Friday, April 30, 2004

Google at Last: So, you thought running a Search Engine Marketing company as been exciting, overwhelming and profitable. HA! Now that Google has finally announced the money they make with adwords and adsense you watch the number of small businesses and large brands that finally get it! I'm a little scared to be honest. How could it get any better? Well, here are a few thoughts on that from the agency/advertiser point of view:

- Google will raise so much money that it starts launching new 'elements' of the Google home page: Can you say Gersonals or Gmatch? Gellow Pages, Gmoney, wow one could get really carried away here
- A new hot, trendy search engine that has more relevancy in its results and no ads will take the industry by storm thus making 'white magic' SEO very important again.
- MSN, of course, may invest even more money - certainly could invest more money - certainly will invest more money in search and bring on a whole new slew of advertising opportunities for our clients
- Yahoo will continue to fine tune the relevancy of its results and print money with Paid Inclusion
- SEM companies will all be sucked up into the big advertising agencies who will so 'get it' but have no idea how to 'do it'
- the IAB will start publishing standards for Search Marketing and not just pop-ups and banners
- SEMPO will provide the hard data that shows why Google took in almost a Billion dollars last year. Man that is fabulous is it not. I love this industry!

posted by Barbara 'webmama' Coll @ 7:12 AM     Permanent Link

Thursday, April 29, 2004

My last enter was in March 2003. 1 Year, 1 Month Later SEMPO is a significant player in the industry. The organization has 215 members, including most of the large SEM firms in the United States, Canada, and the UK. Google, Overture and Verizon SuperPages have contributed funds to become sponsors of the organization. When all the excitement? Because all of us would like to see more companies spend more money on search marketing. Has SEMPO had an effect on this?

I believe that SEMPO provides part of the reassurance to big brand companies and small businesses that SEM is a legitimate and valuable way to drive sales and leads. Google of course is exciting the whole world with their public announcements of financial disclosure that is pending. But even Google can't convince the traditional advertisers and marketers that SEM should be a player or larger player in the media mix.

SEMPO's articles, case studies and editorials published at http://www.sempo.org/search-engine-marketing-resources.php provide the public with proof that SEM works. The goal - to move money from other online marketing budgets and offline media to SEM campaigns.

Members derive benefits now from SEMPO - access to a list of 'request for services', posting on an active job board (SEM companies really, really need help!), and discounts to many industry events that they can pass on to their clients.

SEMPO is now being represented at many conferences and seminars around the world. At SES Toronto, I am giving the Introduction to Search Engine Marketing talk that will provide attendees with a overview of the industry and advertising opportunities. At Ad-Tech in San Francisco in May, myself and two Board Members (Kevin Lee and Fredrick Marckini) and one Sponsor (Overture - he signed the check!) will debate the issue of Branding and SEM. At SES London we will announce the formation of a European arm of SEMPO, a committee if you will, as well as one for the UK. A group of Japanese SEM companies has proposed SEMPO JAPAN to educate the marketing managers in Japan who have not yet caught on to the hot opportunities.

Next step - to provide research to the members that SEM truly is a mature offering.

I must admit - I never expected the rapid growth of SEMPO and the ground-swell of SEMPO. We got our non-profit status from the government and have a Program Manager for membership on board and an executive administer. I am working about 3 hours a day on running the organization. We are the trade association for the industry. WOW!

posted by Barbara 'webmama' Coll @ 8:14 AM     Permanent Link