Microsoft's Bing is likely to change the way we all search. And that change could mean quite a lot for your own company's search marketing strategy as well. Expect Bing to deliver a higher volume of long-tail keyword searches, require you to rethink search's relationship to other marketing channels and to take on a whole new approach to search strategy.
Microsoft's acquisition of Fast Search & Transfer last week for $1.2 billion is a development that will significantly alter the search ecosystem in the years ahead. While the media coverage has focused on the fact that Fast has been a strong player in enterprise search (a market that Google has been struggling to get into), Fast's assets include a set of technologies that have the potential for giving Microsoft tactical and strategic advantages as it battles Google on several important fronts.
I want to counter the idea that big ad agencies should be taken seriously when they claim they know how to run search campaigns. The question "Do big agencies get search?" was settled a long time ago. They don't get it, they can't get it, and they shouldn't get it.
It's common knowledge that CMOs are among the industry's shortest-tenured marketing professionals, with an average employment lifespan of just two years. Much has been written about this problem: Some blame the mess on unrealistically high expectations placed on CMOs by senior management, while others cite the silly "CMO as Rock Star" phenomenon, which leads to back-biting and sabotaging within the organization.
Search engines put an extraordinarily powerful set of targeting technologies in the hands of marketers, but the mere provision of these tools does not guarantee they will be successfully operated.
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