SES show reflects cross-channel
At Search Engine Strategies San Jose last week, marketers met to explore search trends and tactics. Discussion often turned to the role that the other digital channels must play in integrated strategy.
For example, during a roundtable discussion Mikel Chertudi, senior director of online and demand marketing at Omniture, said all contributing channels should be measured.
“Search [often] gets credit for everything,” he admitted, adding that companies typically credit the last source of a sale, which is often paid search.
Determining credit is not a perfect science, added Sharon Gallacher, West Coast managing director at Neo@Ogilvy. “It's going to be complicated and messy,” she said. Different media channels are doing different jobs, so companies should work to not “get distracted by the easy numbers,” she advised.
The panel was not optimistic that there will be a straightforward measurement for cross-digital spend. Panelist Bill Hunt, CEO of Global Strategies International, said that marketers must “get comfortable with not having the perfect answer.”
Asked about her impressions of the show, Mary Bowling, lead SEO at Blizzard Internet Marketing and SES speaker, said she noticed more focus on landing page optimization and post-click marketing at this year's conference.
“Those seem to be the topics that most people are interested in,” Bowling said. “There were also many sessions on social media. Social media is getting bigger and bigger. It's definitely not going to go away.”
Todd Ranson, search marketing manager for World Vision, a nonprofit Christian humanitarian organization, agreed that social media had a larger role in search discussions, as it did in his company's forward strategy.
World Vision is a nonprofit and so it can't pay for a lot of media. It is trying to develop a better organic strategy, which includes social media, he said.
“I came here to learn more and get smarter about what I'm doing,” said Casey Murphy, Web marketing man-ager, UC San Diego Medical Center.
It was Murphy's first SES conference. “I've mostly been to healthcare conferences, she said. “Overall, the industry lags behind on the Web. Hospitals and academic medical centers tend to lag in search. The industry tends to focus on traditional advertising,” she said.
“For me, all the sessions that are more tactical have been the most useful. The more visionary sessions are not as meaningful for me. Maybe in a couple of years, I'll find them more helpful,” Murphy said.