Tuesday, August 01, 2006

digital-telepathy, Inc. Joins SEMPO, Search Engine Marketing Professionals

digital-telepathy, Inc., a San Diego digital marketing agency has joined SEMPO, Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization, to contribute to the awareness of search engine marketing best practices and to highlight the benefits of integrating search into your overall digital marketing strategy.

In an effort to raise awareness to the benefits of integrating search engine marketing services into your overall digital marketing strategy, digital-telepathy, Inc. joined SEMPO, Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization. SEMPO is a non-profit professional association working to educate and to promote the value of search engine marketing worldwide.

"Search engine marketing continues to steadily see growth year-after-year as an invaluable tactic in our client's overall digital marketing strategy. There is also an insurmountable number of businesses who do not have access to the proper education for search engine marketing," says BJ Cook, Digital Marketing Director at digital-telepathy, Inc.

With the abundant resources available on SEMPO.org, digital-telepathy Inc. understands the importance of participating in an active community of credible, reputable SEM agencies and contributing to the education of the masses. Aligning itself with SEMPO, dt sees its role as strategic to providing search engine marketing case studies and research documents highlighting client's return on investment from successful implementation of search engine marketing programs.

"The search engine marketing industry will only grow stronger as agencies learn to share their trials and tribulations with each other. We are all on the same path, striving for measurable results from our search engine marketing services and better ways to transfer that knowledge to our clients; SEMPO is a great tool," adds Cook.

About digital-telepathy, Inc.

digital-telepathy, Inc is a digital marketing agency with a unique blend of business expertise, online marketing prowess and innovative web design/development. They create engaging internet marketing campaigns that deliver a positive return on investment. Their dynamic and energetic team is comprised of experts in new media including website design, XHTML/CSS programming, Ajax development, Flash, copywriting, internet marketing, media planning, project management, business strategy, product launches and more. Their energy and thirst for innovation continues well beyond the first signs of success, making it natural for them to continue to create and improve upon their unique, lively and engaging new media campaigns.


The Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) was formed to help spread the good news about search engine marketing (SEM).

SEMPO exists to fill the gaps in awareness and understanding of SEM, including educating marketing managers worldwide about what SEM is and how properly implemented SEM programs can provide some of the highest returns on investment possible in the marketing world today.

SEMPO is primarily made up of search engine marketing firms and consultants, in-house marketing professionals, web developers, and advertising agencies that have seen search engine marketing's value first hand and believe in the effectiveness of educational materials and programs describing the value of SEM strategies and tactics.

For further information, visit http://www.sempo.org

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Broadband Reaches 72% At Home

Nielsen//NetRatings, a global leader in Internet media and market research, announced today that nearly three-quarters of U.S. active Web users connected at home via broadband in May, growing 15 percentage points over a year ago, when just 57 percent of active Web users relied on broadband connections at home.

Research also indicates that broadband users are more likely to make better use of Internet functionalities and newer technologies, such as RSS feeds and blogging.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Boutique Hotel in Bocas del Toro

For those of you thathave no idea where Bocas del Toro is; Bocas del Toro is a Caribbean archipelago located in West Panama near the Costa Rican border. A little off the beaten track, your wondrous tropical island adventure begins after a one-hour flight from Panama City.

So where to stay?

Bocas del Toro Hotel of course!

Hotel Bocas del Toro features 11 room boutique hotel rooms with 300-thread count cotton sheets, safety boxes, air-conditioning, color/cable TV, phones and balconies with ocean and town views, as well as in-room massages.

Sounds like a veritable oasis to escape your laptop and marketing duties! The real reason I'm mentioning this is to highlight how you can use blogs to empower your branding and marketing strategies for even the smallest of clients. Think about it. Anyone reading this needs a vacation at some point. Why not let them know about a great spot that isn't your typical getaway and garner some branding awareness?!
Visit this Bocas del Toro hotel

Monday, February 20, 2006

Career Move: Digital Marketing Here I Come...

Okay so everyone has been wondering where are you going? Well I made the move and today is the first day of what will be a very successful future for myself and my new team members. I am the new Digital Marketing Director at Digital Telepathy in San Diego, CA. If you'd like to learn more about their digital marketing services and consulting, visit us here. If you want my new email address, please email me at bjcook at gmail.
thanks and see everyone around the web!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Romance In 2006...Do the trends still hold up?

Pew Research Center released a study showing that 49% of young Americans (18-29)are "not-actively" seeking partners or relationships. Sounds like a lot of independent kids out there. I'm 26 and I can say that I am very happily involved right now with not only a wonderful person, but our wonderful terror of a dog, Ava Grey. Here is a little bit more from the study:

These findings emerge from a national survey conducted last fall by the Pew Internet & American Life Project looking at the place of online dating in the larger picture of relationships in America. The survey found that dating in America is, indeed, affected by online matchmaking activity.

Among internet users, how the married and the committed met each other.

In our sample of internet users, we found that those who are in serious long-term relationships or marriage are equally as likely to have met through friends or in a work or school setting. Still, bars remain a relatively popular place for long-term relationships to begin. Here is a rundown from the survey of how the internet users in marriages or long-term relationships first encountered each other.

* 38% met at work or school.
* 34% met through family or friends.
* 13% met at a nightclub, bar, café, or other social gathering
* 3% met through the internet.
* 2% met at church.
* 1% met by chance, such as on the street.
* 1% met because they lived in the same neighborhood.
* 1% met at a recreational facility like a gym.
* 1% met on a blind date or through a dating service.
* The remainder cited a variety of other ways they met, such as growing up together.

While the survey provides no direct evidence that the internet can take credit for the higher rates of wedlock among its users, it does show that internet date-seeking has become increasingly popular.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and offer this up as my own 26 year old insight into this data. So 3% met online, 34% met through friends/family and 38% met at school/work. Hmm...sounds like good arenas for the Myspace, Match.com, Friendster, Flickr crowds. The wonders of online dating. So potentially 75% of these people could meet online at some point in time because aren't we all conneceted thorough someone else online? Marketers, make note of this trend to social networking, and beware the WEB 3.0, it's coming. Tailor your thought patterns to our needs, it's about what we need as consumers, move us with targeted messaging and capture our attention with ideas that beg to be heard.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

John Stratton, Verizon Wireless CMO tells agencies to step up!


John Stratton Warns 'Money Will Be in Motion' as Marketers Embrace New Media
Excerpt: Mr. Stratton, who controls a budget of more than $2 billion, exhorted agencies to take action: “Your clients are in trouble. They are looking to you to save them.” He said the ad inventory that has been sold for the last 50 years “no longer works,” and marketers “have started to figure that out.” In the process, “your clients will fire, hire, fire, and hire agency after agency ... seeking someone –- anyone! -- who can help them perhaps on where to go next.”

And Mr. Stratton predicted that as much as 25% to 30% of the $100 billion spent each year on brand advertising will find its way onto the mobile screen.

I've written a couple of blogs on the benefits of mobile search, so search back through my archives to find them or feel free to start a new dialogue here and post some comments. VCast is the next wave...

Friday, January 27, 2006

Paid Search Testing: A New Study From Jim Novo

Page views, Conversions & ROI from the perspective of THE MARKETER!?

If you've ever wondered what types of paid search tests you could be running with clients offering a bountiful budget, check out this study by Jim Novo from the Yahoo Analytics Group Discussion. I've postd the entire thread for you to follow. It's a great sutyd and it addresses a lot of concerns we have as search marketers highlighting the suspicions we all have when trying to associate the measurement of our paid campaigns to the overall successes of the the campaign as a whole. thanks Jim!

> I guess what I'm saying is that the only results from a PPC campaign

> that matter are the *incremental* clicks that paid search provides

> above and beyond organic search. And if those incremental results

> aren't significantly higher, it's a lot harder for me to justify the

> spend... 'ego spending' of course aside.

Exactly, and the question if you are optimizing *profits* as opposed to

sales or "exposure" is where is breakeven on the PPC? This of course

depends on the margin of the business and the cost of the click, but there

are several other dynamics in play, including the following:

1. The tendency of a 1st ranking PPC to deliver sub-optimal ROI due to

"sport-clicking" by causal / newbie "surfers"

2. The tendency of lower-ranking PPC to deliver higher ROI due to bid gaps

and (often) dramatically lower costs

3. The tendency of "deep searchers" - people who click on lower ranking

organic and PPC links - to be further into the research cycle / more likely

to convert to final objective

So, for example, in one 2003 test, a page ranked organically as #2 for a

certain high-volume phrase. This same page content was used to create a

landing page for a PPC campaign using the same search phrase. The test was

conducted in March, neutral seasonality for this business.

With a #1 PPC ranking, the PPC campaign generated 11% in *incremental*

sales with a 60-day latency tail but had a negative 12% ROI on margin minus

overhead (note specific use of the word incremental, which I will explain

further below). When this same listing was dropped down to "deep shoppers"

at PPC rank #4 (in this case, 1st ad at bottom of Yahoo page), it generated

4% incremental sales with a 1786% ROI on margin minus overhead for the same

60-day latency tail. That's almost 18 : 1 payout. Without the tail

(first conversion only), it was 623% (almost 7 :1).

In addition, the "deep shopper" segment on average had a 70% repeat

purchase rate as opposed to 58% for the #1 PPC position. So even the "tail

of the tail" was better at position 4. This was on the higest volume

search phrase for the site, so it made a huge impact on overall


Remember, the landing pages for both the high ranking Organic link and the

#1 ranking PPC link were exactly the same - layout, copy, all of it.

Now, the reason I specifically used the word incremental is we had control,

which demonstrates a real dark side of PPC with Top 3 ranking Organic.

When the #1 ranking PPC ran with the #2 Organic link, the sales *volume*

coming from the PPC link ran about 43% versus 57% for the organic link.

This ties pretty closely with some recent studies on click behavior (on

average, 60% click organic, 40% click paid).

But dig what this really means: if incremental sales are 11% versus control

(no PPC) and sales volume with PPC is 43% PPC, that means nearly 77% of PPC

sales were **stolen from the organic side** - they would have happened

anyway without the PPC link.

Factor this "media cannibalization" into ROI, and now we're down around

negative 48% ROI for the test #1 ranking PPC with organic at #2. For every

$1 we spend we lose 48 cents - 12 cents in tangible ROI, and 36 cents in

"Opportunity ROI" - ROI we won't get because we wasted the click budget by

not using it to buy "real" incremental clicks.

Hey, just increase the budget, we'll make it up on volume!

This is precisely the situation I was alluding to in the first post on this


The visitor clicked PPC, landed, went Back, found Organic, converted. With

all this occuring in the same session, it's highly likely that paid click

is a pure subsidy cost - conversion would have happened anyway. To peg

this click as "source" gives credit where credit is (probably) not due, and

leads to eroding margins through increased PPC subsidy costs.

> So back to the original question, can you think of a solid way this

> incrementality could be tested?

"Solid" way? Well, I guess that would depend on the technology that was

available and the sales volume you are talking about. Not sure you can

truly "A / B / C" it without some significant bid management / search

engine API technology. I'm not sure the engines would give up that kind of

control - though I bet THEY have tested it at some level.

The above test was a 3 week manual "alternating days" test on Overture for

a store with 500K - $1 million annual sales and average order size about

$72, so there wasn't a lot of room for high tech tools.

If you run A on Monday, B on Tuesday, control / C on Wednesday, then start

over with A on Thursday and continue this rotation, the following Monday B

will run and on Tuesday C will run etc., so by the end of 3 weeks you will

have A, B, and Control data normalized by day - both campaigns and control

ran on every day of the week. Not a statistically pure methodology, but

not horrible, for sure - and cheap! As Robin said, "I'd rather do it

unscientifically (e.g. pull the ads for a time period that is longer than

the average latency and measure) and swallow the error rather than just

"attribute" the conversion."

If the result spread is significant enough, as it was on this test, I'll

give up points in accuracy to get closer to the "directional truth". Each

of the top 30 search phrases *where there was a top 3 organic ranking for

the phrase* was optimized in this way with the results very directionally

consistent across all phrases. It was almost always more profitable to

have a lower than #1 paid ranking when a top 3 organic ranking was present.

Below the Top 30 phrases, some of the lower volume phrases produced

inconsistent results which was probably a result of test methodology error

/ lack of frequency.

While it may not be "practical" for large scale retailers to test like

this, you would think for certain high volume phrases it would be worth

poking around it a bit given the potential for cost savings. Definitely

not worth thinking about if sales is the focus, because (probably

unprofitable) sales will be lost without the #1 PPC listing.

Are there any analytics providers with a direct interface to the search

engines capable of generating / controlling / measuring this kind of

testing on a large scale? Any analytics providers that interface with

complex bid management systems like Kevin Lee's didit.com ? I don't know

the answer.

Of course, changes in the way paid listings are displayed (often related to

how many bidders there are) can change the outcome of this test. The

results on Google were also directionally consistent though less dramatic.

I assume this is because of the different PPC display approach versus

Yahoo, but perhaps also due to some of the "alchemy" surrounding Google PPC

rankings, which are more difficult to control on Google.

And for sure, there are reasons people buy PPC other than to drive profits,

so being #1 may be worth it, but the true costs should be quantified.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Do-It-Yourself SEO: Now Uncle Joe Can Optimize Too

Seriously now. If you are going to advertise the ultimate SEO software solution, you should really be ranking pretty high for terms like "seo software." Sites like seoyourself.com just give a bad name for those of us who work in this industry and have busted our butts to get where we are today. It's not just about TITLE and META tags, writing a ton of content and trading links. Many of us come from traditional backgrounds spawning from the web like designers, developers, producers, copywriters, etc. I can speak for myself that we not only have an understanding of how to grow a site from an idea to a sketch to a mockup to slicing it up to programming it to...the list goes on, we are experts in this field of search now. Most local business owners think "algorithms" is greek. Hiring a firm, agency or even freelancer to manage your search marketing efforts is a cost-effective way to make sure the rest of the things in your business are running smoothly and being tended too like accounting, finances, affiliate programs, offline marketing, media buying/planning and making sure the carpet isn't coming up. A do-it-yourself solution isn't wise money spent unless you are VERY familair with this field, attended some webinars or trade shows or took a course at searchenginecollege.com. At some point you truly need an expert to evaluate what you are doing. It makes sense and unless you have a money in the back of your business; be sensible and make sure your dollars are earning you something valuable in return.