Keynote Panel: Optimize Search Campaigns, Outsource Work

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NEW YORK - Direct marketers can add value to their campaigns by measuring results, often with the help of third parties.

Panelists yesterday at the DM Days New York Conference & Expo agreed on that point in a keynote session called, "Ad Agencies Speak Out: Adding Value and Measuring Results for Direct Marketers." Marketers also need to think like their targeted audience.

"Any good direct marketing campaign can start with search," said Amy Auerbach, vice president and group accountant director at Media Contact. "Once you cap out at that level other types of media become really important too."

Is it cost effective to go this route? Certainly, marketers are losing more money by not optimizing their campaigns than they would by hiring an ad agency.

Search marketing can tell just how effective other channels of marketing have been. Marketers should remember what it was that made consumers search to begin with?

"Search should be woven into your marketing plan," said Scott Delea, senior vice president and general manager at DigitalGrit. "Search is no longer at the back of the bus."

So the question posed to the audience was: Are you using search as effectively as you could be? If the answer is no, the panelists suggested using a search company to help.

Search works. Organic search clicks make up approximately 60 percent of clicks, a panelist said.

"We are at the beginning of the search stages," Mr. Delea said. "It is a behavior that will become more pervasive in our lives not only through PCs but through cellular phones as well."

Most branding is done on a company's site, he said. Search helps reinforce brands by driving traffic to such sites.

Search marketing is the future of marketing because it is "a way to out a message in front of the user without the user even knowing it," Mr. Delea said. "It is like advertising that does not seem like advertising."

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