Friday, February 6, 2009

Search Insider: When is Enough, Enough?

When is Enough, Enough?

IT IS DIFFICULT TO position what I want to write about this week without it coming off as a complete rant.  The thing is, I have become completely astounded by what I hear lately from our new business prospects, as well as what I hear about prospecting from other search marketing agencies.  

On numerous occasions, especially over the last six months, I have spoken with prospective clients about what we see today in their campaigns.  Most often, this is conducted with access to their Google account and all conversion data.  We point out instances of what I would classify as gross mismanagement of the search campaigns and ultimately, they say they are sticking with their current vendor.

First off, I give kudos to the account person at the incumbent agency that has built and maintains the relationship.  However, I just cannot fathom how someone sitting on the client side can overlook opportunities to improve their paid search.  In this economy, with massive layoff reports every day, does one not feel compelled to make certain the programs they are responsible for are as optimized for volume and efficiency as is humanly and technologically possible?  Presented with compounding and systemic issues that represent a 20+% increase in sales within the same efficiency, how can one turn away?

I have gone through this over and over again in my head and the most logical reasons I can come up with can be classified as complacent, jaded or nearsighted.  

Complacent:  Search works for almost everyone.  It typically outperforms most other channels and is considered a rock star  among marketing mediums.  So if your goals are being met, is the thought that you don't want to rock the boat? Or are the opportunities being presented beyond belief and/or comprehension?

Jaded:  Does your workload exceed bandwidth?  You would normally have interest, but you are just burn-out and the mere idea of entertaining vendor proposals only sounds like additional work.

Nearsighted:  Does it seem like the long-term outlook is too far removed from the short-term investment of time?  Is the cost benefit not there?

I truly do not intend for this post to be a rant.  I do hope my counterparts at other agencies will provide their own two cents.  But more importantly, I want to hear from those who are client-side and responsible for search engine marketing.  I challenge in-house search marketers to put themselves under review.  Do you fall into one of these three categories?  If not, please share your rationale for keeping the status quo.

Janel Landis is senior director of search development and strategy at SendTec, Inc., a St. Petersburg, Fla.-based multichannel, integrated marketing firm specializing in search engine marketing, direct response television and lead generation.

Search Insider for Friday, February 6, 2009:

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