As SMX winds down the panels get ever more wonky – and that’s a good thing for the search marketing geek. Case in point: The “Ask the Paid Search Buyers” panel moderated by Range Online Media founder Misty Locke.
Reprise Media Managing Partner Josh Stylman was on hand repeating the mantra “When in doubt, test.” The other panelists – iProspect’s Andrew Wheeler, Emily Scott of online travel site Kayak and Molly Hughes of J. Crew, all nodded in agreement.
The simplicity and rightness of this answer threatened to make the whole thing moot so Misty tried with some success to get an answer other than “test” from the panel to the cornucopia of queries presented.
One of the most interesting points was the idea of search as the “world’s largest focus group” in Josh’s words. Josh talked about the ways in which Reprise Media has used search ads and user behavior to gain insight into touchpoints for offline campaigns as well as online. Of course that does sound a lot like “testing” copy and interest points but Misty let that pass.
The panel also rejected the idea of a strict separation between brand and non-brand campaigns. Molly said that for J. Crew, using organic and paid search as well as brand and non-brand terms allowed them to own their space on search – “It’s like putting our name on the store.”
I’m happy to report that at the end of this audience driven Town Hall-like session hands were shaken and the panelists stuck around to answer questions that they couldn’t get to on the dais.