a question about the letter S and plurals. Why don’t you open up the ability to differentiate between plural and singular forms? I think that’s something people are interested in, am I right? (Chorus of YES!) Is that something you can do? Please, please please?

Also, are you other guys considering putting in any historical data like Google is currently offering?

Paul Vallez: What level of granularity are you looking for?

Matt Van Wagner: Not very much… just like major changes… doesn’t have to be really really granular.

(Various heads nodding that it’s something they (the other SEs) either are working on or will work on).

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