A LOT of Growth Left In Search Advertising

    October 22, 2005

Last weekend I traveled to Atlanta to participate on a panel about “Harnessing the Buzz Power of Blogs” at the annual conference for the Direct Marketing Association.

These are people who live and breathe marketing, often controlling millions of dollars worth of advertising dollars every year.

While I was at the conference less than a day, I came away simultaneously shocked and hopeful.

The Shock

In talking to some of the Search Engine Marketing folks that were in sessions on Saturday, I discovered that the vast majority of DMA folks are very, very, very new to Search Marketing. I’d go so far as to say many of them are incredibly clueless about the process, benefits, costs, etc.

Here’s an example. One presenter said that many folks stopped him early on his presentation and asked him to explain or define things that he thought were common knowledge already. When the session was over, a few came up to ask questions one-to-one. At least one of them asked what the difference between “organic” results and “sponsored” results was. In other words, they didn’t understand why some links are on the right or are at the top in a different color.

I was shocked by this. But it just goes to show the differences between the tech-savvy west coast bubble I live in day to day and the real-world.

The Hope

Thinking about this on the plane ride home, I realized the other half of this news is quite good. There are millions and millions (and millions) of advertising dollars being controlled by folks who’ve never tried search marketing yet.

In other words: There’s A LOT of growth left in this industry.

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Jeremy Zawodny is the author of the popular Jeremy Zawodny’s blog. Jeremy is part of the Yahoo search team and frequently posts in the Yahoo! Search blog as well.

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