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 About.com 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 About.com, 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.