ADOTAS – The Search Marketing bigwigs of Silicon Valley are descending on the Big Apple this week for the Search Engines Strategies conference at the New York Marriott Marquis, including the likes of Google, Twitter, Adobe and Salesforce.com. The three-day event kicks off on tomorrow, March 26 and aims to bring together some of the most prominent names in search to discuss trends and issues facing the industry.
First-time conference attendees should be sure to check out the SES Newcomers Meetup at the Marriott Marquis today, March 25, from 5:15 to 5:45 p.m. Members of the SES operations team will introduce themselves and offer up tips and tricks to make the most of the event. Attendees will be presented with this year’s session highlights and get an exclusive rundown of all the networking and educational events.
While the 60-plus sessions on the agenda may be reason enough to attend SES New York 2013, some of the greatest industry insights often take place after hours during several of the planned networking events with more than 100 speakers and fellow attendees.
Keynote speakers include:
- Mike Proulx, Senior VP & Director, Social Media, Hill Holliday and author of Social TV.
- Joel Lunenfeld, VP of Global Brand Strategy, Twitter.
- Michael Bayle, Senior VP & General Manager, ESPN Mobile.
- Brendon Kraham, Head of Global Mobile Sales & Product Strategy, Google.
- Eric Litman, Chairman & CEO, Medialets.
This year, SES is offering two sessions of Meet the Experts — one each on Tuesday, March 26 (Day 1) from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., and Wednesday, March 27 (Day 2) from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the Expo Hall. In these casual roundtable discussions, SES speakers will cover topic covering: Keyword Analysis, SEO, PPC for Ecommerce, Retargeting, Ad Optimization, Mobile Marketing, and Social Media Optimization.
Industry Topics Getting Buzz
Google, take note: One topic on people’s minds will be the recent decision by online auction-house eBay to cease paid search ads on its site, claiming they just don’t work. The preliminary study conducted by eBay Research Labs economists Thomas Blake, Chris Nosko, and Steve Tadelis examined eBay sales after ceasing purchases of search ads on Google and elsewhere, while maintaining a control set of regions where search ads continued unchanged. Their research revealed that many paid ads generate virtually no increase in sales, and even for ones that do, the sales benefits are eclipsed by the cost of the ads themselves.
As the study points out, “the Internet advertising industry has grown disproportionately, with revenues in the United States alone totaling $31.7 billion for 2011, up 21.9 percent from 2010,” with search engine marketing as the largest online ad revenue format at $14.8 billion accounting for 46.5 percent of all online ad revenues.
Several companies are skeptical about eBay’s approach.
“Most companies aren’t eBay: they don’t have the marketing budget that eBay has, nor the name recognition,” said Melissa Mackey, search supervisor at Gyro. “It’s like comparing the average Joe to George Clooney. When you’re running silly, generic ads, it’s no surprise that your results aren’t stellar,” Mackey said, referencing eBay’s over-use of dynamic keyword insertion, and automatically inserts relevant keywords into ads based on search terms people use.
Another topic that will get a lot of attention this year is ad retargeting, the act of delivering online ads repeatedly over time to potential customers, nudging them towards conversion. Speakers Adam Berke of AdRoll and Kimm Lincoln of Nebo Agency will share a healthy list of dos and don’ts for executing remarketing campaigns in Follow, Reach, Convert: Smart Retargeting/Remarketing on Day 3 of the conference.
“The thing about retargeting campaigns is that there is crazy potential – but also potential to be crazy,” Lincoln said. “Done poorly, retargeting will just bore or annoy your audience. However, with some thought and hard work, retargeting can be the most powerful weapon in your marketing arsenal.”
Lincoln points to the fact that most people shortsightedly analyze quantitative data to create retargeting segments, and forget about qualitative research. She says the best way to create ads that will convert is to engage with your audience to find out what they need tin order to make their purchasing decisions.