SES San Jose 2008 – Where’s Money For Search Going?

    August 19, 2008

Day 1 at SES San Jose. I’m here as part of SEO-PR’s crew, interviewing speakers for the SES Conference Youtube Channel.

How much Search is enough? Aaron Goldman of Resolution Media, Steven Kaufman of Digitas, Robert Murray of iProspect and Bob Tripathi of Discover Financial Services were posed that very question by SES’s own, Kevin Ryan. While television is still the dominant media, search is making it’s way up, currently at 12%, according to Bob Tripathi. Bob described search’s impact with such examples as ad creative supporting TV, Brand building ads, Landing pages supporting a television ad, and a microsite supporting the TV spot. Search marketing has grown by more than 100% in over two years. Ultimately, search is where people go and find things, chimed in, Steven Kaufman. Steven mentioned that brands are getting savvier to the fact that their content is going to live in a lot more places than just on TV.

But Kevin kept coming back to the motherload of questions. Where is the money for Search going to come from? According to Aaron Goldman, one of the things that we need to recognize is that paid search is different than natural search. The budget for natural search isn’t usually marketing money. It’s IT money, Web site development money. Goldman said we’re starting to see that budget come from the creative side now.

Anne Kennedy (Beyond Ink) who helped moderate the roundtable, said that the money for search starts by using measurement. Search is the one medium that’s truly accountable and trackable. According to Aaron, search is now being used to justify traditional media budgets. We’re matching up query volume to TV broadcast. When something goes national we can see the search spike and that way we’re able to show the value in TV advertising. That accountability wasn’t there before.

Top session tips and takeaways:

Steven: Tip one: Recognize the outcome that you’re hoping to achieve and measure everything that you’re doing.

Robert: Recognize the difference between demand capture and demand generation, know your customer’s lifetime value and build in a test budget.

Bob: Educate your organizations. Maximize your spend, and figure out how you can take it further on the web

Aaron: Be open and be fluid with your budget allocation. Don’t just stick it one place and leave it there. From the consumer standpoint it’s all fluid so you have to mirror that with your budgets too.

Kevin: For a lot of people search is the only advertising they do. They don’t have money for TV, they don’t have money for the rest of this.