I don’t know about you, but I dis­like the word ‘strat­egy’. It’s right up there with ‘skill sets’, ‘engage­ment’, ‘syn­er­gies’ and ‘lever­age’, words busi­nesses often use to invoke and asso­ciate with the aura of higher thought. With Search Engine Strate­gies San Jose, the world’s largest search mar­ket­ing con­fer­ence, upon us next week it occurs to me that the show has devolved to tac­tics, not strat­egy — and that needs to change.

The tac­tics used to suc­cess­fully attack paid and organic search *are* impor­tant, but can I please get a ‘whoop whoop!’ from atten­dees who will high-step it out of *any* ses­sion whose pan­elists talk about key­word gen­er­a­tion, cam­paign struc­tur­ing and ROI-based man­age­ment as if those were strate­gies and not just tac­tics we’ve all learned about, imple­mented and lived by since the Long Tail was 100 keywords?

Strate­gies are over­all plans to achieve an objec­tive, and tac­tics are the dis­crete activ­i­ties we engage in to imple­ment our strat­egy.

Pan­elists, ven­dors, con­sul­tants and engine folk, let’s admit it — in our haste to secure our piece of this rapidly expand­ing pie, we have turned this con­fer­ence and oth­ers like it into a glo­ri­fied feed­ing frenzy where insid­ers posi­tion tac­tics as unique insight and expe­ri­ence as vision.

Strat­egy really mat­ters now. Like you, your com­peti­tors have learned the tac­tics and imple­mented them; they too have seen the growth, the ROI and the mea­sur­a­bil­ity of search. Sheer effort still dis­tin­guishes some from oth­ers, but that same sheer effort even­tu­ally takes a 40% pay raise from a com­peti­tor, lev­el­ing the play­ing field right quick. As for the engine duop­oly, they’re wring­ing so much more money out of adver­tis­ers by push­ing gra­tu­itous, default cam­paign set­tings and silo’d SEM mea­sure­ment that it’s no won­der most adver­tis­ers are see­ing dimin­ish­ing returns.

Omni­ture will be dis­cussing search engine Strate­gies next week. In our view, the Inter­net is not just a mar­ket­ing chan­nel. It has become an enabler for a busi­ness strategy:

1) mea­sure cus­tomer acqui­si­tion and con­ver­sion;
2) use infor­ma­tion to inform auto­mated opti­miza­tion;
3) extend the view of the cus­tomer across chan­nels on and off-line; and
4) apply new insights to opti­mize your busi­ness based on a com­plete view of all cus­tomer interactions

Come join us next week at the ses­sions Ron Belanger and I will par­tic­i­pate in — or at our booth — and we’ll look for­ward to talk­ing… Strategy.

3 comments
Chabad
Chabad

Actually good strategy help us lot in each field of the life here your are also focusing on the same thing, as organic result are very good as compare to sponsored listing, and we can achieve as your own statement by good strategies.

Commodity Broker
Commodity Broker

I agree with this statement "Sheer effort still distinguishes some from others, but that same sheer effort eventually takes a 40% pay raise from a competitor, leveling the playing field right quick". Sheer effort and quality content will never loose.

Nathan Janitz
Nathan Janitz

I could not agree more. I'm not heading to SES San Jose, but that has more to do with me living in Chicago than it does with the lack of "strategic" content. I get that the industry does not want to present information that is to over their customers head or give away their secret sauce to success, but we still have to present information that will drive the industry past the mentality that building the largest list of keywords is the best strategy. Where is the content about changing how a company uses search to assist in branding, public relations, gain consumer insights through research and testing, or even expanding the analytics to continue to close the offline/online customer tracking. Strategy is more than keyword builds, creative tests, and ROI tracking at the keyword/Campaign level. The panelist all know it (they wouldn't have been asked to speak if they didn't), now someone please start showing it.