Sophisticated Search Marketing to Triumph over Unsophisticated - Really?

Thread Title:
State of the Search Marketing Industry 2004
Thread Description:

Findings from a Jupiter report say that sophisticated search marketing will overtake unsophisticated search marketing. They go on to say that the sun will rise in the morning, and set in the evening... (only kidding, on planet TW there is no sun...)

The report also said that there's an widening gap between "sophisticated" and "unsophisticated" search marketers, and that over time the sophisticated marketers will dominate the industry.

A hallmark of a sophisticated firm is its use of technology. "The SEM agencies that have built their own bid management and campaign tracking tools, and that use extensive data to create campaign strategy, are typically able to generate better results for their advertisers," said Jupiter Research Associate Analyst Nate Elliott.

There is some other stuff in there to but maybe im just bored today, most of strikes me as duller than dishwater and more obvious than a smack in mouth.

via sew blog


Without reading the article,

Without reading the article, I'll respond to the title ...yes, marketing will get more sophisticated and I fear that much of that 'sophistication' will be in constructing walled gardens around markets then marketing to the captives (think of it as a private hunt club).

As an example, a few weeks ago Battelle outlined a convergence scenario between SEs and TV --very likely to happen in 3-5 years, IMO, but no where in that scenario did I see the current serps being viewed. To get in front of those eyeballs, you'd have to be among the elite (read: high-$$) marketers. A similar scenario could apply to the coming convergence of local search and smart phones.


There's been tons of talk about this recently, as im certian you're aware rc. From all i've read and all i've skimmed on this it looks like we're either on the verge of a new era in advertising/marketing or there's some truly mental spin out there in the blogs and press.

Possibly a bit of both.

With regard to walled gardens, AOL have recently broken thier walls and released their content outside of the garden and moved ads in.

On the subject of marketing changing in general, we've talked about the aristocrasy of brand being dead, word of mouth marketing with regards to blogs and even taken a look at some predictions for the future. In fact, at least some VC's are pumping money into alternative brand marketing to combat the growing consumer backlash and drop in TV's stranglehold over consumer thought.

It's all interesting stuff but much may just be spin and hype, i dont have a single hard figure to report, i just read, and call it according to what people are saying and, more importantly, who's saying it.

Which leads nicely onto something Tim Bray blogged about a little while ago regarding your point about smart phones.

Remember AOL? In 2004, America Online doesn’t matter much any more. They’re not where the action or the revenue growth is. They were the ultimate expression of the walled-garden game, and they played it bigger and better than anyone else ever has, and it turned out to be a losing hand. Why do the telephone operators think they’re going to be smarter than AOL was? ¶

AOL is still here, but everybody’s now forgotten all the other walled-garden attempts, people who thought if they put together a search engine and some sports and sex and gardening and shopping and news and day-trading, they’d have “stickiness”.

Some of the efforts were big and well-staged (remember, and some were unbearably lame; I remember having to fight through three levels of garden walls to get out of some hotel’s “Internet service” and onto the actual Internet.

My bet is that the network operators’ walled gardens end up being more like that hotel than like AOL.

and he goes on to present a biz model for mobile networks:

  • Open up on the client side: let your customers plug in whatever damn kind of phone they want, and run any damn kind of app on it they want.
  • Open up the network: make it really easy to deploy services and applications. Run classes for developers and give away SDKs and have prizes for coolest app-of-the-week.
  • Rework your pricing models. Make bandwidth cheap, then cheaper, but stay away from flat-rate unlimited-data plans.
  • Build lots of helpful infrastructure. Offer staging and caching services (be Akamai), and split-revenue advertising infrastructure (be Google). There are opportunities in hosting and billing and accounting, but the end of the day, you’re just trying to drive more bits through your wires.
  • Go work with EBay and Amazon and Salesforce to make sure people on your network can get there fast and use the services easily. Don’t ask for any money, remember you’re in the bandwidth business.

Man, i hate there being no "preview" button on comments! with that amount of links you know it's going to be poo when i hit submit hehe...

It's a different kind of wall

It's a different kind of walled garden, Nick, much akin to the exclusivity of TV advertising due to the costs involved. And, I think it is likely to develop precisely because of the collapse of brand and the rise of alternative advertising.

The marketing powers-that-be of the broadcast networks, yellow pages, movies, gaming (as in xbox), and the music industry aren't happy with the, ummmm, Bohemian nature of web marketing and the toll it has taken --much less what it's predicted impact.

Here's Battelle's tv/search scenario. Read it and tell me if you think the networks are going to allow "free" serps or will it be more like a super-high$$ PFI?

free serps

In relation to TV/Search then certainly not...

Interesting post, i'd missed it. Looks to me like the small time SEO outfit is dead in the water within a reasonbly short space of time, but then i've been saying (quoting) that for some time..

Where do you think that will leave the industry as we know it now?

First, another scenario:

First, another scenario:

SuzyQ comes out of a mall in downtown Atlanta. She grabs her smartphone (which has both GPS and voice recognition) and says "Yahoo Local. Give me a list of t-shirt shops within 2 miles of my current location." To the consumer that's search, too.


rcjordan, I'm not sure how advanced the mobile market is in the USA, but the technology is not that far away over here.

I can, for example, pay road tolls by SMS while driving (well, to be legal, get my passenger to do it!) to avoid a wait at the tollgate, or I can have various items charged to my phone bill if I use my mobile to pay for them in some way.

3G (and 3.5G and beyond) is going to change that market in unexpected ways (SMS anyone?).

Interestingly, Macromedia included a new project tools for mobile development in a newsletter today:

and, looking at the advantages of Flash over trad HTML in mobile development presentation, I have a small suspicion that this might be the killer ap that Flash has been waiting for.

>the industry as we know it n

>the industry as we know it now

We're still in for a good ride for a while because the internet as media is new-ish. (On the downside, it seems to be maturing at a much faster rate than other media did.)

I think, however, that "search from a computer" ~i.e., search as we now know it~ is going to be splintered and/or cannibalized by different types and methods of search. This will be particularly evident in consumer-driven search.

We're moving toward having the home entertainment center and the smartphone become the most easily accessible search appliances. What worries me most is that JohnQ tends to be passive (read: lazy) and will accept broadcaster-selected "pseudo-search" as an easy alternative to firing up the PC or Mac.


I agree enitrely with both your posts rc, in fact, we talked abit about a post by Scott Schaffer in It's Search Spock, but not as we know it...

I hadnt actually considered your last point though, and it's a pretty valid and scary one I think. I know my mum (always good to compare to with stuff like this) is more than happy with almost anything she gets in Search - she finds google a pain in the arse and prefers ask jeeves...

Providing she can find what she wants (generally a shopping site) she's very happy, and she wouldnt care much if it was from a closed wall network, a pseudo search service or next doors cat...

Hmm must try hiring out my cats as search appliances!

Initial tests show that the results aren't that great except for the following keywords:



You been at the grog again kali? ;)

>how advanced the mobile mark

>how advanced the mobile market is in the USA

It's getting there, but my hunch is that it's going to leapfrog some of the stages jp and eu have gone through. The rubber is going to hit the road here when a phone-sized device takes the place of cell/pda/laptop/tablet/camera/mp3player and, as you say, we're not that far away. Mostly, I think the hardware is waiting on storage capacity and that's starting to roll out.

(I just bought a 1G sd card for under $100 off the pegboard at Walmart --the salient point in that sentence is "AT WALMART")

Oh wait, here's my Grand Finale Link:

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