marketing Archives -
SMS logo - impossible letter initials within decision box SMS logo - impossible letter font, initials within decision box

Systems & Marketing Solutions

Digital Marketing

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
Filter by Categories
ad copy
Adwords Auction
Adwords Changes
adwords expert
AdWords Express
adwords position
AdWords Scripts
adwords variants
Auction Insights
bidding strategy
budget optimizer
click fraud
Code Camp
converting traffic
email newsletters
Geek Dinner
google adwords conversion report
google analytics
google grants
Google Shopping
google trends
keyword matching
marketing teams
Mobile Marketing
my dream web site
new media
Organic Score
organic traffic
page loading
Page Ranking
page score
Paid traffic
Quality Score
reputation management
Restarting Adwords
Search Engine Rap Battle
shared budgets
Slow Page Loading
Social Media
split testing
Startup Weekend Santa Maria
Stopping Adwords
the future
Tracking Phone Calls
traditional media
web experience
Web Site Performance
web site teams
web traffic
webmaster tools
WordPress design

Archive for the ‘marketing’ Category

Thinking About Other Traffic

Posted by Bob Dumouchel in adwords expert, marketing

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Abstract ThinkingThere is little doubt that I am an AdWords bigot but the website traffic strategy needs to consider all types of traffic. In most cases we need our traffic to come back to the site and move down the sales pipeline to make the business work. Right now I am working with a client that has been 100% AdWords for way too long. While I believe it is a good approach to start with PPC because of the data it gives you, but a business needs to consider all the types and manage each of them to their strengths.


After you get the search traffic stable with acceptable performance the next step is to explore and test remarketing. Remarketing is a way to continue the conversation with a highly qualified audience since you can deliver ads to people that have been to your website before. In the typical site we will see a 2-5% response from search traffic meaning that we have a 95-97% failure rate. The other upside to this is the ability to bring back other sources of traffic including organic. The other really cool thing about remarketing is that you can deliver image ads which make branding impressions possible.

Remarketing data can also be used to extend into the Display Network and the concept is fairly simple. Your best prospects act very much like your best customers so good prospects are likely to visit the same sites as good customers. You can create a remarketing group of customers by isolating the traffic to your thank you page and then use the sites that appear in that group as placements in the Display Network campaign.

SEO (Organic)

Next is to pursue SEO traffic. One of the first things you will learn about SEO traffic is that it only looks simple. Your AdWords data can help you make smarter decisions in SEO. We commonly calculate the click potential of a keyword to understand the value of the SEO position. Here are the steps: *

Keyword Impressions 1,000
Impression Share 80%
Impression Potential 1,250
Top Position CTR 4%
Click Potential 50
Cost Per Click $2.50
Traffic Value $125
Quality Score Potential (Quality Score = 7/10) 30%
SEO Value $37.50

Quality score potential is the remaining potential of the keyword. Scores range from 1 to 10 so a quality score of 7 leaves a potential of 3 represented here as 30%. Calculating this for all your keywords and then sorting by the SEO value gives you a targeted keyword list based on the value to your business. The relationship here is that the quality score and your SEO score are closely related. We have found over the years that if you have a quality score problem in AdWords you have the same problem in your SEO score. The relationship is not perfect but quality score is very useful data for your SEO strategy.

The first step in SEO is what the industry calls on-page optimization and we start here because it’s simpler than the off-page items. Since we have our target from the research in the prior paragraph the next step is to examine the current pages and look for a chain of support for the first keyword. The chain of support should mean the existence of the keyword at the page title, meta tag description, h1 to h6, then body text and anchors. As you do this you will quickly discover the problem with SEO traffic and it gets down to a simple statement. The more keywords you are about the less you are about any of those keywords. This is just simple math and it is an unavoidable compromise. I was looking at a simple example of this yesterday with an account that had therapist and psychologist. These are synonyms but for search purposes they are very different words. The client had a 2 score on psychologist and a 7 score on therapist and they wanted both of them to be 7 scores. The more they push the 2 score up the more likely they are to pay for it with a decline in the other keyword. The only way to solve this problem is to increase the authority of the site so it has more SEO juice to share.

The second step in SEO is building the off-page optimization. This is what others say about you, while the on-page is what you say about yourself. In the physical world the most powerful thing you can have is a referral from a trusted party and on the net this is the same. The higher the authority of the site the more valuable the referral link becomes and this is the core of the formula used by Google. Often the way this is done is by creating interesting content related to your business that people are likely to want to share with their friends. There is no shortcut here to building your online reputation and just like the real world it takes a lifetime to build a positive reputation but only a second to destroy it.


Next on the click-list is social media and what makes this area different is that this is managing a conversation. The mistake that many businesses make is that they do not understand that the rules have changed. This is not paid advertising but rather networking and much of the conversation is about what makes you interesting. This can be about your business but it needs to be conversation not a presentation and certainly not an advertisement. Important issues here are establishing and staying true to your business persona.


The last item is publishing, aka email and blogs. This activity has a huge connection to the SEO strategy and helps paint an image of the business in the readers mind. The topics you decide to talk about and the positions you take are key to the development of your online reputation. In academic and professional services they have always known that you either publish or perish and this is true on the internet as well. This is the opportunity to talk but again remember that the goal is to create a conversation. Publishing is connected to your social media with summary postings for your articles to your social media network and then linked back to your blog.

These are the channels that apply to almost every business but this is far from a complete list. The challenge to your business is to figure out how each of these channels fits to your business and then use them to connect to your market.

Launching a New Product

Posted by Bob Dumouchel in adwords expert, marketing

Friday, March 20th, 2015

NASA Rocket Launch

Photo Credit: NASA

If you are starting out on the journey of a new product launch we would like you to know that it is only slightly more complicated than the federal tax regulations and perfecting cold fusion? So it can be done!!! Over the years we have been involved in hundreds of new product launches and it is very different than promoting an established company, product or service. Large businesses launch new products by throwing large stacks of cash at the problem and that works. For a smaller business, that is not an option and that is typically the types of projects we have been involved with. Over the years we have seen success, failure, and the walking dead and there is a pattern to these results. This article is about the small business way of launching a product.

This article assumes that the reader is a small, medium, or startup business and that the product already exists. To put this into my terms you are “All-in” and have “Already drank the Kool-Aid.” You are committed and ready to pull the trigger going to market. Before this point you already wrestled with the issues of product features and benefits as well as the ideal customer. It is now time for the market to speak and for you to listen.

Creating Your Marketing Eco-System

Launching a new product is about creating a marketing eco-system to support the product over its life. This means that you have to consider and work all the reasonable channels including rep sales, phone, email, direct mail, blogs, distributors, retailers, and e-commerce. This requires a plan that considers SEO, PPC, PR, and direct sales. If the question in your head is what is the best or right channel to work in you do not yet understand the challenge.

Marketing Is A Full Contact Blood Sport

Marketing a product is a multiple contact process and while the numbers will vary from expert to expert I suspect this is north of 20. This means that on average you will put your product in front of an audience 20 times before they buy the product. In the lexicon of the web this can at times be an impression but more likely it is a click and page visit. There is a problem here that causes clients to not understand this process and it is early success. They run some advertising or some other activity and they get an instant gratification sale and they want the market to continue to do that… they are almost always disappointed. If it takes on average 20 impressions to drive a sale, then individual sales will have everything from 1 to 40. Normally this will be a bell curve distribution with a peak at 20 or whatever that number is for your product. There is no doubt that marketing requires contact with the market and it is a brutal place that will make you stronger.

Free, Fast, and Easy

One issue that almost always comes up is the client will want to do an SEO only strategy and their reason is easy to understand. They think SEO is free, fast, and easy. The problem is that it is none of these things. SEO is the digital equivalent of PR in the physical world and it is great when you can get it, but it is highly competitive. SEO is often the most expensive channel when you consider the labor costs that go into this activity. The problem is that this cost is often hidden from the decision makers – not on purpose but by practice.

If the Idea Is New Then Nobody Is Looking For It

Many new products are innovations and as such, nobody is looking for them. By definition this means that search placements are not going to work. On the PPC side of the strategy this means moving more budget to the display network and working with image ads rather than text. While you can get some traffic from text ads you can create a lot more demand impressions from image. If a product requires substantial consumer education you have to consider the cost of educating the market. Trust me when I tell you that educating the masses is a lot of money.

Early Adopters

When launching a new product you have to accept the fact that you are first selling to early adopters and this audience thinks and acts differently. Most studies show that we are dealing with about 13% of the market when we sell to early adopters and this means that 87% of the market is not going to be interested. As product travels through its life cycle this will change and so will your messaging and targeting. In the launch get into the head of the early adopter and stay there to make sure your message fits this audience profile.

Social Media

Social Media is right up there with SEO in many conversations and for the same reasons. The problem is that many businesses get this wrong because they have their eyes on the prize rather than on the market. People do business with those that they like and they like those that help them understand – they do not like people that sell to them. Social media needs to be established well in advance and your first mission is to have something meaningful for your social group. The beginners mistake they make is they run into the network screaming at the top of their lungs about a product nobody cares about and then they wonder why it did not work. You need to engage your audience and you have to show that you have multiple and interesting facets to your profile.

It’s About Distribution

Launching a new product at scale normally means getting the product into physical or virtual shelf space and that is in direct competition with and conflict with your direct e-commerce. Businesses often want to sell the product direct because the margin is better. Then they run into resistance from the retailer with whom they are competing with. This is one of the natural conflicts that product launches have to wrestle with. Retailers like new products but they hate new competitors and they are especially hostile to competitors that they feel have an unfair cost advantage. If you are the manufacturer and you want others to distribute your product you have to be disciplined about your pricing and you need to support your retailers. This can mean losing sales that you could have done directly.

Everyone Is My Customer

If you believe this then you either hold the exclusive rights to oxygen distribution or you are crazy. To market a product you have to decide who your audience is and then speak to them. Only rookies think their product applies to everyone with one message. The more precise you can be with the audience profile the better your marketing can be targeted and the more likely you will get the result you are after.

Some People Get Lucky

Marketing is complicated because it is where people, ideas, and resources come together and sometimes people get lucky. A statement like Apple did this or Google did that does not mean that you can replicate their success. Certainly we can all learn from thought leaders like this but ultimately you have to create your own luck.

Paying for the Launch With The Profits of the Sales

I hate to be the voice of reason but this almost never works because early stage sales are rarely profitable. Let’s face the reality that marketing is legalized gambling and that new product launches are the big table. You need to go to the game prepared to fund a minimum market test, which normally is at least 3-4 months. Things are going to go wrong and you are going to need to adjust to the realities that the market delivers. You want $20 conversions but your competitors make them $40 and now you are losing money on every sale. Competitors are not going to make this easy to do.

Stay Flexible

There is one thing that you can depend on with a new product launch. It will be difficult and it will surprise you. You have to be ready to listen to the market and pivot quickly while staying true to your purpose in the market. If you engaged the audience during the product development you should be partially on-target but the reality is that you probably asked the wrong question. You asked “Do you like this?” The series of questions should be “Would you buy this?” followed immediately with “Can I have your credit card to secure your advance order?”

There Is So Much More

There is not one way to do this and what you want is to have a smart and creative team around your launch that is listening carefully and responding. This is just like a chess game in that everyone has the same tools but the game can evolve in many different ways.

A big thank you for a great photo from NASA!

So You Want to Market to Millennials?

Posted by Bob Dumouchel in adwords expert, marketing

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Multiethnic Group of People Socail Networking at Cafe

Marketing can never predict the actions of an individual but a traditional marketing practice is to segment markets into groups whose actions can be predicted. These segments are used to develop messaging and select channels for outreach. Generational segments are a well-established segmentation because it works. Like any segment it does not apply to every member of the segment but it does generally apply to the group. Millennials are one of these segments that are rapidly becoming the lead group in the market.

Most sources define the Millennial Generation as those born between 1980 and 2004. Some start it at 1982 or end at 2000 but that is splitting hairs. Right now this generation is in their 20’s and 30’s so it is their time to really start taking larger and larger decision roles. As they age, their incomes will continue to increase and their leadership in the world will grow as my generation retires and phases out of the leadership roles. One observation I have of this generation is that the future is very bright and so are its members.

If you want to market to the Millennials you start by getting to understand their perception of value and decision process. Like any other marketing – failure to understand and relate to the audience is a fatal flaw and this is true for all audiences, including Millennials.

Understanding the Millennial Audience

I am a Baby Boomer so in order to market to Millennials I have to start by understanding the audience. While it would be nice to be a part of the audience; that is not a requirement. What is a requirement is an open mind and deep listening to members of the audience. If you do not naturally have this then you have to find it and some common tools would be the use of focus groups or engagements in shareable experiences.  In this context a shareable experience is one where you operate in a peer setting with a group of Millennials such as a Startup Weekend.

Both my sons and all of the staff at SMS are millennials so I have lots of opportunity to observe and listen daily. Millennials grew up with a subset of my life experiences. What I mean by this is that my life experience started in 1953 and theirs started in 1980 so we share life experiences from about 1990 to present. They are now taking the world over, as they should. The difference is that Millennials have 40 years in front of them and I have 40 years behind me. Their life experiences cause them to think differently. This is a challenge in the marketing world because they are now a critical market mover.  Any business that fails to understand this generation will not be around very long.

Digital Natives, Shared Economy, Social Media

Let’s look at a few things that make this generation different. They are the first generation of digital natives meaning that they grew up with computers and the internet. They have embraced the shared economy that came with that technology in a way that other generations have struggled with. Social media is a by-product of these life experiences and it changed marketing from a broadcast to a two-way conversation model. The other major shift was toward crowd thinking and a great example of that is Kick Starter, a crowd funded idea launcher. Millennials accept group thinking even if they are very independent thinkers.

Over the last few years I have worked with people in this generation as a by-product of my involvement in Startup Weekends. In these events teams work on launching a business in a 54 hour weekend and this is a product of the Millennials. They see the world differently than my generation who withheld their ideas and developed in secret. In a startup weekend you start by telling the world your idea and getting validation by building a team that loves the idea. In my generation if you thought you had a good idea you went underground, worked on the patent and only after it was protected did you start to talk to others.

I have now attended six startup weekends so I have over 300 hours working with different groups almost all of which were Millennials. There have been a few Boomers and Gen X but it is a very, very short list. As a result of this I have seen how they think, innovate, and plan under stress. I have to tell you that I am impressed not only with the methods but also the results. In these Startup Weekends they take on impossible tasks and in most cases they move the idea forward. The rapid fire innovate, code, test, iterate cycle is a wonder to watch and it comes from their way of working together. This creates project management nightmares but you cannot argue with the overall results. Google uses this model and it results in fast progress but it also leads to some spectacular failures. Millennials however are not concerned with that because they just move to the next project.

Millennials in a Work Environment

Millennials have more group think than my generation and they tend to want to work more in peer to peer networks than the Boomer generation of bosses and workers. You have to be careful of observations based on internal staff because like everyone Millennials will respond differently in a work environment. They expect to have less difference between individuals and they want the team to win – not the person. Group thinking allows early input without the idea being perfect. In that model you put the idea out there and sell it to the crowd as part of the product validation. They want to see the opinions of their peers because they are skeptical of pre-packaged fancy marketing – they want to be educated not sold to.

Millennials oftentimes will value time over money so businesses may have to rethink the save money message and consider the value of time. Millennials have a much better balance between work and personal time and they blend these more than my generation. Millennials are the first generation to deal with the always-on technology and they move in and out of work mode. As an employer that is burdened with outdated employment laws it is clear that this generation’s work habits will cause great change in labor laws. This also means that time over money messaging will be valued greater on the time side.

Millennials look at a career as a series of projects where they work really hard then move on to the next project. In my generation you got a job, worked there for 30 years, retired and got a gold watch. This to some degree explains companies like Google that operate in this same model. In marketing, this is great because marketing wears out over time and needs to be replaced with fresh ideas. Millennials need to be marketed with value in the here and now and not the future value.

Millennials are more likely to be moved to action if they can do something without having to end up owning something at the end. One by-product of the Millennials is the shared economy and included in this are concepts like Uber, AirBnB, and many others. Every Startup Weekend I have attended has had several “me-too” ideas that fall into the shared economy category. The shared economy changes the rules and values for businesses. A great example of this is cars – in my generation we wanted to own the cool car and it was a big thing to us. Millennials often would rather have a ride at the time they need it and have the money to have fun when they arrive. Look for rental models in many areas to increase in popularity as this generation becomes a bigger driver of business models.

As a marketing agency we must understand and appreciate the demands of this audience. The best advice I can give anyone addressing generational marketing is to make sure that you have a diverse group with active voices from each generation that is important to your business. Lack of these voices in the conversation is a fatal flaw in any marketing strategy.

As a Baby Boomer I can never fully understand Millennials but I can appreciate their perception of value and decision process.

Why Some Firms Benefit Using AdWords in Addition to Other Marketing

Posted by Sarah Brooks in adwords expert, marketing

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Marketing encompasses a wide variety of strategies designed to generate leads and open-up sales opportunities for producers and providers. Since it is all about the way consumers digest and process information, marketing methods continually adapt to market forces and shift according to the way consumers behave. Technology, for example, has a significant impact on the way relationships unfold between buyers and sellers, so it plays a huge role in prevailing marketing approaches. As a result, today’s methods for reaching consumers hardly resemble the industry standard held just a decade ago.

Hyper-connected communication and information technology obviously impacts the way we do business, so today’s emphasis is on finding the best return on investment for Internet-based marketing and building brands on the World Wide Web. Search engine optimization and other strategies have become essential marketing features for most businesses, giving rise to several distinct approaches in this marketing specialty. But trends also favor a pay-per-click approach, which ties the ROI directly to the number of users who click-through as leads. Google’s successful pay-per-click advertising system, AdWords, is the most widely-used resource for advertisers expanding their marketing efforts into this category. AdWords is appealing to an increasing number of participants for many reasons, including the following ways some businesses benefit from pay-per-click campaigns.

Flexible Options

There is no one-size-fits-all marketing approach, so organizations typically gravitate to strategies appropriate for the size and scale of their operations. AdWords contributes a highly flexible marketing option, so it is effective for a wide variety of businesses – regardless of their size. While there is some time and money required to initiate an effective campaign, it is not as limiting for small businesses as the cost of some other forms of marketing can be. And AdWords is a friendly application for scaling as a business grows. Generally, increased spending on AdWords marketing results in consistent returns, so there aren’t penalties for scaling your effort as is appropriate for your place in the market.

Measurable ROI

Traditional marketing efforts frequently lack the level of accountability business operators would like to have at their disposal. Measuring return on investment is critical, because misguided advertising efforts equate to money down the drain for businesses counting on their precious marketing resources to furnish sustainable leads. AdWords has a leg-up on many forms of marketing because ROI is measurable using a variety of standards that clearly illustrate the effectiveness of your PPC efforts.

Another distinct advantage of AdWords over long-term SEO efforts and other marketing strategies is the potential for immediate returns as soon as your ads are placed in service. SEO strategies, on the other hand, build momentum over time, eventually yielding positive returns if applied correctly. It is difficult to measure return on SEO spending, however, because there are too many variable present to precisely attribute leads to specific SEO practices.

AdWords Effectively Augments other Marketing Efforts

Most professionals would not advocate a single-minded approach toward online marketing. Social media and other platforms, for example, offer new frontiers to be explored for their marketing potential. Where AdWords excels is as a relatively easy-to-initiate supplemental marketing effort that can really drive leads when included as a feature of comprehensive marketing campaigns.

Target Customers Directly

Blanket marketing notoriously returns a miniscule percentage of interest from those exposed to traditional ads. In AdWords, however, it is possible to refine your presentation to include only those viewers you deem most desirable. Limiting your ad to a certain part of the world, for example, targets only those customers in need of your products and services – increasing returns by landing your message efficiently. Managing keyword matches is another AdWords option, enabling you to target only those searching for exact terms within your niche. It is even possible to dictate the times of day your ad is active and the types of devices it can be accessed from.

Regardless of the size of your business, online marketing provides affordable solutions for spreading messages about your organization. Google’s AdWords furnishes a flexible, straightforward marketing approach perfect for supplementing other efforts. Google’s Pay-per-click ads offer distinct advantages to supplement other advertising strategies including fast and measurable ROI and flexible options for targeting consumers. Even if you are not ready to jump in with both feet, it may be time to consider an AdWords presence as part of your evolving marketing plan.

Author Bio:
This is a guest post by Sarah Brooks from best people search. She is a Houston based freelance writer and blogger. Questions and comments can be sent to brooks.sarah23 @

20 Marketing Steps to a Sale

Posted by Bob Dumouchel in marketing

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

A wise person once said “Half of my marketing dollars are wasted; I just do not know which half.” This is actually an optimistic statement because depending on how you measure success the waste could be much higher.  In the direct response business a response rate of 2% is not uncommon and that translates to 98% waste. The challenge with finding the waste is that success and failure are not always clearly visible.

Think about the last time you had a first transaction with a company based on a single impression from that business. Depending on who you listen to each of us is exposed to thousands of advertisements each day so it is incredibly rare that we respond simply on one impression. While a direct response can happen in the vast majority of businesses it takes many impressions before a prospect makes a measureable transaction. Consider the following:

The first time a man looks at an advertisement, he does not see it.
The second time he does not notice it.
The third time he is conscious of its existence.
The fourth time he faintly remembers having seen it before.
The fifth time he reads it.
The sixth time he turns his nose up at it.
The seventh time he reads it through and says “Oh brother”
The eighth time he says “here’s that confounded thing again”
The ninth time he wonders if it will amount to anything.
The tenth time he will ask his neighbor if he has tried it.
The eleventh time he wonders how the advertiser makes it pay.
The twelfth time he thinks it must be a good thing.
The thirteenth time he thinks it might be worth something.
The fourteenth time he remembers that he has wanted such a thing for a long time.
The fifteenth time he is tantalized because he cannot afford to buy it.
The sixteenth time he thinks he will buy it… someday.
The seventeenth time he makes a memorandum of it.
The eighteenth time he swears at his poverty.
The nineteenth time he counts his money carefully.
The twentieth time he sees it, he buys the article or instructs his wife to do so.

The over use of the word he and the last item are probably good clues that this list has been around for a very long time. According to the best information I have this was published in— Hints to Intending Advertisers; By Tomas Smith, London – 1885. While this list is 125 years old you can see that people really have not changed much. When you ask the question where did you hear about us the answer will always be the 19th or 20th step but in reality many areas are never credited with the transaction. Since we are AdWords Experts we would like to point out that the keywords associated with each of these steps are probably different. So if you never advertise for the early stage keywords how are you going to get the majority of the audience to this final step?

I propose that this list is not far off in many situations and it explains why we get the results we get. Were any of these 20 contacts wasted? My position would be that each step was part of the process and it simply took 20 actions to complete a visible reaction. At any point in the purchase process you could have hundreds or even thousands of prospects at the various points and this process is not purely linear. An individual prospect could skip or repeat steps because these are people not machines. I would propose that you can reduce this list by doing a better job of communicating your value and telling your story clearly and with emotion, but your prospect is still going to evolve over time not just instantly transform.

Think of your personal experience today. Studies vary but most indicate that you will be exposed to thousands of advertisements before you close your eyes tonight. Out of those thousands you might respond to one or two. If you are like most people 90%+ of your purchases today will not be based on advertising but on some prior experience or relationship. You will buy your coffee at the same place, get gas for your car at the same station, and buy a sandwich at a place you have been before. We are creatures of habit so the fact that advertising fails at a very high percentage should not surprise us. The challenge is that as a business you must reach out to new people consistently because if you fail to develop new business you will ultimately fail.

At my core I am a systems person that loves impossible challenges and that is why I work in marketing and my goal is to fail less often.

Traditional Media is "Not Dead Yet"

Posted by Bob Dumouchel in branding, marketing, new media, traditional media

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Predictions of the death of traditional media by evangelists of new media remind me of the famous statement from Mark Twain “I am afraid that the rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” The media of print, TV, radio, mail, and many others will be with us for long time but they do need to learn to play well with the new kids. The truth is that businesses need to balance their marketing strategy based on how each media-type works with their specific target.

I was recently invited to be part of a Marketing Experts Panel by Softec, a local technology trade association. The event drew about 45 people for dinner and a discussion on marketing their business and there were some great conversations. The organization is largely technology-based businesses, but the subject of the evening was marketing and you could tell that it was a challenge to many.

The panel consisted of Dave Cox, CEO, Barnett Cox & Associates, Lynne Biddinger, CEO, 20/20 Creative Group, Starr Hall, CEO, 2 Point Media and myself. As I reflected on the discussion it struck me that within the marketing field we really have brand leaders and brand followers. Dave and Lynne fall into the category of a brand leader and our business is very successful being a brand follower.

While the brand leader might be more glamorous, the marketing team needs good brand followers within their niche specializations. This is clearly where Google Adwords belongs in the marketing team. We need to bring data back to the brand leadership in a form that they can use to make good decisions. Adwords is a direct and measured channel and the brand managers need to understand what that data says. We have to transform the mounds of data in to actionable information. We also need to tune the AdWords system to support the overall brand strategy because if our tuning is “off-message” the results are not pretty.

We have business relationships with both Lynne and Dave, although both are indirect. I never got a chance to make a point at the event, so I am doing it now. In Dave’s case we are running a Google Adwords campaign for a client that he managed the branding of for many years. That organization enjoys a great search engine position largely because of the overall marketing plan he designed. This site now gets great paid traffic because the brand is clear and well managed making it very easy to extract highly targeted traffic. Without the traditional media support and comprehensive marketing plan this site would not consistently be at the top of Google with expanded placement for their highest volume keyword.

Lynne is the brand manager for another client and that client has the best performing landing page in our entire business. As of this morning this page converts at an amazing 36%! The results are actually even greater than that because the primary response design is for phone and we only measure the back-up response by email form. The reason this converts so well is because the landing page and Adwords model are exactly on message. 20/20 did the branding and landing page design for the client; we just got the right people to the page.

The brand leader can be internal or external but their job is to be the brand cop. They need to up hold and communicate the brand standards and the core messaging. The brand follower on the other hand needs to excel at their specialty and work within the brand. When structured properly with everyone knowing their respective roles this process works great. Lack of brand leadership is a problem but so is excessive leadership.

As I look at the clients that have enjoyed the most success there is clearly a relationship between their brand leadership, clarity of message, and the success in their Google Adwords campaigns. When your message is clear it is much easier to get highly targeted traffic.