An interesting animal Ad-Tech San Francisco is; a kind of busy, breathless, well-dressed animal. Ad-Tech was once and is again full of excited graphics designers, media planners and interactive marketing clients. Dare we say interactive marketing has once again risen as a viable place to spend money and ultimately make money! Or are we going to create a world massively spending on fancy graphics - again! I think not. The pressure on interactive marketing agencies to measure results will be intense as they will be compared to high ROI's experienced in search marketing. And are they afraid of that - yes!
Interactive agencies need to look to SEM companies to help them integrate search marketing into their client's larger internet marketing activities. They need to learn from the SEM companies about tracking beyond what doubleclick offers and really see what visitors are doing based on marketing spends. They need to not be afraid of the day-to-day management of Search marketing, the frequent changes to media vendor's offerings and the difficulties in budgeting more than 1-3 months out for campaigns. The agencies need to work with companies that have been adapting and producing in this environment for 4-6 years. The agencies need to partner with SEM companies (ok I think I made my point).
Ad-Tech offered two main sessions on Search. They were both excellent high-level looks at Search Engine Marketing and the opportunities: SEM and Branding and Mixing Search Into the Rest of Interactive Marketing strategies. I think 3-4 sessions on Mixing Search into Interactive Marketing; the spends, the successes, the range of campaigns and the agencies involved would be fabulous. This is not Search Engine Strategies where agencies, SEM Companies, in-house SEM managers, and interactive marketing managers can find everything (and I mean everything) out about search engine marketing. This is about playing with the big boys and their money - branding and awareness campaigns using search as one component of many.
I would like to thank Ad-Tech for providing this forum in San Francisco to help agencies and clients see the value of search marketing. I suggest a few more than 2 sessions on search in the next few conferences (Chicago and New York); afterall search marketing campaigns do provide the highest return on investment in marketing ever! Ah - and there is the real question - do the people who spend the money (or their client's money) on rich media, floating, fancy ads care about measuring their contribution to the company's bottom line?