All posts by Bill Hunt

Bill Hunt is the co-author of the best selling book Search Engine Marketing Inc - Driving Traffic to Your Companies Web Site from IBM Press now in it’s 2nd Edition. Check out the companion Search Marketing Inc blog Bill is currently the President of Back Azimuth Consulting which helps companies understand their consumer by mining search and social media data.

Lotus Notes on Iphone

You can now access Lotus Notes on your iPhone!  According to IBM’s announcement you can now bring your Lotus Notes email, calendar, and contacts to your Apple iPhone.  Yay!   Unfortunately many corporate IT departments are not aware of this which is one of the reasons Blackberry devices are still dominant at large companies with enterprise mail and calendaring systems.

For those of you trapped in large companies with an iPhone you can now rejoice that there is hope.  IBM has released an application leveraging the safari browser to allow you to connect with your corporate mail using your iPhone. The application is called Lotus iNotes and is a secure and effective way to access Lotus Notes on your iPhone.

Here is a cool video developed by IBM Design Team to explain the features.

Search ad spending by tech, electronics companies slows

Search ad spending by tech, electronics companies slows is the headline to the B2B Magazine article last week by Chris Hosford. Chris was referring to a Paid Search spend study released recently by Covario.
The study indicated that search spend by technology companies had decreased.  Now, it was not Chris’ story or the study by Covario that caught my attention but the comment from a reader named “Bill”.  I had not yet read the story but a friend had sent me a note asking if that person who commented was “me” being sarcastic.   The reader commented that the downturn in search spend was due to “general search may not be working” and that these companies were early adopters and as such are just now realizing search marketing does not work and are going back to “audiences” they know.
Clearly it was not “me” who wrote it since anyone who know me knows how passionate I am about search marketing and its effectiveness in B2B Technology.
The following is the response I posted to Bill’s comments.

Wow – I really was moved by the previous comment about “general search may not be working” as a reason for the downturn in paid search spend.
While I do a agree that “direct sales” in the Tech B2B space are not that frequent but that is more due to lengthy sales cycles than the medium of search.

We have seen across many Tech B2B clients over the past 5 years that search marketing (paid and organic) drives significantly more qualified visitors and leads than any other form of marketing.

Those who effectively leverage key Buy Cycle keywords matched to relevant landing pages and Click to Chat technology continue to capture 10x to 20x the number of qualified leads than they do over other marketing tactics even email.
Now, those who dare to combine search generated leads with an effective email or direct sales nurturing program are reaping significant rewards.

The reason Covario is seeing these budget reductions is due to the companies and agencies decreasing spend on “all” paid media with paid search being equally hit in the decrease in the marketing mix. Rather than spending more on what is working and decreasing what is not, they are trying to preserve these under performing sacred cows at the expense of immediate connections to the very marketing tactic that puts you directly in front of the people who still need or want your product in a poor performing economy.

So, to those who agree that search is not working and have cut your budgets I say thank you! This will lower CPC’s and those who are achieving success will have even more without the competition.

I only wish clients would let us comment on their success they have had in search especially with intent modeling and connecting the right people with optimized landing pages.

I also find it crazy that while search is blowing away other forms of marketing especially globally, companies are uniformly cutting budgets because it is part of “media” – we need to start to think of ways we can segment or media mix models so they don’t take uniform “hair cuts” when budgets are triupped but cut out the things which are not actually performing to standards.

Mobile Findability is Critical for Success

If you sell a service or offer anything that is local centric you MUST, MUST, MUST ensure you have local findability and leverage the increased adoption of smart phones especially the iPhone.

Recently I was in Austin Texas for SXSW and needed to get a cab after an event at the Carver Museum to get back to our hotel. I summoned the search function of Google on my iPhone and typed in “Austin taxi” and you see the result below.  It gave me two listings – paid and organic for Yellow Cab Austin.   Yellow Cab is the largest cab company in Austin and one we had been using most of the week so we thought we would continue to be loyal to them.

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What would have been optimal would be to have the phone number in either of the search listings. Since the number was not obvious I clicked on the “Order Service” link.   I was taken to a page that had the number and I was able to click the number and get the dispatcher.

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When I went back to the listings and scrolled down I encountered Google’s Mobile listings which had a number of Yellow Cab’s competitors listed but not the big guy.  Yellow Cab has obviously optimized their site via SEO and is spening money on paid search and has a fair bit of “ShelfSpace” but is totally missing out of the funtionality of mobile search and SmartPhone integration.

Had I scrolled down I would have been 1 click away from ordering a cab from three of their competitors.

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It is strongly recommended that any local or even national businesses with local offices leverage Google’s Local Business Center to ensure their listing is accurate and included in Google Maps and Mobile Search.

The Google Local Business Center listing is free.  When potential customers search Google, Google Mobile or Google Maps for local information, they’ll find your business: your address, hours of operation, even photos of your storefront or products.  They have also added a feature to offer coupons which makes it totally local and measurable when they bring them into the store to redeem them.

SEMPO Webinar: State of Search – Asia

Update: Listen to the Webinar and get the presentation at http://register.webcastgroup.com/event/?wid=0830423094635

When: Thursday, April 23
Time: 12 PM Eastern (9 AM Pacific)
Where: Online Web Conference
How: Register Here
Cost: Free
Who Should Attend: Executives, in-house marketers, SEMPO clients and prospects

With China being the largest Internet population market in the world, 40% of the world’s Internet audience comes from the Asian market. This webinar will provide information about the current market status and how to do business in Asia including Japan, China, Korea, and growing emerging markets such as Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia, as well as the huge off-shore businesses opportunities in India.

Come and learn about the opportunities to connect with the fastest growing Internet markets – http://register.webcastgroup.com/event/?wid=0830423094635