Q&A: Aaron Goldman, CMO of Kenshoo

Kenshoo, an international vendor that provides a search engine marketing platform, named Aaron Goldman its CMO on September 13. Goldman is the author of Everything I Know About Marketing I Learned from Google and most recently a principal at his digital marketing consulting firm, Connectual.

He speaks to DMNews senior editor Rose Gordon about search marketing, metrics and keeping marketing simple.

DMNews: Your firm Connectual helped clients develop their digital marketing structures. What were the top challenges and top requests that you encountered?

Aaron Goldman: The common denominator was everyone wanted better, faster and cheaper. It’s very tough for anyone to check all of those, so I’d try to help them prioritize the top two. Everyone’s trying to automate things and cut down on their spend.

DMNews: What brand is doing digital doing well?

Goldman: Zappos is an example of how you make your company a great story. Zappos put their customer service reps front and center as the face of the company. When you translate that to their ads, their brand appears in every piece of communication they put out.

DMNews: What do clients still forget to do or execute poorly when it comes to search marketing?

Goldman: With search in particular I think it’s easy to reach a point of saturation with your program. They get their campaign up and running and they do early optimization, and they get to a point where they let it go on autopilot. The most sophisticated tool sets still need updating. What was working yesterday is not going to work today. The minute you get complacent is the minute your competitors leapfrog you.

DMNews: What types of metrics are clients asking for?

Goldman: It’s different for every advertiser. It’s often direct sales or they’re looking at how many registrations did we get or proxy metrics, such as how many people used the store locator function or registered to receive a coupon. For branding… they’re looking at number of visits, time spent on site—anything that can be a measurement of engagement.

DMNews: What are some of the campaign automation tools that Kenshoo offers which you think are most helpful or unique?

Goldman: From my perspective, being able to automate across search engines so that as you’re making changes you can shoot those same updates out to Google, Yahoo, etc. so you don’t have to go manually to each one. Kenshoo has some great features built in to be able to rapidly assemble keyword sets, and also the creative and the ad copy is a place that’s ripe for automation. The bid management where you can set rules and say, ‘OK for this set of terms here’s my goal I’m trying to achieve,’ whether that is cost per acquisition or return on ad spend, and being able to automate that so you don’t have to watch the bids every day, moving it up a penny, down a penny. The system can do that for you.

DMNews: You wrote Everything I Know About Marketing I Learned from Google. What’s a top takeaway from the book?

Goldman: Chapter 3 is “Keep it simple, stupid.” You go to Google.com and it’s obvious what’s meant to happen there. It’s very easy. That’s where I’m going to focus with Kenshoo. It’s a very sophisticated tool and product but it’s easy to get sucked into overcomplicating who we are and what we do.

DMNews: So what’s going to be your Twitter pitch for Kenshoo?

Goldman: So it’s Day 1, but we’re going to test and reiterate on this. But when people describe to me, they’re familiar with the company but each person I ask, I get different answers. How I’ll describe it is, ‘It’s a leading global provider of technology solutions for advertisers, agencies and aggregators.’ That’s the base component that speaks to what we are today and what we aspire to be.

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