Search Marketing with Latinos: Roundtable

Jun 19, 2007 • 4:52 pm | comments (0) by twitter | Filed Under Search Engine Strategies 2007 Latino
 

Search Marketing with Latinos: Roundtable Landscape and Tactics Track Tuesday, June 19, 2007 – 3:30p-4:45p

Moderator: Nacho Hernandez, Founder and CEO, iHispanic Marketing Group

Panelists: Rafael Jimenez, General Manager, Advertising and Publisher Group, Yahoo! Hispanic Americas Andre Frugiuele, Sales Account Executive, Yahoo! Search Marketing Brazil Bertrand Doux, Search Product Manager, Prodigy/MSN Francisco Ceballos, General Manager Mexico, MercadoLibre Lucas Morea, CEO, LatinEdge, Inc. Brad Geddes, Director of Search, LocalLaunch.com Martin Maslo, Founder and CEO, Resultics Gustavo Ross, President and Co-Founder, Activ@Mente Sarah Carberry, Senior Account Executive, Google, Inc. Gonzalo Alonso, General Manager for Spanish-Speaking Latin America, Google, Inc.

(The conversation moves quickly. Each new paragraph is a different speaker.)

Where do you think this SEM industry is at in Latin America? Where is it going in the next 12 months?

Speaking as a buyer, the market is still starting. We only have 16% penetration... I guess the key point here is we’re just beginning. It’s not a mature market at all. I see a very good outlook going forward, but we’re just starting.

I think a year ago, people didn’t understand why they should be in the SM game, but now the clients are beginning to understand what SM is, and what kinds of objectives they can achieve. And probably the next three years they’re going to be spending more money to get better specific results.

It’s very difficult to define what SM is going to be in a few years, not just in the Latino market, but overall. Search marketing is being redefined all the time, so we don’t have a crystal ball and we don’t really know where it’s going to be in three years.

There’s more education needed to our webmasters, to get them to stop using flash, to help them understand how to organize their information to better make their sites crawlable so then there is more inventory for marketers to put ads on and the market will expand.

I think that SEM will have to converge with other types of IM tactics. On the other hand, we’ll have to not only think of KWs and text ads, we’ll be thinking about other types of interactive media… interactive television, etc. On the one hand, ppl will still be browsing and accepting passive content, but on the other hand there will also be more interactivity.

So when will we see AdCenter in Latin America?

We just launched in the US, and it’s still a young product. I’m sure it will be soon, but I can’t give you an exact date 

How many of you have laptops here? How many have wifi phone? (Many hands) This is where I think search is going… mobile. Look for more personalized search, more contextual based advertising. The penetration of the cell phones in the whole world is so much higher than the penetration of laptops. I think search is going to the phones.

Especially at Google, we’re making a concerted effort to make better user experiences, especially on mobile devices. How do we deliver relevant information that is exactly what the consumer is looking for. It could be not only text, esp. with universal search… imagery, video, etc.

In the spirit of debate, I think people overestimate what’s going to happen in two years and underestimate what’s going to happen in ten.

I’m sorry, one factor we have to look at is that the data plans on cell phones are used at a much higher rate than in the US. I’m really with the vision that search will be extremely strong on the cell phone. The future will be more towards voice recognition for search via cell phones.

There’s a lot of effort from the engines toward the semantic. The natural language also can be another frontier for the engines.

Some of the major obstacles to the growth of e-commerce right now are the banking issues, the lack of a dominant payment gateway in Latin America, and the delivery issues. Sometimes it takes a month for an invitation to travel via the postal service what can be driven in an hour an a half by car. Customers aren’t going to be willing to wait or risk the non-delivery of their product, and also they aren’t going to be willing to pay for an alternative means (Fedex, etc) due to expense.

Another issue is consumer confidence. In Mexico, for example, people do not buy airline tickets online. Partially because they’re less comfortable paying with credit cards, and also because they’re afraid their etickets won’t work at the airport when they get there. So they’d rather buy the tickets in person and have a paper ticket in their hand, than go for the convenience of purchasing a ticket online. Even when they do purchase a ticket online, they frequently go to a physical office location to have paper tickets printed for them so they can have them in their hands.

Ecommerce is not a roadblock to search marketing or selling online. SM is not just for ecommerce. SM should be a strategy or tactic to providing relevant content to people looking for it.

What do you think SEMPO should do in Latin America to help SM grow?

I’ve been in SEO for 10 years, and the biggest thing that drove my business with my clients was doing keyword research. So many businesses spend so much time finding new clients, when they should be letting the Internet tell the businesses why they need to be there and show them what new customers they’re missing by not being there.

So you’re saying SEMPO should be building/offering keyword research tools?

Yes.

Since I wrote the first mission statement for SEMPO… put together some sample presentation material. This is a problem all over, not just in Latin America. The one thing we don’t have is a sell job… a selling packet. Let’s figure out how to write an unbiased selling strategy. Let’s write it in Spanish. Let’s write it in Portuguese.

I think it would be great to have case studies by industry. Pharma, finance, etc. Something along those lines. Where people can access a library of information that’s applicable to their business. We need to show that search is driving people to the stores.

I think we should separate SEMPO Latino into SEMPO Latino and SEMPO Latin America. They are two separate markets with separate needs.

I have a two part question: what would you non engine people ask the engines to change? And then what about kick backs to agencies?

Fight, please!

I’d ask them for better pricing, standards and tools. We have to have two or three people with spreadsheets working on things. That’s time that could be better spent.

If I could say something to the engines, I’d say KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MY CLIENTS. Don’t pitch my clients. Please remember the agencies are buyers.

Also, KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MY EMPLOYEES. There is already a shortage of talent. Don’t poach my good people.

We’re going to have a serious problem in the near future with a talent shortage. SEMPO needs to help build the talent pool, or we’re going to be seriously fighting each other for a very few experienced SEMarketers in the not too distant future.

One thing that would help everyone out is a better understanding of how the data is being parsed. We need to understand the underlying raw (clean) data... the parsed data means nothing in a vacuum. We need the proper context to best use the data and reporting tools.

SEMPO needs to tap into the universities and schools.

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