Super Session : Search and Research on a Rail

Nov 15, 2006 - 7:35 pm 7 by
Filed Under PubCon 2006

Tom Hughes from Sentient Services was up first. Brand positioning research presentation. While we are delivery web site performance, we are also delivering brand performance. Why should I care about brand experience? The web site is the front line for delivering the brand experience. It matters because optimal brand positioning can bring better positioning. It increases efficiency and consistency of marcom. It gets everyone on the same page. It drives strategy for SEO and it connects web site efforts to sustainable business performance. We need to measure what we can leverage.... Our strengths versus key competitors. What customers want from us. Research tools include 2ndary tools as syndicated studies and market data, primary research such as qualitative and quantitative. What can we do ourselves and what is the best left to experts? DIY: talk to customers, talk to employees, gather secondary research info. Get help with questionnaire design and analysis and interpretation of data. A useful positioning and messaging template: start with the position itself (why are you compelling different), then the identity (what business are you in?), then differentiation, the significance, and then the messaging support around all of that, finally emotional support. How do you use this info now? Deliver this experience on the home page. Incorporate pictures or taglines on site pages that resonate brand positioning. Define and audit search terms. Launch banner ad campaigns that resonate the brand positioning (brand, product and customer segment levels). He then gave a case study on Dell (ill omit it here, I am so tired). The formula for sustainable success is to have a line of sight on optimal brand position, use it to guide and deliver...

Gordon Hotchkiss from Enquiro was up next. Why is research important in search? Search marketing requires five things to work; you need to get the right message, right person, right place and right time, the right experience. He showed examples of PPC results... The golden triangle is not that simple, it depends on intent. Get into your customers mind. You need to research your customers to get the intent. Then you develop personas. He then gave examples, yes I am still tired. Intent should impact SERP scanning behavior. Researcher type queries should focus more on organic ads, but purchase type queries should focus more on sponsored listings. They tested this theory. Purchasers are more likely to look at sponsored results, more top heavy he said. Researchers also look at the top but concentrate more so on the bottom set (organic results) more than purchases. They also saw much heavier CTR on organic results for researcher type searchers. When they clicked through, he showed eye tracking maps of the landing page. Research group reads the whole page, but the purchases just looks for one link, a link to buy.

Glenn Alsup from Viewmark is now up. The area between the user and the object, showing a picture of a roulette wheel. How are people interacting with the game. There is a big difference between qualitative and quantitative data. User research prep; situation and background, then goals and objectives, and develop use cases. Then come the tactics, including, strategic (surveys and focus groups), models (observations, one on one and usability) and deployment (interviews). He then gives a case study on Agilent, yes, still tired, sorry. Traditional lab testing includes, a facilitator, observers and the participant. He also talks about remote usability, testing usability remotely.

Final one up is Dana Todd about SEMPO from SiteLab. She said she will be brief!!! SEMPO is in their 3rd year of tracking industry trends. They test over 100 data points. Primary interest in sizing market, pricing shifts, resource allocation, product demand, industry issues, click fraud, etc. The interesting data points from 2005, is that SEO has incredibly strong demand as an SEM tactic. SEM management is migrating in house. Click price elasticity is nearly capped out. Awareness and concern about click fraud is growing. All data points from 2005. Organic SEO most popular of SEM programs with advertisers respondents; 4 of 5 advertiser respondents engage in organic SEO, more than 76% engage in paid placement, and 2 of 5 advertisers engage in paid inclusion. Paid placement and organic SEO were offered by the vast majority of agency respondents, dollars are less in SEO then PPC. Majority of 2006 organic SEO spending will be managed in house, not outsourced to agencies. Most advertiser respondents could still tolerate further price increases at moderate levels. Agencies exhibit growing concern over click fraud. They have a new SEMPO survey, check it out at


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