I got to go to Search Engine Strategies (SES), the Leading Search & Social Marketing Event in San Francisco. It was great to hear from the industry’s best. Personally, I checked out conference talks about Local Search, Mobile Marketing, Competitive Research, Twitter nation & Automation and B2B Lead Generation Management/CRM Integration. I also had the opportunity to go down the expo floor and checked out vendors pushing the latest and the greatest they had to offer. I can’t possibly cover everything from SES, but I wanted to boil it down and bring you my personal highlights.
Autonomous Twitter personas may be the evil future
Jeff Pulver, Tracy Falke and Paul Madden provided a wonderfully heated panel on Twitternation & Automation. Jeff highlighted that Twitter has empowered individuals to connect in ways that has incredible reach, impact, both globally and individually. His background and stories were inspiring. On automation, it was clear to many within the audience that automation and management systems have to cost effectively leverage channels like Twitter. Tracy did a fantastic job on explaining this well, and brought attention to tools like SocialOomph to help in those efforts. Finally, Paul showcased how a whole ecosystem of almost fully autonomous Twitter personas can be established and leveraged to create ongoing massive influence on Twitter. It was both eye opening and interesting to learn the impact that such automation could have with social media if just a dozen companies implemented automated ecosystems of thousands of Twitter personas.
The Mobile Frontier is here
Sandeep Aggarwal, Cindy Krum and Michael Martin presented a panel on mobile marketing. Sandeep’s presentation made clear that mobile isn’t just an emerging market but a fundamental channel for online interaction. Mobile browsers doesn’t just impact the way visitors interact with media and content, it also impacts search engine optimization. Cindy commented that mobile SERPs (search engine result pages) are already showing differences from non-mobile SERPs. Inevitably search engines will be moving towards tailoring algorithms for mobile devices for mobile optimized sites. It’s not all about the ‘i’ devices either; Michael was great to point out that Android is a growing player and is faster in growing market than the iPhone. However it was acknowledged that IOS is the big gorilla right now.
‘Pay per’ Advertising Expo
Online advertising management and automation systems seemed to be the big thing on the expo floor. Every other booth was for automated online advertising management which offered a one-stop shop for managing PPM campaigns on AdWords, MSN, Yahoo, Facebook, etc. Pricing for many of these systems are based on charging a percentage above each CPC run through their system, Google’s DoubleClick (whom Google acquired in 2007) is a solution that offers this pricing model. A similar breed of products was a competitive analysis system that allows users to dig into competitors online marketing efforts to see what/how they are doing in different channels. Mark Munroe, a panelist on the Competitive Research panel, recommended AdGooroo SEM Insight and Spy Fu as good candidates for doing competitive analysis for paid advertising (e.g. Adwords).
Another big thing on the expo floor was the ad networks. I want to mention them because many of them were offering a cost per acquisition (CPA) model of pricing. Although these networks aren’t going to replace your AdWords, the CPA model makes them a fairly low-risk channel to add into a marketing mix, particularly if you are in e-commerce.
BJ Fogg’s keynote about how technology allows us to create or change behavior. BJ was fantastic in illustrating the mechanics of how it needs to operate, and where it fails. It’s worth checking out to help frame your mentality towards online marketing as it’s fundamentally association with BJ’s topic.
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About Jim Wong
Jim is a digital veteran with over 10 years of experience driving digital strategy and leading multi-discipline teams for national & local brands in over 20 industries. His expertise is in leveraging digital marketing to market businesses smarter and better through a data focused, performance ROI driven approach.