A researcher at Search marketing seminar. Short summary of what I learnt.

A new year has started and I find myself with more time on my hands (in principle) since I’m not teaching this term! This also means that I hope to get around to blogging some more or at least a little, as you can read, it has been a really looong time since my last post. Chairing the Internet Research 9.0 conference in October last year, full-time teaching and supervision, research project involvement, a lot of talks etc etc made last season really stressful and didnt leave much pause for thinking, reflecting and writing. Im still feeling slightly worn down, but also increasingly inspired researchwise which I hope will also be visible in this space in the months to come.

Anyway, the rationale behind this blogpost is my attendance at the one-day conference Search Marketing Strategies: Search 2.0, which took place today at the IT University and was hosted by the Danish Association of Online Media Businesses (FDIM) and the Danish Association of Online Commerce (FDIH)  plus Jupiter Research. The reason why I attended (kindly been informed about the seminar by FDIM) was that the program revealed that several of the speakers would also engage in discussions on the relation between search marketing and social media marketing, and I would really like to know more about the latter. Im not sure I exactly got what I came for (you rarely do!) – but learnt a lot of other stuff instead, including the fact that also in the marketing business people are still struggling to find a real good explanation of what “web 2.0” is all about, that they are highly knowledable of what is going on in the web 2.0 sphere, and users (behaviours) really are becoming the center of attention, if they werent already…Also saw really useful categorisation of search engine types, with lots of examples (linked below). So in short, I should probably attend the more business-oriented seminars more often!

And here are the researcher’s takeaways:

The Google represensative on the state of search:

  • it is apparently very much a question of “capturing the click” these days: make the first click count, direct people to interesting and targeted landing pages, convert their interest to sales fast! (which as I see it, as strategy, isnt that far removed from Foggs idea of captology, or?)
  • active engagement with brands online is becoming a mass phenomena, f.i. there are more than 19.000 blogposts, chats, social media sites etc discussing BMV (yes, speaker was German…)
  • having a top position in a google search AND a top position in the google ads on the right side on the search results page does make a difference: 33% clickrate improvement
  • 49% of people change their mind regarding which brand they want to purchase, when they do “research” on the brand online

The UK company chief executive:
The importance of online displays (of ads?!) for brand engagement (% shows importance)

  • Hair care 8,5%
  • Soft drinks 23,5
  • Small cars 37%
  • Retail 39,5%

The guy who talked about “Avoiding the Chasm of Anticipointment”:
Advertising is (also) an Ecosystem Display (ads), PR news and buzz, Paid and organic search, Tv og radio, Print, Sponsorship and promotions, Outdoor advertising – all affects your purchase (or brand awareness etc). //A nifty little list to present students with, I think//
Anticipointment is the experience of anticipating something particular when you click and find yourself on a “landing” page and then being really disappointed. Landing page layout and content can mean a lot – a test showed that improvement of a landing page improved the “conversion rate” (from interest to purchase??) with 200%

The Director of Marketing in PensionDanmark:
Almost 85% of their users come via a search, even if the search phrase is “Pension Danmark! (and other test showed that even if the user knew the URL from previous searches, he still used the search engine to get there). //also my experience: if the URL aint short, bookmarked or in your browser’s memory, it’s often easier to use a search engine that to type the url)
in PensionDenmark they have interesting system, using data about users to make “rules” regarding what they will see when online. SAS Customer Experience Analysis can provide a lot of data (?!) on when, how many clicks, how long users visit a site, from that and user profile, a user story can be built that can then be used to generate more “communication rules”. Love to get my hands on that kind of thing as researcher…(without paying through the nose for the software, that is!)

The guys from Mindpark, Sweden:
talked about marketing web 2.o, been working with Swedish newspapers.

The 3 Rs of marketing 2.0

  • Real: no hype, tell truth, admit mistakes
  • Relevant: cant interrupt people anymore, you must have what they want
  • Responsive: marketing is no longer a monologue, you must answer your customers

and also dont forget: Presence counts – be willing to answer people’s comments and engage with them!

Web 3.0 the semantic web (finally arriving, is it?):
www.delver.com: interesting example of “social info” based browser, taking into account your social media network info given and your friends, when looking for results.
Web 4.0: mobile web – constantly on.
Also pointed to Twingly, Spotify.

Jupiter Research’s Edward O’Hara (with lovely Irish accent) on the future of digital marketing

Prosumers trust each others most of all – top 10 priority to the questions regarding “who do you trust to give most reliable advice about buying products”:

1) consumer reviews
2) high-street shops
3) Catalogues
4) Retailer brochures/leaflets
5) Price/product comparison ( eg. Kelkoo)
6) Articles in magazines
7) Articles newspapers
8) Manufacturers website
9) Programs on tv
10) Advertising (TV, newspapers)

More on Jupiter’s recent research on prosumers and trust here

Also he listed 3 rules to take into account when dealing with prosumers: 1) make everything available 2) cut price in half, then lower it 3) help me find it

Final talk by the “human+algorithm” search engine developer of Mahalo on the future of search
Jason Calacanis, the speaker, also behind Weblogs.inc in the early days..

4 types of search engines
1) Algorhitmic (Google etc)
2) Social search (StumbleUpon, Del.icio.us, Squidoo). Reality: is not “wisdom of the crowds, but statistics!”. Been taken over by spammers and marketeers.
3) Semantic search (Powerset, Twine, True Knowledge). Method: searches based on content analysis, words in relation to each other. Beta. Slow. We dont want to research in Q&A (true?)
4) New interfaces (Cuil, Hakia, Searchme, Kosmix) . Primarily visual and categorised/clustered. Search speed bogged down by “fat design”
5) Human-powered search (Malaho, Naver (Asian language), Daum). Combination of humans and algorhitms, and functionality of search engines, wikipedia and q& a functions. Use people to review machine results and refine them and/or provide answers. Expensive and timeconsuming so so far only succesful in Asia. In Korea, Naver far more popular than Google.

Malaha trying to penetrate US market. Using virtual currency and virtual “tips” (drikkepenge) for answers. People can buy the Malaho currency for real money and convert to real money also, but Malaho keeps 25%. Interesting to see if it will take off as business model!

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