The Blurring of Business Strategy and Search Strategy
It has been a wild ride being in the search marketing business for over 10 years. Part of the success of WebMama.com has been the razor sharp focus on Search Engine Marketing and nothing but SEM. This certainly gets the company in the door. Once in the door things change and I find myself talking business strategy even if it is thinly veiled as search marketing strategy.
Examples: Helping (insisting) a client decide on a list of keywords to use for search optimization is in essence asking the client what is it that generates sales on your site. Asking pointed questions like, 'what is a lead?' touches on their key online strategy and not just direct marketing. Bringing up subjects like 'metrics' and tools, profit margins, etc really forces them to think through entire areas of reporting. And I can't think of anything more important in business beyond sales then what is the image they want to convey to the public.
Is Search Marketing unique in this way; that it touches on Business Strategy often? I don't think so, but it is something clients don't necessarily expect from their SEM agency. So keep saying things like, 'but my opinions stem from the search point of view', and you will stay undercover as a business strategist.