Tag Archives: Michael Alex-Campbell

Why Bother with a Search Management Technology?

Every once and awhile, I will come across a single three-word phrase which I never like to hear, but more importantly, I feel is unjustified in this line of work.

“Sorry, no budget”

A colleague I once worked with when I sold ad-space gleefully blurted down the phone to a prospect: “You gotta spend money to make money!” I always look back and smile on that moment. As I’m sure you can imagine, the call ended fairly abruptly, but never the less he made an impact on me.

Progressing in business is all about identifying risk, value and investment potential, then acting accordingly, whether that is investing time in your clients, assets in your workforce, or having faith in that new product. The best way to achieve this progress is by using a search management technology provider to do the dirty work.

The truth of the matter is that every day, you are in a position to make a change which will nearly always guarantee a positive ROI.*

Don’t worry, there is no small print. Those conditions are fairly simple:

  1. Have a large online presence, selling numerous products
  2. Support from a dedicated search team
  3. Contain a typical search spend in excess of £50,000 (or about $75,000) per month

First, with a large online presence, it’s assumed that you will have a vast and complex account and campaign arrangement across the major publisher engines. Furthermore, you are likely to be running a lot of activity through additional channels, such as display and social. You must ask yourself: How much time is spent operationally logging into individual systems to manage these? How much time is spent trying to compare data and draw any meaningful insights to action?

Moving onto your search team, whether in-house or through an agency: how much time is spent analysing difficult to obtain data for optimisation? This is a complex task if done manually; something which a computer can do in a fraction of the time, often with a greater degree of accuracy (sort term promotions, seasonal holidays, etc. are a different matter).

Finally, spend. The more you track, and the higher your click volume, the more you stand to gain: simple economics of scale. While online presence and search explain where the value is generated,  high spend is an indicator that you should now be starting to have those conversations with search management technology providers.

All in all, I approach many clients who exceed the above pointers and spend vast amounts of money in search but are reluctant to use a search technology. I can’t speak for everyone but I think the fact that they understand that such a change is no small feat is an accomplishment in itself. However, not forgetting the large degree of accountability, many senior marketers may be put off by taking that leap of faith.

Call me biased but I would always vouch for the use of a tool.  Whether it’s IgnitionOne’s DMS or another provider’s tool, it’s certainly a conversation worth having.


*assuming certain conditions are in place